From all of us here at Tree Classics, we wish you a very merry Christmas!
From all of us here at Tree Classics, we wish you a very merry Christmas!
Christmas Eve does not mark the end of the holiday celebration. The actual fun begins on Christmas morning; it’s when a series of activities await the whole family. Some people maintain their family’s annual Christmas morning traditions, while there are others who experiment with new activities each year.
Tree Classics has prepared a list of activities with which you can start your Christmas Day. For you to have fun in all of these, encourage your family to wake up at the same time so that you can do them together. It is, after all, by sharing these activities with them that you can attain a perfect Christmas morning.
Hang the Stockings
On Christmas Eve, fill your children’s Christmas stockings with goodies, then hang the stockings on their assigned seats at the dining table while they’re fast asleep. The next day, watch them as they happily pull the goodies out of their stockings.
Enjoy a Pre-made Breakfast
Prepare your Christmas breakfast the night before so that you can laze around all morning. After working on a hefty Christmas Eve dinner, it’s time to relax with a cup of coffee and a delicious slice of cinnamon monkey bread. While having breakfast, enjoy a long conversation with your family, as this is something you seldom do on regular school days.
Open Gifts under the Tree
After breakfast, rush to the presents under the tree, then tear open your Christmas loot. On Christmas Day, adults are given the permission to feel and act like kids.
Watch Classic Christmas Films
Make a bowl of popcorn, then watch classic Christmas-themed movies, such as Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story, to name a few. Never mind if you’ve seen these films countless times. What matters is that you get to watch them this time with your whole family.
Play a Board Game
Games on cell phones, computers, and other digital devices have succeeded in detaching one from his own family. This Christmas, forget the digital world and use board games to bond with your family. Reconnect with them though a checkers board game, domino set, and backgammon board game.
When shared with your loved ones, all these activities will lead to a perfect Christmas morning.
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Roasting meat over an open fire, or in a closed oven, creates an aroma that is unlike any other. Whether it is the smell of roast pork, duck, or chicken, it builds up one’s anticipation for a scrumptious meal.
Roasting is part of most holiday celebrations because it produces delicious dinner table entrees. Because it’s a slow-cooking method, roasting gives everyone time to catch up on each other’s lives, while waiting for their roasted dinner to be served.
Tree Classics gives a rundown of several delicious roast recipes that everyone will love. Prepare the Christmas wine glasses, start the fire, and prepare a sumptuous feast with the family!
Peruvian Roast Chicken
It used to be served exclusively to the aristocrats of Peru, but the Peruvian roast chicken eventually reached the plates of the country’s regular folks, too. To make your version of this dish as flavorful as the original, marinate your chicken in herbs and spices before roasting it over charcoal. Wait for the chicken’s skin to turn golden brown, then serve it with French fries and a side dish of vegetable salad. Click here to see the ingredients and recipe for Peruvian roast chicken.
Lechon is a delicacy that originated from Spain. In the English language, it means roast suckling pig; a piglet as young as two or six weeks old is used as main ingredient for this dish. It takes two days to prepare a crispy and juicy Lechon. The first day is allotted to the marinating process, while the second day is when the actual roasting takes place. In the old days, people would roast their pig over wood fire or charcoal. Nowadays, many households prefer to use their oven. Learn how to make Lechon here.
A traditional Christmas Eve dinner in Germany includes a roast goose with crispy, golden-brown skin. The secret to achieving the perfect roast goose is to measure its cooking time to accuracy. You also have to note that the goose’s stuffing is just as important as the length of its oven stay. It includes rice, sweet apples, and aromatic leaves, among others. German households serve their roast goose with potatoes and cabbage on the side. You can find the complete roast goose recipe here.
The legendary taste of the roast Peking duck is known throughout history to satiate even the appetite of kings and emperors.
In Beijing, where this delicious dish had originated, a Peking duck is forced-fed and slaughtered at six weeks old. It is then marinated with maltose syrup, a sweet seasoning, and hung in a cool place to dry. You can tell a duck that’s been roasted to perfection through its crispy, thin skin. To achieve this, separate the duck’s skin from its fat before roasting it. Now that you know, pour some white wine into your Christmas wine glasses, and serve your Peking Duck with Mandarin pancakes and scallions. Click here for a delicious Peking Duck recipe.
Whether you eat it on a platter or as sandwich, the roast beef is sure to get your tummy full and satisfied.
