Comments : 27

****This post will be it until Sunday, taking time off to enjoy Christmas and some post holiday relaxation with my family,  please come back on Sunday for my Seven on Sunday post!****

Hello friends and Merry Christmas! Personally I am relieved, the crazy chaos of this month is officially behind me and for the first time in weeks, I will be able to sit down in peace, knowing what is done is done and what is not…oh well, too late! This year more than ever I was forced to succumb to the pressures of working full time and trying “to do it all”. It is a lot of work and and next year I will need to start much, much earlier!

Did the best I could and since I work well under pressure got just about everything done (not those elusive Christmas cards though…argh)!  Hopefully next year! I am looking SO forward to sitting down with my family on Christmas eve to a nice cozy meal and even bought a box of Table Topics which is such a fun game to play. It is a conversation starter game, everyone pulls a card and asks the person next to them the question. It even gets those reluctant young adult/millennials who think game playing is old fashioned,  into the spirit and promises a lot of laughs. Those kinds of moments mean a lot to me:)

Though Christmas is a bit different for us this year, I will still wake up feeling really very grateful and knowing I am surrounded by the love of my boys and husband is enough for me, this year. It will be a lower key Christmas and you know what, I have embraced it and am actually looking forward to it. If I want to stay in my robe all day and watch movies, I can!

So, here are some more of my holiday decorations this year, lots of fresh greenery which to me is always the crowning touch. Nothing like the touch and feel of fresh greens! In the end it pretty much all got done but I sure do have some takeaways to remember for next Christmas (shared at end of this post).   Plus included a few party prep pictures (taken right up until the party got started). Even managed to slip in a few pictures of my Christmas eve dinner table which came out unexpectedly beautiful! Hope you enjoy….

Paperwhites bloomed on cue…..then went back into the garage at night:)

Love blue and white at Christmas!

Fresh greens and white roses always make a timelessly elegant combination

The fresh magnolia, fresh greens and sugar cones were front and center this holiday

Love that late afternoon sunlight and the golden glow it casts

Fresh greens and blooming like mad white amaryllis on the mantel in the living room

Finally hung my beautiful stockings (fabric Scalamandre)

Poinsettias and pine cone topiaries found a home

And some party pictures just as it was about to begin….

Thankfully have a lifetime of beautiful large silver serving trays, this particular one is one of my most favorites..so elegant!

Ditto pretty serving pieces!

Prepping for the Christmas party

Tuned on all the lights and lit the fire and oh what a pretty glow it cast

Just before our party guests started to arrive, there is Joe our favorite bartender who is a fixture at any party we have, he’s the best!

I couldn’t complete this post without showing you this beautiful arrangement. Who remembers me seeing a pretty arrangement at The Met in the city in early Nov and I cam home to duplicate it? Well, it was still going even up until Christmas with the exception some magnolia that had dried up, so I took them out and replenished with fresh magnolia and a little seeded eucalyptus, added the fresh garland and voila, a beautiful Christmas arrangement is reborn! Just love it….

Love the glow of candlelight

Kind of obsessed with all my etched glass hurricanes, one of my proudest achievements! The glow of the candlelight really highlights how beautiful they are!

And our gates got their big red bows on the wreaths (thanks to my husband:)

And hot off the presses a few glimpse into my pretty Christmas Eve table that came together so unexpectedly and Iove it! Started a new tradition of wrapping small, inexpensive gifts for each family member, adds so much to the table setting…..

And one last look at my front door which I just can’t  get enough of, as long as it’s green, it is staying up!

MY TAKEAWAYS-

 

1 There is not such things as planning too soon!

2. Next year, mark my word, my planning will start in August stay tuned I will do a fun planning blog post series starting late summer so that we can all be organized together!

3. I have always loved and used fresh greens, they “make” the holidays. Whether you get them at your local floral shop, nursery or Home Depot, keep them in a cool spot (outdoors) until maybe 5 days before Christmas.

4. Using a product like Wilt Proof does seem to help and always have a plastic water bottle filled with water to spray them every other day Keeping them from drying out is paramount to having them stay green and healthy. A daily or every other day spray will greatly help retain the moisture.

