Comments : 25

Hello friends! It’s so hard to believe and always bittersweet to realize that Christmas is over. That whole buildup and in 24 hours it’s all over and a thing of the past. Then we are left with the winter doldrums and in our case in NY, a long cold winter……. ugh!

This Christmas was a particularly good one. I think I appreciated it so much more this year because I have been working full time (and then some) and having a few days to do nothing but relax, cook, drink wine, watch movies, reminiscence with my family…it was the best and I can say I truly enjoyed and savored every minute.

Is it a lot of work? Yes, I think we all know the answer to that question, the marathon giftwrapping sessions, endless meals, making sure everyone is happy and well fed……but I would do it all again in a heartbeat if I could. What can I say? I really do love the holidays, despite the craziness and overload:)

I had fun setting up the tables for various meals and thankfully was mindful to have my camera or iPhone nearby much of the time to snap quick pics here and there. So here is a recap of some of what I was able to capture, which I am grateful for as it will be fun one day to  look back and think about Christmas 2016……

For breakfast I changed things up a bit and loved the touch of red for some early morning cheer. With older boys who enjoy the luxury of sleeping in, breakfast was done in a few shifts aka “seatings” But every breakfast started with some kind of fresh fruit, fresh juice and of course strong coffee!

I like adding small touches to make a table feel extra special, like adding this small wreath to the teapot pedestal….

And I made many yummy appetizers, for Christmas eve lunch we skipped a real lunch and feasted on tapas all afternoon since we were having a big dinner that night…..

I love making antipasta platters and my mint juleps are the perfect size for holding things like olives, breadsticks, mushrooms,etc……

I love this little Chinese rice bowls (mini) they are perfect for small bit size appetizers, in this case this was pasta and just enough to satisfy but not too much as to feel too full plus extra brownie points for the cuteness factor

And by late day this is what it looked liked, champagne, food, a roaring fire, a great movie…..ingredients for a perfect day-

And for some that means a late day siesta…..

For Christmas dinner since we were only 8 I decided to make it more intimate and cozy and set it up in the breakfast room. It was two fold, one is we never use this room anymore  as my husband and I sit at the kitchen island  and secondly we set up Christmas dinner buffet style (did a late lunch/early dinner) and this room offers close proximity to the kitchen… I really love this room and love any chance to use it.

What it lacked in formality I made sure to make up for with the “pretty factor”. I brought out my Blue Mikado china and worked with fresh greens, sugar cones, topiaries and paper whites. I added fresh cuttings from outside on each silver charger for that extra special little something.It all came together beautifully and topped with lots of candles it really came out so pretty-


And then I whipped out my “big gun” camera, my Nikon and took a few more pictures, the clarity is hard to beat-


Such fun to think back on this fun and wonderful time at home with my family. I am sure like it was for me, many of you have special memories of this most wonderful time of the year. It’s important to savor these times as with the blink of an eye it’s all over and onto the next thing….

I have taken away a few things to keep in mind for next year and though I have said it before 2017 is going to be a year of being AHEAD of schedule which means preparing for Christmas starting in Aug/Sept and that includes planning a holiday party, Christmas cards and a bunch of other things that I would rather have under my belt by the time Dec rolls around.

In fact I may even start some kind of “holiday bloggers challenge” with imposed deadlines that we can all work on together, are you game? Something to brainstorm about for next year but in the meantime thanks for stopping in, wishing you a wonderful rest of the week as the holidays march on, let’s keep the spirit going! Until next time…….

PS The chinoiserie ornaments are 50% off and going fast. Thanks to a last minute order we ended up getting an unexpected shipment, great time to stock up for next year! Click here to see the entire collection on sale

PPS Just started on Wednesday morning a after Christmas blowlout, click here to see all the goodies!



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Brenda Kula-Pruitt on

Just found you from another blog. Love your style and colors! You seem like a very accomplished holiday entertainer. I’m sure your guests were spellbound, as I am just looking at it!

Linda on

What a Wonderful idea! Please do start the holiday bloggers challenge….I need your help in getting my holiday to do list completed ahead of time!

Linda on

What a wonderful idea! Please do start the holiday bloggers challenge….I need your help in getting my holiday to do list completed ahead of time!