To make a platter of succulent roast beef, you need premium beef sirloin first and foremost. Next, coat the meat with a generous amount of mustard flour, which, when mixed with the beef’s fat will create a delectable, crusty outer layer. Set your oven to 375◦ F, put your beef inside, then lower the temperature after roasting the beef for 30 minutes; this will enable the meat to retain its natural juices throughout the remaining cooking time. You can see the full recipe here.
Thanksgiving has just passed, but you’ll probably agree that no one has had enough of turkey meat. If you’re planning to serve roast turkey for Christmas dinner, make it taste extra special. Nothing could be better than moist turkey meat, so keep its natural juice from being absorbed by its stuffing. You can do this by precooking the ingredients that you’re going to stuff your turkey with. Once you have placed the turkey in the oven, brush it every now and then with a butter and herbs mixture. Here is how you can make roast turkey with herbs.
Make your Christmas Eve dinner with your loved ones memorable with one or two of these roast recipes.
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Ugly Christmas sweaters have become a delightful part of holiday tradition in recent years. People come to holiday parties dressed up in colorful and funny outfits all to celebrate the joys of the season. The more unique and ridiculous your ugly sweater is, the more popular you are at the party. This is why a lot of Christmas party-goers pull out all the stops in order to create the most whimsical gimmicks they can think of.
To help you come up with the best (or worst) ugly sweater for your next Christmas party, Tree Classics presents five of our favorite do-it-yourself sweater designs. With these fun and simple Christmas crafts, you can be sure to be the ugliest of them all.
Christmas Elf Sweater
What better way to cap off a great Christmas party than handing out the gifts dressed as one of Santa’s little helpers? This awesome elf outfit makes use of a light green sweater accessorized with red and white trimmings. Finish up the look by adding a few details such as the buttons, the small bells at the collar, and the large black belt and buckle. This is one ugly sweater design that even old Saint Nick will be proud of.
Pink Holiday Sweater
Let your ugly Christmas sweater feature a unique style by splashing it with loud and proud colors. This pink sweater is charming enough but by adding some colorful nutcracker and Christmas ornament prints, it became even more eye-catching. This is a great way to introduce some pink power to your traditional holiday party.
Stuffed Animal Sweater
For party-goers who prefer a cuter, more adorable way to dress up their ugly sweaters, you can definitely choose this stuffed animal sweater design. Go through your collection of stuffed toys and pick out your favorite one. Create a nice bedding for your stuffed animal by attaching a wreath or garland on your sweater. Place the toy on your sweater through sewing and then a few holiday details around it.
Ginger Bread House Sweater with Lights
Give Rudolph a run for his money by sparkling your way to the party in this ugly Christmas sweater with lights. Upgrade a printed sweater by attaching a few battery-operated blinking LED lights to it. With this ugly sweater, you’re sure to light up the holiday scene.
Christmas Tree Sweater
Wow the crowd at your Christmas party by coming in dressed up as a Christmas tree. Take a plain dark green sweater then tie a gold or silver tinsel garland around it. Attach a few ornaments, such as Christmas balls and finials, and then wrap it up with a large star or angel tree topper. Whenever you feel in character, simply stretch your arms upward to form a pyramid, lift the tree topper, cross your legs and strike a pose to get that Christmas tree look.
This year, be the life of the party by donning the ugliest Christmas sweater around. Stretch the boundaries of your imagination and come up with the most unique design to suit your personality.
A Christmas Eve dinner varies from one country to another. While a roasted dish in Puerto Rico may lead to the clanking of Christmas dinner plates, a spicy chicken entrée could be the only showstopper in Ethiopia. The diverse cuisines this world has to offer is the reason why every one of us is always excited to cook something special during this time of the year.
Before you prepare Christmas dinner, though, you may want to check out these 10 traditional holiday dishes from around the world. One of these just might inspire you to come up with a new holiday recipe.
Roasted Pork Shoulder
The Pernil Asado is a Puerto Rican dish that means roasted pork shoulder. It is the Christmas ham’s counterpart in Puerto Rico. This slow-roasted dish, which is marinated in orange juice, cumin, and garlic, will take approximately 11 hours to prepare. Rest assured, the outcome of your effort will please anyone’s taste buds. Click here for the complete recipe.
The Feast of Seven Fishes
Introduce something new on your dining table with this traditional Italian seaside meal. It commemorates the wait for the birth of Jesus Christ at midnight, but others say that the number seven represents the number of days God created the world. Regardless of the story behind it, your family will love it down to the last fish. Check out the complete recipe here.
In English, this dish from Poland means bow tie fritters. These crunchy, sugar-dusted cookies would always stir kids and adults with excitement on Christmas Eve and other holidays. Prepare your whiskey glassware if you’re having these on Christmas Eve because according to the Polish folks, Kruschicki is best served with a glass of whiskey. Here’s the complete recipe for this dish.
