Mulled Wine and Our Holiday Decor

Welcome, Friends! Here we are; just a couple days from Christmas. Today I want to share a quick and easy recipe for Mulled Wine that you can make with items you likely already have in the pantry and the fridge. Because this recipe is so quick and easy, I would like to share with you a few snaps of our Christmas decorations. Let’s make the wine and get to the decor!

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is super simple and only requires a few aromatic spices, honey and an orange. You can get a little creative with adding apple slices or, get a little punchy (like I did) by adding some leftover fresh cranberries. You can add brandy or an orange-flavored liqueur, but I didn’t have any on hand. And that’s OK, because this simple Mulled Wine is still a wonderfully warm beverage to sip by the fire (even without the brandy!).

Start with a bottle of dry red wine, like a Malbec. Then we have cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, honey and orange slices. Add all of these to a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. We don’t want it to boil, so keep it on a low simmer for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let it steep and cool slightly for about 5 minutes.

Serve in mugs with extra orange slices, a star anise pod and cinnamon sticks for garnish.

Holiday Decor

Alex and I enjoy board games and puzzles; and this year I thought a holiday Lego set would be a fun project for us to do together. So, we built Santa’s Visit. Since the set is viewable from both sides, the entryway table is the perfect spot for it. Below is the front view, when you walk through our front door, into the foyer.

Below is the back view. With intricate design elements inside the Lego house, the Santa’s Visit Lego set is a festive and playful welcome to our house guests.

Our foyer gives way to our living room, where we have our pre-lit twinkly light Christmas tree. The mantle is decorated with stockings for the whole family: Dante, Penny, Sadie, Alex and myself.

Each season I change out the faux foliage in the tall vase on the mantle. This year I added lit evergreen stems to the faux berry stems for Christmasy mix. The lights create a wonderful ambiance; the height is dramatic which balances the Christmas tree.

I love the minimal look of classic velvet stockings. I had them monogrammed with the names of our fur kids. To add a little visual difference, Alex and I have stockings in contrasting colors. The heavy-weight reindeer stocking hooks do a great job holding stockings loaded with gifts.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little tour of our holiday decorating. Do make some Mulled Wine, it’s a perfect way to relax and unwind on Christmas Eve; after everything has quieted down, the sky is dark and the lights of the Christmas tree twinkle and glow; maybe put on Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas Songs album, and enjoy the evening before the festivities of Christmas Day begin. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

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Cocktail, Beverage
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cooking Time: 10-15 Minutes Total Time: 20 Minutes

Simple to prepare, this quick Mulled Wine is beautifully flavored and scented with clove, cinnamon and star anise.


  • 1 750-ml. Bottle Red Wine
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 Orange, sliced into rounds
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 4 Star Anise Pods, plus more for garnish



In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise pods.


Reserve a few orange rounds and slice them in half for garnishing each serving. Add the rest of the orange slices to the saucepan.


Bring to a low simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.


Turn off the heat and let the Mulled Wine steep and cool slightly, for about 5 minutes.


Serve in mugs with orange slice, a cinnamon stick and a star anise pod.

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  • Arna
    December 23, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Love your Lego kit. I love Legos! Your house looks very festive.
    Have a wonderful holiday! Arna

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 23, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Hi Arna, You know I wasn’t totally sure Alex would be as excited about the Lego set as I was, but he really enjoyed it – such a fun project to build together. Thanks so much! Have a wonderful holiday! xo Kelly

  • Mari
    December 23, 2021 at 10:55 am

    I bet that mulled wine makes the house smell amazing, and just Iike Christmas. I love your decorations too. They manage to be playful, sophisticated, traditional, and a little eclectic. Our tree is up, but that’s it. We don’t get points for having the tree up because it’s always up in the sun room/bird room. It’s really tricky to put together, and it needs a new stand. The one that it came with doesn’t hold it firmly in place. We like the look of a flocked tree, and the one we bought is gorgeous but is overdone and always looks like it was caught in a blizzard, but it looks gorgeous when the lights are turned on, and all those lovely colors are peering out from the snowy branches. We can’t decorate it because the flocking overwhelms even the biggest and most brightly colored ornaments.
    My days are all twisted around lately, and this isn’t Friday, but I thought it would be a good time for Nosy Questions, Episode One.
    It being December 23rd, we have to mention Christmas.

