Out of the Dark

December 20, 2017

And, slowly moving into the light. The Winter Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight and the official start of Winter. A depressing thought to be sure until the realization hits that from this point forward we gain a bit of extra daylight each day until Spring. While the ancients celebrated by decking the halls in evergreens and building roaring fires, us moderns might go for a little candlelight and white flowers, a simple reminder of the Spring to come. White tulips of any variety are my favorites on this, my most favorite day of the year, but anything white will do. Forced Paperwhite bulbs or bracts of cut white Poinsettias displayed in simple glass vases will be welcome additions that will last right through Christmas.

 

 

Paperwhite and Ponsettia photos via https://www.gardenista.com/posts/poinsettias-rethinking-traditional-christmas-flower/

Top three photos: gp

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Cause For Celebration

December 22, 2016

The Winter Solstice may herald the beginning of Winter but it also gifts us a little extra daylight each day…slowly inching us out of the darkness. Good reason to celebrate to be sure. I’m thinking a Stinger and an arm-load of white fringed tulips are in order.

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Stinger: equal parts Brandy and white Creme de Menthe. In this case, on the rocks.

photos: gp

 

 

Candlelight the Night

December 20, 2015

The Winter Solstice…Dec 21 2015.   Take advantage of the longest night of the year to relax in the glow of candlelight. Even a simple supper can take on a magical quality when lit with a single flame. Tomorrow? More magic. A little more light each day until Spring.

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A modern sixties inspired clear “dot” vase + one clear votive cup and candle. That’s it.

 

photos: gp

 

 

 

Like an Early Gift

December 21, 2014

Today marks the Winter Solstice…the longest night of the year. And, in the morning, the rebirth of the sun. Each day grows lighter, guiding us through Winter with the promise of Spring. Definitely a reason to celebrate by decking the halls, building a roaring fire inside or a bonfire out and enjoying a little reminder of what’s to come.

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Midwinter

December 21, 2012

Odd name for the Winter solstice which is actually the first day of the season. Call it what you will, it is absolutely my most favorite of days. It marks the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight but signals the slow, steady increase in daylight hours as we move into spring. Sure, it might not seem like a big thing to you but trust me, if you live anywhere near the midwest, you will immediately notice that the sky has not gone to pitch at 4:45 in the afternoon. There is a feeling of hope…yes, that spring is just one season away. So, celebrate with me if you care to, with anything ( hell, everything ) that reminds you of spring… and relish every extra minute of daylight.Copy (2) of whthyc2FCopy of whthyc1F

Your holiday signature…

December 17, 2012

create it. It’s a simplequietmodern statement that will be fondly remembered year after year by your friends and family. It also simplifies the task of readying your home for the onslaught of revelers each Christmas in the midst of a carrying on with the rest of your busy life. It could be a signature menu for a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day supper that folks look forward to every year … vases of assorted Winter greenery and white tulips, narcissus or Amaryllis to usher in Midwinter…the offering of a signature cocktail like a smart  Christmas Manhattan with a splash of Marachino juice…illuminating your Christmas Eve with candle light and a roaring fire exclusively or, simply keeping a bowl full of seasonal Clementines within easy reach. No matter the direction, when repeated every year it will not only become second nature, easily the first thing on and then checked off your holiday to-do list, it will signal the arrival of your Christmas and another season of memories you created simply…seemingly effortlessly.WHTminkProtPINE3FclemsA1Fbirdsnest3BfgngrbrdBrownFCopy of porkroast _mstwartCopy of PhalsFCopy of vintagepnk4F

starting at the top:

White Mink Protea with cut white Pine and Magnolia branches will last for weeks.

Clementines,traditionally the original stocking stuffer, for that blast of vitamin C and natural sweetness.

Nature provided Cardinal’s nest and a scattering of vintage glass ornaments.

“No Brainer” Gingerbread Brownies will kick off the season perfectly. You can find the recipe here:http://www.ohbiteit.com/2012/11/gingerbread-brownies.html

There is nothing like roast pork to anchor your holiday dinner. This lesson from Martha can be found here:http://www.marthastewart.com/920465/bone-pork-loin# My preference is to have the butcher tie two boneless loins together and simply season with garlic and caraway seed.

If you’re not able to secure white tulips you should have no difficulty finding white Phalanopsis orchids in plant form that will last well into the New Year.

Sorting through your collection of mid-century vintage ornaments and separating them in groups of like color can make a modern statement as you revisit and display them each year.

*photo of the roast from Martha Stewart Living