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Cheers to the Festive Season

Nothing gets me into the holiday mood like decorating. If I could put up everything except the tree in early November I would. But, my kids hold me off until the day after American Thanksgiving. That Friday morning I'm up early literally decking the halls and putting jingle balls on every surface—it looks a little like an elf went crazy in my house.

I would love to say I let the whole family get involved, but I don't. I'm pretty particular about where our mini trees and reindeer live for the season. However, I honestly don't care that much about the tree. I do love a fully bedecked Christmas tree with personal touches—ours has little paper lanterns from Thailand instead of traditional lights. But, as long as the ornaments cover every bough and there are no weird bare spots, I'm fine to let the boys trim the tree. Seriously...I really am! We'd love to hear some of your holiday traditions. Please share!

In this issue we're bringing you some seasonal treats, tips and lots of festive joy. 

If you haven't had a chance to watch The Feeder Live! Holiday Style broadcast, click the the link below...our guests shared tips for effortless holiday decorating, canapés, wine pairings and fashion. PLUS, some great offers specially for Feeder Friends!

Be on the look out for a Special Feeder Giving edition coming soon!

Enjoy the end of 2020...it's been a crazy year. And from our family to yours, a very happy holiday season!
XOXO
Paige

Special Offers from Our Feeder Friends for You!


The Cinnamon Room. Code: AASXMAS for 10% off all lanterns & tea lights through 31 December 2020.
TTG Wines. Code: Feeder for 10% off all regularly priced wines through 31 December 2020.
I Love Mason Jar. Code: TheFeeder for 10% off all items through 31 December 2020.

Vintage Sugar Cookie Recipe

by Zelda Kimble 

During the holidays nothing beats fresh baked cookies—nothing. So when my Grandmother Sydney brought out a sugar cookie recipe from her mother—I knew we had to try it. Simple to make, so they are perfect to do with kids. No chilling the dough beforehand means instant gratification. You probably already have all the items in your fridge, so you don't need to visit the crowd-filled stores. But even with all this ease, they’re special. This recipe is from before my father was born—way back in the 1930s. Initially published in The Fresno Bee, generations later these sugar cookies are a family staple. They’re more cake-like than your typical cookies, light and fluffy they are quite simply the perfect holiday treat.

Get the Recipe

Holiday Feasts: Wine Pairings

by Emma Clough

I love Christmas and selecting those special wines that you wouldn’t drink every night of the week. Every family has different traditions, but based on classic holiday dishes here are my favourite wine pairings.


First Course

Smoked Salmon. With something oily like smoked salmon you need some acidity to cleanse the palate, which is exactly why a squeeze of lemon over the dish works so well. A lightly oaked Chardonnay or Champagne are perfect, as they are both medium bodied, high in acidity and provide just enough brightness to cut through the oil and fat of the fish.

Shell Fish.  If oysters or prawns are more your thing, I’d opt for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to match the freshness of the shellfish.

Foi Gras & Paté. For foie gras or paté you need something with a little more richness. A New Zealand Pinot Gris or Riesling would be perfect as these wines are rounder in the palate. New World pinot gris pairs sensationally with the texture of foie gras.
 

The Main Event

When it comes to the main course, there is so much to consider. It's not just the turkey or ham or goose, but all the accompaniments, cranberry sauce, gravy, bread sauce-stuffing-dressing, mashed potatoes...there's a lot going on.

With turkey, the best options are aged red wines with silky smooth tannins—tannins soften over time. Personally, I love Grenache blends or a powerful Pinot Noir. However, if you follow the white meat/white wine rule, then it has to Chenin Blanc and preferably old vine Chenin to give a little more palate weight and complexity.

With duck or goose you need a high-tannin, acidic red to balance the oiliness of the meat. Merlot, Nebbilolo (the grape of Barolo), Syrah or Montepulciano would be ideal.

If you opt for beef filet or roast, I’d reach for a top quality new world Cabernet Sauvignon these fruit-forward younger styles with some tannin balance the textures and flavours of most beef cuts.
 

Room for More?

For your Christmas pud (dessert to those in America) and after dinner cheese plate, a late harvest Semillon, with its distinguishable honey aroma and pleasant fruity and floral aftertaste is my  go-to tipple. Give it a try!

See more of Emma's recommendations...and find out how she brokers a peace agreement between Alison's instance on Chardonnay and Paige's refusal to sip it, on The Feeder Live!

Emma is the founder of TTG Wines. TTG Wines sources sustainable and organic wines from family run vineyards. Emma loves nothing more than introducing her clients to vineyards crafting small parcels of beautiful wines at affordable prices.

 

From now until 31 December, TTG Wines offers all Feeder Friends 10% off all regularly priced wines with code "Feeder" at check out. Cheers to the holiday season!

