Tag Archives: Christmas

Client Spotlight: Hand-Painted Mantle Clock Made In America

When our customer Fredrick A. in Hartwell, GA, bought a new hand-painted mantle clock from us created by OK Casting, he didn’t just love the style of the clock, he also appreciated the fact that the clock was made in America.

American made Mantle clock camel back hand paintedThis is the new mantle clock made by OK Casting. The clock is a classic camelback design that brings a lovely sense of nostalgia to any room. These custom-made clocks, along with other OK Casting products, are hand-made and painted at the time of order. It’s a custom-made product and each one is going to be unique! The high-quality new clock has a battery-operated quartz movement and it is cast in a resin that looks fantastically authentic.

Here you can see the mantle clock on Fredrick’s mantle. It looks so warm and inviting and we love the Christmas stockings hanging above the cozy fire!  This looks like a great place to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas!

Army Veteran Fredrick said: ” The clock is absolutely beautiful. I also love the fact that the clock was made right here in America and built by Americans, I will cherish this clock for decades to come and I am super proud to display it on my mantle.”

That’s awesome! We are so delighted to hear that, Fredrick, and thank you for sending us the photo of the OK Casting clock in your wonderful home.

In addition to clocks, OK Casting offers many delightfully designed home accessories. Each hand-crafted American resin OK Casting piece is custom-made to order and they make great gifts for others or as an addition to your own home. The pieces also look far more expensive than their very reasonable price point! The collection includes candlesticks, boxes, bookends and sculptures, as well as lighting from ceiling lamps and chandeliers to table lamps, wall lamps and sconces.  You can browse the entire OK Casting collection on our website at this link. 

Merry Christmas, Fredrick, and we hope that your OK Casting Made-in-America mantle clock continues to  bring you joy for many years to come!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Have Yourself a Merry Christmas: Home Decor, Food, Fragrance

Have yourself a merry little Christmas in the best place on planet Earth: Your own home!

We’ve been posting about the best of Christmas home decor and food for years and we’ve also shared our special Christmas home fragrance recipe! If you’ve missed those blog posts, we hope you will enjoy this round-up of our favorite Merry Christmas posts to help you celebrate the holidays in the coziest and jolliest way possible!

Traditional Christmas Decor in Every Room

Deck The halls christmas hall decorDon’t just deck the halls with boughs of holly… add the Christmas touch to every room!

I hope that my mini tour of different homes with their Christmas decor will provide you with inspiration for traditional Christmas decor in every room.

Even if you don’t have such a huge and sweeping staircase in your foyer, then you can still make other areas of your home look wonderful.

Traditional Christmas Decor Tour Part 2

Christmas bedroom decorFabulous Christmas decorations also look wonderful in the dining room, bathroom, and kitchen. Why hold back on the bling?

And don’t forget the bedroom! Kids have their Christmas stockings to make their sleeping space extra special, but adults deserve some holiday spirit in the bedroom too. Look at our great ideas for Christmas decor in every room. 

Christmas Table Decorations 

Red and White Christmas table decorationsDreaming up new ideas for our Christmas table decorations is great fun, and a lovely way to get into the festive spirit.

These creative Christmas table decorations will help inspire your ho-ho-ho-holiday spirit too!

We also loved sharing our recipe for our family’s homemade Christmas fragrance.

I promise, this is an easy way to make your house feel very welcoming and festive!

Christmas Cookies and Franklin Nut Cake

Speaking of recipes… We have some Talbot family recipes for delicious cookies and cake! Greg’s mom Kathy, who is also in charge of all our antique restorations, is a genius in the kitchen!

Find her recipes for her amazing Franklin Nut Cake, her Kathy’s Magic Cookie Bars, and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches in our Christmas Cookies and Cake post.

And don’t blame me if you can’t resist eating it all the minute you have cooked it! These are tried and tested recipes that satisfy our very hungry family!

German Christmas Markets and Gluhwein Recipe

Cologne Christmas MarketOne thing I miss the most about living in Germany is visiting the festive Christmas markets. My favorite Christmas market is in Cologne, held beneath the huge Gothic Cathedral.

In this German Christmas Markets blog post I give you a tour of the Cologne market and the food and drink you might see there, including a recipe for warming, delicious, traditional Gluhwein!

A Traditional English Christmas 

Christmas puddingThere’s something nostalgic about an old-time English Christmas. I guess it must be all those Masterpiece Theatre shows as well as holiday stories like A Christmas Carol, and of course our more recent favorite, Downton Abbey!

