All I Want For Christmas…

Merry, merry, merry wishes of joy and happiness to you and yours this Christmas season! I hope you’re feeling the spirit of the holidays and getting that decorating finished up!

All I wanted for Christmas this year was to be healthy. After months of grueling PT with “Deadly” David to fully recover from the 3rd spine surgery last December, I finally did it!!! Since August I’ve been working out with a fabulous, fun (and cute!) personal trainer I like to call “Killer” Kyle. I’m getting leaner, meaner, and stronger with actual muscles forming to support my spine. Muscles. Me! At 60 years old!!! But then on the last day of November I took a 10-lb kettle bell to the head/face from overhead that rendered me unconscious and earned me an ambulance ride. Concussion, retinal edema, multiple contusions, cuts, and bruises…just a hot mess! Surgery the following week. I’ve posted a few pics at the very end past the comments section. If you’re squeamish, easily grossed out or prone to nightmares, don’t go there.🤢 It’s pretty bad. I morphed from this picture of health at 9:30 a.m….

Me with the Miracle Worker, Mr. Abs of Steel himself, “Killer” Kyle, celebrating my post-spine surgery 30 lb. (so far!) weight loss!

…to what you’ll see at the end of this post. From regular ol’ me…to Rocky Balboa in the 15th round calling for Adrian!!!/ Worf/Quasimodo…to Sloth (The Goonies)…to Gollum…and finally to Uncle Festus within a 7-day period. Ugh!😑

Anyhooooo…Long before all this mayhem went down,  a crew from KCTV-5 graciously came out to our home to tape my segment of “Better Kansas City” so I wouldn’t have to haul everything to the studio. I never got a chance to post the details of our shoot that day or any of our Christmas decor. I hope you find these tablescape ideas handy for this year and beyond, and starting soon I’ll post ideas for around the rest of the house. First the short 5-minute video segment from the show…

And now…pretty pictures with very few words!

Lights, camera…action!

Oops, wait…I wasn’t ready yet!

I chose 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dinnerware for the shoot because of its lavish design. (See this same dinnerware at “Cardinal Christmas” from 2016.) The napkins are tied with red ribbon to mimic the design in the dishes.

Glossy green-stemmed compotes for dessert service. (Also used in “Upscale Irish“.)

The luxurious white faux fur table runner is topped with a very traditional plaid runner and a length of satin ribbon.

Faux snow generously sprinkled over the centerpiece of manzanita and faux Christmas greenery.

This cheerful metal banner from Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO, can be displayed just about anywhere and is one of my new favorites! (I bought several!)

The red ginger jar, carved column cap, and lavishly realistic faux greenery on the end of the buffet are all from Nell Hills.

The semi-permanent display on the china cabinet is enhanced with the addition of a well-lit faux greenery garland almost casually tossed across.

That’s a wrap!

Next post we move into the entry hall and library. Hope you’ll come back by to check it out!

OK,  now…I’m serious…this is bad.😱🤢🤕
The blood was already all cleaned up (probably left a 1/2 pint on the turf!), but still…bad. Just quickly scroll past it if you want to leave a comment but fear losing your lunch!🤮

🚨🚨🚨LAST WARNING!!!🚨🚨🚨

3…

2…

1…

In the ER approximately 2 hours after the kettle bell hit me – see the mash up of Rocky, Worf and Quasimodo with that massive contusion to the forehead and that eye?!!

 

Home from the ER. Starting to look more like Sloth. The extent of the broken nose is more evident.

 

Day 7 – I’ve surpassed Rocky, Worf, Quasimodo and Sloth. A cross between Gollum & Uncle Festus has overtaken my face!!!

 

Day 8 – Ready to head back to hospital for surgery

 

Trying to keep my puny veins warm so the IV will go in a bit easier. In good spirits!

 

The whole staying warm thing didn’t work and my good spirits have expired. The IV hurt…a LOT!!!

Back home in my own comfy jammies with nose repositioned and splinted. The headache is excruciating!!!

Six-week recovery ahead. Hoping to get cleared to go back to working out in the gym mid-January! Meanwhile, nothing gets in the way of daily exercise!!! (Even if it is just walking and the recumbent bike.)

