“Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas.”
~ Stephen Graham Jones
It’s been a busy few weeks in my little world.
Jim and I took a quick trip to Los Angeles to see The Rolling Stones.
We stayed at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.
A longtime dream of mine.
It was every bit as wonderful as I hoped.
I took a ton of pictures and still need to sort through them.
The day after we returned from LA, I sped off, our favorite Contessa in tow, to Salinas.
Cindy Hattersley hosted a fun girl’s luncheon in her spectacular courtyard.
Annie, Most Lovely Things, flew in from the East Coast!
She wrote a blog post about it and shared her photos of Cindy’s beautiful home.
From left to right, back to front – Annie, Most Lovely Things ; Heidi, Heidi Michelle Art Studio ; Moi ; Elizabeth, The Vintage Contessa ; Kim, Northern California Style ; Mary Ann, Classic Casual Home ; Cindy, our hostess, Cindy Hattersley Design
I transformed Snowberry’s library into a dining room
to host our son, his fiancé and her family for a belated engagement dinner
and wedding wine tasting.
We tasted 11 wines and narrowed it down to five for the big day.
More on that later.
Today I want to talk about Christmas.
Prepping for Christmas.
And a few things on my to-do list in November to prepare
so I won’t feel rushed or overwhelmed in December.
To Do in November …
- Order 2022 planner and add important dates. I love Erin Condren and ordered this one.
- Update holiday card address list
- Design & order holiday cards
- Buy holiday stamps
- Request wish lists from kiddos in the family
- Create holiday gift list (and get gifts purchased!!!)
- Buy holiday gift wrap, ribbon, and tags
- Schedule a holiday tea date with my sister. Oh, wait, she already did that. We’re going to the Fairmont San Francisco.
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Decking the Halls
This year – no surprise – my holiday décor will fall firmly into the less-is-more category.
A lot less.
Last year, our first Christmas at Snowberry, I went all out.
By all out, I mean all out for me.
This year we’ll be away for Christmas
and I’m undecided about putting up a tree.
On the pro side, it’s an artificial tree so it’s easy.
And I’m in love with the woven tree collar I bought last year.
On the con side, we’re going to be away and won’t be hosting any holiday events in our home.
It’s a tough call.
What I will be doing is decorating my front porch,
foyer, and great room.
The day AFTER Thanksgiving.
After revamping and organizing the garage earlier this year,
all my Christmas bins are well marked and easily accessible.
Next weekend I’ll haul them out and rummage through to see what makes sense for this year.
The good news is, I’m not in need of much in the way of décor.
But there are a few things I’ve already bought, ordered, or have my eye on.
For the front porch and foyer …
Last year, our first Christmas at Snowberry, I decorated with a traditional red and green theme.
This year I’m keeping it neutral …
but many pieces from last year will still work and can be repurposed.
- Remember the wreath I ordered for fall? It arrived a bit late. Or, more accurately, I decorated early. You can read all about it here. It will make its debut for the holidays. It came with a pretty ivory bow, but I may replace it with satin and velvet streamer ribbon in cream and latte. Stay tuned.
- I always keep lanterns on the porch with flameless candles. And I fill the lower portion of the lanterns with mini pinecones. This year I’ll add a nest of twinkle lights on top.
- When poinsettia’s hit the market, I’ll add a ring of small, white plants around the boxwood planter basket. And the boxwood will get a twinkle light treatment too.
- Last year’s ivory, beige and gray plaid and faux fur throw will do a repeat performance on either the porch or foyer bench. Each bench will need a throw pillow … I’m still working that out. I’ve got my eye on this one and this one.
- Since I’m going with a neutral theme, my fall porch rug will stay in place with a holiday doormat layered on top. I’ve narrowed it down to this one, this one and this one.
- I’ll also zhush up the window boxes and planters around the driveway bench for a more Christmasy feel.
For the Great Room …
To tree or not to tree … that is the question?
While I mull that over, here are a few things I’ve got planned for the great room:
(Don’t laugh, but my major nod to the holidays will be a throw.
I know, I know … me and my throws.
In fact, I think I’ll devote an entire post to all my favorites.
I get asked about them so often and I have thoughts.)
- Speaking of my throw obsession, I just bought the thickest, coziest most luxurious throw ever … in cardinal. Yes, cardinal … as in red! I think it will highlight the hint of red in our Roman shades. It’s going to be so good, and I can’t believe how excited I am about it. Now … where to place this big, thick, gem colored beauty? I’ll throw it – pun intended – around the room to see where it works best.
- Large, glittery pinecones for my big wooden bowl on the bookcase.
- On the coffee, a repeat performance from last year. This year I think it will be pretty to add twinkle lights to the hurricane, on top of the sugared cranberries.
- On the mantle strands of faux garland with pinecones and votives interspersed. This is tricky because because of the TV.
- And finally, an amaryllis in a terra cotta pot on my console table. Early to mid-November is the time to get amaryllis bulbs for a Christmas bloom.
- Oh, and a big, white poinsettia in my blue and white planter on the dining table.
Getting into the holiday spirit …
Hallmark’s Christmas movie extravaganza gets underway this weekend.
Martha Stewart Living published the entire lineup, you can see it here.
And there’s nothing like a good holiday themed book …
these are a couple I can’t wait to read.
- Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey. Have you read Kristy’s Peachtree Bluff series? It’s so much fun … heartwarming and addicting … and left us wanting (needing) more of the Murphy women and their stories. Kristy heard us and she delivered … with a Christmas tale no less! It’s already on my nightstand. Oh, and it’s officially a NYT Bestseller!!!
- A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry. As a longtime devotee of Anne’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt Victorian era mystery series, I’m thrilled that her annual Christmas novel revolves around the Pitt’s former, investigative-minded, maid, Gracie. I pre-ordered on Kindle, it will be released next week.
And, while we’re getting in the spirit, how about a fun holiday cocktail, or two?
Giving thanks …
Enough about Christmas, we still have Thanksgiving to look forward to.
It’s just three weeks away.
Are you hosting this year?
You can check out last year’s Thanksgiving table here.
We’re going out for dinner this year, and I need something to wear.
I wore this dress to last weekend’s engagement dinner.
Don’t you think it’s perfect for Thanksgiving?
I wore it with sandals, but I’ll pair it with suede booties for Thanksgiving.
That settles that, or so I thought.
Last week, while shopping at Target and minding my own business,
this fabulous faux leather pencil skirt jumped out at me.
Then it followed me to the check stand and now it’s in my closet.
I have no choice but to wear it, right?
I don’t know … which is your favorite?
If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner,
get excited about this new cookbook Gobble: The Quintessential Thanksgiving Playbook
by Nadine, PK and Christopher Isacs.
They’re the Sista and nephs of one of my, and probably your, favorite bloggers,
the Preppy Empty Nester!
Over the years I’ve seen the Preppy Empty Nester and her Mister enjoy
spectacular hospitality at Sista’s home.
And now she, and her food and wine loving boys (I mean adult sons), are sharing their secrets.
It would make a great gift.
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So those are my plans, I’d love to hear yours.
For now, my fall décor remains firmly in place until the day after Thanksgiving.
Although one of my real pumpkins succumbed to Mr. Squirrel and his family.
They’re so cute and working furiously to prepare for winter
and I don’t begrudge them a free meal.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!