Hi Everyone and Merry Christmas!
Right now, it is Christmas Day, and I am sitting by the most lovely fire in my fireplace.
My Boston Christmas, like last year, has been quiet. Frankly, I prefer it; not that I wouldn’t like to be with others, but I’m content this way, too.
What’s funny is that yesterday was seriously freezing. And, today, it rained most of the day.
So, of course, yesterday was when I went out, not once, but twice to take photos for this post.
The first time during the day, I tried cutting the tip of an old glove on my right hand to operate my phone camera. Yes, I know. They make gloves specifically for using with a phone. Well, unfortunately, I don’t have those.
But, half of the time, the maimed glove came off as it was a lot easier. By the time I got to the middle of Beacon Hill, my right hand was already stinging.
For the evening shoot, which was only about 45 minutes, I tried wearing a pair of heavy mittens and then sticking my hand back in the mitten between shots.
Sorry to be such a crashing bore. lol, I hope to make it up to you with some beauties I hope you’ll enjoy.
Being the lazy sort, I nearly did my old trick of helping myself to a pic or two from favorite Instagram feeds. And then I realized that was the height of slothdom.
By the way, if any of you wish to help yourself to any of my photos. (And that’s photos that *I* took), you are more than welcome. All I ask is to give credit back to me via a link back and try to link back to the post or page where you found the image.
Last year, some of you may recall these evening images, mainly on Beacon Hill, of the Boston Christmas decorations and lights.
This year I went back to Beacon Hill during the late afternoon, but still light out but overcast. And I also took some images in Back Bay. Most of those were at night.
Please enjoy the magical Boston Christmas Lights, decor, and more of 2021!
Beginning my quest, I strolled down Commonwealth Ave (CommAve). The homes all have extremely tasteful and conservative Boston Christmas Decor. Of course, this is in keeping with the beautiful architecture.
You can see these same homes taken last April when the magnolias were at peak bloom. So pretty!
I know that some of you got married here when it was a wedding venue. It was turned back into a stunning single-family home several years ago.
I continued my walk down Arlington St, which borders the public garden on its west side. You can see a map here.
I then made the 2-minute walk, lol, to Beacon Hill. I walked along Beacon Street and made a left on Brimmer Street, one of my favorite streets.
There, I took more pics of the triplet doors. I’m beginning to know the locations now.
For comparison, please look at the doors in this post. That day, it was sunny and bright. Christmas Eve was completely over-cast.
Above is the same door taken last January.
As I kept walking, snapping images, not knowing if they would make the cut for magical Boston Christmas decor, I couldn’t help but take a picture of one of my favorite views in “the flat” of Beacon Hill on Brimmer and Lime.
To my right is the iconic home with “the blue door,” which you can see in my party post, along with the previous doors.
I turned right on Mount Vernon Street but took a couple of short and worthwhile detours.
This charmer, which you can also see in The Front Doors of Beacon Hill post, is on one of the prettiest streets in Beacon Hill, West Cedar. It runs north-ish, south-ish, and is the first street after the flat western part, so there is a hill, but it’s not terribly steep.
Just as I was snapping a pic, a tall, wiry man slipped around me and through the gate, closing it precisely as it appears, here. I was trying to look like I wasn’t just photographing his home. lol, He gave me a half-smile. He knew good and well what I was doing.
That’s because his incredibly charming entrance is photographed thousands of times a year!
If you live in a historic neighborhood and have an exceptional specimen, that’s what happens. Fortunately, my house, while lovely, is not going to make any jaws drop.
The photo I took above was later because the first two I took weren’t so great.
When I take photos, I take a LOT of them.
And then I made my way to the charming Acorn Street.
You can see other pics of Acorn Street here.
I suppose I could get in trouble for taking pics here. Well, I would pretend to be like all of the other tourists, casually walking the street, speaking a foreign language. I would say, “no speaka Engalish.”
Like these two, I heard speaking a foreign language.
However, I did go about a third of the way up and took photos of these charmers.
I adore this classic dark green door and understated green-on-green palette.
You’d swear you were in London, right?
