So while we may not see snow in our current climate, there are a few things that are required to make it feel like the holidays. Well cranking up the air conditioning helps too. Anyways, here are my top seasonal favorites.
1. Noel: Christmas at King's CD. 35 Christmas carols recorded by King's College at Cambridge, how can you go wrong? Some of the recordings are quite old but that makes them all the better.
2. Wassail, or basically a mulled cider based beverage. I've had it with mulled ales, brandy, sherry or wine, but basically anything with apple cider and seasonal spices makes me a happy camper. There are so many variations but I just saw this recipe posted by Southern Living. Although, the kind I remember was apple cider with a touch of brandy, yum!
3. Mixed nuts in the shell in a nice revere bowl. No explanation needed, a good seasonal snack!
4. Baked goods or other sweets. Our big favorites are panettone (with tea, best combination), sugar plums (yes the original), rugelach (cream cheese, what's not to love?) and kringle. I have tried for years to make kringle, and finally accepted that I'm just not meant to bake some things. I plan to order mine here. And I'm not even going to pretend I can bake panettone...
5. Candles at the windows. I hear this was originally a Colonial practice but to me, nothing says good cheer like a welcoming candle in the window.
6. Colored lights. Oh yeah, I'm all about them. I'm sorry, I know more people these days are not, and I can't explain it but I love colored lights. All good things in moderation.
8. Ice Skating, even if it is indoors. Granted, this hasn't been possible everywhere we have lived but feeling that chill sure makes it feel like home.
9. Luminarias. These are not done everywhere but I just love them even though I only discovered them recently moving around. I love how entire neighborhoods will put them out along the road, so beautiful.
10. The Yule Log. On DVD. Just kidding, even if your winter fire is in a chiminea outside when it is 80 degrees, it is the small things in life.