Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas in the air~ day 26

The first year our son, Sam, was married was the first year he was unable to be with us for Christmas. I was feeling rather blue and it made my day when he called. The first thing he told me was that if he closed his eyes, he could smell Christmas at our house and I knew exactly what he meant! Between the baking goodies, the live evergreens, and the cinnamon apple potpourri simmering in tiny pots placed around the house, our home does have a distinctly Christmas smell at this time of year.

I believe that there are 5 necessary ingredients involved in setting the stage for hospitality at my house and thought I would share them here. Just remember that each of the 5 senses ought to be enlivened and you will give others an experience to remember. Here are some thoughts about enticing the other senses:


The beauty of the Christmas season is simple to accomplish with tiny twinkle lights, candlelight, or a lovely tree decorated in any number of interesting ways. Our tree changes a little each year; currently I am using plastic ornaments that look like the fragile glass ones so that the little people who come to our home won't get hurt. I also like to have framed pictures of past Christmases sitting out to enjoy and bright colored chocolates add a festive touch when they fill clear jars.


So where do you begin to list the wonderful Christmas CD/s available now? I like to have a good variety of styles and intensity of Christmas music...something for every mood. I try to wait until after Thanksgiving to bring them out but it is awfully hard to do that! Today I am listening to John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas!


Every family has favorite recipes, especially during the holidays. Last year I collected a variety of great ones from our daughter and 2 daughters-in-law and put together a family cookbook for family and friends. To prove just how important family holiday cooking can be, let me tell this story. Just last week I talked with all three of my grown children within 24 hours of each other and each of them waxed eloquent about the virtues of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy. You know they will both be on my Christmas table!


This is the time of year to pull out all the cozy throws and blankets. Tables are especially welcoming when pretty linens are used and making cloth napkins is so easy. One yard of fabric will make 4 dinner napkins. I cut 18" squares from Christmas themed cotton fabric and machine stitch a small hem. They can be washed over and over again and each year I like to add a new pattern.


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