Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcome to the Bloggers' Christmas Party 2009

What's a party without appetizers?!?!?!

Scoop into this Layered-Sun-Dried-Tomato-Basil Spread from Southern Living. This is not my photo, and I've never made the recipe before. It just looked too darn pretty not to share.

Smoky Green-Chile-Cheddar Cheeseball with Mango Avocado Salsa
THIS is also not my photo, but I have made it. In fact, I made it for a party last weekend, and it was a hit. It's a hit everywhere I take it. Find the recipe here and SHARE SHARE SHARE! It has too much cream cheese in it to eat alone.

And here's how to use up all that Pumpkin Butter you have stored away:

Go here for a quick, EASY Pumpkin Butter Meatballs appetizer recipe.

And now, for some
ChRiStMaS tRaDiTiOnS

What good is a present you can't eat?
Husband and I have started making edible boxes of treats to give as gifts. It's our little way of cutting down on the "stuff" problem.

So, what's in the box?

Christmas Tree Bark, Cinnamon Honey Butter, and the best little Christmas cookie you'll ever have (and I do mean down-right gourmet). They're called Eggnog Logs. I'll post the recipe soon.

The Christmas Tree Star
I made this from tin foil my first Christmas with Husband. I made it as a temporary stand-in, but the ole' thing has enigmatic charms and it has kind-of grown on us the last three Christmases.

I think it's the quirky little tilt that makes it so charming-- like a lopsided little kid with only one dimple in his smile. We think we'll keep it and add a little foil every year until it's thick and large enough to lead wise men to the Lord of Lords :)

I may eventually have to do something about the plastic Dixie cup that props it onto the treetop. It's stapled on. (I can't believe I just admitted that in the blogosphere!) Plus, I want the back to look more presentable.

Christmas Cards.
I post them on this tack board and string them on a garland in the dining room. They are a main attraction in our Christmas decor!

The Advent Wreath

My mother-in-law made this for Husband when he was a working bachelor. It's made of bread dough, paint, and glitter, and we eat supper by its candlelight every night.

If you want to make one go here.

And if you don't trust yourself baking a wreath, this one looks easy enough to mimic. And very feng shui, I might add. Brings a little Zen technique to Christmas.

And now to share a few of my
ChRiStMaS bLuEpRiNtS
Or, ideas to focus on next Christmas.
A Wooden Advent Calendar
like this,

or this.

And the perfect nativity scene. This one is made of olive wood. I love that it's so natural and so unassuming, yet demands a certain presence.
The perfect nativity may take years to find. We have a temporary stand-in.

Two-piece door wreath found here.

Just thinking about

tHe CoLoR rEd:

The commercialism of Christmas has made it okay to be a little more flamboyant than usual,

found on this blog.

It's okay to wear things such as ROY G BIV reindeer protruding from breast pockets.

No idea where I found this hideous, stress-inducing photo!

And it's okay to answer that impulsive inkling within us that just wants a little tackiness sometimes. Is there anyone out there who didn't like the look of this as a child? If so, I'd love to hear all about it. I know of no one who dodged the gleeful ploys of colorful lights as child.

It's a time to think outside of the box and go all out, whatever that may mean to you. To some, it means clearing the daily schedule to volunteer at a soup kitchen or offering to lead the Christmas pageant -- with no teaching, theater, or child-care experience. To others, it means making a big purchase for a loved one or taking a nice family vacation. And to some, it means slaving over the stove to produce a glorious meal which people will talk, laugh, and commune over... and work off until Spring. And to some, it means covering their house and lawn in lights, simply because they loved it so much as a child.

Whatever it means, whether it's serving, buying, or even pampering yourself, the ultimate end to all of it is to be able to give back to the world. Which is the point.

And it's what I think all of you bloggers and blog-readers do. And I am thankful for you and all your efforts to bring beauty, art, and wisdom into the world.


Our guest list has GROWN!
Thanks for stopping by and MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. I absolutely adore that foil star...dixie cup & all :) And I like your idea of making edible gifts too! Thank you so much for inviting me to this party ... & for your hospitality! Your site & this post are so festive! I've enjoyed my time spent here this morning! Now - on to the next stop! Christmas Blessings to you!

