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A few tips & a little Christmas in the dining room

When I was a little girl Christmas was always a big event.
All December long there were friends and family things on the calendar -and there was one party that I looked forward to all season long every year.
The Santa Party.

It wasn't a formal occasion by far- but it always meant wearing a party dress with tights 
and feeling a little more fancy for a few hours.
Even now- getting all fancy on occasion makes me a little giddy.

But there wasn't a sit down dinner or any tables that were set with pretty china and Christmas garland
it was just a buffet table covered in plate after plate of treats.
And the kids would nibble on treats while waiting for Santa to arrive
sack full of toys in hand.
Then we would sit on the floor and wait for him to call each of our names one by one.

When I was older, my mom started hosting the Santa Party at her house for my younger brother and sister and their friends- and I would 'help' Santa with the gifts. That was when I found out all the Santa party secrets- and realized that childhood 'Santa' - 
was actually my dads best friend.  

But you know what stands out the most to me about those memories? 
It isn't the early Christmas present we would each get from Santa.
It wasn't even seeing Santa.
 It wasn't the sweets and treats that we ate far too much of 
or the twinkling tree and old chair in the living room 
where Santa would sit and the kids would gather around.
Though I can remember all of those things like it was yesterday.

But what really stands out to me was how magical the Santa Party always felt. 
 The warmth in the house. 
The twinkling trees and magic of Christmas that was in the air. 
The merry music in the background, the fire in the fireplace, the flickering candles. 
The sound of so much laughter and all those smiling faces.

While it was probably just 2 hours out of the entire month of December- 
it is one of my favorite memories and it kind of sums up what is one of the things
 I love the most about the holidays- it is those magic filled moments all around.

Whether it is just a quiet evening at home or 
a gathering of friends and family-
it is the memories in the making and celebrating the beauty of the season 
while soaking up that twinkly light magic.

Our dining table is set in anticipation of the kids coming home for the day and a couple of tips for setting a table that is beautiful and elegant without running yourself ragged - is to keep it simple.

#1. Use a garland for your centerpiece

This is just a section of fresh garland down the center of the table with a few brass candlesticks tucked in.

#2. Use your Everyday elegant dishes

The dishes are everyday white dishes that are dainty and delicate-
 that feel a bit more elegant with the gold chargers underneath.

#5. Mood Music

I am a big fan of background music for a gathering. I think it helps set guests at ease and it just makes you feel much more festive during the holidays. I love our Sonos speakers throughout the house- but you can play music on your phone or stereo- just find a good station you like and put it on repeat.

#4. The Midas touch

A  twinkling tree at the end of the table provides a beautiful ambiance
and paired with the candles and your guests gathered around the table-
is a perfect setting for creating those moments and memories that will last.

Merry week before Christmas all.


  1. As usual, your blog post is beautiful. Merry Christmas.

  2. You are so right. It is the little things, with love, that counts.

  3. Your Santa party sounds truly magical. I like your simple table decorations. Very festive and doable.

  4. Hi Courtney,

    I LOVE the beautiful home you've created so overflowing with natural colors and warmth. A girl after my own heart. You have such a gift for blending elegant with
    casual. I love the seat covers on your dining room chairs and wondering where I could purchase them. Thank you for sharing all your inspiration! Have a wonderful holiday!! Sandy

  5. Oh this is beautiful! You're carrying on the magic traditions for sure! 💗 Happy Happy Holidays to you Courtney, and all your family! Thanks for all your inspiration all year!