Getting Christmas Ready for a Progressive Dinner Party

I live in a small neighborhood, so I have gotten to know quite a few of my neighbors really well. They in turn have gotten to know me, and some of my unique skill sets. My neighbor Nancy called me wanting to know if I could come over and help her get her decorations ready for the progressive dinner party that we were having in the neighborhood that Friday. I really love that my neighborhood tries to do this every year, and three to four homes volunteer to host a specific part of a four course meal. She along with my neighbors Chris and Andre had agreed to host the Appetizers. Because of this, even though she was going to be away for Christmas, she had decided to decorate.

When I arrived she asked my opinion about some poinsettias that she was going to add to her stairway garland, and she also wanted to get my opinion on the fireplace mantle decorations. Well, let me just say after we finished the balcony and mantle, she starting thinking bigger – about 7.5 feet bigger to be exact. She had a very nice Balsam Hill tree – see one similar here, that she was going to leave bare. Well, I couldn’t in good conscious let her do that, so after she showed me what she had, I sent her out to purchase some additional gold stems from Michaels and then I went to work creating some bows for her tree.

These are bunny ear bows, and they can be made quickly by using two cut pieces of ribbon and creating a loop in each one, and then tying them together with some floral wire. I made about 20 of them for her tree. After Nancy returned with her stems, I asked her to gather all of her red, green and gold ornaments and items. Then I went to work on her tree. Stems and bows first, the tree topper, and then the ornaments.

It took me about two hours from start to finish to decorate her tree. Here is what it looks like with the lights on:

She had a very pretty raffia angel that we added to the top of her tree.

She was very pleased with the results and I surprised myself at how quickly I was able to pull together a finished product for her.

Leave a comment and let me know how you think it turned out.

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Office Tree, Part 3 of 3

After purchasing a new dining table, I felt like there wasn’t enough space in the Dining room to accommodate a large tree, so I made the decision to move the tree into the Office.

The front Christmas tree is always red and gold and I typically use the same ornaments year after year. So last year I had a trio of trees, the year before I had a wide tree, and the first year in this home I had a live tree. Well, not to be outdone, this year I had to have yet another new tree. I thought a slim tree would fit the bill for its new home space.

I found just the tree I wanted from Sam’s Club. It’s a Sherman Spruce, and it’s magnificent. Even though I have room for a 9′ tree, I decided that a 7.5′ tree would be best as I would have more options to display it. This tree has 1000 led lights – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…. because just speaking of it makes me want to sing.

100 lights per foot of tree is ideal, and it is what you should look for when purchasing an artificial tree – but 1000 lights for a 7.5′ tree is not typical, so I literally jumped at the chance to own it. For once, there is no need for me to add any additional lights, (insert more singing here).

In the past I have used a big bow at the top of my trees, but I decided I wanted a different look, so I bundled some sprays and picks together and created this as my tree topper.

After my topper, I added the rest of the picks and sprays and ribbon garland to the tree.

Next I got inspired to create three tiered loops out of my existing string garland to place around my tree. I had seen these at Frontgate and at Raz Imports, but instead of purchasing them – I decided that I could fashion some on my own. This process actually took quite a bit of time, but was well worth the effort.

Once I finally finished with my beaded garland I started to add all of the ornaments. After adding some of my existing ornaments and some new glass ornaments that I purchased at Costco, I still thought the tree was missing something…Whimsy.

That sent me on a hunt for some objects that I could stuff into the tree. After a trip to Hobby Lobby and two hours later, I returned victorious. Notice the newly added gift boxes stuffed into the tree. That added that touch of whimsy that I was missing, now all I had to do was add the tree skirt and the gifts – Voila.

A more close-up view.

I hope you enjoyed my Winter Whimsy Christmas Home tour, and hopefully I inspired you to create your own Merry. Click on the links to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the tour. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Enjoy Decorating!!!

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Dining Room Part 2 of 3

I came from a family of nine – seven girls and two boys. There are seven of us still living. The girls like to take the opportunity to get together as often as we can, but it’s not always possible, since one of us still lives in Chicago. This Thanksgiving, we had another opportunity to get together and I wanted it to be a special occasion. Even though it was decided that we were having a sister’s brunch, I thought it would be extra special to have the dining room decorated and ready for the holidays.

