Monthly Archives: December 2011

Season’s Greetings

Christmas Cheer
Christmas Cheer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  A time when all of us should try to get along, try not to get offended, embrace traditions of the Season and Holidays.

For us, it’s the Eve of Christmas Eve; for others it may be a day of celebration in the festival of lights, otherwise known as Hannukah.  Again, it’s the most wonderful time of the year; a time where we can find common ground in the celebration.

Wikipedia they give us this definition to help us understand Season’s Greetings:  

Christmas and holiday greetings are a selection of goodwill greetings used around the world to address strangers, family, coworkers or friends during the Christmas and holiday season, which spans an approximate timeframe of late November through January. Holidays generally thought to be included in this season include Christmas, New Year’s Day, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving and Kwanzaa. Some greetings are more prevalent than others, depending on the cultural and religious status of any given area.

Typically, a greeting consists of the word “Happy” followed by the holiday, such as “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy New Year”, although the phrase “Merry Christmas” or “Seasons Greetings” can be a notable exception.

In the United States, the collective phrase “Happy Holidays” is often used as a generic cover-all greeting for all of the winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa; however, the phrase is not widespread in other countries.

Today and all throughout the Holiday Season we wish you the Warmest Greeting and raise our glass to your celebration and the New Year, may we all learn a little tolerance and be the example we wish to set for others.  As we invite guests to join in our celebration today we will be serving a nice hot spiced wine:

Mulled Wine
In a saucepan, gently simmer 1 quart red wine, 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste) and 2 Tbs. mulling spices for up to 20 minutes. Remove the spices and serve the wine hot in mugs garnished with a cinnamon stick, or chill and serve over ice as a cooler.

Mulling spices can be used to make fragrant mulled wine or cider. An aromatic blend of warm spices, including cinnamon stick, allspice, whole cloves and orange zest, mulling spices should be placed in a large tea infuser or in a small piece of cheesecloth.

Here's to the warmth and Spirit of the Season

Winter in the Garden

Last Fucsia Bud in December

Slowly but surely we are making our way through the garden and preparing for winter and beyond more for spring.

We cover the Garden Window Boxes on the Retreat House this time of year with Juniper clippings.  The clippings dress up the boxes for the Holiday Season and provide a nice insulator for the plants to brace the winter and come back in the spring.

We were impressed this year by the late fucsia blooms; we still have fucsia buds and blooms in December- certainly don’t remember this from years past.  Winter gardening often is full of surprises, the remaining mushrooms and fungus from the fall and often a late rose bud and this year fucsias.

Please come for a visit, winter, spring, summer, or fall– it’s the most wonderful time of the year whenever you are here.