Ideas to make your holidays bright: lilies, fondue and decorating a wine bottle
White and Bright
Here's a Christmas surprise: lilies for your table. Though usually associated with spring, these crisp, snowy flowers, with their star-shaped blooms, couldn't be more perfect for Yuletide celebrations. Available year-round, they add elegance and fragrance to any setting.
To create an arrangement, buy one long stem from a local florist. Look for a stem that has one bloom open and several others beginning to unfurl. Clip the flowers from the stem, and place them in a vase. Add water daily, and the flowers should last for a week.
Make It Personal
You've gone through the trouble of finding the perfect wine to bring as a hostess gift to your next holiday party, so don't just slip the bottle into a premade bag. Instead, do something to make the gift even more memorable.
All you need are four or five strands of beaded wire, purchased at a crafts store. Wrap the strands together to form a tiny wreath, and then slide it over the neck of the bottle. Add a simple tag with a handwritten note to complete the festive look.
Dipped in Chocolate
December ushers in the ultimate season of sweets. This unusual but easy-to-make treat will turn your party's dessert tray into the most popular spot in the house.
Microwave 1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels and 3/4 cup whipping cream in a medium microwave-safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute, whisking once after 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to fondue pot. Serve with peanut or pecan brittle. Makes 8 servings. Prep: 5 min.
While peanut brittle is readily available at most grocery stores, you might have to search a little harder to find pecan brittle. But don't worry―the Internet is a great resource for this product. Start your search with www.lalagniappe.com, www.lcandy.com, or www.paulineshandmadebrittle.com.
"Inspirations" is from the December 2006 issue of Southern Living.