‘Tis the Season and Decking the Halls: Recipes and Christmas Inspiration

'Tis the Season and Decking the Halls Christmas Inspiration and Recipes

Are you busy decking the halls and trimming the tree?

I am currently dog sitting my mother-in-law’s two puppies while she’s in the hospital, so I’m knee-deep in white dogs as well as Christmas decorations. :) Thank you for all your prayers and get well wishes for her, please keep them coming. We’re hoping she’ll be released to rehab this week and home shortly thereafter.

Here is some inspiration from the archives, click on the links to revisit the posts.


Decking The Halls in The Potting Shed

A ladder tree trimmed in the Potting Shed and some chalkboard door fun.

Putting Out The Wise Men


And Easy Owl Cookiesa hoot to make!

Melted Snowmen Cookies

A Christmas Cruise on the S. S. Noelaka, pontoon boat

Setting sail with Endive Boats with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts and a Rosemary Wreath with Olives and Cheese.


From Cocktail Napkin to Poinsettia

Cocktail Napkin Poinsettia gift wrap embellishment.


‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

A Christmas table with Old St. Nick, plaid, and lanterns filled with ornaments, pine cones, nuts and greenery

Marinated Shrimp & Artichokes

Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes

One of Southern Living Magazine’s best recipes of 2011. Quick and make-ahead, 8 to 24 hours in advance, it can also double as a side dish. It’s good anytime of year, but perfect for the busy holiday season!

O Fishing Tree

Our lakeside Christmas tree on the dock decorated with fishing lures


Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cake Bites with Chive Aioli

A great little appetizer to serve for the holidays! The crab mixture can be made a day in advance, then the bite-size cakes are baked in a mini muffin tin with a crust of Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs!

Gingerbread House Bird Feeder

Make an edible house for the birds, a fun activity with the kids using a gingerbread house kit from the grocery store.


Decorate a tree for the birds with DIY Bird Seed Treats

Merry Cranberry Salsa

Merry Cranberry Salsa

A light, flavorful, and healthy appetizer for the holidays that comes together in 10 minutes!


Making Lists and Make-Ahead Holiday Appetizers

Make-ahead recipes and inspiration for your holiday entertaining or Christmas party


Including Cha-Cha Chicken Salad, a molded chicken salad, made 8 – 24 hours in advance.



It’s a Wrap

Recycled shopping bag gift wrap and birds of a feather in the Potting Shed.

Candy Cane-infused Vodka

Candy Cane-infused Vodka

 Ready to gift or sip in 3 hours and shake up a White Chocolate Peppermint Martini!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Quick and easy cupcakes for the busy holiday season, served with candy cane handles!

Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons

Hot Chocolate Stirring Spoons

Easy and fun for kids to make with candy melts or almond bark and decorative holiday sprinkles

Candy Cane Cocoa

Candy Cane Cocoa Mix

A mix for easy seasonal sipping and ideal for gift giving!


Are you just starting to feather your Christmas nest or are you an early bird and finished with your Christmas decorating?

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday, Foodie Friday

  24 comments for “‘Tis the Season and Decking the Halls: Recipes and Christmas Inspiration

  1. cwilson1958
    November 30, 2015 at 7:42 am

    although I am a Canadian, I would love to know where you got your vintage reproduction postcards? Such a good idea on re-purposing the gift bags. I wish I was someone that could think outside th box” like that! Everything is gorgeous and I love the dinnerware!

    • November 30, 2015 at 8:24 am

      The postcards are by Cavallini & Co. They’re available on Amazon :)

  2. November 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Hi Mary, I’m happy to hear the encouraging news of your mother-in-law! We will keep sending prayers and good wishes. In the meantime you have 16 little happy paws following you around while you start to deck the halls! I hope they are all good helpers. And this post is so full of holiday goodness~~just what I need to get me in the holiday mood. I will spend many happy hours going through all your wonderful posts. Linda

  3. Ellen Stillabower
    November 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I will be finishing up my decorating today!! I’m a Christmas nut and love to transform my house to Christmas..although I’m getting older, and it takes me longer, I’m hoping I can keep doing this for many years to come…I love everything you are showing here, especially your Spode..that is my Christmas China and I just love it!! The recipes too!! I see many that I want to try..I do like those red & white dishes with the snowflakes.. Also, show us the other white puppies if you can..my best to Betty!! Can’t wait for the next post!! 🎄🎄🎄

  4. Michelle
    November 30, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Love all the recipes! I love to cook and love new ideas! You always make everything look so appetizing ! Have a great week!

