It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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December 11, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

Welcome to our London home at Christmas! Today I thought I’d take you on a bit of an Open House tour complete with a cocktail to round out your visit. (Just as it would be if you were really here!)

A Broad Cooking Christmas House Tour 2013

My goal while decorating for Christmas is to keep everything classic, cozy, welcoming, and warm. I like to keep everything in hues of the quintessential classic colors, red and green, with touches of gold. I love a fresh wreath inside as a nice surprise and use fresh pine throughout the house so the smell adds to the ambiance.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

I love sitting in the living room and staring at my winter wonderland. I made the ornament “chandeliers” by simply strategically stringing a variety of ball ornaments together.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

An easy way to add a pop of Christmas is to fill bowls and vases with basic ornaments.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

And use candles to add warmth and festive scents to your home around the holidays. I can’t get enough of the smell of our tree with pine.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

Until we moved to England, I had never seen these advent calendar candles and I love this idea! Ours was a gift from our friends Alex and Jay and it’s a tradition I hope to continue every year now.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

I even carried my red, green, and gold colors over to my gift wrapping.

Classic Gift Wrap in Red, Green, & Gold: A Broad Cooking

I’m a big traditionalist when it comes to decorating the tree. White lights, of course. And I don’t like everything to be matchy matchy. Instead I have a collection of ornaments: everything from my childhood favorites to ornaments Chris and I have collected during our travels and in building our home together. Every year as stocking stuffers, I like to get a pair of ornaments for Chris and I. One year it dinosaurs; last year, plaid bears.

Christmas Decor 2013: A Broad Cooking

While in Bruges this summer, we bought a collection of white lace Christmas ornaments that I love. And in Amsterdam, I found this gorgeous set of Delft windmills.

Christmas Ornaments from Amsterdam: A Broad Cooking

While I realize you don’t necessarily care about all my personal ornament stories, what I’m trying to get at is that it is so great to have those traditions and stories of your own. The more personal your home, the cozier it will feel this time of year. And nothing can warm you up more than a cuddle with Mrs. Santa Paws herself.

Mrs. Santa Paws: A Broad Cooking

That’s not doing it for you? Well then how about curling up with a classic Hot Toddy?

Warm and Cozy Hot Toddy: A Broad Cooking

Or for a twist, try my cranberry cinnamon version.

Cranberry Cinnamon Hot Toddy: A Broad Cooking

Warm and Toasty Classic Hot Toddy
Makes 1 drink
1.5 oz. brandy
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cinnamon stick

Pour brandy and brown sugar into a mug. Top with boiling water and swirl with the cinnamon stick.

Cranberry Cinnamon Hot Toddy
Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 oz. brandy

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 oz. cranberry juice reduction*

1 cup boiling water

1 cinnamon stick

3 fresh cranberries

Pour brandy, brown sugar, and cranberry juice into a mug. Top with boiling water and swirl with the cinnamon stick. Garnish with fresh cranberries.

*Pour half a cup of cranberry juice into a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes.

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