Q: Dear Tobi, I am just starting out with my first home and thinking about what holiday traditions I want to celebrate each year. Do you still celebrate Christmas traditions from your childhood or did you start new traditions for your own home? Thanks and Merry Christmas! Jessica, Des Moines, Iowa
A: Thanks for the question Jessica. The answer is some of both. I am very much like my mom and so much of the way I live, cook, decorate, nurture and raise my family is rooted in what she taught me. My traditions are all about cooking, baking, entertaining friends and family, and making everything beautiful and fun for my daughter, just like mom always did for me. The old saying “Like mother, like daughter” is certainly true in our case. Just for fun I did a little comparison of Mom’s Holiday home and mine. I hope you like it. Thanks for a great question and a very Merry Christmas to you! Tobi
Mom’s Stairhall…bright, cheery and fresh, but traditional all the while. With it’s over-sized damask wallcovering and Queen Anne chest, her 1930′s home is classic and her gorgeous gift wrap keeps it current.
My Stairhall…over-sized damask for me too. In my 1976 Traditional a citrus color palette mixed with a bit of nature-inspired garland makes for a timeless, not trendy, Christmas.
Mom’s kitchen is certainly the command central of her home, especially during the holiday season. This is where we gather with the kids each year for loads of holiday baking from cookies, to cakes, to gingerbread estates.
Gathering the kids happens in my eat-in kitchen too. Breakfast with Santa is one of our Christmas Traditions. We even save a spot for Rudolph and the Big Guy to boot!
Mom’s Living Room is a feminine and fabulous space. With a pretty palette of turquoise and pink it’s like a little jewel box. It just happens to be a favorite spot where mom and I like to sit by the fire with a glass of wine while we unwind after all the holiday work is done.
My Living Room is also reminiscent of jewels..Emeralds that is. With traditional lines but contemporary textiles, it is the perfect mix of old and new and where we love to entertain friends during this special time of year.
Oh the dining room. At Mom’s, this is where we spend hours indulging in delicious meals and memorable conversations. My very favorite tradition each year is gathering here with my parents, my brother and his family and having our Christmas Eve meal before heading to church to give thanks for our many blessings. Many a laugh is enjoyed around this table that my mom has had since I was a child. But what makes it so pretty each year is mom’s attention to detail with her tabletop decor. What Southern holiday is complete without a monogram or two, right?
My dining room furniture may be new, but thanks to Hickory Chair furniture Company, it has lots of character and charm as if it were antique. These are certainly pieces that I hope to be gathering around with my daughter and her children one day. And I hope she notices the love that goes into my tabletop design just like in my mom’s. The sterling, the linens and yes, a monogram can be found on my table too.
At Mom’s when it’s time to relax, drink hot cocoa or boiled custard and open gifts, it’s to the Den we go. Nothing is too serious in here. The “fat man” even has a seat on the sofa. The gorgeous tree filled with mom’s collection of Santa ornaments brings the grandchildren’s eyes and hearts to life. The vintage color palette of red and turquoise seems fitting for her historic home and it makes for a lively mood amongst our crew. The packages are always a feast for the eyes. Mom’s caring hands always wrap each gift with such perfection that they are almost to pretty to open…but somehow we do!
In my home, it’s the playroom that calls when we want to unwind as a family. A grudge-match of Scrabble or Sorry or Chutes and Ladders is often going on in this space while we watch old Rankin Bass holiday classics. Our favorite? Well The Year without a Santa Clause, of course. I think Heat Miser would feel right at home in this pink and orange version of holiday cheer…Don’t you?
So yes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Mom taught me how to make my home special during the holiday’s and all year round. I hope we have inspired you to do the same for your family with heart-felt traditions and beautiful decor. These are the things your family will remember for a lifetime.
Merry Christmas from Mom and Me! xoxo, Tobi