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christmas

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The Santa Milk & Cookies Tradition at My House and Free Holiday Printables

santa milk and cookies table

Santa Claus is a holiday tradition that I cherish. It brings back sweet childhood memories that I wish to transmit to my son. My husband and I can’t wait that our son embrace Santa Claus. Like most babies, our son was scared last year when he sat on Santa’s lap. We have high hopes that our son will come to love the jolly old man in the red suit this year.

Beside reading Santa Claus stories to my son, I want to start a Santa milk and cookies tradition just for him. I can’t wait to hear him laugh as we’ll create new family memories. With all the big celebrations happening during the holiday season, it is important for me to allow some quality time with my husband and my son.

For now, I gave you a head up about the design of my Santa Milk & Cookies table on Christmas eve. The “Santa Treats” printables designed by Hostess with the Mostess were a good starting point. They inspired me to design a playful set up where lovely animals mix with old fashioned winter activities. Displaying a few toys makes that corner more inviting for Santa and for my son.

santa milk and cookies table with toys

On Christmas Eve, I will hang a small carrot bunch on one handle of his red rocking moose. Instead of reading him a book that night, we will tell him how Santa and his reindeers will enjoy our treats. He will be thrilled to help us bring the cookies, especially if he can eat one. I look forward to that night. We won’t forget to capture these precious family moments in photos.

Free Holiday Printables

The HWTM Santa Treats printable set includes party flags, party circles, 5×7″ signs, patterned papers, a “DELICIOUS” garland banner, and blank tent cards. CLICK HERE to download the entire printable set.

santa treats printables set overview

For my Santa treats table, I used one 5×7″ sign, two patterned papers, one party flag and three party circles. I printed the party circles and the party sign on cardboard and the rest is printed on a semi-glossy, high brillance 32 lbs paper. For a holiday party, I like the slight contrast in colors that you get when you mix paper types. I played the matte versus glossy angle with the baubles on the small Christmas tree.

santa milk and cookies table

Do you follow the milk and cookies for Santa tradition at your house? If yes, how do you make it special for your kids?

sponsored by HPAbout our Sponsor

This holiday season, let loved ones know how much you care. Use your favorite photos to create something personalized and unique for everyone on your list. Make it memorable. Make it meaningful. Make it matter. Go to hp.com/holiday for inspiration and ideas.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by HP via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of HP.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

At the Launch of a 2.0 Christmas Tree

christmas tree video games played on tablets at place montreal trust

christmas tree 2.0 at place montreal trust

Last night, my son and I attended a Christmas tree reveal party. The Christmas tree at Place Montreal Trust is 2.0; it is social and playful. The 75 feet high tree is decorated with big screens that display Christmas themed video games that are currently played by visitors. You can play at one of the 9 electronic tablets located at the food court level. Every Thursday between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., visitors are invited to tweet their Holiday wishes at #sapinpmt. The tweets will be displayed on the giant screen at the base of the tree.

christmas tree video games played on tablets at place montreal trust

Finishing the games could make a difference in the life of many sick kids. From November 15 to December 4, Place Montréal Trust will donate $1 per completed game to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, up to $1,000 per day. Make sure to stop by and play for a while. The games are designed to be easily played by young kids. So if you are in Montreal, have a look at this new concept of Christmas trees.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

10 Stunning Christmas Stockings

Scandi Stripe Stocking

After the tree and the wreath, Christmas stockings top  my holiday essentials. These 10 of my favorite stockings explore a variety of designs. From a Scandinavian design, to a rustic take up to richly embroidered holiday stockings, make your pick.

What I like about this first composition is the fact that you can mix and match stockings. But I might put them as close to an open fire.

fair isle christmas stockings
Velvet Cuff with Faux-fur stocking and Chunky Cable Knitted Stocking $39.50 USD each at Pottery Barn

There are more to nordic stockings than the knitted stockings. Here is a stylish interpretation of nordic design.

