The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Community News Network

December 6, 2012

5 ingredients for a smooth holiday

There are lots of recipes for holiday joy. It's all about combining the right ingredients for your family to make the coming weeks meaningful and fun. Each year, it seems everyone juggles more responsibilities. Many people have less time and less money to create that "perfect" holiday. Yet the music, the decorations, the food, the gift-giving and whatever spiritually you want to include add up to the most celebratory time of the year. We have rounded up five ideas that could become part of your own seasonal recipe for success.

Create a long-lasting centerpiece

The dining table is a focus of the holidays, whether it's the setting for festive meals or the command center for writing Christmas cards and wrapping presents.

"Your table should celebrate the season," says Sidra Forman, a chef and flower designer in the District's Shaw neighborhood. "Flowers and natural ingredients enhance camaraderie and conversation."

Forman creates tablescapes spiced with beautiful things that speak of winter: moss, chestnuts, acorns, persimmons and kumquats. Her advice is to start looking outdoors for midwinter greenery such as camellia and leatherleaf viburnum. Search for unusual bowls or cups to display flowers. Use layers of moss or a large tray as a base for your holiday tableaux, Forman says. Add candlelight for a nice glow. If you are having a seated dinner, manage the height of your arrangement so it won't interfere with conversation. Buffets can display something taller.

Diana Wescott, the Whole Foods regional floral buyer, stocks store shelves with plants such as lemon cypress ($12.99), rosemary trees ($12.99) and white snowball hydrangea ($24.99) to use as elegant centerpieces.

The classic choice is the stately amaryllis. She says red, white or striped amaryllis ($8.99) with buds about to open are just being delivered. "You can't go wrong with an amaryllis plant," Wescott says. "Put several in a big compote or soup tureen and cover the top with moss or pine needles. Add some birch or berries and you're good for a few weeks."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014