This blog post   explains all the traditions of an English Christmas, and gives a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding too!

Looking farther afield in Europe, you can read our blog post about Old World Christmas Traditions in France and Italy too. Did you know that instead of hanging up a stocking for Santa Claus, children in France often leave shoes out by the fireplace for le Père Noël to fill?

I hope that you enjoy our festive blog posts to help you with your own Merry Little Christmas! If you have any suggestions for us about Christmas home decor or food, or perhaps your own special holiday fragrance that you cook up each year…. we’d love to hear about it! Tell us in the comments box!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Client Spotlight: Jonathan Charles Santos Tables Klismos Chairs

I loved seeing these photos of the new Jonathan Charles Santos tables and Klismos chairs in our customers’ home. I especially love seeing the living room all beautifully decorated for Christmas! Our clients Dawson and Randy in West Granby, CT, bought the chairs and side tables in two separate purchases more than a year apart, but the pieces blend together perfectly, as does everything else in their living room. This couple has a great sense of style!
Jonathan Charles Santos Furniture in Client home

Let’s start with the chairs in the front of the photo, loyally guarded by Mr. Waggles the dog! The new Jonathan Charles Santos chairs are based on Art Deco styling from the 1920s and the Klismos chair design boasts the curved splayed legs that were a feature of the Klismos chairs first created by the ancient Greeks. Splendid satin rosewood veneer complements the black leather upholstery and ebonized arms and legs add the finishing touch to these chairs.

Jonathan Chalres Santos Ebonized Rosewood tableOn either side of the sofa you can see the new Jonathan Charles Santos Collection side tables. The curved ebonized legs and gorgeous rosewood table top make a great match for the chairs.

The overall effect of these exquisitely crafted pieces is timelessly elegant and serenely sleek.

They are ideal for Dawson and Randy’s living room, which is so nicely tailored with an emphasis on the crisp tones of black, white, and red.  The Christmas tree makes the space look very festive!

 

Jonathan Charles Santos Furniture in living room

Here’s a view from another angle. Mr. Waggles hasn’t moved an inch! He looks very comfortable surrounded by this chic room design, which also offers a warm welcome thanks to the red tones and the softening effect of the blinds alongside the clean lines of the furniture.

Jonathan Chalres Santos chairs

This final view shows the marvelous height of the space. I enjoy the wall art and the panel, and the way the checkerboard tile floor that we can glimpse in the hallway adds to the classic Art Deco feel of this room. I imagine that Randy and Dawson will enjoy some very merry holiday celebrations in this space! And I also love that they included Mr. Waggles and Beanie the kitty in the photos. If you can’t see Beanie, look by the right leg of the console table in the hallway…. Beanie is black and white and well-camouflaged!

Thanks to Randy and Dawson for sharing your photos and getting us all in the holiday spirit, as well as giving us all lots of great home decor ideas with your supremely elegant home.

Browse other items in the Jonathan Charles Santos Furniture collection at this link.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

15% Off Wine-Inspired Furniture, French Antiques, Vintage and New

In my blog posts New Hobbs Germany Wine-Inspired Furniture and Hobbs Germany Bordeaux Collection: The Story I told you that EuroLuxHome.com is now a U.S. distributor for the cool new Hobbs Germany line of wine-inspired furniture. My video below shows you more about this unique collection, but if you were eyeing up the Hobbs Germany pieces or any antique French furniture or vintage decor or new lighting in our store, now is the time to save with a 15% discount as our holiday gift to you.

You’ve bought gifts for everyone else for Christmas, haven’t you? So now it’s time to treat yourself and your home to something special for the new year!
Take 15% off everything in our online store now through December 31 when you use this code at checkout:
Celebrate2017

Perhaps you will choose a piece from the beautiful Hobbs Germany line, which upcycles authentic wine crates stamped by French Bordeaux wineries as drawers.  I tell you more about the furniture in this video.

Browse all the collection, including one-of-a-kind kitchen islands, coffee tables, end tables, wine cabinets, coolers and more, at our Hobbs Germany Bordeaux Collection page. The collection is currently available in limited quantities. We’re now accepting pre-sales of inventory arriving in early 2017!

Shipping is always free on the the Hobbs Germany Bordeaux collection and everything in our store, as long as we are delivering to the continental USA, and some parts of Canada.

Antique French Renaissance Buffet Open GalleryIf you are looking for fine antique French furniture, then you also have plenty of opportunities to save!