A perfect Ethiopian Christmas dinner comes with Doro Wat or chicken stew. This flavorful dish is marinated in an array of spices, such as chili, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and Berbere, which is a special Ethiopian spice. The chicken is then cooked slowly for three hours at low temperature to release its natural juices. Click here for the full recipe.
Bacalao a la Mexicana
Mexico’s traditional Christmas dinner happens on January 6, when every home in the country features a dish called Bacalao a la Mexicana. This spicy food, which was inspired by Spain’s Bacalao, consists of salt cod and different kinds of spices that render its authentic taste. Click here for the complete recipe.
Christmas Goose with Stuffing
Back in the 17th Century, oyster and lamb dishes were often served in American homes during Christmas Eve. Nowadays, a traditional American Christmas dinner would include the rich taste of a roasted goose with apple and cranberry stuffing. Some Americans, though, prefer to use poussin instead of goose when cooking this dish because the former’s meat is more tender. Get the recipe here.
Incorporate a slice of art into your holiday feast with this Icelandic dish, which means leaf bread in the English language. It is a crunchy, thin, flat bread with intricate patterns. Families in Iceland make this delicacy a few days before Christmas Eve to ensure they accomplish the bread’s beautiful patterns flawlessly. Here’s how to make a Laufabraud.
Buche de Noel
This delicious buttercream cake was inspired by France’s tradition of burning a yule log in the fireplace on Christmas Eve. These days, the French would welcome Christmas Eve with a log of Buche de Noel complementing their Christmas dinner. Learn how to make your own yule log cake here.
If you’re still wondering what your main course should be, take inspiration from Germany’s pot roast beef or popularly known as Sauerbraten. Soaked in lemon juice and buttermilk marinade for three days, then slow-cooked for two to three hours, this dish will surely give your family and guests a memorable gastronomic experience. Get the authentic recipe for this dish here.
This list of traditional Christmas dishes wouldn’t be complete without Sweden’s Julskinka or glazed Christmas ham. In Sweden, the Julskinka is the dining table’s main attraction during Christmas dinner. Making this Swedish ham entails a lot of patience because you need to go through different cooking methods to achieve its authentic taste. If you want to include Julskinka in your Christmas dinner menu, follow this recipe.
Enjoy a virtual trip to international kitchens with this list of traditional Christmas dishes from around the world. Which of these entrees are you considering for your Christmas Eve dinner?
The Christmas season is all about the spirit of giving. While the most common idea is to hand out gifts in appreciation of others, there are other ways you can give back to your community. Here are Tree Classics’ five simple but meaningful ways you can lend a hand around your neighborhood and show how much you value all the help they gave you throughout the year.
Pay a Visit to Your Local Care Home
What better way to start giving back to your community than to drop by at your local care home? Many senior centers often accept volunteers. There are times when you don’t even have to do much other than to spend time with grandmas and grandpas and listen to their awesome stories. These are good folks who always appreciate meeting new people and having a great laugh, so paying them a visit and chatting with them from time to time would mean a lot.
Hand Out Desserts to Your Neighbors
The next time you whip a batch of your favorite dessert, make some extras and share it with your neighbors. Aside from strengthening your friendship with other families, this is also an excellent idea to build rapport and open communication around the neighborhood.
Make New Friends at the Animal Shelter
Animal shelters are almost always in need of extra hands. With so many stray or abandoned pets to care for, they could definitely use some help around the place. Sign up at a shelter near you and help take care of these poor little critters. Being a volunteer has never been this adorable.
Help Out at the Community Garden
For people who have a knack for cultivation, helping out at the neighborhood garden may just be the thing for you. Here you can grow crops that could benefit your community as well help improve the environment around your neighborhood.
Share Your Skills and Smarts
Another great way you can lend a hand in your community is to share your talents with other. If you’re good at painting and other crafts, why not join your local art group and start a mural painting drive? Ask your local officials if you could paint murals on public walls and make them more colorful and attractive. If storytelling is your strong suit, then you could volunteer at schools and orphanages to read stories to children during your free time.
Helping out in your community is one of the best ways to show appreciation for others. Whatever your talents and skills maybe, you can definitely make a difference if your share them with others.
After finding out how to properly assemble your Christmas tree for the season, it’s now time to learn how to choose Christmas decorations that would look best on your tree. Just like in any other decorating project, the key to a stunning Christmas display lies in finding the right combination of ornaments that would both present the elegance of the holidays and your own personal style as well.