5. Keep envelopes handy with $20 or$40 in a convenient drawer for last minute gifts like the UPS guy, the mailman, water delivery,etc…takes  one little stress away!

6. Using fresh flowers? You can literally design them and keep them a week or sometimes even two before Christmas just……the key is to leave in a very cool spot overnight or in my case, my garage refrigerator, they lasted almost 2 weeks!

7. Bulbs blooming? Plan those at least 2-3 weeks prior to holidays. Keeping them in a warm spot will accelerate the blooming,once they bloom if you need them to slow down, keep them in garage at night. Use pretty ribbons or raffia to tie the stems of paperwhites or amaryllis that get too top heavy and start to flop.

8. Christmas card planning will happen in Sept. I am going t o get that elusive family picture and get my cards ordered extra early to know its done. I am determined in 2020…and by saying it here, it will happen!

9. Take time out for yourself, even if just a few minutes. I have gotten better at doing this. We tend to run ourselves ragged during this time and it is so important to take small self imposed “time outs’ to recharge. Even if its 10 or 15 minutes for a coffee break or a manicure/pedicure, just give yourself a little “me time” put your feet up and pause. Whatever it may be, take care of you.

10. Remember those less fortunate, never forget how even a very small gesture can be enormous to someone who needs it most.  The spirit of this season is giving and to me, also means helping those that need it. There are so many in need and so many ways to help, even a small something is helping someone. You just never know who’s life you may touch and how profound that change might be.

11.This might sound off topic but bears taking about-someone I know almost lost their mother in horrible house fire right around Christmas. Why? Because the fire alarm had no batteries. Such a preventable disaster. Holidays would be a good time to have all the most important things checked, fire alarms/smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors, etc…..if you can associate the holidays with spending just a few minutes to do an annual maintenance on these vital life saving devices, it will bring you such a peace of mind for yourself and those you love.

12. And last but not least, always find and look for that silver lining. For me this year, my silver lining is getting to have a more intimate Christmas with  just having my sons and husband with me.  It is not the Christmas it normally is. Typically,  we have family coming in, a very full house by this time ,non stop activity and that buzz and energy are what I miss most this year.

But I have resigned myself to the fact that this year, it is different and have accepted it. I am looking forward to a smaller more intimate Christmas dinner with my family and even have a few games planned, going to watch old movies when they were young then we will play for the family title of ping pong champ. This will likely end with another round of yummy dinner and who knows, maybe even another slice of pie:) And this is sounding pretty good!

I have a few friends who are having “different” Christmas’s then usual also,  some for illness, a few have spouses that needed surgery/are sick, some for similar situations like my own, and for anyone else out there, who is also trying to come to terms with things not going as planned, I hope you too will work hard to find the silver lining. It is there, trust me- you just need to find it:) At the very least, it could mean getting to stay in your pjs and robe all day! Once you find it, it somehow takes away a lot of the stress and negative energy and to focus on what is good.

And that is a wrap on Christmas 2019! Hard to believe it has come and is almost here. I am soooo looking forward to a few days of pure relaxation, good food and togetherness with my family. I can’t ask for more. Wishing you and yours, a most merry Christmas, hope it is filled with laughter, love and peace. Thank you to all for stopping in. Until next time……….ho ho ho!

Our big 50% Christmas sale will begin the evening of Dec. 25th and run for 4 days (subject to availability) A great time to stock up for next year!!

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Eve B on

Wishing you a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas! Thank you for all you do to make our holidays more beautiful!

Eileen A on

Merry Christmas to you all.

Dominique B. on

Merry Christmas Tina! Have a fun with your family today!! So glad that you are taking a break from work and your amazing blog to relax and celebrate with your family. God and family…there is nothing more important.

Emily on

Merry Christmas! I follow a lot of blogs and I have to say I have not seen my beautiful Christmas decorations from yours, they are so elegant, really breathtaking! I have learned so much from your blog since I discovered it over a year ago and a lot of my Christmas decor this year reflects your beautiful style so thank you.

So happy you were taking a well-deserved break and hope you and your family enjoy a very merry Christmas thank you for the gift of your beautiful blog!

