Many of you long-time readers may have already realized, but Laurel never posts anything about her own Christmas decorating.
Let me show you how I normally decorate for Christmas.
Seven years ago, when in Boston. Yes, Boston, I bought these two darling little glittery faux trees at Allandale Farm, where my son worked.
When it’s not Christmas, they resided in the Donald Cabinet that blessedly I did not have to deal with when I moved.
Therefore, Christmas decorating for me takes all of 30 seconds. Done. Now I can go and watch ballet on youtube. :]
Oh, wait. One year, back in 2015, I did decorate for Christmas. I went to Home Goods and a florist for some lovely plants that all died by the first week in January. And, that is also when I got Joe at Trader Joe’s, as well as his late twin brother who has no name because he didn’t live long enough.
As an aside, Joe isn’t doing too well. I could use some help there, too. It’s been happening ever since he was transplanted last April. The tips of his branches keep turning brown. I’ve trimmed them twice, but they need trimming again. I have changed his watering habits from every day to weekly. But, I give him a good soaking and then let him drain in the sink.
Okay, back to Christmas decorating.
Christmas is a loaded word for me. But, please, I am not going to delve deeply into it. And, I would prefer that you don’t either. Here, that is.
The problem has always been that I was raised in the Jewish faith.
To a degree.
I mean, it was southern Indiana in the 60s, and our rabbi moonlighted at the Unitarian Church. Okay?
Now, this is where I’m going to stop.
However, I need to mention this, because the last time I wrote about Christmas decorating, a woman drilled a hole into my soul that I’ll never forget. I can’t even repeat what she said; it was so horrible.
Anyway, I have always loved Christmas. And, so does my big sister, HOLLY. She has turned Christmas decorating into an art form.
So, what’s my point?
Well, ever since I left my wasband in December 2012, I’ve wanted to have a Christmas party. But, like my move to Boston, my exodus to Bronxville was right before Christmas; so of course, that wasn’t happening.
The following year, I had found out only weeks before that my BFF had terminal stage four lung cancer. In grotesque understatement, there certainly wasn’t a party that year, either. The year after that, Elaine was in her final weeks. And, then, it just never happened.
But, during that horrible fall of 2013, for therapy, I did this post about 22 magical Christmas trees.
And, also this post about Magical Christmas Decor. Some of my all-time favorite mantels are here.
In addition, I also made a little slide video playing Jesu of Man’s Desiring to accompany it.
You can see the video above or on my lonely little Youtube Channel. Ack, apologies for the strange little videos starring me when apparently, I was on a day pass from Bellevue. (psyche ward)
Okay, I promise to stop rambling and get to the point.
Ever since I moved into my Boston apartment, it feels like I’m about to have a party, and the guest of honor will be Thomas Jefferson. lol My living room is so grand and spacious. Well, I mentioned the idea to a couple of my girlfriends, about three weeks ago, and before I knew it, it was happening.
I’m having a Christmas Party on December 9th for a group of women who call themselves The Chestnuts. The Chesnuts began as an off-shoot of the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum but are now separate. Both are social groups.
What do you have to do to be a Chestnut in Boston?
Well, you have to know and be invited by at least one other Chestnut, and you have to be over 50.
Above is a cake I made (yes, with homemade whipped cream too!) for a Chestnuts event about two weeks ago. The theme was beans and grains, and I figured no one would make a dessert. (Yes, two others did as those are black bean brownies!) So, I made a gluten-free polenta, almond cake with a few dried cherries. I modified it a little from a recipe by Giada DiLaurentis.
I’ll tell you. This move to Boston has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Seriously. It’s like being back in college. Actually, I didn’t have that full-fledged college experience either. But, now I do! There are so many activities, parties, lunch, brunch, dinner, coffee, book clubs, walks, forums, field trips, tours… I can’t possibly do everything. However, this is what I’ve been longing for my entire life!
Tomorrow, there’s a Chestnuts’ lunch and Thursday evening is a Chestnuts’ house party.
In five weeks, it’ll be one year since I moved here, and when I’m not falling on my face, I’m still pinching myself at my good fortune.
Okay, back to the Christmas party and Christmas decorating.
I thought it would be fun to tell you what I’ve done so far. And then, I think it would be fun to hear what y’all do for the holidays.
That can be anything from a tradition you do every year. Or, if you’d like to share a recipe for something insanely good, I think that would be fun, too.