  2. LOVE the foil star, KEEP IT!!! So Charlie Brown!
    And I also really love the wooden advent train.
    This was a great post, thank you for the invitation!
    Have fun at the party!
    *clink* (glasses clinking together :))

  3. Ooo lots to take in! I like that candle holder...I want to make one! It looks wicked! And I think your star is ace too - I like the story behind it! It is humble and still beautiful! I also like your idea for avoiding unecessary clutter with the edible gifts! :) Happy Christmas party! xxx

  4. Cheers!!!!!! Too early here to sip the vino, so I'm having a cup of chocolate instead to start my day on this fun Christmas party. Lots to see and lots to think about doing and oh, so early in the morning.

    The star is perfect and love the idea of adding to it each year. The candles are a much needed addition for our holiday celebration in this house. Our calendar is fun but I'm lovin' the train idea.

    Oh, my goodness, I already need another cup of cocoa just to move on to the next celebration.

    Thanks so much for sharing this idea, what great fun we all will have today. Already cherishing all the new friends I'm going to make today.

    Ho-ho-ho and big holiday hugs,

    Kate - The Garden Bell

  5. Hey, when you click on Good Morning Mary Sunshine, it says 'The link appears to be broken'---don't know if you can fix that. It does give the option of going to: So, maybe folks will get there anyway. Love the star! We had one just like it when we were kids--Mom made it. I might make another one for my tree. Going to check out the other blogs now!

  6. Hello, me again... I noticed the same thing happens with the 'Birds Eye View' blog... although there is the option of clicking on the link (when you get to the 'Broken Link' page).

  7. Oh my dear friend...Merry Christmas to you.....

    This post is so festive and FUN..and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the tin can keep that forever..I just love things like that....what a treasure..and all the food looks so good...just beautiful....

    Buddy and I are raising our glasses in a toast to you....sending you Christmas love , peace and happiness....

    Kary and Buddy

  8. Hello my dear friend!
    Love the tin foil star. Here's an idea: why don't you cover the cup as well or even make another one star to go at the back -3D, get it?
    Thanks for all the ideas. I've planned to make the cinnamon honey butter over the weekend.
    Love the message at the end!

  9. Wonderful party!! I love the decorated "chimney" welcoming!! Lots of good food and egg nog logs?!?! That's something I'd love to know how to make!!

    Red...yes to red!! And the advent calendars are unique and charming!

    As for your's quaint and homey and made with love -- including the dixie cup. I think if you ever replaced that you wouldn't feel the same way about your star. I think I'd be tempted to leave it as is!!!

    Wishing you a most wonderful Christmas!

  10. I love the idea of a blog Christmas party what a great way to find more wonderful blogs! I love the edible gifts too they seem more meaningful and what a great way to swap recipes too. Where did you find those adorable advent calendars?

  11. This visit has filled me up...with some great ideas. I will patiently await the eggnog log recipe, they sound delicious! Your star is precious, I'd keep it! And thanks to you and Yiota for such a great idea.

  12. You know, we made a start just like that many years ago when our kids were really little ones. It's all we could afford that year but used it many times. It IS all about the you other ideas too.

  13. This was UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL!!!!! What a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL post and such a generous Christmas present for all of us! The time you took to put such a fun read together and the inventiveness you put into it was so much fun!!! Thanks for inviting us all to your "party"...I had a great time! : )

  14. Hey - I just got your Christmas Card in the mail!! What finally have a such a pretty face to go w/ your name. Be expecting one back at ya...from our mailbox to yours - very soon :)

    Your Christmas party was a HUGE success! Here's hopin' you will make that that a new tradition.

  15. What a great party! I just got back and am 'making the rounds' of the posts that I missed. (They're all so good!)

    I love your festive post. You've found so many great ideas that I want to remember for next Christmas. (Isn't that two-part wreath amazing?)

    Many thanks to you and Yiota for hosting this gathering! Now it's time to make some hot cocoa and watch for the snow to start!

  16. Thank you so much for the Christmas card..and YES ! it is great to have such a cute face to go with your and your husband are adorable...and Khan too....what a special dog..and we LOVE our dogs !

    Merry Christmas, dear friend

    Looking forward to fun times next year....

    kary and buddy


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