These doors are pretty narrow. No Restoration Hardware sofas in these homes! I mean, they wouldn’t even be able to fit the truck down Acorn, which is teeny, tiny. But, it’s not a problem, and I’ve figured out why.
You see, I’m surmising that nobody ever moves in or out. People have children, and when they die, their children take over the house and so on… Plus, they keep the family heirloom furniture, as well. ;]
Feeling quite satisfied after my trip to Acorn Street, I went back to Mount Vernon and took a horrible pic when I got to Louisburg Square. The next block, I took a bunch of so-so pics of some incredible Bullfinch homes, which I touched on in this post about The Otis House.
However, I love the image below.
About this time, I was starting to be in a lot of pain, so I thought the better of taking any more photos. Surely, I had enough.
Yes, I did, and then some.
So, I made my way down Joy Street and back down to Beacon.
This time, when I got to Charles Street. I crossed the street and cut through the public garden, which is a little shorter and, of course, very lovely– even in the winter.
I went past the adorable bronze ducklings and knocked over two little girls to get this pic. No, I didn’t really knock anyone over. But, did have to take this image quite fast as there were some girls right behind me. Of course, the ducklings are dressed up according to the season. And, I believe they get a new seasonal wardrobe each year?
Bostonians, please correct that if that’s not true.
This was taken from the public garden just minutes before sunset, at 4:16 yesterday. Here you can see the two well-known Back Bay skyscrapers, the blue-glass John Hancock Building (Hancock) and “The Pru.” (Prudential Building.)
The Hancock building looms quite large behind my apartment as it’s only two short blocks away.
Later, I decided to take some night shots of the Boston Christmas lights.
So, after dinner, I bundled up again and decided to stay within about a quarter-mile from my home. This time I went down Comm Ave in the opposite direction.
The first image I knew I had to take was of “the sisters.”
Remember those exquisite beauties? You can see a gorgeous daytime image here (keep scrolling) and on my Instagram. You won’t have to go very far to find it there.
These iconic not quite identical twins were renovated circa 1907, and the owners employed two architects!
What’s super interesting, (to me, anyway) is that the architect of my house was the original architect of these two houses. He was not one of the architects who did the renovation in the Beaux-Arts style so popular at that time.
This is 128. Alas, 130 was completely dark. However, I did take an image later of the two together.
I took this from the Commonwealth Ave. The mall which is the only way to get everything in one shot.
Speaking of the mall, here are the annual holiday lights, which stay up until early April. It was so cool, but about five weeks ago, one evening after dark, there were about 50 trucks; no joke. And that is when they were putting up the lights. I went to the store, and 45 minutes later, they were gone!
I crossed Dartmouth, where I had my accident going in the opposite direction. Yes, I think about it every time I cross that street too many times to count since October 3, 2021.
On the corner is the exquisite Vendome. It used to be a hotel, but now it is a condominium. You can see a photo I took on my trip at the end of September 2021, before I knew what this building was.
It’s the first image on the page. :]
The main entrance of the Vendome is stunning, but the lighting wasn’t great last night. And, you know how I am about illumination. So, I went a little further down, as it’s a large building, and included this smaller entrance, above. Most of the buildings in Back Bay are brownstone or red brick. So, it’s always refreshing to see the pale limestone buildings sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.
Then, I crossed the street because I wanted to get a pic of the Quinn, a private club that was recently renovated.
However, before I got to the Quinn as it was in the next block, I couldn’t help but notice someone very familiar.
Of course, I HAD to take a photo of him! I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same thing?
Please say yes. ;]
Above is the Quinn Club.
Then, as I was heading back home, satisfied that I had enough photos for my Boston Christmas post, I took a detour down Dartmouth Street towards Marlborough Street and took some shots of these gorgeous and huge wreaths.
But then, I saw the most magical lights, inside and out!
This gorgeous Boston Christmas display is across the street from “the sisters”, so very close to me! I couldn’t decide which image to include, so I did both.
Amazing. But, I must be missing something because how do people use the front door? Well, either the wreath is actually in two pieces. Or, the folks stay inside for several weeks.
If anyone knows the answer, please clue me in. Thank you.
I hope you enjoyed the beauty, elegance, and European flavor of my newly adopted city of Boston at Christmastime.
