Category Archives: Holidays

Wrapped in Meaning

Mantle
Once upon a time, ages and ages ago and miles and miles away from where I now sit– a custom was born. Wrapped in the spirit of giving, tokens of appreciation were first swathed in pretty paper in Ancient China during the 2nd Century B.C.

The ritual has grown quite a bit from the fibers of bamboo, hemp, and rice straws that initially intertwined to make the first wrapping paper.

However, its sentiment is still there… what it symbolizes endures.  Continue reading

From “Your Valentine”

Carol Lombard and Clark Gable: Lombard was killed in 1942 in a plane crash, leading the grief-stricken Gable to join the army. He would go on to wear the diamond earring they found at the crash site on a necklace.  He chose to be interred next to her at Forest Lawn cemetery.

Carol Lombard and Clark Gable: Lombard was killed in 1942 in a plane crash, leading the grief-stricken Gable to join the army. He would go on to wear the diamond earring they found at the crash site on a necklace. He chose to be interred next to her at Forest Lawn cemetery.

Last year at this time as we approached Valentine’s Day,  I wrote about the power of love.  A power I concede could never be properly honored by a commercialized day.

However, after a year that showed me not only the preciousness of life, but the power of love, I am thankful that we have a date on our calendar where we are reminded to think of others before ourselves.

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Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulet

Let the good times roll!

I can think of no better phrase to describe a “Girlfriends’ Dinner Party.”  Honestly, that’s the phrase that should describe EVERY dinner party we host.  Rather it be a fancy cocktail party or a more casual barbecue, YOU and your guests should have a great time. Continue reading

The Southern Tradition of Toting Around Our Home

Author Julia Reed in her library with her treasured tortoise shell. ~from Garden & Gun

Author Julia Reed in her library with her treasured tortoise shell. ~from Garden & Gun

We may live at many different addresses in our lifetime. Through the years, a number of different keys will be on our ring to a number of different front doors.

There will be thresholds that mark great “crossings” in our lives: one we cross for the first time in our first home, doors that may seem to revolve as children traipse in and out, and doors we close for the last time because life has given us another key to a different door on another street. Continue reading

The Past and Present Table

Kate Spade China in Larabee Road, Napkin Rings from Mrs. Howard's, and my grandma's Cambridge Crystal glasses in Rose Point.

The Past and Present Table: Kate Spade China in Larabee Road, Napkin Rings from Mrs. Howard’s, and my grandma’s 1935 Cambridge Crystal glasses in Rose Point.

Tradition never goes out of style.

When I was growing up, special occasions, birthdays, and holidays were usually spent at my Aunt Kay’s home. When it came close to dinner time, my cousins and I were called in to help set the table. We fell into our separate roles with ease. Susan would fill the glasses with ice, Brittany would lay out the beautiful linen placemats and folded napkins, and I would help with the silver. Continue reading

What makes a Christmas Tree beautiful?

One of my favorite rooms at the Biltmore House, decorated for Christmas.

One of my favorite rooms at the Biltmore House, decorated for Christmas. Notice the limited color palette that complements the room’s decor.

I have always loved the pageantry that goes into Christmas décor. As a little girl, getting the Christmas ornaments out of the attic, fluffing the garlands, and watching my mother make beautiful bows were just as exciting as seeing what Santa brought me on Christmas morning (okay, ALMOST as exciting… I really love presents.)

There was just something about the experience of decorating with my mother that made the tree so special. 

[There was also usually an anecdote that accompanied buying that year’s tree; like the one year the tree flew off the car’s roof on the way home, so we just went to another lot and bought a second one. Or, the year we didn’t have enough string to secure it, so my mom just rolled down the car window and held on to the tree while driving 15 mph all the way home.]

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