Well, the weeks fly by, and it is hard to believe it almost mid-December. Today, it is a holiday catch up (and catch up in general). Let’s talk Christmas trees, holiday decorating and food!
Christmas Tree Tailgate
Are you a faux tree devotee or an all-natural tree lover? Not surprisingly we are all in on the natural tree that we actually cut down at a tree farm. We love the atmosphere of tailgating families, hayrides and an adorable holiday village and stores (all at Maple Row Tree Farm in Easton, CT). We like to support thelocal farm (they replant the trees of course).
We also love to tailgate with friends. Every year we always include some favorite menu items – Mr. SB’s sliders with caper mayo and my ever famous buffalo dip. Mimosas are usually the drink of choice. It may just be my favorite day of the year. It is one of the happiest places I have ever experienced!
I adore the smell of fresh pine and the traditional look of it all. However, when I lived in California, I remember thinking a natural tree would not really be my desired look – the warm weather threw me off. However, in a colonial town in CT, it is perfect.
Years ago, my girls decided they wanted colored lights which I happily obliged. But a few years ago, we all agreed that we wanted an all-white light tree. I love how it coordinates with our family room and it fits the many ornaments we have so much better than multicolored. I usually start with the lights and then wrap gold ribbon around the tree for a garland. Our angel goes on top and then the girls and I decorate with the rest of the ornaments – some are over one hundred years old and passed down from my grandparents! I love to collect ornaments from places we have been.
Wrapped presents for under the Christmas tree
I love to wrap presents (see an entire post about it here). A great tip gathered from my favorite mom blogs is to buy some coordinating wrapping paper. I tend to do gold and white with a few accents of dark green. Too much red does not work in my color scheme. Homegoods has beautiful, thick wrapping paper. It is such high-quality that I usually even reuse it the next year for the larger gifts!
I also collect ribbons and ornaments to decorate the packages. Costco, Christmas Tree Shops and TJ Maxx/Homegoods all have beautiful, wired ribbon.
This year’s house decor will follow previous years for the most part. I did buy a new front door mat – has more of a winter theme then holiday so I think we can leave it out until Spring. I used magnolias on my mantle and layered on some decorative elements just like last year.
I purchased this funny sign and plan to put it on the bar for Christmas day when we host 16 for dinner and cocktails beforehand. I have a Santa too that will go right next to it:)
This year’s Christmas dinner menu
This past weekend we hosted friends for dinner. First, we hiked nearby to work up a good appetite. Then back to our house for appetizers and drinks and then dinner. Mr SB made short ribs braised in red wine I made twice baked potatoes (but left out the bacon in the Pioneer Woman recipe and used light sour cream and less butter), smokey sweet carrots (hope to post that recipe soon) and steamed green beans. Delicious, winter meal! My friend brought a delicious apple crisp. It was a perfect night to enjoy the fire and chat afterwards.
We usually host Christmas dinner, so we have a list of favorites that we usually make. This year is no different – here is what I am planning (as of now) –
Brisket (smoked on Mr. SB’s big green egg)
Seared mushrooms in sherry cream sauce with dill
Mashed potatoes (thanks to Costco just heat, serve and put in a pretty bowl)
Tian with zucchini, tomatoes, onions and goat cheese
Smokey sweet carrots (recipe to come!)
Dessert – still thinking about it. Likely assorted holiday cookies and possibly a chocolate cake.
Well that about sums up what has been going on at the SB house. Hoping your holiday season is going well! What are you planning to make the season festive?