It still seems like a dream to me.
I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday. I love you all!
***In the meantime, this is a gentle reminder that my special offer of getting a free 200+ Best Home Furnishings Sources on Etsy AND a FREE 333 Rules and Tips You Need to Know Guide only has only a few more days to go. (December 30, 2021)
If you purchase any of the other guides, you will get the Etsy Guide and Rules and Tips for FREE!
Below is a snippet about each one as well as a link that will give you more information, if needed.***
(Clicking on the links will send you to the pages to learn more about each guide)
Laurel’s Rolodex – A unique shopping guide that shares hundreds of my favorite sources and especially for decorators and designers tells you the best sources that sell directly to the design trade.
The Essential Paint Color and Palette Collection (two volumes)
This is a must-have guide for anyone struggling with paint colors. If you don’t believe me, there are dozens of testimonials on the Palette Collection page.
Six-Figure Income Blogger. (This should be required reading for everyone who has a website and wishes to get the most out of it for their business) You do not need to be a heavy-duty blogger. But, once or twice a month consistently will do wonders for your business. But, it would be best if you learned some other things, as well. Believe me, when I say in the early years, I made every mistake and then some.
333 Decorating Rules & Tips You Need to Know – You’ll get a free Etsy guide with this guide, as well. There is so much information, and much I’ve never seen anywhere else. The window treatment glossary alone is several pages.
Or, order the Etsy guide on its own. It’s over 200 seriously cool vendors.
Etsy is known for exceedingly helpful, personable vendors and great pricing.
Please note: Some prices will be going up on January 1, and all free offers will end on December 30, 2021.
Please also check out the HOT SALES page which was recently updated this past Thursday.
Lucky Laurel! Beautiful!
Wish you a very happy new year!
Oh my! The sidelights of the door in the “Santa” picture – exquisite! Laurel, thanks so much for braving the elements to bring us these lovely photos. Happy holidays!
Laurel,Oh The Ducks! I love the Ducks! My favorite story I used to read to the kids all the time, now I want to go to Boston and see them!
Sigh. Place of my dreams. Thankfully I can live it vicariously thru you. Maybe next life I can join you there. Thank you for letting us delight in your delight.
Loved the scenery. Thanks for posting. Happy to visit even by pixels one of the most beautiful cities. You’re so fortunate!
Girl, enjoy. I have been everywhere on this Earth and Boston is the friendliest, most wonderful, beautiful city on the planet. You made a great choice moving there…
Hi Laurel- you’ve demonstrated again, that you live in the most beautiful, magical city, and if it were possible, I would move there in a heartbeat.
Alas- that will never be possible, but I am thankful that you are there and are always willing to share your beautiful city-and your experiences there- with us, your internet friends.
I wish you a wonderful healthy and happy 2022.. xoxoxoxo
Thank you, Laurel, for these truly wonderful glimpses of your beautiful city. The ducklings stole my heart! Have a lovely holiday season.
Thank you for your comment — I agree with you wholeheartedly. You have said this so beautifully. I concur.
Thanks for this lovely, Christmasy post, Laurel. You weren’t kidding when you said beautiful architecture. I live in the suburbs, but have always wondered how the people who live in these kinds of glorious abodes feel about being right there on the street. If I lived in one, I could understand why people would want to take pictures of the exteriors, but I wouldn’t do well with people who could see right through my windows and into my home! Certainly curtains and/or window treatments would remedy the problem, but I see that some do not have that.
Thank you, Laurel. Great photos, I really enjoyed the tour!
Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful lights and decorations in Boston. As for the large wreath – I believe it is hooked on the side of the door that pulls forward.
No matter if your house is a one bedroom apartment or a magical Boston historic home……the spirit of Christmas is in each one of us…..and beauty is shared by us all.
Thank you Laurel for sharing that magic.
Thanks for taking your camera on your walks. I hope Santa finds you a pair of texting gloves though. I believe elves with fabulous taste live in the house with the wreath and are able to duck under it to get inside. I thoroughly enjoyed your photos. What a wonderful place to live!
How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful area! The architecture and decorations are stunning–thank you for sharing!
