11.26.2016

Holiday Tradition : A Glimpse At How We Start The Season

Traditions, we all have them but what does the word tradition even mean? A tradition is a custom or belief passed down from generation to generation; however it's so much more than that. It's something that we look forward to and anticipate with excitement. Sometimes our traditions are what keep us tied to the spirit of the holidays and remind us of the importance of family and what the season is really all about. Our tree trimming party is a treasured tradition for all in my family.
In the past it seemed every year as the holiday's rapidly approached I'd run out of time organizing for Christmas Day. I'd end up pulling together holiday decorations last minute and it usually involved a late night or two. I figured there had to be a better way, so when my boys were little I started involving them in the holiday decor process. I felt it was important to show them that setting up could be a process of celebration and love and that it isn't something that just happens in a snap overnight while they're asleep. It's good for them to learn to help out and of course they loved the involvement as it gave them a sense of pride and purpose to help prepare our home. To make it fun I'd turn it into a full celebration; complete with treats, hot chocolate and the perfect mood setting music. It quickly became a tradition that we all looked forward to.
Setting up needn't be complicated. I like to keep things simple and elegant. I've found over the years that this is the best way to approach decor. When we complicate things we get overwhelmed and don't always follow through. My goal was to create a decor set up that was easy enough to replicate year after year with slight tweaks. I felt it was important to invest once in good quality decor elements, that way they'd last and become treasures that we can pull out of storage every year. For this reason I've loved Pottery Barn's Channel stitch collection. The stockings and tree skirt are so well made and as a new little family member arrived; a year or two later, I was able to purchase him a new stocking that was exactly the same as the ones we already had. I appreciated that.
Having a creamy white back drop for our staple decor elements, like the tree skirt and stockings has meant that every year we could layer in green, red, gold... or whatever theme felt right that year. 
For the dining table I love setting up tiered cake plates (6", 9" and 12") with different treats and goodies. Having varied heights and diameters across the table top creates visual interest yet it's still low enough to see over and encourage lively conversation. In order to get around using a fussy table cloth I like to use a set of silver leaf chargers. They look great and keep cleanup easy.
I put out an array of treats from my favorite local bakery, Crave Cupcakes 
I'm a glitter girl at heart and these ornaments are the perfect champagne glitter to work with both the gold and silver tones in my living room. Plus the globes cast a beautiful warm light with their tiny flameless candles inside. (similar here)
Mixing ornaments with some fresh flowers adds a festive touch amidst the accessories that normally reside on the coffee table. This simple addition adds another layer of decor to compliment the Christmas tree. Often times floral arrangements can also be made of just greenery and will last for several weeks. 
I can never get enough pillar candles. Setting up multiple vignettes of flameless flicker candles; all of which are on a timer, means that the living room has an ambiance and glow that I can depend on at the same time every day. They're amazing to come home to on a cold winter night and the boys enjoyed decorating the candle holders with fake snow and german glitter snowflakes.
There's nothing quite like curling up under a warm cozy faux fur throw and reading the same holiday stories that we read every year.
Quite possibly my favourite addition last year were the St. Jude mercury glass candles both lidded and votive. They smell so lovely, look beautiful with my other accessories, and a portion of the proceeds go back to your local Children's Hospital. That just feels good whether you keep them or give them as a thoughtful gift. This year's Children's Hospital collection here.
I approached the fire place hearth a little different than I have in the past. I decided it might look pretty to stack logs and stagger a collection of simple glass votives over the logs. These ones happen to smell great as well. I like that the flame is enclosed in the glass cup and therefore I needn't worry about them setting fire to the wood.
Setting up this way gets our holiday season off to the best start. After the decor is complete we all find ourselves feeling the festive spirit and enjoy spending time together in rooms that are decked in holiday trim. 
*Pottery Barn currently is having their black Friday sale and all holiday decor is 30% off (here). 

This post was sponsored by Pottery Barn all styling and opinions are my own.

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3 comments:

Justine Celina said...

This is so stunning and packed with very helpful tips, Erica! Happy Holidays to you and your family. :)

Erica Cook said...

Thanks so much Justine! And the same to you. xoxo

Annie Haymoue said...

Love this sooo much!!! Your house is elegant but yet cozy!!! Great work as usual. Thanks for sharing your home with us.... much love

 
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