For example, save 15% on this antique French Renaissance buffet or server dating to the year 1900.

Crafted in solid walnut with a gorgeous patina, this finely carved Renaissance style buffet includes fluted columns, and a carving of a Grecian style urn garlanded with flourishing florals. An open gallery offers plenty of space to display heirloom china or collectibles. You could serve a full meal to your guests from this antique French Renaissance style buffet, or use it as a splendid display case in your living area or hallway.

Antique Chinese TableOr perhaps you are looking for a stunning antique Chinese table like this late Qing Dynasty accent table or chest of drawers, dating to 1900. The table is elaborately carved in elm with hand-carved horses, symbolizing endurance and loyalty, deer for good fortune and bats for good luck. The 5-drawer antique Chinese table measures nearly 42 inches wide, making it a nice size for many uses from a hall table to a sofa table to a bedside table!

Large Vintage Flemish ChandelierIf you’re feeling in the mood for new lighting to brighten up your dark winter nights, browse our vintage and new table lamps, chandeliers, and other lighting.

For example, this large vintage Flemish chandelier will add a warm glow to your living room or dining room or bedroom. The sculptural shape makes a dramatic statement in richly crafted wood and brass-tone metal.  Measuring more than 31 inches wide, the classic vintage Belgian chandelier vase and ball design will suit any home.

Aubusson Handwoven Throw Pillow Hunting HoundSmaller home decor items will also cheer up your new year, from hand-woven throw pillows to beautifully crafted candlesticks, boxes, and bookends.

Have a look at our full inventory at EuroLuxHome.com where shipping is always free, and take 15% off your order through December 31, 2016, when you enter the coupon code at checkout: Celebrate2017

However you choose to use your 15% discount on antique furniture or vintage or new home decor, we wish you a very merry Christmas!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

 

Things We Love: German Christmas Markets

One of the things I miss the most about living in Germany, especially at this time of year, is browsing around the Christmas markets, or Weihnachtsmarkte, that are found in big cities and small towns across Germany. You may have even heard of the most famous Christmas markets in Nurnberg or Munich, but my favorite Christmas market is in Cologne.Cologne Christmas Market

Sitting at the base of the huge Gothic Cathedral, the Christmas market fills the large town square with booth-after-twinkling-booth of things to delight your eye!

CologneMarket5

A large Christmas tree stands above the concert stage in the middle of the market, which is always filled with carol singers accompanied by musicians. There are booths filled with sparkling glass Christmas ornaments in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

CologneMarket7

There are booths filled with hand-crafted wooden toys, jolly wooden nutcrackers and smokers, and all sorts of gifts to take home to your family and friends.

Christmas Toys at CologneMarket
There are booths filled with giant cookies that say Ich Liebe Dich! (I love you!) and roasted nuts that smell incredible as you walk by.

CologneMarket Christmas nuts and cookies

Even bundled up in winter coats, scarves and mittens, eventually you begin to feel the cold as you wander through the booths, each more colorful and inviting than the next. It’s time for Gluhwein!

CologneMarket11 Gluhwein

CologneMarket9
Spiced warm wine, or hot chocolate if you prefer, in souvenir mugs is just the thing to warm your hands – and, after a couple of mugs, your toes and nose too!

But my absolute favorite is the booth with the chocolate dipped fruit! Christmas-Market-Chocolate Fruit

Skewers of chocolate-dipped fresh fruit – pieces of bananas, pineapples, grapes, strawberries – dipped in white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate – it is divine!

Although not found at the Christmas markets, my favorite meal at this time of year in Germany is Christmas goose.

ChristmasGooseDinnerIf you’ve never had goose, you’ve missed out. It is mouth-wateringly delicious! It tastes similar to duck and is traditionally served with Klopse (round steamed potato dumplings), rotkohl (pickled red cabbage) and roasted chestnuts – my all-time favorite German meal.

Gluhwein recipe

Although I’ll miss out on the Christmas goose and chocolate-covered fruit this year, I’ll be reminiscing while trying out this Gluhwein recipe I found on Pinterest!

It calls for 1 bottle of dry red wine, 1 cup of brandy, 1 sliced lemon, and 3 sliced oranges. To add the spice, stir in 6 sticks of cinnamon, 8 to 10 cloves, and 3 to 5 whole anis. Mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar then simmer for 45 minutes.

