Friday Collections: Holiday Comfort

November 4, 2011


The regular Friday Collections post has a sponsor this week – the lovely folks at Tempur-Pedic asked to hear about my favorite holiday comforts. I can’t wait to share them with you.

This post is sponsored by Tempur-Pedic, the brand millions of owners trust to deliver their best night’s sleep every night. Enjoy our Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer now and give the gift of custom comfort to someone you love.

Without hesitation, the moment it gets even remotely chilly here in Houston I turn on the fireplace. It is the first “real” sign of fall for me. Our temperatures may bounce around for awhile before actually staying cold, but the first reasonable sign of cold sends me racing to the living room.

There is something comforting and calming and “not of Houston” that lives in that fireplace. By suspending disbelief it’s a cabin in New England, a ski resort suite or even my own personal hotel lobby. It’s s’mores without bugs, dancing colors and a soul’s hug. If you ever stop by my house on a fall or winter’s day you can bet it’s on and we’ll share cups of hot chocolate or glasses of red wine on the couch in front of it while we chat.

And, if I really thought about it, it’s something I want my children to remember warmly as well.

I’ve written before about my love for Chocolate Toffee Pecan Pie – and how I believe my recipe is the greatest recipe in the history of recipes.

This still stands, by the way.

But, it’s true. The holiday season has not officially begun until a chocolate toffee pecan pie has been baked and eaten in this house. There is nothing like the smell of butter and chocolate and sugar and nuts and toffee to warm a house and warm a soul.

I’ve been told it’s my signature dish – and I’m really proud of that. You see, it means a lot to me that my signature dish makes people smile and ooh and ahh when they eat it. It makes me happy to know somehow, for just a moment or a bite, there was a great memory created – that I am known for food that fed your heart and your stomach.

Image via

Our Thanksgiving veers from the traditional Thanksgiving in one big way: Barbecue. Yes, there are some traditional side dishes and, yes, there is a turkey (fried), but the star of our Thanksgiving buffet is barbecue. Namely ribs. There is really no good reason for this other than I just don’t like turkey and since we host it every year I just wanted to be able to enjoy the holiday AND the food.

Of course, if you come to my house for Hanukkah, you’ll get Tex-Mex fajitas with wrapping paper flying. I’m nothing if not consistently almost traditional.

But the barbecue is almost symbolic to me. You cannot stand on circumstance and formality while eating ribs. It’s impossible. Texas barbecue is tender and messy and delicious and full of stories – just as Thanksgiving ought to be. Our Thanksgiving is casual and laid back and meant for people to linger and laugh and nap and play and, well, just enjoy. And, just so you realize I haven’t totally lost my upbringing, the barbecue is served on a silver platter that used to belong to Husband’s grandmother.

I think she’d approve.

Here’s the thing. The idea of comfort is not limited to the holidays. There are little things that we all do every day that help us either seek or provide comfort. For me, it’s an end of day bubble bath.

(That’s me last night.)

It’s my ritual – holiday or regular day. It’s my moment that separates my normal day from my evening. It calms me and soothes me and, often times, provides me the greatest ideas. I don’t sleep well if I don’t get my bubble bath and I’m fairly certain I want no intervention to break me of this addiction.

It’s also my time each day to relax, breathe and review what that day went well, not so well, and what the lessons are from all of that. I don’t need a date on a calendar for thankfulness – I get it every night.

But on Thanksgiving evening I am especially thankful for the luxury of that time – and the luxury of this fine life I lead.

And I eat my pie in the tub.

What comforts you during the holidays?

Comfort is the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday gift list, so be sure to take advantage of Tempur-Pedic’s Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

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7 Responses to “Friday Collections: Holiday Comfort”

  1. John Says:

    Great post!

  2. Knighton Says:

    For that first blast of cold to breeze through Central Texas, I cook a huge pot of homemade vegetable soup. There’s something so warming and comforting about the ritual of cooking it and the joy of sharing it, that I look forward to that moment all year long.

    • pamlewis Says:

      There is something almost ceremonial about making soup, isn’t there? It’s ritualistic for me.

      I bet you make a mean vegetable soup. 🙂

  3. Richard Says:

    Would love an invite to that tub:)