This year I did something I’ve never done before. I escaped Christmas. In the days leading up to “the big day” I baked the cookies and gave out the tips to service people. I went to a few parties and bought a little gift here and there.

But right now, as you perhaps are cleaning up ribbons and wrappings, I am digging my feet into the warm sand. Just a three day escape to change things up.

It is my way of announcing to the world (and to me) that “things have to be different around here.” [Read more…]

 

Last year, as 2017 began, I wrote a post called The Year of Living Passionately.

I must say, I got what I asked for. It was passionately intense. It wasn’t passion pretty, it was passion difficult. It involved my daughter writing, finishing and presenting her thesis. A “surprise” hip replacement surgery and the months long rehabilitation afterwards. My son started a new job in Cancun (code for: I helped him outfit his flat) and my daughter left for France to see if she wanted to settle there. (She does). A bucket list trip (meaning: big and expensive) to Alaska that ended with me [Read more…]

 

It seems that in the past few years I find myself saying, “Christmas has to be different this year.”

For years, I prided myself on creating the same, classical and elegant Christmas every year for my children. Isn’t that the point — to create memories and tradition? I rejoiced as I strung the tiny blue and white lights and set up the tree and the nativity.

Lately, Christmas has become a minefield of emotion and memory. [Read more…]

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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.

[Read more…]

 

twinkle2
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.

[Read more…]

 

christmas-table
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.

[Read more…]

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…]