Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

December 21, 2011

Hello again! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. I’m writing this in between packing sessions for my upcoming vacation. Mario, Avery and I will be spending Christmas in St. Martin this year! This is the first year we are not spending Christmas in New York. Usually, we head out to the Hamptons for the week and decorate the whole house. I cook big Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. While it’s going to be an adjustment to be somewhere warm for Christmas, I know it will be great. The Singers are very busy and I’m looking forward to all three of us being able to kick back and relax together.

The 2011 Singer Family Christmas Card

I still wanted to enjoy as much Christmas in New York as I could, so I found myself taking long lunch breaks to walk around and see all the windows and of course the famous Rockefeller Center tree. I decorated our NYC home weeks ago so we had some time to enjoy it before we take off.  I tend to mill around the house playing Christmas music everyday between Thanksgiving and Christmas while I tweak and trim the tree.  I use many classic decorating tips, such as wreath on the door and tree in the living room, I like to get a bit creative as well.

I have some sturdy decorative vases on one of my window sills that I fill every year with woodsy mixed greens.   I usually browse around the Flower District in Manhattan for seasonal white pine, but at this time of year you’ll find that nearly every florist carries an assortment of Christmas greens.  The trick is to pick branches that are both tall enough (about 30 inches) and full enough to hold some of your ornaments.  This year I tried adding some cedar branches with the white pine to fill out the vases some more and the mix of the two leaves is just extraordinary.  The additional greenery around the house is so festive, and a great way to spread your shimmery ornaments out beyond the tree.

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I always purchase a few poinsettias bouquets to spread about the house.  Red is one of my favorite colors – as you can see, I decorate my home with a lot of red and gold, so Christmas red fits just perfectly with my décor.

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My extra tree trimmings become the perfect center piece for the dining room table.  Pine cones are one of my holiday table décor staples; I lightly paint the pinecones with gold or silver and lay them out on the table.  I also place a few of my larger more special ornaments on top of the cedar.

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If there is a time to indulge a little it’s definitely Christmas! I love making cookies this time of year. The best thing about sugar cookies is you can make them as festive as you want with different cookie cutter and toppings. I personally keep mine simple with some red and green crystals. See my favorite recipe below.

Christmas Butter Sugar Cookies, Makes about 36 cookies,

Ingredients:

-16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature (very soft to touch)

-3/4 cup sugar

-1 large egg

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more the work surface

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation:

-heat over 350 degrees F

-beat the butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer on medium high until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla. Reduce mixer to speed low.

-Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and add it slowly to the butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated (dough will be stiff). Divide dough into 2 rounds balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

-Roll the dough on a floured surface (also dust with flour the rolling pin)  to 1/4 till 1/4 inch think. Cut into shapes and place onto baking sheets.

-Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar crystals. The scraps can be combined and rolled out again.

-Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks.

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I decided to bake an early batch of cookies and while their delicious aroma fills up my home, I sat down and looked through all of the holiday photos you sent me. Here are some of my favorites!

From Kate Todd via Facebook

@wtnymr10

@molly_fo

I hope you all enjoy the holidays year and prepare for a fantastic 2012! I promise to share photos of our trip and can’t wait to hear all of your Christmas and New Year stories!

Xo

Ramona

The Singer Christmas Tree

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13 Responses to “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree”

  1. Maria Morales said

    Happy Holidays to you and your Family. God Bless you all, have fun and do not forget to go to Mass on Christmas Day!

    Your fan, Dr. Maria Morales

  2. Jan Davies said

    What a wonderful blog Ramona. Lovely pictures, recipes shared. U really do write in depth and is a joy to read. Thank you. Merry xmas and a happy new yr to you, Mario and Avery. Xx

  3. Karen said

    Merry Christmas Ramona and your beautiful family. Loved all the pictures and your writing. You truly are blessed. We saw one of your castmates in Atlantic City in Oct. How we wished you had been there also. Just love you! A question…where can we find your Pinot here in Columbus, Oh? Well, again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. Can’t wait for NYC Housewives starts again.

  4. Kelly said

    Aww Everything is so pretty Ramona! I’m glad I took the time to wander over here and check it out. Your place is beautiful and you look like Mrs Suzie homemaker in the pictures! I think I shall follow you so I can catch the blog when ya post. That kinda sounds like stalking! lol Anywhooo…. Enjoy your Christmas vacation in the warm weather I moved 6 years ago from Michigan and it was an adjustment to the heat in sunny South Carolina, missed the snow, but after a couple fruity drinks I forgot all about the snow! ( I enjoyed the sand!) hahahaha Thanks for sharing.Kelly Jo

  5. msylvester said

    Ramona,

    You have a beautiful home along with a beatiful family. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.
    Look forward to seeing you back on the “Big Screen”. Until then, take care and enjoy your down time.

    Marlene

  6. Kathy said

    I always made suger cookies when my kids were little, however, I rolled the dough and made hand cookies, and kids could decorate as they wish, since it was their hands lol

  7. Catherine R. Staat said

    Ramona – everything looks beautiful. I love the picture of you baking cookies (and the recipe too!).

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

  8. Jenn said

    Making your cookies, thanks for the recipe. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Years!

  9. Jackie Wathen said

    Great blog Ramona. Enjoyed reading. Made me feel like a girlfriend was keeping me posted on her family’s Christmas
    traditions. Thanks for make the season merry and bright.

    Jackie

  10. Pamela said

    Love you Singers’. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and can’t wait to see you on the show!! Love, Pam

  11. sharla said

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Singers!!
    Peace and Love to all.

  12. Hannah said

    Hi Ramona! I nearly screamed when I discovered that you had a blog. I hope you had a great time on your vacation!

    PS. You and Sonja are my favorite housewives by far

  13. RussianWanderer said

    As always Mrs Singer, you look beautiful, happy and very healthy. Same applies to Mr Singer and Avery. I hope my child turns out as magnificent as Avery has become, many blessings to you and your family 🙂

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