One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music and every year it seems like I wish I had taken more time to just sit back and enjoy it. I have the nagging feeling that as I am packing away the decorations in a couple of weeks that I will have the same regret. This morning, though, I have my ITunes on my Christmas Faves Playlist as I try and figure out my holiday favorites. I copied this idea from Laurawho did this same type of post a couple weeks ago. So the credit goes to her.
It is evident by looking at my iTouch that I have a penchant for Christmas songs. I have four playlsts dedicated to this genre: Christmas by the Tree, Christmas With Friends, Christmas Party, and Newer Christmas Faves. Each one serves a purpose. With so many songs to choose from it was a little trickier to come up with my faves. Some of these are new songs that I like for their fresh sound and others are old standards that take me back to memories of Christmases past or remind of the true meaning of the holiday season.
I'm sure you are familiar with a number of these but there might be a couple new ones or new renditions that you might take "note" of. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
15. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - The Casting Crows
14. Merry Christmas Baby - Elvis Presley and Gretchen Wilson
13. Christmas - Blues Travelers
12. It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Dionne Warwick
Friday night was our first of what I hope will be an annual Holiday House Crawl. This is the perfect holiday party, especially if the participants live fairly close by or you have back up drivers you can call on.
We started at the Nazette home. Sally's centerpiece of candles and copper Christmas trees was spectacular and wouldn't you know I forgot to pull out my camera at this first stop. Randy is my very favorite bartender. The man makes a mean martini! They served ribs, artichoke dip and a fabulous cheese bread. Sally is a designer and it goes without saying that their home was chock full of eye candy.
Our second stop was at Basil and Lynn's. They own a Greek restaurant and pizzeria. We knew we would be in for an epicurean treat at this house. Basil had made two fabulous soups, but my fave was the clam chowder. If we do this again next year I'm really hoping the chowder makes an encore appearance. Basil has given some thought to distributing it through retail venues. I know it would fly off the shelves if he did.
We, of course, drank some more and I've decided this is one of my new favorite wines.
I love Lynnie's decorating style. You can't help but feel comfortable here. Sophisticated casual is how I would describe it. Her art background is very evident in the pieces she has chosen for their home Her refusal to let go of the child within is also obvious in so many of the random accents she has displayed throughout the house.
Our next stop was Russell's. He is a discerning wine connoisseur with an awesome wine cellar and Cathy is another accomplished cook. How did I get in this group? Thank God for a hubby that knows his way around the kitchen. She served baked brie with pears and a scrumptious beef tenderloin ( and I usually don't care for beef) but this was amazing. This was our first time in their home and it was equally beautiful and inspiring. I'm not ashamed to say that I covet her closet and his wine cellar.
We ended up the the evening at our house. Again, no pictures. Mike made his famous cheesecake and it was as good as I had remembered. He hasn't made it for several years. Life got busy and we ordered from Carnegie Deli instead. In a head to head contest, though, I think Mike's cake would win hands down. We washed it down with Bailey's, and Grand Marnier. Why do you think we call it House Crawl?
This really was a great way to party. The food was fabulous, we were able to see each others holiday decorations, and nobody had to deal with a lot of stress or expense. Can't wait for next year.
In this economy over-the-top excess seems just plain wrong on so many levels, but when your spouse is in the automobile business it seems just plain crazy. As a result, I decided to challenge myself and see if I can go without buying any new ornaments or decorations this year. So far I'm doing pretty well but there have been several obstacles. I have gone the artificial route for years. I know I'm forgoing that great pine scent and I have to dial down the "awe factor" that only a real tree can inspire but because I put up five or six trees it would be cost prohibitive to replace them all every year. This year all of my trees decided to go "ghetto" on me and every single one had large sections that refused to light up despite all of my coaxing, tweaking, and finally cursing. In the end I have had to add additional strings of lights to every single tree but, hey, I had them on hand so I didn't have to buy anything. I had decided last year that the living room tree had finally given us it's best years and it was time to let it go. I had the best of intentions to buy a new one after the holidays but that never happened. Now I'm down one tree and I vacillate between thinking I don't need it and thinking if I can find one I like on sale I should take advantage of some of the great deals that could be out there this season. In the mean time I have worked with what I have on hand. A lot of it is the same as last year. The tree in the library has a book theme. That was easy but for a little whimsy I added readers to the tree and between Mike and myself we have a lot of readers around the house.
The tree in the breezeway used to reflect the outdoors and I used the silver red and green globe ornaments I still use today but I inserted a lot of twigs and berries and red cardinals. Last year we were having a big party and I decided to switch it up in the spirit of the party and I liked this cocktail tree so much that I did it again this year. I added individual bottles of wine, plastic wine glasses, cork screws, plastic martini glasses, bar guide books, shakers and of course mini bottles of liquor.
Where I had fun this year was the tree in my office. This is another small tree that a few years ago I did in pink and red and silver with these 50's looking dolls. They were fun but I was over it and sold them in a garage sale last summer. That left me with a scantily clad tree so I had to get creative and decided to stay with a girly theme and pulled things out my closet. This tree is now dripping with rhinestone bracelets, earrings, pearls and some of my favorite pink heels!
My kitchen tree began with a single Sticks ornament from Liz several years ago. It slowly multiplied into a Sticks tree but because these ornaments are pretty expensive it needed to be a small tree. The kitchen tree is the perfect choice and right above the kitchen sink it makes me happy to look at it many times every day
I painted a flower pot to set off this whimsical feel of this tree and to coordinate with our holiday martini glasses.
The family room tree is my Radko Tree. Liz calls it the tree that threw up Christmas but all of the ornaments have a meaning or memory attached to them.
So maybe with a few other touches of Christmas around the house I won't miss the living room tree so much but right now that spot next to the piano looks so empty and dark.
Welcome to our BeColorful Home. Ours is an older home, built in 1916 and it has been added on to several times. We have lived here for almost fifteen years now and the house has evolved from a traditional flavor to something a bit more eclectic.I have always loved big splashes of color but I'm finding that I am also drawn to more neutral shades as well. Welcome and enjoy looking around.