Prost!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

 

A Traditional English Christmas

Downton Abbey fans will already know that the popular English TV show is back for its sixth and final season soon, starting on January 3, 2016 on MASTERPIECE on PBS. The very last show in the series will be a Christmas special! But if you want your Downton Abbey Christmas fix now, I’ve also heard that PBS is re-airing the Christmas special finale from Season 5 on December 27, 2015. Downton Abbey Christmas

There’s something nostalgic about an old-time English Christmas. I guess it must be all those Masterpiece Theatre shows as well as holiday stories like A Christmas Carol. Here are some of the English Christmas traditions that stand out to me.

Christmas crackers children

An English Christmas dinner table is always set with Christmas crackers – NOT a food but the novelties that pull apart with a bang. They’re ‘cracked’ before Christmas dinner and the person who “wins” by keeping hold of the longest piece gets the prizes inside. They put on the paper crown and tell the (usually terrible) joke. Once everybody has a paper crown, the feast can commence! This illustration of two children tugging on a cracker dates back to 1878.

Yorkshire PuddingThe English Christmas meal is very similar to our own, except redcurrant jelly might replace cranberry sauce and roast parsnips are traditional too. Turkey is a favorite although in medieval England a roast peacock or wild boar might have been on the menu! King Henry VIII was the first English King to tuck into turkey for Christmas. Many families add a Yorkshire Pudding to the meal. This is not a dessert but a savory dish between an American biscuit and a savory pancake. If you want to try this tasty treat, here’s a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.

Christmas puddingAfter the meal comes the ‘real’ pudding: Christmas pudding or plum pudding. Except that it’s not a pudding in the way we understand a pudding either! Instead of being a custardy dish, it’s more like a dense steamed cake, full of dried raisins, cherries and other dried fruit and nuts. It’s traditional to hide a silver coin (in the old days it was a silver sixpence) inside the pudding. It’s good luck for whoever finds it in their bowl. Sometimes the pudding is doused in brandy or rum and then set alight as it is carried to the table. It is served with custard, rum butter, clotted cream, or a brandy sauce of thick cream with a few spoons of brandy stirred in.

Osborne House Festive Guided ToursFor snacks between meals or to accompany a pot of tea, everyone loves mince pies! Even if you don’t have servants to bring you mince pies on a silver tray, they are easy to make if you find a jar of the mincemeat in your local grocery store. Despite the name, there is no meat involved, although when the delicacy first appeared in the 13th century it was indeed real meat, seasoned with dried fruits and spices including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Now the meat has gone and just the sweet stuff remains, although suet is a part of the mix. If you don’t eat meat, look for products with vegetable suet rather than lard suet.

Christmas-decorations-Finally, the English take Boxing Day, December 26, as a national holiday as well as Christmas Day itself. It has nothing to do with the sport of boxing, although there are lots of sporting events on Boxing Day including horse racing. It is actually the day that people traditionally gave gifts (or boxes) to their servants and tradesmen. Nowadays most people don’t have servants but they still celebrate the day as a chance to visit friends or extended family and exchange gifts, or just relax and eat more mince pies!

This looks like a very grand and festive place to entertain visiting friends. It’s a picture of the Christmas tree at Holker Hall in Cumbria, England, the ancestral home of Lord Cavendish. Even the bust of the Greek poet Homer on the mantelpiece over the fireplace is decorated with a mistletoe wreath!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you might also like my post on Old World Christmas Traditions in France and Italy, or the one about Downton Abbey Kitchen Style.

Merry Christmas!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Traditional Christmas Decor Tour Part 2

In my last blog post, I started my tour of Traditional Christmas Decor in Every Room. We made our way from the front door through the foyer and peeked into several inspiring living rooms.  Now we’ll take the second part of our traditional Christmas decor tour.

First, let’s head into the kitchen to prepare the Christmas feast! This traditional kitchen invites everyone to gather round for egg nog while the figgy pudding is cooking. (However you are meant to cook figgy pudding…)

Nobody wants a cluttered kitchen, so the decorations here are cleverly kept to the kitchen island, with another display over the cabinet on the left. A Chef Santa, mini Christmas tree, and red candles in the center of the kitchen island still leave plenty of space for people to gather round for drinks and snacks. The mistletoe berries and silver festooned on the lamps create most of the merry mood – and those decorations don’t take up precious counter space at all.

Into the dining room we go to serve the turkey! Again the chandeliers are decorated with ribbons and bows to create a terrific focal point. The decorations feature an Old Gold color again, like the staircase in my previous holiday decor post. That shade seems to work beautifully with any room color scheme – almost like a rich neutral.

