Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years Celebrations at Home

Now that we've packed up the tree, decorations and our Christmas merriment, I want to share some of our holiday traditions. We take our gifts very seriously and open them very s-l-o-w-l-y, in the dining room, over the sacred strata breakfast,
Thoughtfully chosen books were the theme for this year's exchange.  

For a special friend of our family, I choose this spectacularly written book. Everybody needs a strong dose of wit, so I recommend Cecil Beaton without reserve. 

"All I want is the best of everything and there's very little of that left."
Cecil Beaton
While I found Bemelman's prints to be a tad steep, for my neighbor and dear friend, I was able to procure  a title that illustrates my great affection. The Episodes from the life of Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), combines one of my favorite illustrators with a favorite designer.  

"I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life."
Elsie de Wolfe

I was lucky enough to receive this special volume from my second daughter.

Dorothy Rodgers makes me feel like I've done absolutely nothing with my life. She was one of the early domestic divas, as a writer, inventor (the Jonny Mop, dress paterns and children's educational books), and decorator. She sat on numerous charitable boards, was a famous homemaker, entertainer and had a radio show. The wild success of her composer husband, Richard Rodgers, never dampened her work ethic or drive.  Speaking of which... I bought myself this spectacular chronicle, at the opposite end of the spectrum. 

I must say, this crowd displayed a great amount of energy and enthusiasm for dressing, entertaining and intrigues. I am most impressed by the collage, society journals of The Baron de Cabrol. 

Our humble decorations, pale in comparison to Cafe Society, and I adhere to my oldest and dearest friend's Mother's floral adage: "arrangements should never be tortured." She is, after all a Garden Club of America blue ribbon winner. 

This year the Santa's gifts did not fit the stocking, so to speak. He, left them a tad sloppily on the floor. What can you do? He is almost as bad as our absent minded tooth-fairy, but I digress.

Here is our swirly tree. The girls have been complaining about the lack of garland over the past few years, so I reinstated it. Note, no theme. The spaghetti goes on the wall. What is not broken-sticks to the tree.

Our latest, annual tradition is our Boxing Day Brunch. It is a casual respite from all the dress up. My specialty is a comforting spinach, mushroom, sausage and gruyere strata that is a combination of two recipes from America's test kitchen. While I have my favorite, and most elaborate decorations of the year, not to mention left overs, I like to have a small group for New Year's dinner. It consoles me after the girlies depart.

Well, after the nine bright days of the New Year, I send you my new 2012 discoveries.

Read… Pimp My Bricks Blog. I am enchanted by the writing.

See the Movie, Hugo!! 
It is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Remember, to visit our online store
Dovecote Decor,
when you shop for furniture, lighting, accessories and antiques.
If you don't see your desired piece in the store,
call us at 336-705-1316.
We will help you find:
 All the Best to Feather your Nest



  1. hello liz... this posting made me smile and feel as if i had found a very comfy place there in the armchair by the fireplace in your living room...i love the quotes. especially: "...make everything around me beautiful..."; such a great new year's resolution!
    happy new year!

  2. Liz-
    Love your traditions, and your book idea is genius. I saw a little Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec similarity in the paintings in your book. My favorite.
    WOuld love for you to post the recipe for your brunch casserole. SOund similar to mine but with different cheese.
    Glad that you are having a nice 2012.

  3. It all looks so wonderful and LOVE your book picks! Happy New year!

  4. What a wonderful idea for the books, a few of my freinds and I do that but I can think of a few family members who wouldn't be worse for the wear with a few books to open their minds, haha! Beautiful decor and I am so intrigued by your strata which sounds off the charts heavenly good....if you care to share your recipe! Wishing you the best in 2012!

  5. I love those book selections!! Happy New Year! Mary

  6. That's a lovely and generous thing to do. I thank you and plant a big fat kiss on your cheek (if you'll permit the liberty). I'm glad you left a message on the blog or I wouldn't have known until February - I'm not getting my RSS feed while I'm away.

    What you feel in relation to Dorothy Rodgers, I feel in relatioin to you over the Christmas period - your tree, your table and your traditions are lovely. We, chez Pimp, managed one meal! Very slacktartish family, ours.

    I'm with you on the carefully chosen book front - best Christmas presents ever. Though I have to admit that this year we had a somewhat undignified but vastly enjoyable consumerist splurge in the Harvey Nicks sale (as well as the books of course).

    PP @ pimp my bricks
    (I'm having to post as an anon because apparently there are 'illegal characters' in my name. Presumably the 'pimp' part gives offence to your blog host!)

  7. Liz, I am so in love with your home and decor. The theme of books as a holiday exchange is brilliant. Do you do something different every year?

    Also loved seeing the books below the stockings on the floor!

    The angel on your mantle magnificent!! Thank you for being an angel in my life!


    Art by Karena.

  8. What a sweet tradition dahhling of exchanging books...I loved your setting for the boxing day brunch, I do believe any oportunity to create new entertaining traditions is worth all the effort involved for the memories they create.

  9. What a way to celebrate the holidays. Your decors are fabulous and what a spread that was. Its book life and I wish you to have a great reading days ahead this year. :)
    buy wow accounts


We love your comments and hope you will join the conversation! Please do not use this forum for advertising.