Suzanne Leicht on

Your table is just beautiful! Do you sell the beautiful embroidered napkins? I absolutely love them!

Suzanne Leicht on

Your table is just beautiful! I always enjoy all of the blue and white. Do you sell the beautiful embroidered napkins? I absolutely love them!

Nancy on

The holiday challenge would be great! I’ve just learned my nephew is going to have a winter wedding in Venice (so much fun!) so I’m really going to have to be on my game to be organized for a great holiday!

Patty on

Tina it is obvious that you are a “gifted” entertainer. You put so much beautiful detail in everything you do. I believe it is in the little details that makes average, “exceptional”! Thank you for sharing your amazing home and life with us. May God’s blessings be showered on you and your family in the New Year 2017 ❤️ Blessings, Patty from Colorado

Karen on

Please do share a holiday bloggers challenge…it would be a gift to your readers and to yourself. Happy New Year!

Emily on

I am just flabbergasted at how beautiful it all looks, you are my holiday decorating hero. I love your elegant style and the use of the flowers and fresh greens just makes it all look so perfect. Thank you for inspiring me more every day to make my own home more beautiful. I am so grateful for your blog and cannot imagine a day without it. Thank you Tina.

Cathy White on

I,too, like your idea of a bloggers holiday challenge. Sounds like the accountability that might keep me on task. I know by having necessary things accomplidhed earlier, stress and anxiety will be reduced.

Donna De Marino on

Wow! In my next life I want to come back as one of your kids ?!

Donna De Marino on

….or even as Teddy!

Katy on

Love it. Your style makes me so happy. Hoping I can absorb more and more. So happy I found this blog. You have no idea how many times I enjoy your photos.

Donna on

Love it!……………….wonderful table setting with that punch of red.

Heads up……..went to the $ store today and lo and behold there were some silver plastic h’ordevre picks–36 for one dollar. Beautiful long handled and I stocked up on them. A lot of bang for a buck………and disposable!………I envisioned piercing cheese and and olive for preloaded appetizers.

Think this is a New Year’s item…but can be used anytime for guests.

Paula on

Beautiful holiday arrangements! Love seeing your sunshine and green grass, too.
Yes, I agree with an earlier start to allow time for the holiday traditions and goals to be accomplished.

Emily Heston on

I adore the little bowls of pasta and the lovely breakfast room settings, also, tapas all day is a beautiful way!

Deanna on

Such a pretty table for Christmas! It sounds like you had a great Christmas and I love it all…a feast for the eyes. Your home is drop dead gorgeous!! I am keeping my decorations up until at least New Year’s Day. My son told me he likes the lights being lit in the dead of winter, so I decided to go old school and keep the trees up. I’m so glad you had a wonderful holiday. Here’s a fabulous New Year!! Cheers to you, dear Tina!

sherry hart on

Tina….looks like you had a fabulous relaxing Christmas! That’s all us “working girls” ask for right:) Happy New Year girl!

Constance on

You do realize that whoever your sons marry will fail miserably compared to you when it comes to making things fabulous for a home, let alone breakfast, lunch or dinner?

You future d-i-l may just decide a win-win is having them end up living with you after marriage:)


Good morning, dear Tina. Looks like you enjoyed a fabulously festive holiday! Love all your table settings and the food looks delish! Have a happy, healthy new year, dear friend!

Barbara R. on

Could you please share the name of the goblets at your breakfast table?

Beautifully Seaside on

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas with your family! I love your blue and white table settings and appetizers! You’re making me hungry for sure! I’m totally with you on getting ready earlier next year, because as always I stressed out with last minute preparations. Merry Christmas Tina! XOXO

michele@hellolovely on

i love seeing pics of food and always come away with great ideas from you, tina. yes, that bloggers challenge is a great idea…the risk of public humiliation to pressure us into meeting our deadlines better is always a good motivator so i am in…unless we move again in which case, omilord, let’s not go there! happy almost new year, lovely! xox

elizabeth@pineconesandacornsblog on

Looks like a relaxing and wonderful family Christmas Tina. We had the same kind, low key, small and lots of fun.

I hope that you are enjoying Palmetto Bluffs! Happy New Year!

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