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Magic of the Holiday Season

From the desk of Event Assistant, Ronnie Ayers…

It is officially 10 days until Christmas – which means I should probably start my shopping. Through the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, one of my favorite things to do is sprinkle in the Santa magic that we sometimes forget. My nieces and nephews are at the perfect “believing” stage, so my family and I are having so much fun getting creative with the young ones this year. Here are a few of my favorite ideas to go the extra mile this year to keep it magical!

“Facetiming” with Santa!

This is a fun, free app that gives you some “face time” (pun intended) with ‘Ole Saint Nick. It is pretty realistic and fun to see the young reactions when they see who’s calling!

Tip: before having Santa call, make sure the one answering knows what to request for Christmas!

Here is a screenshot of my cute niece, Dakota, using the app!

santa

Elf on the Shelf

I am sure everyone has heard or seen the Elves by now, and have found fun ways to display them. Some of my favorites: Elf driving Barbie’s car, roasting mini marshmallows over a candle, and making snow angels in powdered sugar! Definitely keeps the magic going on the days leading up to the big day.

elf

Christmas Eve:

Two ideas that I have fallen in love with for Christmas Eve can be carried out for years to come, and are so simple to do!

Santa’s Footprints

What you’ll need:
-Glitter
-Baking Soda
-Boots
-Spray Bottle
-Cookie Sheet

Mix the glitter and baking soda on the cookie sheet. Feel free to use as much or as little glitter as you would like.

“Prep” your boot by lightly spraying the soles.

Press the boot down in the baking soda mixture – making sure you get a good coat.

Then you make a trail of footprints leading from the chimney/door to the tree to show that Santa successfully visited that night!

This is such an easy (and light clean-up) project that can add a wonderful element to Christmas morning.

footprints

Santa’s Keys

This is a perfect idea for citydwellers who don’t have a fireplace for Santa to enter. Craft (or buy) Santa’s keys and hang them on the front door, so that Santa has a way to come in to visit!

santa-key

Experiencing the awe and excitement through the eyes of a child is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season.

We would love for you to share with the AE Team your own fun and creative traditions!


In the Spirit of the Holidays

From the desk of Senior Event Manager, Chrissy Kratz…

I won’t even try to lie to you – I am a serious holiday lover. The day after Halloween, I start listening to holiday music with my headphones set to super low so I won’t be judged by the people around me (yes, that includes my AE colleagues!), I am done shopping for friends and family before Thanksgiving, and my small apartment has more decorations than it has any right to fit inside of it (preview below). But what can I say? I love it all and don’t think a mere four weeks is enough time to celebrate! Of course, along with the spirit of the season comes just that – spirits. Here are a few of my current favorites to bring along to your next holiday party.

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Wine
This year, I attended a Fireside Chat at The Fireplace focused entirely on my favorite grape, Pinot Noir. Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir was hands down my favorite of the dinner and one I recommend to pair with a charcuterie platter or roasted poultry dinner.

climat

Thinking something white? Try Ashbourne – a unique Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay blend out of South Africa. Don’t be deceived by its light nose…the combination of the body from the Chardonnay and the acidity from the Sauv Blanc is a nice balance that allows you to drink this wine on its own (though pairing it with some oysters isn’t a bad idea either!).

ashbourne


Beer
Who says you can only enjoy a bottle of vino around the holidays – give a holiday brew a try! Perhaps Nodding Head Brewery’s Sled Wrecker made with molasses and rum-soaked fruit (yes that is a shameless Philadelphia-pride pitch).

noddingguy

Looking for something lighter? After a recent trip to northern California, I’m head over heels for Almanac Beer Co.’s Saison Dolores. I wouldn’t call it a holiday beer, but it’s worth a try if you aren’t into rum and maple syrup in your pint.

almanac-saison-dolores-set


Spirits
Get creative with your cocktails! My must-try this year is to make a Rosemary-Infused Honey Sidecar. Boil some rosemary in water before freezing the liquid into ice cubes. Combine 2 cups Cognac, 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup honey before adding in the rosemary-infused ice cubes. Strain, and serve in sugar-rimmed glasses. Voila – a holiday classic with a twist! Plus, you can spike the eggnog with the extra Cognac.

sidecar

Whatever your spirit style is – embrace it and don’t be afraid to try something new. Cheers to a festive, fun and safe holiday season!