ʼTis the Season for Holly! Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

From decking the halls with boughs of holly and singing traditional Christmas carols like “The Holly and the Ivy,” holly berries and deep dark green holly leaves are expressions of the jolly! 

Celebrate this Christmas and holiday season with the classic red of holly berries and greenery. Gather some holly boughs and enjoy DIY arts and crafts to make ideal decorations and gifts. 

Decorate with a few sprigs of holly clippings around candles, on tables, on mantles, and in unexpected places, such as in a vase, teapot, teacup, or mug. Deck your door with a stunning and super easy homemade holly wreath. Just cut some holly branches, add a bit of twining ivy and/or a few evergreen boughs, such as fir, pine needles, or spruce, then tuck in some candy canes and add a red ribbon bow as a finishing touch to match the bright berries.

The season for gift giving includes lots of gift wrapping. Add simple seasonable splendor to any package with a sprig of holly tied down with a red, green, white, gold, or silver ribbon, and then dangle an ornament atop, or add a merry jingle bell. 

Jolly Holly Berrylicious Sparkling Merry-Garita 

ʼTis the season to feel merry and jolly! Whether you prefer a margarita or a spritzer (cocktail or mocktail) or both, enjoy this versatile beverage to celebrate Christmas and the holidays. You decide…the ratio of sparkling liquids to strawberries depends on your preference in beverages. 

Ingredients:  

Choose from the following:

  • Prosecco, champagne, or sparkling rose (for sparkling spritzer version)
  • Vodka or gin 
  • Tonic water, club soda/seltzer, or ginger beer (for mocktail version)
  • Pomegranate and/or cranberry juice
  • Iced white or green tea (to amp up on antioxidants)
  • Muddled or puréed strawberries 
  • Strawberry, cherry/grenadine, or pomegranate simple syrup to sweeten
  • Mint/thyme/strawberry slices/pomegranate seeds (for edible garnishes)
  • Ice (on the rocks, optional) 

Instructions:

  • Margarita version: Blend/purée fresh or frozen strawberries along with liquids of choice (like cold tea) and add in simple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional). 
  • Spritzer version: Mash fresh strawberries with a fork and add to bottom of glass. Combine liquid ingredients over top. 

Holly Jolly Pomegranate Mint Chocolate Mousse

(Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar-Free and Paleo)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Cacao or unsweetened cocoa
  • 1½ Tablespoons pomegranate and/or cranberry juice
  • 1¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Stevia, maple syrup, honey, blue agave, or other sweetener to taste (optional)
  • 3-6 pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries and sprigs of fresh mint (edible garnishes)

Instructions:

  • Blend together all ingredients, except garnishes, with a whisk until bubbles form. 
  • Pour into 2 large or 4 small ramekins and set in fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. 
  • Add jolly holly-esque edible garnishes over top.
  • Serve when set and enjoy! 

(Recipe adapted from: veganfamilyrecipes.com/vegan-mint-chocolate-mousse/)

DIY Ravishing Red Holly Berry Inspired Red Lip Color:

(Organic and Natural)

Love classic red? Well, it’s the season for holly berry lips! Get your glam on this gift season, gorgeous, and make your own DIY red lip color for you and your gal pals! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon organic beeswax pellets 
  • 1 teaspoon organic shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil/apricot kernel/avocado oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon each of any combination of red carmine mica, red Australian clay, russet iron oxide, honey beige mica, antique rose mica, and/or red food coloring
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 lip balm containers 

Instructions: 

  • Melt the beeswax, shea butter and oil of choice together on low heat in a double boiler. 
  • Once melted, remove from heat, add color pigments and blend together with a manual whip. 
  • Pour immediately into lip balm containers before mixture starts to harden completely. 
  • If mixture has already started to harden, put the bowl back in the double boiler and melt again until you can pour back into the lip balm containers.

(Recipe adapted from organic-beauty-recipes.com/natural-red-lipstick-recipe/)

Holly is a symbol of fertility and eternal life, because it remains strong and green throughout the winter, while other trees drop their leaves. From ancient times to today, holly has symbolized good luck and protection, and it’s as easy as gathering a few branches to bring holly’s good fortune to you and yours. 

 

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by Redeemer School Parent Rachael Morales (thishalfacre.com) “Jesus