Scandi Stripe Stocking
Scandi Stripe Stockings
£ 22 at Notonthehighstreet.com

loomed and looped stocking
Red Loomed & Looped Stocking
$48 USD at Anthropologie

These simple white dove stockings with seasonal greens and shapes feel right at home in a family room.

caroline stockings
Caroline stocking
$19.95 USD at Crate & Barrel

Sometimes all that you need is a simple statement.

personalized burlap stockings
Personalized Burlap Holiday Stocking
$22 USD by DesignbyNancyT on Etsy

I prefer the mix and match option for these stripe holiday stockings.

red or green stripe holiday stockings
Red or Green Stripe Holiday Stockings
$72 for 4 by DesignbyNancyT on Etsy

The next stockings are way more than I would be willing to pay for a Christmas stocking, but I couldn’t resist the Swarovski crystals.

luxurious velvet Christmas stockings
Hand-Painted Velvet Christmas Stockings
 By Jay Strongwater $595 USD at Neiman Marcus

Since every family member needs a stocking, do not forget to pick stockings for your pets.

holiday stockings for cats and dogs
Fishbone Christmas Stocking
and Dog Bone Christmas Stocking $7.99 each at World Market

If money was no object, which one is your favorite Christmas stocking?

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Asplund Cookie Tray

Asplund Cookie Tray

Asplund Cookie Tray
Asplund Cookie Tray $185 USD at Huset

With the big Holiday season that is only a few months away, it’s best to start sooner than later. This unique design cookie tray designed by Stina Sandwall would be perfect to serve your Holiday treats. The Asplund Cookie Tray comes in red and in white. I would like both on my Christmas table, except that at that price, it would become an indulgence.

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Spruce Outdoor Centerpiece

spruce outdoor centerpiece bhg

spruce outdoor centerpiece bhg

Delightful outdoor decorations greet your guests with style and character. I got tired of the big lit house decorations. It might be because we pass the Holiday at the cottage that I am more inspired by this birdbath evergreen tree centerpiece. The idea behind this project is to set up a welcoming woodsy vignette at the bottom of your stairs or next to the walkway.

spruce outdoor centerpiece details

I suggest that you use LED outdoor lights that are battery-operated. Look for snowflake lights of 5 to 6 inches. We want to see them from a distance.

SOURCING:
+ project: Better Homes and Gardens
+ Set of 2 Blue/White LED 6″ Snowflake Outdoor Ornaments $19.99 USD on sale at Mr. Light

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

DIY Christmas Wreaths

DIY flowery wreath

yarn wreath

It is hard to beat the unique character of handmade Christmas wreaths. It is fun to see how people are still able to reinvent a Holiday decoration that have been around for ages. Have a look at three DIY wreaths that are beautifully rustic.

First, here an cosy idea from The Farm Chicks‘ Serena Thompson. It is one of the projects from her Christmas book, The Farm Chicks Christmas. This is a simple project that you can make a Saturday afternoon with your kids. And it might be a way for you to use leftover yarns.

recycled newspaper Laurel Leaf Wreath

Renate created a beautiful laurel leaf wreaths out of overdyed newspapers for the Rit blog. Visitors could read partial news or ads while they are waiting at the door.

DIY flowery wreath

Finally, have a look at the stylish silver and cream flowery wreath that I saw at Style at Home.

SOURCING:
+ For Americans: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $18.45 USD at Amazon.com
+ For Canadians: The Farm Chicks Christmas book $21.28 CAD at Amazon.ca
+ Eco Laurel Leaf Wreath at The Rit Blog – via Li’l Magoolie
+ DIY Flowery Wreath at Style at Home

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

New Uses for Old Things: Holidays Cookies Wrapped with Office Supplies

old cd envelopes cookie gift wrap

old cd envelopes cookie gift wrap

This post is about finding a use for your old office supplies. If you still have an box of CD envelopes lying around, I saw on Better Homes and Gardens a way to transform them into cute cookie packages. Instead of a printed ribbon and a Holidays adornment, you could decorate the envelopes with a beautiful string and affix a gift tag. I wish that I could insert a gold cake pad but at 6 inches, the smallest cake circles are two big for a CD envelope. This is why you need to use a scrapbook paper or gift wrap paper to add a festive backdrop. The only downside is that I would feel the need to cover the cookie with food-safe cellophane before inserting it into an old CD envelope.

christmas cookies wrapped in mailing tubes

If you plan to ship them, why not wrap your Christmas cookies in mailing tubes? I showed you three ways to add a Holiday touch to plain mailing tubes last year.