In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, let us walk you through the fine art of Christmas tree decorating. Here is our easy to follow guide to choosing the best ensemble of Christmas ornaments for your dream Yuletide display.
Plan Your Christmas Theme and Stick to It
Before you start decorating your Christmas tree, try to come up with an overall theme first. Not only does it add personality to your holiday display, it also helps keep your ornamentation balanced and harmonious.
For a rustic holiday display, you can dress up your Christmas tree in a woodland theme using floral picks and bird ornaments, such as these assorted mini snow-bird and mini cardinal ornaments. The bright red plumage of the cardinals adds a festive accent to your display while the pristine white feathers on the snow-birds give it a cool wintry charm. Whatever theme you choose, be sure to stick to it to avoid making your Christmas display static and confusing.
Create an Impact Using Overscaled Ornaments
Another way to add character to your Christmas tree is by using overscaled holiday ornaments. Large ornaments, such as these gold and silver glass ornaments, cover a wider area on your Christmas tree, allowing you to use fewer decorations than you would with smaller pieces. This is a great idea if you want to let the beauty of your Christmas tree to become the focus of your centerpiece.
Match the Color of Your Home
If you’re still looking for a theme to suit your Christmas tree, you can take inspiration from the design of your room. Using ornaments with matching colors as your living room or dining room allows your tree to blend easily in your home as seen on this holiday display.
For traditional homes, you can create a display featuring the timeless appeal of classic Yuletide colors. You can go with these red and gold assorted teardrops, holiday tradition ornaments, or with these snowmen and holly glass ornaments in order to showcase the red, green, and gold colors of Christmas.
If you prefer a minimalist display, try adorning your tree with these green and red and green and gold glitter glass ornament sets or with these glass champagne ornaments. The simple style of these ornaments makes them an ideal accent piece to match the tamed or muted colors typically used in modern or contemporary homes.
Make you Christmas tree more festive and delightful with these timeless glass egg ornaments. These ornaments make use of traditional colors in unique and fun designs.
Create a Designer Look Using a Monochromatic Christmas Tree
Give your holiday display a unique and designer look by using a monochromatic Christmas tree. One-color trees make excellent backdrops for Christmas decorations in different shapes and textures. It allows the focus to stay on the ornaments themselves and not on the Christmas tree. With this you can use holiday ornaments in various sizes or try to combine shiny and matte finishes as well to create a theme for your display.
Some examples of ornaments that would work well on a monochromatic Christmas tree are these holiday heirloom ornaments, gold and copper beaded pearl ornaments, and these iridescent globe ornaments. Each set features ornaments in different designs and finishes that would stand out on a one-color tree.
Make your Christmas display memorable each season by learning how to mix and match your holiday ornaments. With these simple holiday decorating tips from Tree Classics, you easily create a new look for your Christmas tree to match your personal tastes.
For many families, setting up their Christmas trees is one of the most cherished and time-honored of all holiday traditions. From the oldest family members to the youngest, each one takes part in bringing this beloved tree to life with classic and fanciful ornaments. It has bridged countless generations together. With the Yuletide season now in full swing, it’s time bring back the Christmas tree into our homes and into our hearts.
To help you setup your Christmas tree for the holidays, here are Tree Classics’ four simple and easy to follow steps on how to assemble an artificial tree.
1. Take out your Christmas tree from storage and cleaning it
After spending several months tucked away in your closet or garage, chances are your Christmas tree may have accumulated a few layers of dirt and dust. The best way to get rid of these is to wipe the branches and needles with a clean piece of cloth dipped in water and soap. However, if you’re dealing with a pre-lit Christmas tree, it would be better to skip the soapy water to avoid ruining the light connections. As you work your way through the different sections of your Christmas tree, make sure to pay close attention to even the smallest tips and corners of the foliage. Once you finish, let your Christmas tree dry for a few minutes before continuing your tree assembly.
To avoid having to worry about dust and dirt covering your Christmas tree during storage, try storing it in a Christmas tree storage bag instead of its original box. These storage bags are specially designed to keep your artificial Christmas tree dirt and dust-free while kept away. They also help preserve the quality of your tree for more years to come.
2. Put your Christmas tree together section by section
After cleaning the foliage your artificial Christmas tree, it’s time to put tree all together. Start by setting the tree stand on a level place. For smaller Christmas trees, you can use a support base to give it more height. Some homeowners place their trees on a small platform for elegance while others prefer an old wooden or steel bucket for a more rustic look.
