Christmas thoughts....from here..

With about a month away, yes, thoughts of Christmas are front and center in my mind these days....

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I find, that I enjoy each Christmas in direct relation to the expectations I place before myself each year....

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Last year, the addition of Bella to our lives was an unexpected pleasure...here, she found a perfect spot, on the front porch, nestled in a green wreath waiting to be hung...

A memory far more precious than one of the wreath hanging on the front door! 

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Each Christmas I attempt to give gifts from my kitchen to family and friends...it used to be  fancy cookies or cakes, which took weeks to prepare...as I get older and wiser, I have found much simpler gifts to give....caramel corn with pecans, above, were last years gifts, and this year salted caramel sauce...

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A Pinterest treat from Portuguese Girl Cooks....looks luscious, no?  And my penchant for embellishing with wrapping and bows is indulged, so I can make each gift special...

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 .....Always!

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Southern Comfort, added to made from scratch eggnog, is a favourite to make as well as receive....

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Decanters from the thrift store make a perfect vessel for the nog....and now, on my list of things to find, are vintage champagne saucers,  literally a dime a dozen, are back in culinary vogue! 

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I always thought they were far more elegant than flutes....and love the way the bubbles tickle your nose, when you take a sip.....

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Something I have been doing the last several years, is wrapping smaller gifts in parchment paper...I like the soft, vintage look it imparts to a wrapped present....

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Brown kraft paper bags and tags printed from the computer,  are a simple and budget wise idea for gift wrapping....

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I plan to keep decorations, simple and natural, this year....loads of fresh greenery and ornaments from the garden....the breakfast room, last year...

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Green moss, sticks from the garden and lemon cypress topiary trees in the kitchen... 

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A beautiful green hellebore and fresh cedar greens in a simple zinc bucket, make the tiny paper doll ornaments look like Christmas....

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My last Christmas Eve table setting, in my formal dining room, which is no more!!  

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Less formal dining these days....set out buffet style on the kitchen island...

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.......or on the table in the breakfast room.... 

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Soooo, with all that said....decking the halls and preparing the plates is still ahead...I plan to remember to keep things simple and focus on what really matters.....enjoying the days ahead and taking joy in the journey... 

Wishing you all the joys that come with making the season special, whatever that may be to each of you.....N.