On the other hand, the gentle whites and deep evergreens at this holiday table look traditionally wintery but refreshingly serene. The slight Nordic style is enhanced by the reindeer decorations. The pretty birds on the plates also look festively chirpy! Soft white linens on the natural wood are set off by a trail of ivy down the center of the table, while white church pillar candles, surrounded by twinkling night lights in little holders, evoke the spiritual sense of Christmas.

Don’t forget the bedroom! Kids have their Christmas stockings but adults deserve some holiday spirit in the bedroom too. This bedroom has a few accessories added to bring in seasonal cheer: the two wreaths on the doors, the two bowls of white poinsettias in the en suite bathroom, and the two snowflake Christmas pillows on the bed. The symmetry of the pairs makes the environment feel pleasingly balanced and tranquil. If you are looking for pretty bedroom accessories, we have hand-woven traditional Christmas pillows and stockings in our online gallery.

Even the bathroom deserves a touch of festivity! The traditional Christmas decor in this classic bathroom includes mistletoe and greenery over the mirror. Red flowers and a red towel also add the ho-ho-holiday spirit. Decorative tricks like the fir cones tied with red ribbon from the wall sconces and a glass jar filled with red and silver Christmas ball ornaments are simple to do, but they pack a visual punch!

If you are looking for more Christmas decor ideas, check out my post on Christmas Table Decorations.

We’d love to hear your own traditional Christmas decor ideas and tips… tell us here or on our Facebook page.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Traditional Christmas Decor in Every Room

Don’t just deck the halls with boughs of holly… add the Christmas touch to every room!
I hope that my mini tour of different homes with their holiday decor will provide you with inspiration for traditional Christmas decor in every room.

Let’s start our tour with the front door. This handsome front door in Atlanta, GA, is decorated with traditional greenery and red ribbons. But the black and white check ribbon adds a crisp touch and makes a great accent for the black door. It all looks charmingly vintage.

Moving into the foyer, the Christmas decorations on this splendid staircase in a home in Houston, TX, could be overwhelming as the scene is so ornate. But the single color tone – a lovely Old Gold – unifies the design and makes it look rich and harmonious rather than fussy.

If you don’t have such a huge and sweeping staircase in your foyer, then you can still make a small section of the stairway look wonderful. The key here is: Don’t hold back on the swags and flourishes! And speaking of don’t hold back…

The flamboyant “more is more” approach of this Grand Colonial style living room is so festive that it is like a Christmas movie. Where are the carol singers and the trays of hot buttered rum? How could any child (or adult) fail to feel the joy of the season if they spent one minute  in this celebratory living room? The decorations framing the armoire are amazing. Of course, we love the antique armoires in our gallery so we are biased.

Do you prefer living room decorations that are a little simpler, while still keeping a sense of tradition? Perhaps this fireplace in Seattle, WA, will inspire you. The fireplace is decorated with traditional elements, for sure. You have the red and green holiday colors, plus Christmas ornaments, logs and a wreath, and old-fashioned lamps with candles. But the styling is streamlined, which creates an updated and sleek mood. The symmetry of the design adds to the feel too.

Or you can take a completely different approach and stick with traditional design elements – the bauble-lavished tree, the garland draped across the fireplace – but give it a fresh twist with non-traditional colors. The ultra-feminine pink and turquoise color palette in this living room creates a fantasy land mood. White deer statues add more magic to the fantasy.

In Part 2 of our Traditional Christmas Decor Tour we look at the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom, all decorated with festive spirit!

These photos are from Houzz. You can find EuroLux Home on Houzz.com too.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Homemade Christmas Fragrance

We’ve already shared some of our favorite recipes for Christmas cookies. Now we’ll make the house smell delicious with our homemade Christmas fragrance!

SnowmanGreg’s mom Kathy loves having all of the family come home for Christmas. Greg’s sister, Laura, and her family moved to Ohio several years ago, so it is great to have everyone back in South Carolina for the week surrounding Christmas. They enjoy coming south to get out of the snow! This is my brother-in-law, Mike, and my nephew, Matthew, with the snowman they made last week. We all love Kathy’s baking and she loves to bake – so it works out great!

Christmas Haystacks CookiesIn addition to Kathy’s recipes for Christmas cookies that I blogged about before, Kathy also makes Haystacks with chow mein noodles and peanuts in melted butterscotch bits. They look so festive on her lovely platter.

