Spiced Cider — Christmas Spirit in a Cup

Decking the halls really isn’t my strong point. In fact, when left to my own devices, I don’t have a Christmas tree or really any holiday cheer for that matter. I could blame it on my mom who really wasn’t into decorating when I was growing up. Or, I could blame it on my Aunt Gail who was into decorating for the Christmas season the way Martha Stewart is into decorating cookies. Aunt Gail might have two Christmas trees in every room of the house – all with a different theme and color palette. It could be that I was just born without the gene for Christmas spirit.

I guess it’s only right that I would marry someone who looked at me like I was an alien on our first Christmas together when I suggested we not have a tree at all.  We have settled into an uneasy Christmas routine. He puts the tree up and then I prepare all the ornaments. We always have at least one trip to Target to buy ornaments and we usually add one or two things each year.

Nathan starts teasing me around mid-October about how I’m heartless and mean and have no Christmas spirit. I start stressing about un-decorating the tree and taking it down around Halloween when it is still safely tucked into the attic rafters.

Now, don’t get me wrong. When it’s up and glowing in the living room, I think it’s really pretty. It does warm my heart a little – right before I mutter under my breath some curse about having to undecorated the tree and pack it back up.  I’ve given up on trying to understand the panic I have about un-decorating a Christmas tree. It is what it is. Nathan has learned to entice me with a nice dinner or wine (or both) and then I lose my train of thought and just for a minute, there’s a little Christmas cheer in our lives.

This year he distracted me with Spiced Cider.  Oh, and I should mention that the Spiced Rum helped a little too.

This weekend when we were decking the halls of our home, I hardly gave a thought to having to pack this big ole tree back up. I did not worry about December 26th — when it’s time to carefully place each tiny fragile glass globe into boxes being very careful not to chip or drop each piece. I hardly gave a thought to rolling up all the ribbon or getting everything packed away only to find one lone ornament hanging out on the coffee table … nope, I hardly gave it a thought at all. Happy Holidays!

Spiced Cider Recipe

2 quarts apple cider

Zest of one lemon

Zest of one orange

5 all-spice berries

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

pinch nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup brown sugar

Add all ingredients, except the brown sugar, to a pot.

Heat until liquid starts to steam.

Add brown sugar

Stir to dissolve sugar.

Steep 10 minutes.

Pour through a fine strainer.

Return to low heat to keep warm (can also use a crock pot on low).

Serve with a cinnamon stick.

If you are really brave, add a little spiced rum – it will really warm you up.


  1. Lindsey

    I really hope that it’s snowing on your page. I was afraid that my iPod had problems! Oh, you forgot to mention the upside down tree of Aunt Gails, that dangles over your head!!!!

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