November 29, 2012

The Season's Warmth

If you can see the happiness in my face, you would know Christmas is on its way! It's almost December, my most festive month of all and I am excited! I love Christmas (who doesn't)! I love the entire holiday season, completely and absolutely. Visiting the local tree farm to cut our own tree, decorating the house, the lights, the movies, the warmth of the kitchen, the concerts, the music, the baking, the friends and family gatherings, the GOODNESS in the air - everything!
Rod Stewart on the record player is rekindling my Christmas spirit "Let your heart be light, next year all our troubles will be out of sight..." A mug of hot cocoa is waiting to warm my hands and body. Through the window, the first light snow falls peacefully marking the beginning of winter. Sugar cookies are in the oven, fragrance of vanilla and spices scents the air. I can't imagine the season without the ritual of Christmas cookies: making the dough, rolling it out, cutting with cookie cutters and waiting for the bells, and doves, and the stars to transform into sweet, soft goodies for eating. This year I am leaving aside all these cutters and stamping my cookies with a cookie stamper "HOME MADE". How cool is that! Self-described cookies! I am wrapping up these imprinted treats beautifully, writing the recipe on the gift tag made out of my holiday photos, tying the bag with hemp ribbon and will soon knock on the neighbour's door on the left. For my neighbour on the right, I am combining dry milk, cocoa  powder, sugar, miniature chocolate morsels and marshmallows in a jar, wrapping the jar with a ribbon and a tag, sticking it with Reindeer Candy Cane and I am ready to offer the ultimate drinks for warm holidays. For the house on the other side of the street, I am preparing a fruit and nut oatmeal mix. For my friends I am grinding herbes de Provence and lavender and combining them with fine sea salt in a jar to make a scented salt present.  
"Gifts from the heart" is what I remember my childhood Christmas in my grandparents' house with. I had learned back then that gifts don't have to cost a lot and the simple homemade presents are the best because they embody the giving human heart. Their true purpose is to warm us with kindness and love. Do you remember Dr. Seuss' brilliant and enduring tale when Grinch learned about the true meaning of Christmas? "What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from the store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"
I agree!
I couldn't ask for a better start to the holiday season. 

* To all of you who want to made these adorable Reindeer Candy Canes, you need to twist brown pipe cleaner under the neck of the candy and bend it on both sides into Z shapes to make the reindeer's antlers. Glue two eyes and a miniature red pom-pom for the nose. Tie a short length of ribbon and a mini jingle bell below the crook of the candy cane. They can hang from the tree or be used as a stick for your mug of hot chocolate. Whatever you decide to do with them, they will bring a smile to anyone's face. One Christmas I, myself,  with a little help of my 8 year old son then, made 21 of these cuties for every student in my Gr.3 class. They were a hit...!

Dear Friends, how are you kicking of the holiday season?

I am joining Home Sweet Home , Inspired for Christmas , Inspiration FridayStuff and NonsenseSetting for Four Party


  1. have such a sweet, big heart! I agree, homemade gifts are the best! I can't wait to start baking, too. The smell of cookies baking and hot cocoa is intoxicating!

    Beautiful photos! :)


  2. Dearest Sylvia! There is no where I would rather be right now, as I wait for my writing class to begin, than here with YOU.

    Your photos and sentiments are well received as I work hard, running around to meet deadlines and such. To stop and remember some of the details of our traditions and celebrations is a delight. THANK YOU for your creamy and gentle images here that speak sweetness to my taste buds and heart!!!! OH THAT BREAKFAST CEREAL IS FABULOUS, I KNOW IT!

    Peace and joy to you my dear! Anita

  3. Love the way your homemade gifts look, so obviously made from the heart with love... Happy Christmas Season.
    Ciao for now...


  4. I'll be baking Christmas cookies this weekend, the stained glass kind. I am also looking forward to watching the wonderful holiday movies. I have a few more gifts to purchase, but I was also thinking of making Hot cocoa mix for a few colleague at my school. Once again, thank you for your lovely post, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  5. So beautiful and heartfelt. Every year I feel more drawn to scaling back on the commercial aspect of the holidays and work towards simplicity and tradition. I LOVE your gift ideas and I absolutely adore your photographs. A truly inspiring post!


  6. Your blogposts are always to beautiful and look like a magazine layout. I love the home made gifts and that cookie stamp is so great! Beautiful post! Hugs, Pamela

  7. Beautiful. Would you share your recipes with us?

  8. wow,make it simple life to be special!well done,Silvia!

