Merry Christmas, Y’all

img_0910Merry Christmas!!!!!! I can’t believe it’s finally here. I’m sure we could all use a few more days to organize, shop, wrap, cook and get ready, but at this point, I encourage you to stop where you are and…..enjoy! If the gift or card is late…just make it a Happy New Year’s message. If you didn’t get it wrapped…consider putting it aside and saving it for Christmas 2017.

None of us gets it perfect….regardless of what you see on Instagram. I tried on two outfits tonight and neither fit. Oh well….thank goodness for the fit/flare skirt. I’ll deal with my widening hips in January. By being kind to yourself, you will be kind to those around you.

Here’s a peek at what’s happening around our house….I’m off to the city today with my mom to see the sights and take in the holiday spirit!img_0915 img_0918
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img_0933 img_0943img_0917Merry Christmas, Y’all!!! ( If you love this wrapping paper as much as I do….plan on ordering it next year from All She Wrote Notes!)

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Holiday House Guests

screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-9-41-05-pmFor many of us, the holidays mean welcoming family into our homes for several days. As it is so much easier to have our family come to us, I want to do what I can to make their stay relaxing and meaningful. Having hosted out-of-town family each Christmas for more than a decade, I’ve learned a few things that might be worth passing along.

  1. Be ready! Travel, especially air travel, is not exactly glamorous these days. Make sure that when your guests arrive that you are ready with a fire, or at least lit candles, some holiday music and some nibbles in case they haven’t had a decent meal all day. Give them time to dust off and don’t plan anything big on the first night. Flights are delayed, as  weather hampers often travel….so don’t pressure yourself with dinner reservations that you may not make.
  2.  Personalize their visit – have a stocking with their name hung with the others, have a personalized placecard on the table or have an ornament for them to open and place on the tree (and then take home with them)…anything that can say, “you were expected and anticpiated”.
  3. Decorate the guest bedroom. If you find that there are extra decorations that you don’t really have a place for, consider putting them in the guest room: hang a wreath, display a miniature Christmas tree, set up a nativity scene. Anything that might add to the holiday spirit will be welcome in their “holiday home away from home”.
  4. Set the table in advance. There’s something about walking into a home that is “done”. Having the dining room table set in advance will not only be a festive welcome, but will alieve you of having to perform this task while your guests are there.
  5. Plan something fun. This is an opportunity to break up the visit and for you to do something you might not normally do. Treat yourself and your guests to a memorable experience.

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elegant-christmas-fireplace-mantel httpwww-familyholiday-netwp-contentuploads201211elegant-interior-theme-christmas-bedroom-decorating-ideas_63And, it’s ok to plan “down time”. You need it. Your guests need it. Plan some time that is free in the schedule, so that everyone can recharge and return to a fireplace chat with something new to talk about.

Here’s to sharing the holiday hospitality spirit!

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images: Veranda, Will Harmer for Style Blueprint, Randi Garrett Interiors, ACM Home

Holiday at Home

img_4981As I prepare to get the house ready for the Christmas holiday, I like to look back to see what I did the year before. Over the years, I seem to “decorate” less and less, focusing on a select group of favorite items and adding in a little something new. There are a few things that I always gravitate towards….nutcrackers, santas, Spode Christmas, greenery, antlers/deers and silver.

I typically use the Spode Christmas pattern for breakfasts or informal meals and save the Bernadaud Grenadiers (Nutcrackers) for dinners or more formal meals. The silver sleigh bells that hang from my dining room chandelier were a special gift to my boys, over a number of years, and I enjoy using them, creating memories with them, knowing that one day I will give them each their set.

Savoring the holidays is more important to me than “doing them”. I enjoy a holiday party as much as the next person, but am seeking the quiet days and nights on my calendar so I can calmly listen to holiday music  while wrapping gifts or planning special moments for my family.

As you begin to transform your home into the holiday wonderland of your dreams….make time to savor the process. It’s part of the magic of the season.img_5010

img_7846-1024x1024 img_7916 img_7945 img_7948 img_7949img_4881 img_7906Cheers to you and the first weekend of this blessed and busy season! Remember….S…A….V…O….R it!

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