Tag Archives: holiday traditions

Holiday At Home: Louisiana Christmas Traditions

As the holiday good times roll on so do the  at home favorites. From parish to parish and festival to festival, Louisiana Christmas traditions light up a festive holiday season.

Acadian Village~ photo: Meg McKinney

Holiday at home in Louisiana themed decorations, lights, treasures, treats, and reminders find their way into my holiday thoughts and decor.

From  mid November through early January, 2013 the Natchitoches, Louisiana Landmark Historic District along the Cane River is illuminated in over 300,000 Christmas lights and 100 riverbank set pieces in celebration of the Christmas Festival of Lights. Shopping, dining, antiquing, horse drawn carriage rides, live entertainment, and legendary fireworks displays each Saturday night make this one of the most anticipated traditions of the holiday season.

Sleigh Ride by the Louisiana born, raised, and swingin’  Harry Connick, Jr.

 

These vintage snaps are blasts from Louisiana Christmas past of my mother and brother, uncles and cousins and yours truly with the Claus.

Dave the Builder and I took a Christmas light walking tour through our neighborhood a couple of evenings ago, and this Christmas nativity display captured the essence of the season for both of us.

The large glass pine cone and Santa ornaments cast a vintage feel, taking me straight back to the country Christmases spent at my maternal grandmother’s house.

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New Orleans knows how to throw a  party and a holiday celebration! No trip to New Orleans, the French Quarter, and the French Market would be complete without a visit to Aunt Sally’s Creole Pralines Shop. Believe me, Christmas time is the perfect time for a box or two of New Orleans’ signature candy. Ca c’est bon, y’all!

My small but cherished collection of hand-painted Louisiana cypress Santas add a dash of Louisiana seasoning to the holiday scheme each year.

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Do you incorporate a touch of at home in your holiday decor and celebrations?

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Filed under Historical Landmarks, Holidays, home decor, Louisiana

A Seasonal Blend Of Old World And Modern Day Holiday Decors

Christmas In Provence and Eastern Europe comes to life through the pages of Art & Décoration and Campagne Decoration. These wonderful publications feature two stunning homes in their holiday issues. The first of these features takes the reader on a private tour of the Chateau d’Ansouis. Steeped in history and dating back to the thirteenth century, Château d’Ansouis overlooks the village of Ansouis and the valley of the Aigues.

Ownership of Château d’Ansouis has shuffled through the centuries. Owned since the tenth century by the powerful house of Forcalquier, the medieval fortress was next sold to Ansouis Zosimus-Elzear-Louis, Duke of Sabran in 1836.  Elzear de Sabran and his wife Delphine. Honorably devoted to the causes of the poor resulted in Elzear being canonized and Delphine beatified in 1369.  In January 2008, Gérard and Frédérique Rousset-Rouvière acquired Château d’Ansouis and a refined renovation soon began. Designer Jean-Jacques Bourgeois was brought on board and the beauty is in the details now more than ever, but especially at the holidays.

The arms of Sabran with diamond points grace the entryway. Lanterns and candlelight greet visitors in quaint and quiet splendor reminiscent of old world charm.

Soft candlelight in the stone stairway from the rows of candles, lantern, and wall table festively light the way to Summer, the terracotta statue standing  in the niche on the landing.

An exquisite interpretation of the list of thirteen traditional Provencal Christmas desserts is represented in grand detail.  Mandarins, candied fruits, dates, dried apricots, chocolate and fresh grapes sit beautifully displayed between crystal candelabras atop a marble top buffet.

Eighteenth century antiquities set the tone for holiday dining with a festive, yet understated tablescape. After midnight mass on Christmas Eve, a gourmet meal of  roasts, turkey and wines from Provence precedes the famous thirteen desserts. The thirteen desserts stand in remembrance of the Last Supper with Jesus surrounded by his twelve apostles.  The Murano glass chandelier is stunning, as is the mantel and eighteenth century Rocaille.

The Grand Salon Rocaille, the 18th-century style of plaster-work featuring elaborately stylized shell-like, rocklike, and scroll motifs, is ranked among the best of Provence. The painted almond green walls are original to the decor.

Excuse me while I gain my composure after swooning over what I can only describe as an armoire cupboard. The contrast of the rich walnut armoire and original green patina of the interior cupboard is a Provincial design masterpiece.

Christmas en Provence are very traditional gatherings of  family and community. The celebration begins with a vigil of songs, hymns and stories and concludes with gifts being handed out. The Big Dinner is a meatless meal held before midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  The traditional table is set on three white tablecloths removed successively during the meal and adorned with three large white candles which represent the Trinity. Copper utensils and Moustiers earthenware shine as characteristically French features of an understated, utilitarian beauty.

The second feature has us shifting gears from historically traditional to whimsical wonder represented through warmth, color, and texture.  This nineteenth century mansion of Slavic origin stands amidst a village in the north of the Ile-de-France. The dining room crystal chandelier and glass mercurisées reflect the reds, metals, and magentas of the holiday decor. My eyes immediately widen in decor amazement at first glance of the magenta branches on the mantel and the Reindeer skin draped garden chairs.

‘Tis the season for color, texture, velvet, silk, ribbons, embroidery and florals.

A lone display works as the perfect compliment to the whimsical decor~ a Christmas cuckoo clock with mushroom glass mercurisé.

Accessories inspire the gift of creativity.

Old world and modern day traditions at Christmas, both celebrated and decorated in other parts of our world, fittingly represent history, culture, and design. The beauty, joy, and traditions of the season translate well.

 

 

 

Château d’Ansouis photo source: via

Nineteenth century mansion photo source: via

 

 

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Filed under Antiques, French, Holidays, home decor

O Christmas Tree! Your Designer, Luscious, Unique, Vintage, Fun, Funky, Classic And Bare Branches Delight Us!

Exceptional ideas and  inspiration are wonderful by-products of holiday decorating.  These unique interpretations of the season speak magnificently for themselves, and hopefully offer unique and inspiring Christmas tree decoration ideas.

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On the first day of Christmas…  Ornaments inspired by nature adorn the branches of a pear tree uniquely positioned in this formal living room.

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All wrapped up in gray silk and delicate delight.

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Polished Polish perfection in glimmering shades of gold.

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Charlie Brown, your grown-up Christmas tree is beautifully displayed in Traditional Home.

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Christian Dior creative director John Galliano creates Christmas wonder at Claridge’s.

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 All I want for Christmas is a pop of color.

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Vintage collections upon the tree and shelves~

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Cookies, ribbon candy, and gumdrops along with strings of popcorn and cranberries evoke memories of Christmas past.

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Bay leaves edged with gold cast a pristine presence and natural beauty.

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Pencil trees in pairs and pattern.

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There is something so festive about monkeying around in a pink room.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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A glowing review for this circa 1946 photograph of Charles Eames, designer extraordinaire, with a Christmas tree made of molded plywood chair legs.

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All that glitters is gorgeous, grapevine, and gold gilt.

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 Festively flocked and perfectly perched.

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All the colors of the festive foyer accessories are represented in this tabletop Christmas tree.  Less can be so much more.

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In all its traditional regal red and gorgeous gold glory.

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Pages as leaves, words as inspiration, simplicity as beauty.

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Fresh greens, candlelight, and a skirt of apples eloquently convey the message step into Christmas!

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Filed under Antiques, Holidays, home decor, Interior Decorating, Interior Design