Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt and sift together three times.
Add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each.
Add nuts and raisins and beat well.
Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth; add vanilla.
Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until done.
Spread Boiled Frosting (see recipe) between layers and on top and sides of cake.
Decorate top of cake with wreath of holly, using pieces of maraschino cherries or red cinnamon candies for berries, and slices of angelica or citron for leaves and stems; or decorate with poinsettias made of candied cherries.
Slice cherries in rings, cut rings in half and arrange to form petals of poinsettias.
If desired, Lemon butter Frosting (see recipe) may be used.
--- Boiled Frosting ---
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Combine water, corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Heat to boiling; boil until the mixture thickens and forms a ball when a small spoonful is dropped into cold water (about 240 on a candy thermometer).
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl of the electric mixer until stiff; slowly beat in the hot syrup.
Combine to beat until spreading consistency. Beat in vanilla.
--- Lemon butter Frosting ---
4 tablespoons butter
3 cup confectioner\'s sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
In bowl combine butter, sugar, lemon juice and enough water for spreading consistency; beat well.