At this time of year there are often not only more mouths to feed, but there’s also heaps more candy and chocolate around. We thought we’d gather up some easy, delicious recipes to see you through the holidays and to provide an alternative to the usual festive fare. Some of these dishes are bound to become family traditions, things that come to symbolise the advent of Christmas and that you make every year. Others are things to reach for when you’re time and energy-poor, or want to escape into the kitchen away from the hurly burly of Charades or tussles over the TV remote.
For taking to a friend’s house
The social calendar can get pretty hectic over the Christmas holidays, so it’s good to have a simple but delicious recipe that you can make and take over to friends for pudding. This clementine cake has become a staple in our house: it’s so easy to make, and the smell of the cooking clementines fills the house with the most gorgeous Christmassy scents. Make it the day before your social event – it tastes even better the next day. It’s moist, flourless and tastes light and fruity, unlike the traditional heavy Christmas cake. Due to the damp stickiness of this cake it’s useful to have some linen napkins on standby.
For serving on a cold day
A pot of delicious wassail or mulled cider warming gently on the stove in the background makes the perfect drink for a gathering. There’s nothing quite so welcoming as a fuggy kitchen filled with spice-scents and cupfuls of hot deliciousness. This recipe is straightforward and contains all the festive favourites: cloves, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Yum. For a non-alcoholic version just simmer apple juice with a spoonful of brown sugar, a cinnamon stick, cloves, a clementine and some allspice berries. Kids love it.
For giving as Christmas gifts
If you like to give homemade treats to friends, neighbours, the postman or teachers, whip up a batch of these fig and orange shortbread biscuits. A ball of sweet fig paste is tucked into light, nutty shortbread rounds for a melt-in-the-mouth snack with a little surprise inside. Fill a box and decorate with seasonal stamps or wrap with red and white butcher’s twine for a lovely gift.
For a stunning dinner centrepiece
(pic via seedsandstitches.com)
If you’re hosting a dinner party or having people over to lunch and you want a vegetarian alternative to counter all the turkey and sausages you’ve been eating, try this. Made with sweet garlic and celeriac encased in a flaky, cheesy pastry crust, this pie is worthy of Christmas lunch itself. Dress your table in your best linen tablecloth and napkins, decorate with greenery and seasonal, foraged leaves and place the pie proudly in the middle.
For munching in front of a festive film
When the Toblerone has all gone and you can’t face another mince pie, reach for a jar of spiced nuts. These are so tasty, and great if you don’t want all the hassle of cracking your own nuts and finding pieces of stray walnut shell down the back of the sofa for the next three weeks. They also make ideal gifts – simply pour into a Kilner jar or pop into pretty bags and and tie with a ribbon. For a vegan version make a syrup by heating sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved, instead of using honey.
Do you have any Christmas go-to recipes? We’d love to hear what they are in the comments below.
If you’ve had enough of the feeding frenzy of Black Friday and instead want some to support local businesses and retailers who are trying to trade in an ethical, mindful way, you’re in the right place. Here at Linenbeauty we like to take things slow, to buy quality pieces that will stand the test of time and to invest in timeless homewares and clothes that aren’t swayed by fast fashion. It’s not always easy to resist the lure of huge markdowns and seemingly endless bargains. But when you take a closer look it makes so much more sense to step back from the Black Friday mayhem and to really think about how you can use your purchase power for good.
So, if you’re steering clear of the malls and multinational retailers’ ever-crashing websites, here’s five ways to avoid Black Friday but still get hold of some beautiful Christmas gifts for your loved ones.
1.Make things yourself
Thanks to Pinterest and numerous brilliant crafting websites it’s so much easier to find inspiration for homemade gifts. Whether you’re a knitter, baker or have never dabbled in crafts at all you can find a project that will be fun and rewarding, as well as cost-effective. Last year we bought a stash of brown paper potato sacks and followed this tutorial to create goodie-bags for extended family. Each family received a pretty yet sturdy bag filled with DIY cookie-making kits, homemade lavender linen spray, luxurious bath salts and rustic bird feeders. Something for every age. And who doesn’t love the idea of rootling about for treasures in a Christmas sack full of gifts made with love?
2.Give a subscription
Rather than add to your loved ones’ clutter, why not give a subscription instead? Many bookshops run subscription schemes where you get sent a certain number of books per month. And you can even gift someone their very own bespoke literary prescription: for her bibliotherapy service Ella Bertoud asks pertinent questions to discover which books will enhance your life and give you maximum enjoyment or challenge, depending on what you’re looking for.
