How Millville Gets Merry for the Holidays

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Here in Millville by the Sea, the holidays are just as merry and bright as our legendary summers; with an added dash of cozy. We love getting into the season with home décor and recipes that bring the essence of Bethany Beach and the holidays to new levels. DIY decorations, ornaments, and recipes are just a few of our favorite ways to ring in the season. Ready to get started? Here are our top ideas for gearing up your home to be the hub for the holidays—Millville by the Sea style.


Wow-Worthy Holiday Table Inspiration

Seashell centerpieces aren’t just a tongue-twisting project for summer—they’ll add coastal cheer to all your holiday gatherings. In case you needed an excuse to take a quick trip down to the water (Bethany Beach is, of course, just a short four miles away), head to the sand at low tide and gather as many unique seashells as you can get your hands on. Organize each shell between a few candles and you have an eye-catching centerpiece for your holiday table!

For a subtle ode to the coastal theme, gather a few Christmas tree clippings, cinnamon sticks, and any extra seashells you have to craft the perfect table dressing. The combination of the cinnamon mixed with the pine will exude the seasonal scent that we all know and love. Plus, leftover clippings and shells make for great accent pieces on mantels and shelves!

Ready for more inspiration? Check out our popular Pinterest board dedicated to winter décor and DIYs with a seaside twist!


Eye-catching Entrée

For a delectable recipe to impress your dinner guests, Millville by the Sea’s very own chef, Sandy Daniels, has you covered. Her legendary cooking classes are renowned in the community and now you can share her cooking at home with your loved ones. Chef Sandy takes a classic autumnal dish and adds everyone’s favorite gourd for added seasonal flair. Try it out at your next holiday feast!     


Stew in a Pumpkin

(Recipe courtesy of Sandy Daniels)


            3 tablespoons vegetable oil

            1 large onion, roughly chopped

            2 cloves garlic, minced

            2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed, and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

            2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

            1 large green bell pepper, seeded, and chopped

            3 medium white potatoes, peeled, and diced 

            3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and diced

            ¼ teaspoon salt

            ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

            1 teaspoon honey

            2 cups beef broth

            1 medium pumpkin, about 12 pounds (measured to fit your oven)

            1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

            1 ½ cups cooked corn, at room temperature

            1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram, or pinch dried


Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the meat to the saucepan and sauté until browned on all sides. Add the tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes, salt, pepper, honey, broth, and reserved onions. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the top off the pumpkin and reserve. Scrape out the seeds and strings and brush the inside with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin on a large ovenproof plate and set it inside a roasting pan. Place the pumpkin top on a separate baking sheet.

Ladle the stew into the pumpkin shell. Bake until shell and top are just tender, about 1 hour. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the corn and marjoram.

Carefully transfer pumpkin (on its plate) to a large platter. To serve, ladle the stew into soup bowls, scooping out some pumpkin meat with each serving.

Ready to test out more recipes? Visit our Events and Clubs page to find out when Chef Sandy will be hosting her next cooking class. Or, if you’re ready to learn what makes our homes the perfect gathering place for family and friends during the holiday season, visit our Home Search and schedule a visit today!