Is it really better to give than to receive? At the end of the day, don't we give to make ourselves feel better about ourselves? Isn't the best gift we can give the joy of letting someone else feel good about getting us exactly what we want? So I'm giving you that gift today with my 2018 CHRISTMAS LIST. #1 THE STENDIG CALENDAR I ask for the Stendig Calendar every year. This oversized calendar is perfect for artfully organizing busy lives. My husband thinks its dumb because th
I love homemade gifts. As a child, I was an absolute master of the homemade present. I mean, weren't we all the mini-Picassos bestowing masterworks on our parent's refrigerators, petite potters sculpting lumpy mugs emblazoned with "World's Best Whatever," baby bakers whipping up the block's ugliest Christmas cookies to be doled out to neighbors and family friends! Growing older shouldn't quell your enthusiasm for the homemade gift, it simply means your homemade gifts should l
Every year I pick out ornaments for everyone who is going to be at my house Christmas morning. There is always some kind of theme and they are usually personalized to each guest. For the past few years, in a bid for expediency in completing my pre-Christmas "to-do" list, I've kept it pretty simple with ornaments from Target that I chose to suit each person. Last year my Mom, Nana, sister, husband and I we were all bundled up with skis, hats and scarves with the "Winter Snow K
Pomanders were a big part of the holiday season for me as a kid. These clove studded oranges found their origin in the French Pomme d'Ambre of the 13th century. Originally made of solid perfume like ambergris or civet, these balls were worn, carried or set in vases to ward off bad smells and, more importantly, the pestilent diseases that people believed came with the the smells. You think we're into aromatherapy now, just imagine if you thought you could get the plague just b
I've spent a few family Christmases in Europe and one of the great joys of a European Christmas is the Christkindlesmarkt. Strung out across the continent like glittery Christmas tree lights, these markets pop up every year in major cities and small towns bringing handmade crafts, ornaments, foods and my favorite tradition...gluhwein to brighten up the dreary days of winter and celebrate the coming of Christmas. One of my favorite markets is in Strasbourg, a fairytale town in
Part of my bid for a more fulfilling Christmas this year includes more holiday baking along with more homemade gifts, learning Christmas songs on the piano, doing some volunteering and, if there's time, more time for myself (oh, the holidays are rife with irony). This morning I was off to the races on my holiday baking with a new favorite holiday treat--Almond Cinnamon Streusel Rolls. Almond Cinnamon Streusel Rolls are something I invented last night because I love almond pas
Every year we try to get on top of Christmas, but Christmas inevitably tops us! With anxious stalking of the UPS man; frantic runs to the store on December 24th; dozens of cookies left unbaked; multiple holiday recipes left untried; and Christmas cards mailed out in January (or, let's be honest, not at all) we always have the best laid plans to get the upper hand on this exhausting, expensive, exploitive and enchanting holiday that I love so much, bur never quite manage it...