  9. Perfect gift ideas! I have those same cafe au lait bowls and I love them!

  10. De bonnes idées,un beau blog, Merci

    Bonjour de Paris


  11. these are yummy
    and oh-so-perfect
    for wrapping up to give
    family and friends
    this Christmas

    thank you for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded!


  12. You've written everything I love about the holiday season. Your homemade gifts are utterly beautiful... what an inspiring post. I love your ideas and I'm so glad you shared them!

  13. P.S. Your new blog design is beautiful and so perfectly represents you! I love it.

  14. I love your gift ideas and your beautiful photography too.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  15. Sylvia, have I mentioned
    lately that you are my
    domestic hero? Seriously,
    I would love to make all
    of my gifts but this year,
    especially, feel too constrained
    by time to do it. Next year
    I must start earlier!

    I bought a cute alphabet
    stamp set to try on my sugar
    cookies or shortbread this
    year and you've inspired me
    to get all my ingredients and
    give it a whirl : )

    Also, I have an abundance of
    culinary lavender, so think I'll
    try my hand at the salt mixture!

    Loved all of your beautiful memories
    and photos. As I mentioned on IG,
    I'd love to jump into those photos
    and breath in the vanilla and other
    yummy smells wafting from your

    Happy Saturday,
    xo Suzanne

  16. what a perfect post ~ thank ~you :) the homemade on the cookies :)
    haPPY Dec. ,

  17. Oh Sylvia, each time I come over here, it's like a big warm hug! what a wonderful post. I'll be featuring this post over at Vintage Inspiration this week, sharing your wonderful photos, recipes and of course linking back to your blog. More people need to get to know you, thanks so much for joining in,
    hugs and Christmas blessings,

  18. You always make the most wonderful photographs Sylvia. They are a joy to look at and make everything look so delicious :-)! Your glass jar with herbs de Provence makes a lovely present. Perhaps I will make a few jars myself to give away! LOVE the labels.

    Enjoy your music!

    Madelief x

  19. I'm so glad to be your blogging neighbor! But I know the neighbors on your street really love you! What delightful treats. Your photos are a wonderful treat too. So accomplished and beautiful!

  20. Sweet Sylvia!

    Good morning precious friend! It sounds like you too enjoy the performances that are part of the expected line-up of holiday cheer! What is cool is to find a little bit of unexpected once in a while to stir the imagination! THANK YOU for your light and joy that you share in all that you do, and this has been a beautiful year of getting to know you more. Many wishes to you as you enjoy all the traditions and new ideas that will come your way this season! ENJOY THE DAY my friend! Anita

  21. Sylvia, Your photo are inspiring! A new follower, hope you will stop by, Laura

  22. Thanks so much Sylvia for linking up to my party - It's Party Time! Your post and pictures are so beautiful!! Love these gift ideas, such a thoughtful gift to give for the holidays! I will be featuring you on my features post later in the week - I'll let you know when it's published on my blog :D

  23. What warmth and beauty, dear sister!
    Sylvia...this is inspirational, stunningly beautiful...and SO COZY!
    My heart is sharing the season with you, my are a blessing.
    Much love and warm hugs,
    - Irina

  24. Sylvia,
    I think your ready to publish a book! I am trying every one of these! Your brilliant! Thank you for joining HSH!

  25. Sylvia so glad to have found your sweet blog through Debra at Common Ground! And I am now following along now too! Your photography is amazing!

  26. I just found your blog and your photos are amazing! Wow! I love those little stamped cookies, and now i'm off to explore some more!


  27. Oh such beauty in small gifts! I just love your point of view!!! YOu are now on my blogroll!

  28. What wonderful ideas and your photos are so awesome! Thanks for sharing.


  29. Wow! Home made is the best! Where did you get your cookie stamp?

  30. Such great ideas, and stunning photographs! Thanks so much for sharing your home made gifts with us, easy, elegant, and there's still time to make these=perfect.

  31. Oh mercy, I just love everything about this post...your love of Christmas and thoughts of others just shines through. Those stamped cookies are the cutest things. I'm sure everyone will love their gifts. xo

  32. I am featuring your season's warm on my blog today here!: Thanks so much for linking up and I hope you can share some more of your creativity and beautiful photos!


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