Happy New Year!
My heart fills with nostalgic pride when you share these beautiful photographs of my home-state capital. I grew up on the Cape, in Falmouth Heights but spent a few years in the BackBay (Comm Ave & Marlborough St) I attended ‘secretarial’ school in the PRU. Ahhhh good times. And I lived there the year the Pope came to town. Amen/Cool. I’m sure I’m a tad prejudiced when I say I think Boston is the most beautiful small city in the country. And I’m so happy that you are enjoying your new life there. Happy 2022 !!
Oh how I love Boston. Thank you for all your wonderful photos. It warms my heart and brings back so many memories of this beautiful city. Happy New Year to you and all your readers.
Laurel, I always thought Christmas in Connecticut where I live was special, but I’m so envious of your beautiful Boston! Your pics had me feeling like I was right there looking at the lovely homes with their wonderful Christmas decorations. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Wishing you a very happy New Year!
Thank you for sharing these lovely views and your enthusiasm for your new home city! I can feel the peace and contentment that Boston instills in you! Wishing you health ,happiness and many more lovely fires in that beautiful fireplace.
Laurel, thank you for posting these lovely entrances. Not only do I soak in the beauty, but your enthusiasm for and gratitude toward your neighborhood is infectious. When one writes for others (I do a good bit of that), my experience is that I likely have little sense of the true impact my work has on the readers – like your work it is unlikely that you have no idea as to the scope of positive influence and effect you have on others. Your writing and photos often ‘set the tone’ for my days. You – your wonderful eye, your sense of many layers of beauty – are so appreciated! Thank you!
Laurel, I love all your posts about Boston. These pictures are lovely and I even got a map of Boston so I could follow your route! Can’t wait to see your remodeling in the new year.
Truly wonderful photos of the beautiful cityscapes at Christmas. Your phone must be a great one (the new iPhone perhaps?) to get such detailed shots at night Laurel. Thanks for walking in the cold and for reminding me how lovely Boston looks during the holidays. I lived in NH and MA in the ’70’s and we always took the children to the city for the decorations.
Happy Boxing Day – may the coming year be a better one for us all.
Hi Laurel, I live in Northwest Colorado so architecture like you photograph is a very welcome change! I’m SO jealous of you being able to step outside your door and see such amazing sights – it’s all exquisite. I’m grateful to you for sharing theses sites which allows my mind to wander and dream.
Wishing you a very happy year ahead.
Laurel, Your delightful photo’s made my Boxing Day!
Many Thanks and Merry Christmas!
I like to drive around our town to see everyone’s Christmas decorations at night. So nice to see the decorated trees in the front windows and the various light displays. My favorite is just wreaths hung in every window and the house illuminated with flood lights. Time to transition from Christmas specific decorations to winter-in-general decorations. Looking forward to putting 2021 behind us…
Absolutely stunning! Thank you for risking frost bite to share these beauties. Looking forward to enjoying more pictures, laughs, and helpful info in the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Laurel!
Seeing my beloved city through your artistic eyes, makes it even more magical! Many thanks for bearing cold hands to bring it to us. Hope you’re warming up with a hot toddy beside your lovely fireplace!
Merry Christmas! Wishing you all the best in the New Year.
(Btw, showed my young children the Santa photo and they loved it…so very sweet).
Thank you for this beautiful holiday post! Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year!
Hello Laurel, i follow your blog. This one with the pics of boston houses at christmas really cheered me. It is beautiful, thank you!
As always, Laurel, you go above and beyond for your audience. Breathtaking architecture adorned with holiday magic.
Laurel, your pics are so magical. I would love to stroll down those narrow streets. I can see why you love living there. I think I would feel very “at home” there too. Thankyou for sharing,
Oh Laurel, thank you SO much for your images of Back Bay. I lived there in the early 70’s and still adore it. Gorgeous homes, landscapes, etc. Actually I was there the night the Vendome went up in flames – horrible! My roomie and I were returning home from a weekend away and feared it was our building up in flames. Love your blog and feel lucky to live vicariously “in Beantown” thanks to you. Happiest of New Years to you and no more accidents…please!