Books | December 2015
Christmas with Southern Lady Volume II packs a plethora of holiday inspiration
Story by Shana Raley-Lusk
From prized old-fashioned family recipes to time honored traditions and gleaming decorations, the joy of Christmas certainly lies in its details. In the South, Christmas is all about gathering around the table or tree with the people who you hold dearest and reflecting on those deepest and most important beliefs and values. While the particulars may differ from one household to the next, the emphasis on family, faith, and really great food hold true just about anywhere you go down here.
If you are looking for the ideal book to jumpstart your plans for creating a charming and markedly Southern style Christmas gathering for your own family this year, Christmas with Southern Lady Volume II has some pretty impressive inspiration for you. The book’s 164 pages are riddled with mesmerizing photographs of everything from holiday wreaths and florals to beautiful wrapping ideas and tempting recipes. The holiday style presented by this book stands out from others primarily because of its creative twists on traditional Christmas décor. Its color palettes are bold, crisp, and classic with timeless red roses contrasting gracefully with bright green mistletoe on many of the book’s pages.
Keeping with the Southern theme of the book, it showcases ways to include sentimental handmade ornaments and treasured heirloom items for the Christmas table. Magnolia wreaths and weighty evergreen garlands add to the nostalgic quality of the book’s overall aesthetic. Silver, crystal, and china abound on each tablescape presented while different sections of the book present individual takes on how to properly decorate for the season. For instance, one particular chapter is devoted to a bit more rustic style perfectly suited for a cabin or weekend retreat in the mountains.
And, like any good book about how we Southerners do things, there is no shortage of food and drink in Christmas with Southern Lady. A dedicated chapter for perfect winter-time beverages makes it easy to have something prepared for just about anyone to enjoy. “Cranberry Pear Rosemary Cider” and “Gingerbread Latte” both practically warm you from the pages of the book. A seasonal iced tea recipe lends a little bit of extra Southern flair which will not go unappreciated around here.
“Praline Sweet Potatoes” and “Spinach and Artichoke Casserole” would be welcome additions to any holiday table, and the pictures presented in the book truly beg readers to give them a try this season. As for a sweet finish to the meal, the book has numerous cakes and other sweet confections which are all as beautiful and they are undoubtedly delicious. “Pumpkin Butterscotch Crème Brulee” and “Chocolate Silk Tart” are two of the enticing selections, but none can quite surmount the appeal of the luscious tradition of “Red Velvet Cake.” If you do not happen to have a go-to family recipe for this traditional Christmas dessert, the one in the book looks to be perfectly decadent.
When it comes to this book, elegance, refinement, and sophistication reign supreme. Honestly, shortcuts and quick fixes have no place within its pages. It is about pulling out the family china and the best linens and creating a truly magical Christmas heavy-laden with love, grace, and a bit of wistfulness for the memories of beloved Christmases long gone. It really is about doing Christmas the old-fashioned way, just like any Southern lady really would.