Next, assemble your Christmas tree according to its section, beginning with the bottom. Insert the tree pole into the tree stand and secure it. Spread the branches of the tree outward so you can see the following connection for the middle part. This is also to prepare the foliage for the shaping and fluffing later on. Attach the next section of the tree then repeat the same process as before. Finish the assembly by adding the top of your Christmas tree and attaching all the light connections together.
3. Shape the branches of your Christmas tree
To achieve an elegant and realistic look for your Christmas tree, always remember to shape and fluff its foliage. Since different trees have varying shapes and forms, this process allows your artificial Christmas tree to take on the appearance of its live tree inspiration. It involves spreading out the branches of the tree either upward or downward starting from the innermost parts to the very tips. Fluffing your Christmas tree also makes its branches more suitable for ornamentation.
4. Check the Light Connections and Bulbs
The following step is very important whether you have a pre-lit Christmas tree or an unlit tree you plan to decorate with lights. Dealing with light connections requires the utmost care in order to keep your family safe and to avoid any untoward incidents during the holidays.
Before you plug your tree to an outlet, make sure to double check all the wires for any damages or loose connections. Pay attention to the lights to see if there are any busted bulbs that need replacement. Once you’ve scanned the light strands, plug your Christmas tree in. Again, watch out for busted bulbs or malfunctioning connections.
If you spot any damages, carefully unplug your tree then set it aside. Contact the store where you bought your tree for any possible parts replacement or a professional electrician to check and fix the connections further.
The Christmas tree is an important part of many family traditions. It is a classic reminder of just how much we value celebrating the holidays and the spirit of giving it represents.
Once upon a time, making a Christmas wish meant writing down your wishlist on a piece of paper and snail-mailing it to Santa Claus in the North Pole. (Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to catch him at the mall for your own one-on-one chat!)
But what if we told you that – thanks to technology – all you needed to make your Christmas dream come true these days was … your cellphone? Yup! You got that right! Your cellphone!
Tweet your wish and Tree Classics just might grant it in our #TreeClassicsChristmas Giveaway!
HOW TO JOIN
1. Follow @Tree_Classics on Twitter.
2. Tweet your dream Tree Classics Christmas Tree. The tweet must include either the link or photo of the Tree Classics Christmas tree.
3. Include the hashtag #TreeClassicsChristmas in your tweet.
4. Spread the word! Retweet the following to earn bonus entries: “Tweet your dream #Christmastree from @Tree_Classics & get a chance to win one worth $600! #TreeClassicsChristmas”
Promo runs from November 26, 2014 to December 14, 2014. Visit our Twitter page for more updates!
To have a sparkly Christmas home, it’s time to play up your shiny and colorful tinsels. Although these classic ornaments are more associated with tree decorating, as they never fail to enhance the beauty of a Christmas tree, tinsels can blend with practically all kinds of holiday decorations. This post will show you how to snip, hang, pin, and fix your tinsel in a certain way to make it stand out in your home.
Let Your Tinsels Drape on Stairs
Aside from being a staple Christmas tree decoration, tinsels can be used as fine garlands, too. Create your own festive garland by twisting brightly colored tinsels together. Embellish your DIY garland with berries, baubles, or any ornaments of your choice then frame it around your main door. If your garland is too long, you can cut the excess or let it drape just like on this banister.
Create a Charming Welcome using Tinsels
When it comes to pairing decorations together, always remember that wreaths are your garland’s best friend. If you’re going for a tinsel holiday garland on your door, you can spruce it up more by adding a tinsel wreath as well. Try embellishing your wreath with glittered bells, pine cones, and ribbons to make it look festive and unique. This eye-catching pair is sure to marvel your holiday guests.
Turn Your Tinsels into Bottled Tufts
For another delightful tinsel display, fill three clear jars with tufts of colored tinsels. Throw in some baubles to recreate the look of tuft in a bottle then put you jars on corner or center table. You also have the option to arrange your tinsel pom-poms on a tray with some pine cones, berries, and a decorative candle.
Hang Your Tinsels for a Sparkling Highlight
Long strips of shiny, colorful tinsels in the archway will surely delight your family and guests. To achieve this curtain-inspired décor, pin one end of each tinsel strip on the arch that separates two rooms, usually the living and dining rooms. Whether you let the tinsel strands hang loose or make swags under the arch, this will surely create a festive ambiance.
Tinsels, though seemingly trivial, are an important aspect of holiday decorating. Their shiny texture can animate even the simplest home décor, which is why a Christmas home doesn’t seem like one without it. You can write your thoughts on tinsel decorating in the box below.