    1) As a child, what was your favorite Christmas present?
    2) Which holiday treat says Christmas to you? Which one do you absolutely have to have?
    3) Which Christmas tradition is the most overhyped, and the one that you could do without?
    4) Is it still Christmas if it doesn’t snow? The six year old me says it isn’t, and the adult me says shoveling is not fun. Maryland is great because we don’t have more than a few snow days per year. It gets cold here, but not Minnesota cold, so it’s doable.
    5) What present would you absolutely hate to find under the tree?
    6) Which would you rather wear – an ugly, in your your face Christmas sweater or a pair of funny pajamas? As a child, my parents bought us a pair of plain, tactical pajamas every Christmas, and we hated it. After my children were grown and left home, it became a family joke, and when they came home for Christmas, they found a pair of Christmas pajamas draped artfully on the pillows. I think Bridget Jones still doesn’t like Christmas sweaters, but she would enjoy whimsical pajamas.
    7) Where is your favorite place to spend Christmas?
    8) Who makes it Christmas for you?
    9) What is your favorite Christmas movie? Is it still a Christmas movie if it merely takes place at Christmas? My brothers and I insist that Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and my sister says no! She maintains that Christmas is the catalyst, but the movie isn’t about Christmas, which is a valid point, but she can’t convince the rest of us not to call it a Christmas movie. For years The Wizard Of Oz was always aired at Christmas time. I never considered that one a Christmas movie, and I hated the flying monkeys. As an adult, I do like the movie but I still hate the flying monkeys, and it is not a Christmas movie.
    10) Is there really a Santa Claus?
    Happy Thursday and lots of love to Kelly, Alex, Terry and blog lovers everywhere. A special shout-out and a Ho Ho Ho to John McClain and Nakatomi Towers.

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      Hello Mari, I am so happy to see you here again. I love this Nosy Questions idea – so much fun! Here goes:
      1. As a child, everything Barbie-related was my favorite.
      2. My favorite, must-have holiday treat is Boozy Egg Nog.
      3. I do not like seeing Christmas stuff and hearing Christmas music in October, I realize this isn’t necessarily a Christmas Tradition, but it sure seems like retailers are steering us in the direction of it being a tradition to start the holidays before Halloween is finished.
      4. It’s definitely still Christmas without snow!
      5. I do not want Underwear for Christmas. Lol!
      6. Definitely the pajamas, over the ugly Christmas sweater.
      7. My favorite place to spend Christmas is at Home.
      8. Alex, my Husband, makes it Christmas for me.
      9. My favorite movie to watch at Christmas is Trading Places, it’s technically not a Christmas movie, but it definitely should be! And I usually have the TV on for several hours of TBS’ annual “24 hours of the Christmas Story”
      10. Of course there is Santa Claus!
      Thank you Mari! I wish you and your family peace and joy for Christmas. xo Kelly

  • Suzanne Smith
    December 23, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Mmmmmm, that sounds delicious. I will make that sometime soon. Merry Christmas! Your place is lovely!!

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 23, 2021 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you, Suzanne! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo Kelly

  • Miryana
    December 23, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for such wonderful recipes! I can’t wait to try this one.
    Merry Christmas!

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 24, 2021 at 8:44 am

      Thank you for stopping by Miryana! I am sure you will enjoy the Mulled Wine, Merry Christmas! xo Kelly

  • Sandra
    December 23, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Kelly
    What beautiful decorations!
    I love your home and the foyer is awesome!
    As for the Legos, well, I’ll take one of those little mansions in my size please.
    The mulled wine looks very festive.
    Very cup o’ kindness!
    I love everything! Bring on Christmas!
    Thank you for sharing it all with us Kelly.
    Take care
    P.S. I’m with you Kell, there is a Santa Claus for sure! Merry Merry Christmas.

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 24, 2021 at 8:46 am

      Merry Christmas, Sandra! Thank you so much! I wish you and yours a very happy holiday! xo Kelly

  • Paula
    December 23, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Merry Christmas to you! The mulled wine sounds good. Thanks for sharing your Christmas decorations. I love the leggo Christmas house.

    • Kelly Djalali
      December 24, 2021 at 8:47 am

      Hi Paula, isn’t that Lego house fun! Thanks so much for stopping by, have a very merry Christmas! xo Kelly