Peacock tail feathers up close.
Peacock tail feathers up close.

Christmas is When???

I know I am behind the eight ball when it comes to Christmas. However, I do have a good excuse. Much of the world, including the entire country of Armenia, celebrates Christmas later; on January 6th for the Armenians and on January 7th for the Orthodox Christians that adhere to the old calendar. Needless to say, being Armenian-American and Orthodox has caused me to be slightly confused about when Christmas actually takes place. However, I am pretty sure it involves baby Jesus.

I do not have a tree yet. I promise to show you my tree, after we put it up, probably around the time you are taking yours down. But I have started to spread some Christmas cheer around the house and I wanted to give you a peak.

My vine ball, lighted!
My vine ball, lighted!

The peacock feather wreath was a splurge this year from Pier1 Imports. The vine ball needed a touch of Christmas, so I added a string of lights to the inside.

Pomegranate centerpiece.
Pomegranate and greenery from the yard for a bright and easy centerpiece.

This pomegranate centerpiece will not last too long in my house, as Secondo will eat it in no time. But I have a few more in the kitchen to distract him.

Chandelier with greenery.
Chandelier with greenery.

 An easy way to bring Christmas inside: add a little greenery.

And the quirky, Jack the Guardfish gets a bow.
And the quirky: Jack the Guardfish gets a bow.

We rearranged a little in Paris, opening up the table and adding a bench to accommodate more people. It is now an actual Breakfast Nook. I added a little Christmas cactus to the middle.

Breakfast Nook.
Paris has had a makeover.

And the bread! I baked ten loaves of bread for the teachers and just the smell of it filling the house brings on Christmas cheer. This is an easy-to-make quick bread that is delicious and Christmas-y. It can be easily modified and made vegan as well.

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, circa 1950.
Cranberry-Orange Bread
Cranberry-Orange Bread

Cranberry-Orange Bread Recipe (Can be made Vegan):

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan. Mix the dry ingredients   together in a bowl: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Toss in one cup of coarsely chopped cranberries, 1 tsp. grated orange zest, and 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts. In a small dish mix together 1 cup of orange juice, 1 egg (or egg replacer if you are vegan) and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until moist and bake 55-60 minutes. You will love it!

For me, this Christmas will be extra special. We have a new baby and have so many things to be grateful for. The recent tragedy in Connecticut reminds me to hug my kids and not to take anything for granted.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

5 responses to “Christmas is When???”

  1. Please note the correction to the recipe: add a tsp. of grated orange zest to the dry ingredients. I left that out when I first published this recipe. Sorry!


  2. Old Church made into a home.
    A couple purchased an old church in Kyloe, Northumberland, in PA.
    They invested a lot of money on the interior, but left the exterior
    almost completely intact.They did more a restoration, than a renovation, which would have cost
    them 3 times as much.
    If they had not purchased the old church, who knows what would have
    happened to it, as it was in very bad shape. The couple adapted the interior
    while leaving the outside with the minimum appearance of a house.
    At least the neighbors are quiet.
    How cool is that?
    Hope you have a good day!



    Please go on my FB page and see this picture in color…it’s an idea my niece, Erin, saw and posted it.



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