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Joyeaux Noel, A Christmas Dinner (33 photos)


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Holidays around here are very much about roots and tradition. And an obsession with really good food. The pictures shown this album are our actual Christmas dinner with my husband’s family, who came down a few weeks early for the holiday. I wanted to celebrate the atmosphere as much as the food this year at dinner! 

My father’s side of the family is from New Orleans, so family cooking always has a decidedly Cajun/Southern flavor, and was part of my inspiration. And I admit, there is a Christmas song from my favorite New Orleans Christmas CD called “Joyeux Noel” that I sing all year long that I couldn’t get out of my head and on to paper quickly enough as a design.

I’d like to say that each piece of decoration here was specifically chosen just for this dinner. But really, everything but the magnolias and ribbon was already around the house and it was just a matter of rearranging. And if I were at Grandma Nita’s, I would have just wandered out to her back acre and climbed my favorite magnolia tree for some blossoms or used some of her prize-winning camellias!

It was fun weaving in a little family history and heirlooms when I planned this dinner. The dinner table was set with a hand made table cloth and set of napkins from Malta that were gifted to us last Christmas by our Nashville-based brother and sister-in-law layered over burlap for texture. I also set out our wedding silver and candlesticks, magnolias, antique silver toned chargers and my collection of plates I bought just because I thought they were pretty—none of them match.The favor boxes I designed after the ironwork in the quarter, and attached a gift tag with some jute to each box to make the boxes also serve as a place card.

I was thrilled when Nicole of Tradewind Tiaras sent over a dozen of her sparkly crystal napkin rings to use for my place settings. I accented each one with boxwood sprigs after consulting my new favorite florist around the corner, Buds and Things. The tree was already in the room, and I took everything off but the bulbs when I started decorating for dinner. I love the simplicity of this look, and it makes it blend with everything so much better. After a hunt for a real extra large wreath for this room here in Florida, I had to give up and use an artificial, but would have really loved to see some pretty boughs hung in the window.

So from my family to yours, a Joyeux Noel, and hope you make many happy memories this holiday season!


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