SOURCING:
Gingerbread People Cutouts
+ Three-Pepper Spice Cookies

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Easy Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments

easy bunuelo christmas tree ornaments

easy bunuelo christmas tree ornaments

Edible tree ornaments are on old tradition. I found some that do not require any decorations to look great. Bunuelos is a sweet Mexican treat made with fried masa sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Chef Marcela found a shortcut that makes it easy to prepare. Marcela suggests to use uncooked flour tortillas instead.

Her Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments are super easy to make. You only need 4 ingredients: 10 uncooked flour tortillas, vegetable oil for frying them in the oven, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Get the entire recipe on Chef Marcela’s Web site.

If you are looking for more delicious and simple to make Mexican recipe, read what I had to say about Chef Marcela’s book titled Fresh in Mexico.

SOURCING:
+  Easy Bunuelo Christmas Tree Ornaments by Chef Marcela
+ For Americans: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid $14.24 USD
+ For Canadians: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid $16.29 CAD

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories | Etsy Find

Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper and Cake on etsy

Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper and Cake on etsy

DIY photo booths are a popular, budget-savvy solution for weddings and parties. They provide both an ice-breaker and entertainment for guests, while capturing the special and hilarious moments from the event.

Many families use the holidays as an opportunity to update families photos, so why not consider staging a DIY photo booth as a smart alternative for the overdone, and often embarrassing, traditional portrait.

The printable holiday photobooth accessories from Paper & Cake include Santa’s hat and beard, Mrs. Claus’ glasses, reindeer antlers, Rudolph’s red nose and other backdrop decorations. They’re sure to guarantee smiles for the photo and for the photo’s recipient.

SOURCING:
+ Printable Holiday Photo Booth Accessories by Paper & Cake $9.95 USD on Etsy
+ via Hostess with the Mostess

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Gingerbread House Decorating Party

gingerbread house decorating party

gingerbread house decorating party

Move over cookie swap. There’s a new holiday baking party idea that’s sweetening up the neighborhood! Decorating a gingerbread house is a holiday tradition that will resonate with nostalgic adults and excited children. Both groups will love this delightful idea for a holiday get together from Sara and Brittany of One Charming Party.

If gingerbread seems too labour-intensive, consider pre-assembling graham cracker houses so guests can skip straight to the fun part: decorating! The miniature size is perfect for little hands and is easily transported at the end of the party.

Be sure to use the adorable invite to create excitement with guests. And check out One Charming Party for more hosting and gingerbread house decorating tips.

SOURCING:
+ photos by Sara Westbrook

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Frosted Rosemary Sprigs for your Holiday Table

frosted rosemary sprig

frosted rosemary sprig

I love this idea from Josée Di Stasio, a very popular cookbook author, television host and chef in Quebec. She explained in the French edition of Chatelaine how to make your own frosted rosemary sprigs. You can use the frosted rosemary in your centerpiece or to decorate a serving plate.

Add a few drops of water to an egg white. Lightly whip it. Cover the rosemary sprig with the egg white mixture using your hands or a brush. Turn each sprig on a plate filled with sugar until it is fully covered. Let it dry on a cookie pan. To prolong their shelf life, put them on the fridge before usage.

More Recipes from Josée Di Stasio

a la di stasio cookbook

You can find 5 recipes of savory holiday treats on the English Web site of Chatelaine. Lastly, if you are looking for a cookbook filled with recipes that you will do over and over, grab a copy of her A la Di Stasio cookbook. This is from that cookbook that I adapted my 2-Minute Smoked Salmon Mousse Recipe.

SOURCING:
+ A la Di Stasio cookbook $18.77 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ photo:  Louise Savoie for Chatelaine, Édition spéciale Décembre 2010