For non-bookish types great subscription gifts could be a subscription to their favourite magazine, membership of their local football club, a gym subscription or, for the wine connoisseur, membership of a wine society.
3.Get a monogrammed set of linen
Because we love linen so much it always features on our own wish-lists, but it is also a beautiful gift to give someone else. To make it super special, get your gift monogrammed so your loved one can lie back on personalised bedlinen, or decorate their dining table with individualised linen napkins. A set of luxe linen bathroom towels with a couple’s initials embroidered on is a lovely present for someone setting up home or who needs a bit of luxury in their life. Linen is so durable and timelessly stylish that a gift like this will be treasured for years, and may become a family heirloom.
4.Go on vacation
Some people decide to not buy gifts at all over the holiday period and instead put the money they’ve saved towards a vacation or special trip. If you want to avoid any Christmas shopping at all and have the urge for adventure, this can be a really special way to celebrate the season. If you want the whole winter wonderland experience, head somewhere snowy like Scandinavia. You could even stay in this stunning ice hotel!
Local, independent retailers are worth supporting, and this time of year is often their main source of revenue. Support your home town and small businesses by buying locally. You’ll also avoid all the queues and crowds at the out-of-town shopping centres and malls. Done this way Christmas shopping can even be a pleasurable experience! Many towns have a late night shopping evening at the beginning of December, with shops offering drinks and refreshments and often some discounts. Make an evening of it and nail all your shopping in one go, fuelled by mince pies and mulled wine!
If you are looking for some new rituals to share with your loved ones over the holiday season, look no further. We’ve hunted around for some lovely holiday traditions that all foster a spirit of togetherness, thoughtfulness and comfort. Whether you adapt these to suit your personal preferences, or wholeheartedly embrace an established ritual, we hope these ideas will bring a fresh energy and joyful time for you and your family and friends.
Jolabokaflod (Iceland) – Holiday Traditions
This time of year is hectic. All that time spent running around getting things for other people, finding costumes for Nativity plays, baking things, throwing parties and trying to keep the peace within our families. And whilst it is the season for goodwill towards others, it is so important to look after yourself as well. If you are feeling overwhelmed or daunted by all that Christmas and New Year brings, here are 7 ways to make sure you have the energy to keep going, and to stay happy.
Christmas needn’t be a time when your home gets flooded with plastic clutter. Instead, pick gifts that will bring fun, style and beauty to your children’s rooms. We’ve shopped around and come up with an edit of chic Christmas gifts that will enhance your child’s bedroom, and that will last. From night lights to wall decals, be imaginative and playful. Just like your kids.
If you checked out our previous post you’ll know that we are compiling three handy gift guides to help steer you though the madness of Christmas gifts shopping. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching we’ve hunted down some fabulous gifts that will add beauty to your home, and those of your loved ones.
Today our edit focuses on Christmas gifts for the woman in your life. Plus, we’ve got some super-duper discount codes for you to cut the cost of your shopping, as well finding some cracking gifts. I know, we’re nice like that.
If the thought of Christmas shopping fills you with horror, we’ve got good news. We have curated a careful selection of gifts that will add beauty (rather than clutter) to your loved ones’ homes. Over three separate posts we will give you ideas for Christmas gifts for him, her and the kids. And the best bit? These products will all have big discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you can save precious pennies as well as buying fabulous presents. We will put up promotional codes just before the sales goes live. Who said Christmas shopping was stressful? You can have it all done and dusted by Monday.
Holiday season is here and there will be an abundance of reasons to celebrate. Your holiday party is quickly approaching and unlike most years, you want to be prepared. LinenMe is your one-stop shop for items that will make you home warm and inviting to guests this holiday season. Here are a few of our items that look great in your home this season and year-round.
Stone Washed Blue Linen Tablecloth
Want to avoid water rings and food stains on your dinner table? This stone washed tablecloth will not only protect your table, but complement the room and serve as a statement piece when it’s time to eat.
It seems everyone decorates their surroundings during Christmas. We all want our house or yard or windows are decorated with Christmas lights, we all decorate Christmas trees and mantles and place lots of candles everywhere. But what about the dining room? Are your best table linens ready? Would you like to purchase something new? Or will you match your old favorite linen tablecloth with new linen napkins?
It’s crystal clear – if you want your Christmas dinner guests feel the holiday season mood immediately upon entering the dining room, you have to prepare your dinner table thoughtfully. And your table linen are there to help you. Decorating beautifully the table for Christmas dinner is a perfect way to make the day even more festive and memorable.