It's the first day of December and the festive season is in full swing...ready or not. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting ideas for homemade gifts (hot cocoa mix and granola), tips on simple, elegant entertaining and recipes that are perennial holiday favorites in my house.
To start, I've made my annual holiday shopping trip to World Market. They have the best selection of advent calendars and, my favorite Christmas tradition, Handmade English Crackers! Each year I buy Confiserie Heidel advent calendars, with whole milk chocolate treats, for my children, nieces and nephew. These are imported from Germany and are absolutely adorable, not to mention delicious.
Traditional English Christmas Crackers originated in London in the early 1840s. Once known as cracker bonbons, these POP!-open party favors contain surprise gifts and are always a huge hit with my guests. This year I bought crackers containing wind-up "racing" reindeer, a joke, a party hat and a full color race track. I use the crackers to decorate my table at Christmas, putting one at each place setting. After several glasses of spiked eggnog, the reindeer games will begin!
Enjoy these special, festive days with family and friends. And when the shopping, gifting, decorating, entertaining and celebrating have left you exhausted and a little stressed, just remember that a very merry splash of bubbly goes a long way.