I have a dear friend flying in on New Year's Eve morning and I've been busy around here taking Christmas decorations down, (The poor Christmas tree was so dry that I fear I will be vacuuming up pine needles through August!) and putting a few New Year's decorations up.
I collect old alarm clocks, and each year I like to gather them up from all around the house, and put them on my mantel as part of my decorations for the magical time when one year ends and a new one begins.
How about you? When do you take down Christmas decorations? Do you do any New Year's decor at all, and if so, what do you like to do?
....this year's homemade treats will be called New Year'sbaked goods.
Every year a couple weeks before Christmas I make my three favorite treats: sugar cookies, snowballs (Russian Tea cakes) and dipped pretzel rods. This year was extra busy for some reason. (You would think with me being out of work that I would be on top of it all, but it was quite the opposite.) I round my cookie baskets out each year with Trader Joe's dark chocolate star cookies, and also the mini dark chocolate mint star cookies to add a pop of color depth.
I managed to pick up my Trader Joe's cookies, and then last week I managed to find time to make my sugar cookie dough, and and then baked just enough cookies to give to two friends a few days before Christmas. Time was at a premium, so I froze the dough, and last night it came back out.
I made my sugar cookie stars, and then did my snowballs. I love the white on white on white look of these sweet treats, and never tire of making them, year after year, after year. I finished off my night by doing my dipped pretzel rods, adorned with assorted white sprinkles.
I then added some off-white shred to a wine crate, and tucked in my goodies. This particular crate full of yumminess will be going with Ralph into work to share with his coworkers.
(If they stay here, I will eat them.)
I'm thinking I could get used to this new timeframe for holiday baking, with a little less pressure to find time, and a little more time to savor the fun of baking and packing cookie baskets.
Oh, I know a lot of us love us some Christmas, with all of the decorations, and parties, and foods, and frivolities, but there is another event that happens at the end of the year that can be oodles of fun to celebrate, in ways both big and small.
And, it doesn't need a whole lot of prep and planning-in-advance time.
Yep, I'm talking' New Year's, folks. New Year's Eve, or New Year's Day...take your pick. Did you somehow land yourself behind the eight ball during that block of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and never got to take baked goods around to your neighbors? Missed seeing friends at a holiday party because you were still Christmas shopping? No worries, my friend. You are not too late to invite a few (or quite a few!) friends over to visit, and ring in the New Year! Go as fancy or plain as you like. (Think black tie, or Lula Roe, prime rib, or mac N' cheese....) Consider an intimate supper party for six, or a cocktail or game night soiree' for thirty six!
Not a night owl? Host your first-annual New Year's brunch or open house to start the year off right. Make it a potluck or BYOB if you're not feeling' the urge to be in the kitchen too much.
I am quite certain I have shared before that I am a little crazy-in-love with the New Year's holiday, and that all it symbolizes for me. The idea of fresh starts, and promise of hope for us all, whether it be weight loss, or world peace. Silly and sappy, I know, and of course I realize that each and every day truly is a fresh clean slate with a new chance to get things right, but...gosh, I don't know...there is just something about the finality of a year ending, and that wide open calendar of twelve squeaky-clean-and-unmarred new months that makes me feel that much more inspired.
More hopeful for what can be.
With all that endless possibility, how can we notwant to celebrate?
And, if we are goingto celebrate, even with a simple candlelit breakfast for two, we need decorations.
And, it's not too late to print some up.
I've been a busy girl creating lots of New Year's paper goods, and you can find the printable versions in my etsy shop, here, or if you are here in the Portland-Vancouver area,you can buy them ready-made at The French Door, in downtown Vancouver.
I am blessed to be having a very dear friend fling in for the holiday, and we are actually going to be at the coast for New Year's Eve, as my Rock n' Roll Buddy has a band gig, and I am making party bags filled with hats,and horns, and sweet treats for all of the girls in our group. (How fun will that be?!)
I hope I have inspired you to think about doing something memorable this New Year's, my friends, and I pray that 2018 is kind to us all.
I have been wanting to share a post about another wonderful shop full of eye candy and inspiration, and it's only about two miles from my home. The French Door is nestled in an old brick carriage house in downtown Vancouver, and the minute you pull into the parking lot you know you're in for a treat...
Every nook and cranny has something that catches the eye, and I find myself oohing and aah-ing out loud each and every time I stop in!
Tablescape ideas, stoneware, vintage linens, clothes and fun jewelry...it's all here, and in such a quaint, charming setting...
If you're in the area, and want to get a warm and fuzzy inspired feeling for refreshing your home after the holiday decorations come down, this is it. (In case you're wondering exactly where they re located, the address is109 W Mill Plain Blvd, in Vancouver, WA.)
I hope December has been kind to you, and you are enjoying the holiday season. I was blessed to have six of my Grands gathered at my home for a wintertime version of Camp Cupcake a couple of weekends ago, and we managed to get our annual Santa-Hats-in-the-bed Christmas photo shoot!
I foolishly thought since everyone is getting a bit older, (the oldest two are turning nine!) the photos would be easier to stage, and capture perfectly posed smiles all round.
Boys will be boys, as they say, and some of us are still not fans of posing for seemingly endless camera shots by Gramma Cupcake. Also, there may or may not have ben just a smudge too much sugar intake the night before the photo shoot.
(Someone needed a picture with onlyIsabelle to make him smile...)
No matter. They (The pictures and the Grands) are precious, and perfect, as always, and I will treasure each and every picture, and memory from the day for the rest of my life.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you, from me!