It’s my favorite time of the year! It’s the beginning of All things Holiday– from gatherings of friends to wrapping presents, I enjoy every moment. As the years go by, the kids grow up, and the nest gets emptier, I long for the simpler days of having everyone in the same home 365 days a year. But alas, they are growing up and leaving the comforts of home. Side note for you long time customers– Do you remember little Catherine as she would assist with your purchases, that lovely smile and warm personality? Well, that little girl is going to be 23 early in the New Year and will have her MBA by May. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??
I digress. But all this change means a change in our Holiday gatherings, and that means new ideas for you! So, grab a glass of wine or water and let’s talk through some of my tried and true traditions and some of the new ideas I am looking forward to trying.
This year, Thanksgiving revolves around some interesting travel schedules as we look forward to honoring our past in the ‘warmer than I am accustomed to’ Tampa area. The kids are flying in from their respective state universities and are super excited about the first item on our Traditions List– the Annual Turkey Trot. The different city comes with a change to the cause, this year our donation goes to cancer survivors. It feels like the right way to honor my sister as she finishes up her chemo and the All-clear on her cancer! Yay Diane– she is a Rock Star! After the run we will be filling our bellies with the traditional egg souffle aka egg bake that I make every year. This year I may even bring back the famed Monkey Bread.
As another little change, my sister is Hosting this year. I think this is a tribute to her strength…and the fact that she has a larger dining room than I do. But, I’ll still be pulling out all the stops with this year’s table– beginning with a lovely tray filled with stems and some great new pumpkins that we added this year, the awesome new scents from Ella B candles, my tiered cake plate collection on the credenza that will hold all of those fabulous desserts and pies. YUM. And yes, I really will bring all these things to her home…it’s just how I roll. No need to have her do something she doesn’t love as much as I do. Oh, and yes, my kids will ask if that is really necessary!
Adding to our new traditions, the men in our group are golfing as part of this year’s Turkey celebration. That will give us ladies some time to reconnect as we whip up some of our favorite dishes. No fear, though, there is a clubhouse complete with pool and tennis if we decide to get out of the hot kitchen (how weird is that to say??) Otherwise, the wine gets opened shortly after noon and some even gets added to the recipes.
What’s on the menu this year? Tried and true recipes to be certain: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy. Newer traditions: roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta and garlic. Catherine made an amazing upside-down Apple tart last year; I am hoping she brings that recipe home.
But, no matter what we eat, what house we eat it in, or even what state, the best thing about the holidays is being with my loved ones and doing what I love (see: bringing all those decorations for the table).
If you’re looking for a little Holiday inspiration, come stop by the store and see us! We have a cornucopia’s worth of decorations and ideas for you to see.