Frances on

I always enjoy such fabulous pictures and that beautiful dog be Blessed and a Happy New Year.

Elizabeth on

Your home looks gorgeous, as always! Merry, merry Christmas, Tina!

Jane Giallonardo on

Agreed! Your home is fantastic, thank you for sharing. Enjoy the day!

Decorative Interiors on

Merry Christmas Enchanted Home!
Loved all your beautiful photos – Thank You for Sharing!
Happy New Year too! I know 2020 will be great! Looking forward to reading your Blog on Sunday!🎅🏼🎉🎄🎁🎅🏼

Lisa M on

Merry Christmas Tina!! You have truly outdone yourself, your decorations are sublime!
Put your feet up, have an extra glass of champagne, I can think of no one who deserves it more than you! Merry everything!

Karen Markovich on

Merry Christmas Tina! Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2020! Like you mentioned, this is a different kind of Christmas celebration, we all have to adjust to life’s changes and keep moving forward and enjoying the moment.

AlexandraT on

What a wonderful post!! I have been pining for those hurricanes, and your post put me over the edge! Ordering for sure!!

Carolyn on

Merry Christmas Tina and family! ! We ( my husband and I ) are having a change in Christmas traditions too this year and while so different making the most of it together. All the best in 2020!

Kathy M. on

Merry Christmas 🎄 Enjoy your beautiful family and home. Thank you for all you share with us, your pictures are absolutely beautiful! Have the Happiest of New Year.

Judy Walters on

Lovely, just Lovely! Thank You – Sending all good wishes for a wonderfilled holiday – I love the views of all the decorations and truly appreciate getting to “visit” at your home this Christmas Day, 2019.

Nancy on

MERRY CHRISTMAS. BLESSINGS IN 2020

Jennifer Roberts on

Merry Christmas!!!

Peggy Gildea on

Beautiful
Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing and all the ideas
No Nativity Set and that is the reason fir the season

Michelle on

Merry Christmas Tina,
Love seeing your beautiful home especially at Christmas. Thank you for putting things into perspective….there is always a silver lining!! This year, just like yours, Christmas is very different. Minimal and yes, did not get those cards out. Family is the most important no matter the size. Wishing you a wonderful New Year! We will start planning early next year.
Happy Holidays,
Michelle~Traditions Ltd.

Cheryl Smith on

I love putting small gifts at place settings but I struggle to find something small and meaningful. Any suggestions?

Susan Hayes Long on

Totally agree that Christmas this year with just my husband and sons was truly special. On Christmas Eve afternoon as I was wrapping I discovered a security sensor was left on an item. The old me would have fussed, but I just went back and had them take it off. That actually felt good. Blessings can be found in unbelievable places. On to a better 2020!

Anne Marie O’Connor on

From Our Home to Yours, Merry Christmas. 🎄💕

Norina on

Sometimes we all need a wake up call to remind us of what the true meaning of Christmas really is about.
It’s not about the presents, or the cards or the glitz. It’s about the love of family and friends and the blessings bestowed upon us from God no matter how great or little they may be.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

rosemary and lavender home on

Everything looks perfect and ready for a beautiful Christmas season. (I stay in the Christmas mood until after New Year’s Day!) I’ve had health issues this Christmas, but the day went very well. No one can ask for more than sharing and receiving love this season. Have a wonderful Christmas and a lovely, healthy New Year!

Stephanie Morrison on

Those amaryllis and paper whites, oh my! It all looks stunning Tina. I found out last minute that my parents would not be coming because my mom is ill. I was so disappointed. But we had some unexpected guests visit instead. It was a wonderful surprise and made my day. So sometimes things work out for the better. Merry Christmas! ❤️

Lisa on

Your front entry is really beautiful. I hope you are able to enjoy it for several more weeks. Merry Christmas!

Nancy Olmsted on

Such a beautiful Christmas home you have created! I have enjoyed following along all holiday season with you. If you get a chance, would you mind sharing your Christmas party buffet menu. Everything looked so delicious. Many blessings to you in the New Year!

Merri Shearer on

I love your Christmas decor! I hope you had a peaceful Christmas. All best wishes for a wonderful 2020!

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