I readily admit – I am not much of a baker. I once made a “No Bake Strawberry Pie” for Greg. He took one bite and chokingly asked, “You didn’t bake the crust?” Nowhere in the stupid recipe did it say to bake the pie crust and the name of the recipe is “No Bake Strawberry Pie” – I rest my case! I haven’t attempted baking since.

As there isn’t much chance of any cookies baking at my house, I do like to add our special homemade Christmas fragrance at this time of the year. I learned this treat from Kathy – it is a wonderful way to make the house smell Christmas-y.

Talbot’s Homemade Christmas Fragrance

1 box whole cloves
1 box cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
Rind of 1 lemon – sliced
Rind of 1 orange – sliced

Throw all the ingredients in a small pot and cover them with water. Simmer the blend gently on a back burner during the holidays to make the house smell good. Top up the water as needed!

The homemade Christmas fragrance creates a festive holiday mood very quickly. The scent takes me back to some fond memories of Christmas past!

Kitten ChristmasHere’s a photo of me with Ozzie, affectionately known as Mr. Kittles, when he was a baby kitten a few years ago. We’re in front of the Christmas tree at Kathy’s house and I do love the way Kathy displays her red and green candles in vintage candlestick holders on the mantle.

Aimee First Christmas and Dad Going even further back to when I was a baby, here I am with my dad on my very first Christmas in 1971. Yep, I really wanted to get my hands on that stacking rings toy. But I’ll smile nicely at the camera if it means I can get to the goodies quicker!

Greg at ChristmasHere’s Greg at about 16 months old, opening presents in the middle of Christmas chaos. Any boy with a puppy, a ball, and a cowboy outfit has to be in seventh heaven, right?

If you try our family’s homemade Christmas fragrance, I’d love to hear if you enjoy it! Tell us in the comments box below, or share your own favorite holiday scents.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Christmas Cookies and Franklin Nut Cake

We are so lucky at this time of year! Kathy makes tray after tray after tray of Christmas cookies – she likes to give out gifts of cookies to the neighbors. Kathy is Greg’s mom and also our Mrs Fixit who handles all our restorations. Of course, she can’t stand the idea of her family not being able to eat as many cookies as humanly possible.

Kathy makes sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter blossoms, magic cookie bars, gingerbread, the Christmas cookies list goes on and on. However, Greg’s dad John and I agree on our favorite cookie – the white chocolate peanut butter sandwiches. In case you have never tried this scrumptious treat, here is Kathy’s recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Christmas Cookies

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Decide how many cookies you want to make – you’ll need twice that number of Ritz crackers. Spread peanut butter on half the Ritz crackers and use the other half as sandwich tops. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler. Carefully dip each peanut butter sandwich into the melted chocolate until it is coated, then set on wax paper and top with a pecan. Allow to dry. (Hide them from the family until you want to serve them as they tend to disappear quickly.)

Magic Christmas Cookie BarsGreg’s favorite Christmas cookies are Magic Cookie Bars. These are also pretty darn good, especially if you like coconut.

Kathy’s Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for a glass dish). Melt the margarine in the oven in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle Graham crumbs over the margarine. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the crumbs and then top evenly with remaining ingredients. Press down firmly and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store the cookie bars loosely covered at room temperature.

Franklin Nut Cake

However, Kathy doesn’t stop at just Christmas cookies. She also makes fruit cakes and my favorite, Franklin Nut Cake. Greg’s sister Laura and I agree that Franklin Nut Cake is fantastic for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee – especially if you want to curl up with a good book while you nibble and sip. Franklin Nut Cake is actually a very old family recipe, handed down from Kathy’s mother, Margaret.

Margaret’s Franklin Nut Cake

1 lb. butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb. chopped candied cherries (red and green)
1/2 lb. chopped candied pineapple
1 lb. chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla
NOTE: Save a few whole cherries and pecan halves to decorate the top of the cake.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the beaten eggs. Add 3 cups of the flour sifted with the baking powder and salt. Mix remaining cup of flour with chopped cherries, pineapple, and nuts. Stir into batter and then add vanilla. Pour into a tube pan that has been heavily greased and floured. Decorate with saved cherries and nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 3 hours. Let the cake cool in the pan.

This cake is really rich, moist, and tasty! Even people who don’t like fruit cake love this. John is a case in point.

If you try these Christmas cookies and cake recipes, we’d love to know if you enjoy them! Tell us in the comments box below… or share your own Christmas cookies recipes.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.