First off, I really wanted a tablecloth that would fit my table with one leaf inserted. From experience I knew that picking up one from the store wasn’t going to cut it if I wanted to be sure that the sides were even all the way around. The only way I could make sure that I had the right fit was to order a custom tablecloth. I located a great vendor online – Bright Settings that was able to whip me one up within a week’s timeframe. I was very pleased with the way it looked and fit.

The next step was to get some black chargers to match the black accents in the room. I found some that fit the bill from Crate and Barrel, unfortunately when I went to purchase them at the store downtown, they only had four and of those four, only two looked black. That prompted me to visit the store in Alpharetta; of the three they said they had in stock only one of those was the color I desired. Now most people would go to plan B at this point, but not I. I was determined to complete my set of eight. So after calling customer service and pleading my case, the representative assured me that she would add a note to my order to include the darkest charger plates they could find. I ordered 11, just so that I could be sure I’d have enough to choose from. I finally assembled my set of eight, and here is what my finished table looks like.

The china and silverware are old patterns from Mikasa, and the stemware is a newly acquired purchase from Waterford.

I added the Christmas crackers and reindeer for a touch of whimsy and for the centerpiece, I used garland, some ornaments, and ribbon threaded throughout. The black candlesticks and red candles finished off the centerpiece in style.

The two trees in the room were decorated and dressed as twins – the fraternal kind, but I tried my best to make them as identical as possible. I wanted to add height to the trees, so I asked one of my best friends to build me some risers to elevate them. I really liked how they turned out. Thank God for good friends.



The brunch spread was set up with care…

I added a poinsettia, swags and a mini lighted Christmas cabin on top of the buffet to finish off the room.

Please leave me a comment to let me know how you like the room. I look forward to your feedback. Also, if you missed it, check out part 1 of this post. Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Main Tree and Surrounds Part 1 of 3

Every year at my Christmas party I start thinking of the theme and colors for my Christmas decorations for the following year. Last year I decided that the colors that I would use would be Red, Black and White. I also was pretty stuck on the idea that I would use Snowmen as my theme. To my amazement, these colors are pretty much on trend with the seasonal offerings, so this year it was easy finding my colors. For the first time, I am actually presenting my tree and decorations before Christmas and I am excited to share with you the joy and excitement that I get from decorating for the Holiday season.

This is my fourth Christmas in my not so new home, and every year I’ve hosted a Christmas Party. Last year, I hosted a combination Christmas/Graduation party in celebration for my son, who graduated from college last December. The combination party was to avoid hosting two parties in December. Anyway, I digress – as I stated before my color scheme is Red, Black and White for my main tree, but my theme is not snowmen, – I settled for Winter Whimsy. From outside of my home coming in, you will always be able to determine the colors of the main tree as I coordinate the decorations from the front door all the way to the main tree in the family room. One more thing about the main tree, it always has the color red in it, and the other colors I pick – well, must go with red.

The main tree is one of four decorated trees this year. I also typically have a few other trees scattered throughout my home that are not decorated. You will see the other trees in my upcoming blog post, so stay tuned.

This year, I started early with my shopping and most of my decorations came from Raz Imports. (I also purchased a red sleigh – seen later).

Picks and Sprays all laid out and ready to enhance my tree:

Here is the Finished tree.

I decided that I would incorporate that color black through the ribbon, lanterns, and gift wrapping. The lanterns – five in all, add a touch of whimsy to the tree. I anchored them securely and then used picture mounting putty on the bottom of the candles to keep them from shifting.

The black and white ribbon really brings the tree to life – I used armed width lengths and stuffed the ends deep inside the tree, to give the illusion of the ribbon going in and out of the tree. I really like how the red poinsettias, snow covered pinecones and red snow berries bring the tree to life. I also think the addition of the glass finials really made the tree pop.

The red sleigh is the perfect perch for all of the gifts.

I always choose one or two homemade projects to add to my decorations, this year; I decided I would make poinsettia bows to compliment my black gift wrapping. I think they came out pretty good. Let me know what you think.

So typically, I always coordinate the fireplace mantel and other elements nearby to the Christmas tree. This year was no exception.

As I mentioned before, you can tell from my front porch the color scheme of my main tree. Here is what my front porch looks like. The sled was a used purchase, and I sourced the greens from my neighborhood.


I hope you enjoyed my decorations of my main tree. Stay tuned for Part 2.