I have fantasies about making something like this.
Haha! What is that?
C’est une croquembouche and on top of something else, equally decadent. I could definitely eat the entire thing myself. Yes, they are cream puffs. But, you could fill them with whatever you like. Traditionally, it’s vanilla custard.
My problem is that I have such a poorly appointed home. I’m serious. I live like a woman who just graduated college.
Okay, yes; it’s an exaggeration as it doesn’t seem that way. But, in terms of cooking and gadgets, I’m faking it. I spent at least 100 dollars making that cake because I didn’t have the proper cake pans. (I needed them for the extra cake.) ;]
Now, Lisa and Wendy, my two buddies who immediately took me under their wings when I moved here, have promised to help with the Christmas decorating for the party. But, they’re busy too! Plus, I want this to be memorable.
Maybe not quite Babette’s Feast memorable, haha, but this is going to be very special for me!
Therefore, the first issue at hand, before we get into the pretty stuff is my dining table.
The table comprised of two demilune tables is kind of small. And, I’d really like to get six around it. So, to make that happen, I got a 48″ round table pad. The demilunes are a little smaller at 42″ wide. So, that means a gap in the middle and a small cantilever past the edge of the table.
I pushed the pad apart so that you can see what’s going on underneath. You can get extra-strong pads, but they weigh a ton. No, wait. They really weigh two tons, and these are much easier to manage. Plus, since they are only cantilevering 3″ all the way around, I think it’ll be fine. And, yes, I will use some museum putty to keep the pads from moving.
Now, with the new pad, the table VERY comfortably seats six.
The pad comes in two pieces, but there are magnets that hold the two ends together. Brilliant!
Above and below, two more images of the dining area with my ridiculously huuuuuuuge windows that I adore.
Yes, there are two new tables. And, yes, there are two pairs. I’m working it out. But, whatever stays upstairs, I think, will look better painted. The other table will go downstairs to my bedroom. And the current bedroom tables will go to the den.
I’m awaiting the new lampshades for the yellow lamps. But, I’ve already received two darling finials.
Sunday, I spent nearly the entire day obsessing about what I would wear.
Finally, I settled on this dress.
Oh, I just love the reindeer! They look so happy! Wait until you see my headband—no fair looking ahead. ;] But, I also bought a huge ruffly petticoat so that I will be very swishy as I glide through the room.
Now for the table cloth.
As most of you know, I’m not terribly big on red. Although, I’ve done at least 8 red rooms for clients. I like red for other people. lol
And then, I found my tablecloth—the one.
But, the one does not come in a round shape; it’s square. Drat.
Alas, I’m not too fond of a square over a round table. But, they also have a runner.
So, I got the runner and then found a beautiful plain linen cloth to go underneath the runner.
Giardino Naturel Prewashed – runner
I’m not linking here in the interest of time, but if you click on the image in the widget, at the bottom of the page, you can get more information. You’ll also find the plain, round tablecloth.
fresh cedar garland-photo: Erica George Dines via Southern Living
This is such a pretty Christmas decorating look.
However, I’m noticing a lot of asymmetrical garlands on fireplace mantels.
What do I think?
For the most part, I think they look like someone ran out of money and couldn’t finish it.
Let’s take a quick break for a little Christmas decorating inspiration!
I love the simplicity of this faux eucalyptus branch with the tiny fairy lights. The link will be below.
Oh, I could see my living room looking like this. However, I would need a crew of about six burly guys. That would be fun. ;]
It ain’t happenin’.
Just a few more inspiration Christmas Decorating images.
Photo – Annie Schlecter Country Living- Nora Murphy My Connecticut Country Home
I’ve always loved Bailey Quinn’s (McCarthy) decorating. She’s the owner of Biscuit Home.
Okay, it’s time for the widget.
Here, I’ve linked to over 30 items. I want all of them. Some of them I’ve already ordered. I also tried to find some lower-cost items that don’t look cheap. Please click on any image for more information.
Alright, that’s a wrap of Christmas decorating, for now.
Can you tell I’m a little excited about my party?
The next time I have a holiday party, this place has to have gone through its renovation. Therefore, I need to keep going with that.
Please be sure to share a Christmas decorating tradition or recipe, if you like. (It’s several hours after publishing. I forgot to say to please avoid commenting with any links. I have to approve them manually. Much appreciated.)
PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES
And, the Laurel Home HOLIDAY SHOP for 2021!