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!
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 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.
An easy way to bring Christmas inside: add a little greenery.
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.
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, circa 1950.
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.