I am in LOVE with our Christmas lights this year. LOVE. We purchased those big bulbs that you’re suppose to use to line your driveway (or whatever you want to line). We originally thought we’d stake them in front of our flower bed. However, when we got home we realized that we should have purchased at least two, if not three, boxes of monster bulbs to do that (we have a long flower bed). Sooo…. we hung them from our awning instead. It’s both hilarious AND awesome.
We’ve driven around and looked at Christmas lights a few times since we hung ours and we’ve found some pretty amazing displays. My favorite so far is in Mission Hills. Rather than decorating the front of their house they decorated a single tree in their front yard with all of the lights they would have had to use for their house. The tree is FANTASTIC. They completely covered the trunk in blue lights and then used red, green and blue lights to wrap as many of the limbs as possible. And they hung a bunch of big bulky lights, like snow flakes and big red glowing ornaments and candy cane lights throughout it as well.
And, of course, I absolutely love the classic and refined beauty of the perfectly lit arches and perfectly outlined window frames – especially if they’ve hung wreathes on every door and put flickering candles in all of the windows. Those flickering candles remind me of my trips to Pennsylvania to visit my grandma.
But when it comes to picking out my FAVORITE Christmas lights, I prefer the ones that take the Griswald approach. You know, the ones who throughout the decorating process ask, “What ELSE can we do?”. I figure if we add a string every year, by the time we’re in our 50’s we’ll be the house that others can see from a mile away.
I discovered angeletti cookies last year when Real Simple put together a compilation of their favorite Christmas cookies. I think they are one of the sweetest little cookies I’ve ever seen! And they’re addictive! I think it has something to do with their size… they’re so tiny, it makes sense that you should be able to eat 4 or 5 and not feel bad, right? Original recipe can be found here.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling the dough
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla or 3/4 tsp almond extract
- 2 tablespoons multicolor nonpareil sprinkles, for decoration (optional)
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
- With floured hands, roll level tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and the bottoms are pale golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and the vanilla until the mixture forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more water if necessary).
- Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, rounded side up, on a rack set over a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with non-pareils, if using. Allow the glaze to set, about 20 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.