December 13, 2010

Christmas Countdown 2010 - #4

Before our weekend blizzard was totally over the top, my aunt and I went on the annual Holiday Homes Tour in our town. I should say that once more she treated me to the tour - thank you again! We managed to visit 5 of the 7 stops before my DH called and politely asked me to get my tookus home as the storm was really ramping up!!! We saw everything from new homes, to several Victorian homes...


...to this refurbished historical newspaper building, that has now become an art studio and home to some industrious folks.

The homeowners go all out to decorate for the tour, and this little vignette at the top of a stairway is one example of the way they pull out all the stops for this fundraiser. Nice job!


The storm was also a good reason to keep going on the cookie baking. I've been baking cookies for about 40 years now - and yes, I did start when I was a kid! It's one of my favorite Christmas activities. So far I've accomplished chocolate-butterscotch peanut clusters, lemon sugar cookies, and strawberry thumbprints. A few more to go.

I've been collecting tins for a number of years and some are used each Christmas for storing and freezing Christmas cookies. You can see the one from 1996, which is a testament to how well these things hold up! When I was still living at home, I would super-wrap each tin of cookies to make sure no one got into them before Christmas Eve - such a cookie dictator!

Other people are making holiday treats around us too. Our local cupcake shop made this peppermint cupcake and my DH felt compelled to bring it home - yum!

And last but not least - where did all the new holiday beers come from? There's either a recent explosion of interest or I've been in the dark for a while, which is entirely possible. The increase in microbreweries could be an explanation as well. Whatever the reason, we're on board! The one on the left is my favorite so far and is one of several raspberry beers we found for sale.

There is no good segue from holiday beers to the fact that this is the third week in Advent - at least none that comes to mind at 9:00 at night!! But in fact, we are preparing our hearts as well as our home and larder.
"People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Guest is on the way."
Farjeon 1928

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