Did anyone else notice the subject line of J. Crew’s promo email yesterday morning? “News Flash: You have 2 weeks to get gifts.” Great, thanks very much for that reminder, kind folks at J. Crew. I definitely wasn’t already stressed out about how quickly time is flying by or anything like that. Nope, no panic to be seen here.
I confess, I’m having a hard time really embracing the holiday vibe this year. I’m hoping that all changes this weekend, though. I’ve got plans to bake Christmas cookies tomorrow with some family, and on Sunday my mom and I are taking my grandmother to Wayside Inn to celebrate her 91st birthday. We spent a lot of holidays there when I was growing up, but it’s been well over ten years since I’ve been out there, so I’m looking forward to it.
To help me get into the spirit, I’m making today’s Friday Favorites holiday-themed and sharing all of my favorite ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Once again, I’m joining with Heather @ Housewife Glamour, Katie @ Running4Cupcakes, and Clare @Fitting It All In for today’s link up. Make sure to check out these awesome hosts and show some love to the other bloggers joining in this link up!
Favorite Christmas Song
It’s not Christmas until I hear this song for the first time… and then proceed to play it every day, sometimes multiple times a day, until the tree comes down and I concede that the season has past. Few things bring a smile to my face like this version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Favorite Christmas Cookie
Pizzelles were the very first cookie I ever learned how to make. My grandmother had the iron pictured in this recipe, and we would make stacks and stacks of these cookies every Christmas. I don’t have the faintest idea why my grandmother, who came from 100% Irish stock, owned a pizzelle iron, or why she started making these cookies, but she passed the tradition along to me. When I was in high school, our heavy iron cookie press broke, and we bought one of the nonstick versions, but the cookies were never the same. The nonstick cookie iron couldn’t get the cookies thin and crunchy enough for my taste, so I stopped making them. Earlier this year, though, a mysterious package arrived without warning at our doorstep; my uncle had found a replacement for our original, amazing pizzelle iron. I scoured the internet to find the original recipe we followed and I cannot wait to make these this weekend!
Favorite Christmas Movie
This is a tough one – White Christmas came in a close second. But I have loved A Christmas Carol ever since I first read it as a child, and the Muppet version is second to none in my book when it comes to holiday movie entertainment. I knew I had found friends for life when my Mudderella teammates and dear friends confessed to sharing my deep, undying love for Gonzo as Charles Dickens, and last week we gathered together to kick off the season with wine, brie, and a laughter-filled showing of this holiday classic.
Favorite Homemade Christmas Treat
I can’t remember how I first stumbled across this recipe for bourbon spiced pecans, but they’ve become my go-to homemade holiday treat. I have been known to buy out the entire stock of pecans at my local Whole Foods in order to make these nuts, and I give them out to friends, coworkers, and as hostess gifts when attending holiday parties. I like to add more spices than what’s called for in the recipe – I particularly like ginger and nutmeg as well as cinnamon – and the easiest method is to make a huge batch of the spiced sugar at the outset, rather than measuring everything out for each batch. Pour a tasty bourbon cocktail to sip while you’re cooking and you’re good to go!
What are some of your favorite things at this time of year? How are you getting in the spirit?