An All Natural Christmas

For me, there is nothing better than an All Natural Christmas. I saved this one for last, because its my favorite.

My perfect Christmas is waking up to softly falling snow, in the mountains. Trees limbs glistening in their icy attire and the window panes frosty and sparkling with the morning rays of sun. The smell of fresh brewing coffee lures me out from under the covers. I pull on knee-high woolly socks and curl myself around a steaming mug. Now, I am ready! Bring on an All Natural Christmas!

Decor : Bring the outdoors in. Pine cones, birch bark, evergreens and berries. Decorate a tree outside your window instead of taking one down. Enhance the golden rays of sunshine with shiny gold ornaments in over-scaled sizes, tumbling on stairs and floor. Gather fallen branches and make a stick tree adorned with glass ornaments filled with baby pinecones and evergreen.

For the Table : Burlap. Burlap. Burlap. Ok, other options could be rough butchers paper, wool or jute. Anything knobby and textured in its pure form. Even a raw hand-spun cotton would be divine in its creamy natural color. Small birch wrapped candles. Handmade natural tone ceramic plates. Branch candle holders. Slate platters, wooden serving utensils and bowls. Napkins tied in rough twine.

For Dinner : An All Natural Christmas means a warm and hearty meal. Coq au Vin, Beef Burgundy, Shepherd's Pie or Guinness Stew are a few stick to the ribs main courses. Serve this with a lavish cheese plate, various whole grain, whole wheats breads and crackers, fresh figs and dried apricots. A smoked gouda fondue is a great starter with chunks of bread, broccoli, cauliflower and woodsy mushrooms. For dessert? Buche de Noel of course!

For Presents : Wrap Responsibly! Use cotton kitchen towels, brown packing paper or newspaper. Tie them up with butchers twine, rope or ribbon remnants from past kept wrapping.

If you are having Christmas Eve dinner, have a cookies and milk takeaway gift for each guest. Could be a cute carton of milk with a stack of cookies wrapped in parchment paper and twine.

If you are lucky enough to be in a place where a White Christmas is already there or guranteed to be there...then let the outdoors in this year!

If you are in a big city, like me, with no snow in sight, you can still have an All Natural Christmas. Every corner in the city has a tree stand and every butcher shop on every block will be happy to give you some extra twine and paper this year. Recycle those old NY Times for wrapping paper and the bodegas are full of red berry branches.

No matter where you are, may Christmas be a time of peace and happiness. A time to remember, to reflect, to rest. A time to indulge in food, in exercise in the spirit of the Holiday.

To An All Natural Merry Christmas!

xo

H

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