Feeder Soundtracks...

5 Classic Movies Set a Holiday Mood 

by Zelda Kimble 

Elf

Director: Jon Favereau (2003)

I don’t consider it the holiday season until I have watched this film at least once. 
Buddy, a human who accidentally makes his way into Santa’s workshop as a baby and is raised by elves, discovers his biological father is on the Naughty List and embarks on a journey to New York City to figure out who he really is. Will Ferrel is at his very best in this film, and I could argue that this is the greatest movie that he has ever made. A blonde Zooey Deschanel is an adorably jaded ingenue and there is not a weak link in the entire cast, everyone is truly fantastic. Nothing else gets me in the right holly-jolly mood quite like Elf. This family-appropriate flick is a MUST for you and yours this December.
 

Frozen

Directors: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (2013)

Is this a Christmas movie? No, but I'm writing about holiday films to get you in a festive mood and I say Frozen counts! There’s so much snow (Disney artists even designed a specific computer program to animate it all) and at its core Frozen is a story about family love—and that’s truly what this season is about. Elsa is born with magic powers that allow her to manipulate ice and snow, when these powers endanger her little sister, Anna, Elsa isolates herself to keep her family and the subjects of Arendalle safe. On the day of Elsa’s coronation both sisters' lives change dramatically and nothing will ever be as it once was. Also if you haven't screamed/sung “Let It Go” at the top of your lungs AT LEAST once, you are severely missing out. 
 

Home Alone

Director: Chris Colombus (1990)

Why bother watching Bruce Willis in Die Hard when you could be watching little Macauley Culkin pull off similar feats of ingenious engineering with less blood and much more seasonal decor? Kevin McCallister and his family are all set to go on a holiday trip to Paris when he acts up at dinner, is banished to the attic and consequently forgotten at home the next day. All alone, Kevin must outwit two robbers who are on a burglary spree while keeping the Christmas cheer and learning what family truly means to him. Catherine O’Hara, Moira Rose in the Emmy-winning Schitts Creek, plays Kevin’s mother and is a comedic genius with her portrayal of a worried mother who would do anything for her child. If you're into elaborate traps and giggling like it’s Christmas morning check this one out.
 

The Holiday

Director: Nancy Meyers (2006)

This movie is proof that casting directors deserve much more credit than they get. Jack Black a believable romantic lead? Only in this perfect holiday film. Not a single actor is out of place and everyone plays their parts phenomenally. Fed up with their typical routines Iris and Amanda, two very different women, decide to swap houses for the holiday season. Because this is a rom-com they both do fall in love and learn more about themselves, but it’s a fun, unique take on a classic storyline. If you’ve hit the eggnog a bit too hard to really value nuance, this movie is confectionary perfection—sweeter than candy canes with heart and a good dollop of humor for Santa’s sake. I dream of spending Christmas in the little cottage Kate Winslet’s character owns, and if I get to hook up with Jude Law too...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to ME! 
 

A Christmas Story

Director: Bob Clark (1983)

The classic to end all classics. You have heard a quote from this movie whether you like it or not. And for good reason, it is peak-vintage-holiday-fun, but you should revisit this film for more than the nostalgia factor. This movie is about a typical, suburban family in the 1940’s during the holiday season, which means it is a comedic, catastrophic, mess. Anyone who has spent the holidays with family can tell you that the best stories occur from the mundane, the average. We’ve all had hilarious holiday mishaps, but no film captures the maniacal glee of Christmas as a child quite like this one. Do yourselves a favor and take a trip down memory lane. The film stands the test of time and is a worthy holiday watch. 

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Book Nook

by Alison An Avid Reader

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is one of my favorite authors. Kerry and his wife Mitzi run an inn on Nantucket and he walks in to find her literally kissing Sant Claus. Four books about the family are included in the series and they are all as compulsively readable as the rest of Hilderbrand’s stories!

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Not a holiday book, but a very funny novel about four messed up siblings coming together to support their mom at their dad’s funeral. Old hurts are explored and the family figures out how to move forward. Surprisingly laugh-out-loud funny even with a grim subject matter. It was made into an okay movie in 2014 starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda. The book was way better, but the cast made it worth watching. 

Watch Alison discuss dysfunctional family dramas (and Chardonnay) on The Feeder Live!

Our Book Nook editor has blown past her goal of reading 150 books this year, see her reading suggestions at The Feeder and follow her @theextroveredbookworm.
About me: I'm a writer, obsessive reader, mother, wife and one half of the marketing team known as Chop Chop.  I love to travel and explore new places, but hate to plan trips. I strive to be a good friend and a great home cook. My friends tease me about my germaphobia and being hyper-organised...it's all good. 
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