Sunday, December 19, 2010

No Pressure Holiday Tables

I love all the preparations leading up to Christmas, but when the big day arrives I’m ready for things to be easy, easy, easy. The 25th should be about spending time with my family and playing with the kids not stuck in the kitchen or fretting over the perfect holiday tablescape. To help take some of the pressure off, I plan as much ahead as possible including quick table decorations from the grocery store or my own storage boxes.

Gather a few decorations you haven’t used elsewhere, selecting an array in one or two colors. For a holiday dinner party I put three candy striped candles and silver balls on a glass cake stand filling in the gaps with fake snow. Candy canes were tucked into white napkins for an extra sweet touch.

This family dinner table was set with pomegranates, satsumas and little lady apples placed on white platters down the center of the table. The colors from the fruit perfectly matched the vintage Christmas table cloth and red candles.

The table for this Christmas dinner is still undecided though my snow woodland theme will include pinecones and candle sticks made out of tree branches. And my white Christmas will definitely require more fake snow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deck the Halls 2010

I have flocked, glittered, hot glued, dremmeled, hammered, sawed, baked, hung, re-hung, arranged, and rearranged for nearly two weeks but I’m finally ready to show off the Christmas decorations.

I’m particularly pleased with the vintage pom-pom tree decked out in silver and blue. The winter village underneath is home to 60’s pinecone elves, bottle brush trees and glittered houses we’ve collected over the years. Nick and Linus helped me glitter an inexpensive plastic farm set adding more sparkle to the Daddy tree.

For the main floor I created a snowy feeling with the garland for the banister and flocking wreaths myself that I hung in the dining room with blue and silver faux bois ribbon.

This time of year I love to fill my favorite white pottery pieces with either yummy things to eat or pretty things to look at, like my collection of pinecones.

We always do a kid tree for the playroom and this year’s was cut down by yours truly. The beautiful and fresh Noble Fir is hung with red and gold ornaments, Peanuts characters and gingerbread Ls and Ns.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Decorations

I'm always surprised how quickly home Christmas decorations go up, including the tree, so soon after Thanksgiving. Not in my house as a kid. Mom always trimmed the house two weeks before Christmas and then took everything down the day after – and if the tree was dry, down that came after gifts were open. A practical sentimentalist my mom who liked a clean house as much as her Tom and Jerry punch.

When it comes to my own holiday decorating I take after my mother. The planning and watching for new ideas begins in October but nothing is ever put up until December. I favor settling on a theme or color pallet when decking the halls to keep the house from feeling like an elf exploded everywhere. Sticking to a theme means on any given year some decorations get displayed while others are repacked for next time, giving us something different to enjoy each year. While we don’t dismantle everything on Boxing Day we do begin the New Year with a clean house and not a trace of glitter.

Since we’ve become parents I have made a point of doing a kid’s tree in the playroom, the one Santa leaves his haul under. The past two years I’ve decorated the boys’ tree with homemade gingerbread cookies: the alphabet decked out in red and white candy followed by green and blue trains. They boys were charmed by them, they made the room smell good and were safe for a 2 year old to occasionally snack on.

One of my favorite themes was a woodland Christmas, when I glittered and spray painted plastic deer. Another year I made wreaths from gum drops. Color pallets have ranged from silver and gold, gold and brown and blue and brown. In my book, the color choices or decorations can be centered around just the tree, one room or the entire house.

Visions of red, white and silver are currently dancing in my head. Visit next week to see how my halls are decked this year.