New Year’s eve morning as I write this. I’ve spent the week between Christmas and today pondering the events of 2016. I’m surprised at the number of surprises I had in 2016. It was a year of surprises.  And I’d like another please.  I believe this is because of my new commitment to extemporaneous living, instead of planning everything out.  There’s a flow going on.

Here’s my list. I suspect you had tons of surprises too.  What’s on your list?

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The oranges in this orange strawberry salad are clean sectioned, a lot of work. Mine is easier, below. And even prettier!

I’ve cooked it all.  Legions of cookies and cakes.  Gallons of egg nog and mimosas.  Baked hams. Beef Wellingtons. Roasts of pork and lamb.  So many turkeys I can’t even count. Creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes, Sacher Tortes, Buches de Noel.

I asked myself, what do I really feel like eating at Christmas this year? The answer was: not complicated elegance. More like sexy bistro food. I have visions of pulling a bubbling casserole from the oven, served with a glass of seriously fabulous wine. My DD tells me I’ll be everyone’s new best friend by bringing a large Spanokopita, a Greek spinach pie to a Christmas eve supper I’m invited to.

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Keep calm and sparkle on

 

In keeping with my theme of making Christmas more meaningful and gentle on the soul, to calm the longings and the expectations met and unmet, of Christmas’ past, present and future…here’s an update.

I live in a provincial state capital of Tropica.  It’s a tropical city of a million although it doesn’t feel that way. I live on a funky street. The safest street in the world, but funky.

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Fresh, light, minimal. That’s what I’m thinking this year.

 

It’s official now.  “The hols are coming, the hols are coming.”

I need to do things differently this year. Have you ever felt this way?  For years, I rejoiced in all the traditions I created for my family that made our Christmas such a happy, cherished time.

But I don’t need to be the magic maker anymore; I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness anymore.  I can change how I set the scene and observe the holidays, knowing that I create intimate, compelling magic whatever I decide to do.  Because that’s my style.

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A crown to remind me that I’m the queen of my life, the queen of me.  A queen period.*

crownI’m not the charm bracelet type.  Charm bracelets were for me, something my mother wore in the 50’s.  No, I’m a modern woman. I’m minimalist.  Try to wear little or no jewelry.

And now I’m here to tell you…I have a charm bracelet!  It is a modern version of a charm bracelet and I love how it tells –not so much the story of my life — but rather, about my dreams, my thoughts, my fantasies, desires and loves.

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choco crackles

⟡ Breaking with tradition ⟡

You all know how I feel about tropical Christmas.  I wrote about it last year. In general, I  take comfort in traditions.  The ease of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, menu always the same.  The cherished Christmas ornaments that I pull out of the box each year.  The Easter ham.  The Fourth of July barbecue. But this year with the holiday season in full swing, I’m feeling the season in a different way. [Read more…]