[This article was originally featured in Woman Around Town, 11/27/12]
With Thanksgiving and the season’s first major food frenzy finally behind us, it’s time to focus on the jolliest holiday of the year: Christmas. It is a time when families come together, brightly wrapped gifts under the tree are torn open, and all manner of food—from pineapple glazed ham to mouthwatering buttery cornbread stuffing to fruit- and nut-laden fruit cake—is devoured with equal parts glee and reckless abandon. As we look forward to this joyous time, let us not forget where all of the latter culinary goodness typically begins: in the kitchen.
While the kitchen may be the last bastion to withstand the impact of holiday decorations, there are still many ways to festoon this all-important room with seasonal flair that will get, and keep, you in the mood faster than a glass of spiked eggnog. All it takes are a few slightly eccentric Christmas gadgets to get you in the holiday spirit. Try one or all five of these great items this Christmas to add that something special that last years’ holiday was missing. And if you’re lucky, Santa may mark you down on his “Nice” list and put a little something extra in your Christmas stocking.
Contrary to popular belief, Santa and Mrs. Claus don’t work ‘round the clock. Every now and then, they have an opportunity to sneak in 40 winks. When they’re not napping, this adorable pair can help you spice it up in the kitchen as functional salt and pepper shakers. Made of colorful and durable ceramic, Santa and the Mrs. each have their own chaise lounge that they rest comfortably upon when it’s time to catch a few zzz’s.
Admit it: there’s a kid inside of all of us. And what tyke, regardless of their age, wouldn’t love to wake up on Christmas morning to pancakes in their favorite holiday shapes? It’s okay…we won’t tell. Care to take a nibble out of a snowman? Nosh on Santa’s fluffy beard? Chew on a reindeer’s antler? You can do that and more with this fun and festive holiday pancake pan. And the non-stick surface makes clean up a breeze.
Kris Kringle definitely wants his due this time of the year, and this trio of whimsical items from the Santa Serveware Collection should satisfy any Santa at heart. Choose from one of three items: a smiling Santa cake stand, with Santa actually performing a perfect split while holding up your holiday goodies; an earthenware Santa teapot; or a Cookies For Santa with Mug Set—it’s the perfect way to say “Welcome” on Christmas Eve as your little ones leave their gift of cookies and milk for jolly old St. Nick.
Who says your wine bottles have to suffer simply because they aren’t runners up on America’s Next Top Model? Don’t let your bottle of Beaujolais or chardonnay be the dud at this year’s party. Instead, let its inner fashion plate emerge with a snappy Christmas-themed wine bottle knit sweater. Chic ensembles aren’t just for humans and lap dogs anymore.
After all the cooking is done and the focal point has turned from the kitchen to the dining room, it’s time to celebrate and have a little fun. While this tradition is typically a British one, it is slowly making its way across the pond as more and more holiday parties in the U.S. are catching on to this festive activity. Crackers, a two-person job that, when pulled apart, creates a snapping sound, are usually filled with a festive hat, a joke and a toy, as are these beautiful Nutcracker themed crackers. Why not begin a fun, new tradition this Christmas or at your next holiday party?