Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Hines and a Special Wish for You!

Twas the night before Christmas, and I had to take a minute from our hustle and bustle to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! You may not get to read this until long after Christmas is over, but I want each of you to know that I appreciate the time to you take to keep in touch on this blog.

So grab some eggnog. Here's our little Christmas story.

The wreaths are all hung at my mansion.

Oh, I can't fool you. This is more realistic. So the lights are strung at the Hines House in Raleigh.  The poor little bear survived just one night by the door because I burned its little bottom. Christmas would not have been so merry if the bear caused our house to go up in flames.

The deer are apparently in our yard waiting to get hooked up to the sleigh. We have a neighbor who professionally moonlights as Santa each holiday. Oh, dear! He takes his role seriously.

As I mentioned in my News and Observer column this week, I'm trying to find my signature cookie or candy. I bought $79 worth of baking ingredients, and baked so long I could have heated the cookies with my own menopausal hot flash. I succeeded in bring back memories of my grandmother's Russian Tea Cakes. Seriously, powdered sugar can make anything taste good.

I was busy going to luxury hotels this month.  Did you expect anything less?  We lived at Disney's Yacht Club for a few days.

We decorated cookies at the Washington Duke Inn.

And enjoyed Christmas afternoon tea at the Umstead Hotel and Spa.

And someone had the honor of putting our first ornament on the tree.

I stalked all the Raleigh bakeries for the most perfect gingerbread people.  I think they are dressed quite festive for this holiday at YellowDog bakery. But, I waited too long to buy.  By the time I went back, all the gingerbread people had gone on their merry way. There was not a gingerbread in sight.

I filled Skimbaco Lifestyle's stocking with not only two, but three Christmas stories this month.  I had fun holiday shopping at North Hills, telling the story of the start of Vietri china, and seeing Disney sparkle at the holidays.

I made my family brace 70 degree temperatures to see the Christmas lights in downtown Raleigh.  It didn't feel like Christmas, but it sure looked like Christmas.

This fun little Hines holiday tale must come to an end.  We have presents to wrap, salads to make, and of course,we must take a Christmas eve nap.

 "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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