Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest

Today is the Be Jolly By Golly! blogfest hosted by Jen Daiker. Post pictures of your holiday decorations, share a treat recipe, favorite holiday drink and then visit everyone else.

We love Christmas decorations, and almost every corner of the house has something in it.

My hubbies Santa collection has a home on the piano. For many years the kids would buy any and all Santas at the Dollar Tree for his birthday, which happens to be a week before Christmas. Poor man.

We also have this beautiful crystal nativity that we put on top of the bookcase. Why? Because my kids are still not "safe". Ooo, I should take pictures of all the broken glass outside for you to see. My kids decided to throw glass ornaments at each other the other day. Yeah, I don't know why we even try to have nice things yet.

These bunnies are left over from a time when I tried to sell things (Christmas Around the World) to make a little extra cash. I'm so NOT a party market girl. I like to go to the parties and occasionally buy stuff, but don't make me try and convince people they need all this clutter.
Here's our tree. Every time we go on a family vacation we buy something we can use as an ornament. You can see our Yellowstone and NYC ornaments in the second picture. It makes decorating the tree so much fun, filled with "do you remember this?" and "remember how..." I love it!

Our mantel, and my little guy sleeping on the couch dreaming nice things under the tree.

Puffy ornaments hanging from the kitchen light. 

There is lighted garland all along the banisters. These are the kid's night lights the month of December.

Finally, below is the foyer light and a reminder of what the outside looks like. Yes, we like Christmas at our house.

Favorite Holiday Drink?
Hot spiced cider or chocolate with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.

Holiday Treats
This is a Christmas tradition (and special occasions) thanks to my mother in law.

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Bring the first four ingredients to a simmering boil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat--stirring frequently. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir it often to keep the milk from scalding.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and butter. Serve with warm biscuits. I've found that a thinner and crustier biscuit is yummiest when soaked in chocolate!

Spiced Walnuts

* 5 cups walnuts
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* dash of cinnamon

In a large saucepan over medium heat, place the walnuts, sugar, water, honey and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring until creamy. Cover counter top with waxed paper. Pour walnut mixture onto waxed paper and using two forks, pull nuts apart. Let harden; break into pieces to serve.

That is what the recipe says. It didn't work for me. For one thing, it doesn't say how long to cook the mixture and when I finally dumped it, it was very thin and nothing was sticking together. So, I figured I must have done something wrong. I fixed it by heating my oven to 250, spreading the mixture on a pan and baking it for 30 minutes. I took them out and stirred the nuts every 10 minutes and finally let them cool on the pan. They were yummy!


  1. I love your tree decorations!!!
    Beautiful child.

    Very Merry Christmas!

  2. What beautiful decorations! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. What a gorgeous, festive home, Charity. Love the trees and decorations. Thanks for the recipes. Merry Christmas!

  4. I love your ornament idea! What a great way for everyone to come together and remember the good times as a family! Have a great holiday!

  5. Your tree and the lights look very beautiful. The spiced walnuts would be perfect with the hot chocolate.
    Merry Christmas to you all.

    Your son is adorable - sleep always had that affect on mine too ;)

  6. I'm absolutely in love with you fireplace decor. It's so beautiful! And so is your tree. Merry Christmas!!

  7. Your pictures are so lovely! I'm so hungry looking at everyones recipes!

  8. Aw, your decorations are so sweet and homey feeling! And those recipies, wow! Happy holidays!

  9. You have a CRAZY BEAUTIFUL home!! The decorations just add to its loviliness!!

    Merry Christmas!!

  10. Usually I try and reply to each of you by email personally, but today you'll have to settle for a generic...

    Thank you for stopping by! I'm enjoying all of your homes and decorations as well. It may take me until Christmas to get to all of them.

  11. You house looks so festive I image is smells like Christmas too.

  12. A Statue of Liberty ornament, how cool is that?! That's neat that your hubby collects Santas--yeah, my daughter can relate, as her birthday is 11 days before Christmas. Merry Christmas!

  13. I'm going to try your spiced walnuts one of these days. They look delicious!

  14. What festive decorations. Love the outside. :D

  15. Beautiful decorations. Spiced walunts, yum!

  16. Beautiful decorations! I really want to have a mantel now. Merry Christmas!

  17. Those spiced walnuts look delish! All your decorations are gorgeous, but I'm taken with that crystal nativity! I've never seen anything like it. Have a Merry Christmas!!

  18. I really love the progress pictures for the spiced walnuts. Now I know what it looks like for when I try to do the recipe!

    I love all your decorations - you have so many.

    Thank you so much for participating in our blog fest!

    Merry Christmas!


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