Christmas with southern spice

I am a self-proclaimed half breed: Half Southern by birth c/o my father born in Johnson City, Tennessee and Half Yankee by birth c/o my mother born in Pontiac, Michigan. Even though she was raised in Miami, Florida, that basically still kept her in the “Yankee” status. I learned this by moving from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at 15 to Chattanooga, Tennessee to be immediately classified, a “Yankee”. This always confused me but I learned to accept it, as well as the difference in clothing in the two places. For one thing, I had a lot of bikinis, no coat, mini skirts and shorts. The first day of school, I walked through the halls with the Scarlett “Y” on my chest, dazed in shock at all the overalls, Dickies slacks in every color (this is the horrible era of everything hot pink, navy and kelly green), whale belts, and Sebagos. Nightmare. I flung myself on my bed that day after school, sobbing in my theatrical manner and told my mother, “They have overalls on and I thought that was a costume on Hee Haw!”

This experience led me to a love and disdain of certain fashions, but the move itself led me to my eventual husband (now of 29 years) and two beautiful kids. So Dickies be damned, I became a Southerner and I love everything about it. My mother is a staunch outlier toward most things Southern, but she’s cute and related, so I’ll keep her.

I wanted to share with my readers some fun Southern gift ideas:

Get everyone this book: Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank

1) This book is sure to get the giftee talking and laughing, guffawing, hands downs. A signed copy was gifted to me and I delight in it still. It’s a rowdy collection of essays, where Ms. Rivebbark takes on baristas (“It’s America, call ‘em what they are, COUNTER HELP”), the Cruise/Holmes pod baby, skanky kids clothes and how to make sure your precious child gets a seat at the Disney character breakfast (or you’ll risk eating chicken out of a bucket with Sneezy). While Celia had rather walk on her lips than say something mean, she doesn’t mind WRITING plenty of mean stuff. Dig in; it’s delish.

Rivenbark has seven or so more books out that are equally delightful. She clearly understands than there is no rude comment that can’t be forgiven if it’s followed with, “Bless her heart!” As in, she’s dumber than a bag of rocks, bless her heart.

Although Southern folk love dressing to the nines, seersucker suits and sweet tea, we have a wicked sense of humor and adore Ugly Christmas sweater parties. My place of work is actually having a contest this year. Check out Ugly Christmas Sweatter Ugly Christmas Sweaters best offerings in sizes XS-XXXL, but wait, they don’t just have sweaters, they now have THE BEST Ugly Christmas Jackets! Plus customers get FREE SHIPPING on all order now through December 13th, use code FREESHIP. A few of their horrifying offerings are as follows:

Sequin Gingerbread Man Blazer Jacket

Red 3-D Christmas Sweater with Stuffed Moose

Christmas Cardigan with Bow!

Not to be outdone by any Ugly Sweater, the true Southern lady appreciates high quality fashions.

SheFINDS has reported Saks Fifth Avenue has cashmere sweaters buy one, get one free right now. This is the time to get a great investment piece with another one to gift to a lucky person.

Cashmere Cable-Knit PulloverPlaid Front Cashmere SweaterCashmere Cowlneck Tunic

The thing I love about Christmas the most at home is putting a blend of spices, oranges and cranberries on our pot belly stove to simmer and make the house smell divine. Use this recipe:

This simmering potpourri is simple to make, and will have your whole house smelling like a holiday.

Gather These Supplies:  Bay leaves, orange, lemon, cranberries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks

The best thing about this potpourri is that you can mix and match it to fit your needs. If you have everything but the cranberries, don’t fret! Just add the remaining ingredients! Don’t have a pantry stocked with bay leaves, that’s okay! But, the base of this potpourri is the cloves and the orange. Those should ALWAYS be present in the recipe.

To begin your simmering potpourri, first measure out 4 cups of water and add it to a deep pot.

Measure four cups of water.

Pour your water into a deep pot.

Next, add the cinnamon sticks. You can use as many as you like. The more, the better in my opinion! For this batch, I add 5.

Add cinnamon sticks to your simmering potpourri. You can use as many as you want, but 5-6 is ideal.

Then, add the bay leaves. Again, add what you have on hand. If you have 2, toss them in! This time around, I add 4.

Add bay leaves to your homemade simmering potpourri.

Next, add the cranberries. I add ½ cup.

One half cup of cranberries.

My favorite! The cloves are added next. They add the perfect touch of spicy goodness. For this batch, I added 2 tablespoons. If you want a more clove enhanced scent, feel free to add more.

Add two tablespoons of whole cloves.

Then, add your citrus. Slice up an orange and a lemon and toss them into the pot. This adds a fresh smell to your simmering potpourri.

Add a sliced orange to your potpourri gives it a citrus kick.Slice your lemon before adding it to your pot, for a citrus kick to your simmering potpourri.

That’s it! Set your burner to low and allow it to simmer. Love, HauteAngel

Photographs and Recipe c/o The SITS Girls

One comment

  1. When I was married, a friend cross stitched us something g for our living room: American by birth, Southern NY the grace of God….us southern girls talk sweet, but sometimes, that ol’ aside drips from our smiles. Orange and Clive are two of Mt favorite holiday aromas. I add a sprig of fresh pine, fir, or cedar to mine.

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