  5. November 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

    What fun to revisit some of your Christmas posts, Mary. Those poinsettia napkins would be fun to try for embellishing a gift. I got lots of inspiration from you today, and I thank you.
    Thanks for the update on Betty. I hope she continues to improve and will be home soon.

  6. Marie in AZ
    November 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Hi Mary~~I can always rely upon you to start any season with great recipes, decorating ideas, and gorgeous photos. Today is no exception and it got my Christmas Spirit into gear! Thanks for letting us know how your MIL is doing!

  7. Sherlie Magaret
    November 30, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Lots of Christmas ideas, I will be trying some of these. Thank you

  8. November 30, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I LOVE all these great ideas! So cute!

  9. Roxanne
    November 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Hi Mary! Prayers continuing for your mother-in-law’s recovery; going to rehab is especially hard during the holidays (happened last year with my mother). I love reading everything you post and seeing all your beautiful photography…especially your garden shed that I lust after!!! Where did you find the sweaters for your pups? We got a six year old rescue mini dachshund from Puerto Rico this year. We live down the road in Clemson, SC and it gets pretty chilly for my little Puerto Rican Princess, Rosie! Happy decorating, I’m doing the same today.

    • November 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks so much Roxanne and your prayers are appreciated! I found the sweaters on Amazon several years ago but I’ve seen some cute ones recently at HomeGoods :)

  10. November 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    What a great start to December Mary, your round-ups are always chock full of goodies and great ideas…I am looking forward to getting my fa la la on this week, and I can only imagine the frolic of puppy paws at your house! Happy Decorating, and I hope your MIL is home soon~

  11. November 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    My thoughts and prayers continue for Betty’s swift recovery. It’s very hard to have a dear one in the hospital at any time but seems to be just a bit more stressful during the holidays.

    So glad you reposted past Christmas posts…I had forgotten I wanted to try a couple of the recipes and I will definitely try to make the red cocktail napkin poinsettias this year!

    Can’t wait to see what new ideas you come up with this holiday season…May it be merry for you and yours!

  12. November 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Mary, I continue to keep Betty close in thought. I hope she will be back home soon. I know how stressful this must be for each of you. Thanks for the inspiration. Your archives are always a treat for the eyes!
    Take care and know that I’m thinking of you.

  13. November 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I think my favorite is the napkin poinsettias:@) Glad to hear your MIL is doing a little better Mary, I hope she can come home soon!

  14. November 30, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    i am exhasuted looking at all your fun and merriment of seasons gone by!

  15. Paula
    November 30, 2015 at 9:14 pm


    What a caring daughter inlaw you are, Im sure Betty is so thankful! I hope all the puppies are getting along.:) And I knew you would bring the Christmas season in style ,love it all of course!

  16. Sandi Magle
    November 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    wow, that was a pile of color and fun…..thanks so much for a bunch of them…grins…and your dogs are adorable, Sandi

  17. Jodi
    December 1, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Your photography is amazingly beautiful! I could look at these all day! Merry Christmas to you and yours! Jodi

  18. December 1, 2015 at 9:40 am

    So much inspiration and beauty here today….I love going down memory lane with you!…

  19. December 1, 2015 at 9:41 am

    P.S. Hope your mother-in-law is doing better….thoughts and prayers are with her!

  20. Susan
    December 1, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Mary, I continue to keep your mother in law and all of you in my prayers and thank you for keeping us updated on her progress.
    You know how much I love every single thing you do, in fact, sometimes I have HIWTBI withdrawal the minute I finish reading a post!! You have such a wonderful gift and it makes me happy when someone enjoys sharing with others the way you do. I refer back through your posts all the time and have used many of your recipes (always winners) and decorating tips. I also have to say that your photography is superb and you know exactly how to capture the shot.
    I will continue to hold all of you close in thought and prayer. Take care.

  21. Melodie Strickland
    December 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm


    Hopefully your MIL will be home soon and glad she is doing better. It’s hard when a loved one is in the hospital during the holidays. All four dogs are adorable. Will continue to keep your MIL in our prayers and you are a loving and thoughtful daughter-in-law.

  22. December 10, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Wow so many great ideas here!! I loving this whole post Mary. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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