Cardinal Christmas

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" dishes from T.J. Maxx

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dishes from T.J. Maxx

Busy, busy, busy! Christmas is just 3 short weeks away, and it’s a scramble. This tablescape is a cheerful mix of red & black to celebrate the flurry of cardinals settling in for the cold winter months ahead here in Missouri.
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Cardinal Christmas - red & black tablescapeAll linens on this 48″ round table for 4 were purchased from LinenTablecloth.com. The 108″ red cloth is topped with a contrasting 90″ black square. A black napkin is tucked beneath the charger and casually hangs off the side of the table.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Place setting using 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" cardinal & pine cone dishes

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" plate collage

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: gold tone flatware

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Godinger "Chelsea" collection crystal stemwareEach place setting begins with a fire engine red acrylic square charger from World Market. The inspiration plates, “Holiday Wishes” by 222 Fifth, add pattern and color with cheerful meandering ribbon, pine cones, holly, poinsettias, and cardinals. Goldtone flatware complements the gold flourishes and Christmas greetings on the dishes. Godinger “Chelsea” collection crystal stemware completes the setting.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Berry & ribbon wreath with LED candles

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Centerpiece collageThe simply assembled centerpiece has a green wreath foundation peppered with pine cones, bright red berries and wandering ribbon to pick up on the design of the dishes. For safety’s sake, assorted sizes of red LED candles fill the wreath’s center. (I am SO banned from using real candles in the house anymore!!! Don’t ask. 😦 )

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Banquet chair with red stretch cover, "cardinal", pine cone & poinsettia sash

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Chair collage - banquet chair with red stretch cover, "cardinal", poinsettia and pine cone sashFor extra pizzazz to my Christmas tablescapes, I sometimes add embellishments to the chair cover sashes. Here, a red stretch chair cover and sash from LinenTablecloth.com are dressed up with a length of black organza ribbon to mimic the colors of a cardinal. I then tied on a bit of pine greenery, pine cones, and a single red (faux) poinsettia. This look further extends the dish design and makes a real impact as guests enter the dining area.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Gift wrapped in red & lime green with red high heel shoe ornament affixed to the top

Just for “kicks” I want you to see the fun White Elephant Christmas gift I wrapped. The red gift wrap is accessorized with bright green ribbon and the word “joy” spelled out in little crystals. The box is topped off with a glittery red high heel shoe fit for any diva. What’s inside…something equally cool or a dud? 😉

More Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Christmas in the Woods

Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice

Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrating the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday

I’ll be back next week with a tour of our home decorated for Christmas and a “transitional” tablescape I think you’ll like!

I’m linking up this week with:
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner

It’s the night before Christmas, and I’m late getting photos of our 2013 Christmas decor and annual cul-de-sac Progressive Dinner posted! Very little chit-chat tonight. I hope all your stockings are hung and that you are ready to just coast from here on out!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Cul-de-sac gangEvery Christmas season several of the households on our cul-de-sac get together for a progressive dinner. It’s a chance to get together one last time before the bitter cold of January chases us all indoors, to share good food, and to check out everyone’s holiday decor. I wanted my neighbors to really enjoy the ambience during the entree portion of the dinner at our house, so I got busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Front doorI didn’t do a lot with the front entry door this year, nor did we put lights up outside. Next year when I’ve fully recovered, we’ll go all out again! Still, guests were greeted with a cheery wreath with our monogram.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entry & library

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Library tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Secretary collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Vitrine collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Decor 2013: Library desk, leather chair, side table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Burlap wreath, wood slices, Swiss Army camping gearOur library, to the immediate right as you enter our home, took on a very rustic look this year. I started the look when teaching my “Art of Tablescaping” class in that room, so after taking the table down I just embellished the existing decor with even more natural elements like huge moss balls on the urns flanking the vitrine, wood slices, whittled pencils, burlap and twine. To see that “Woodland Christmas” tablescape and read more about the design elements, click HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Orchid and pine greenery arrangement with uplightOn the chest at the top of the stairs is an arrangement I created in a mercury glass pilsner vase using faux greenery and orchids with an LED uplight to show it off. Really dramatic look when standing at the foot of the steps!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entryway arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Hallway collageBack down the stairs and into the entryway is a decorated wreath over the mirror. Lots of LED candles grace the space beneath the wreath, proclaiming it all to be “Merry & Bright”. Notice the ivory “scrunchie” that covers the electric cord. Very clever way to hide it! (I invested in about a dozen of these in several colors at Hobby Lobby about 10 years ago.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining Room table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Buffet in dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tea cartEvery room has a very different theme, and this one is full of bright, cheerful color! I used many of these same elements to create 3 very different tablescapes for my “Art of Tablescaping” class. You can check them out HERE, HERE and HERE. After clearing the tablescapes and adding a few more fun pieces, this room is declared the Fun Zone! I won the wreath at the base of the mirror at a White Elephant party a couple of weeks ago, and it fit right in!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room tree and into hallwayThe brightly colored tree in the dining room has a Nativity scene beneath it. As we go back into the hallway, the table by the front door is decked out with a fun wreath and a huge LED candle. Let’s head to the living room…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: View of living room from kitchen

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner set upWe’ve moved furniture and made space in the living room for our Progressive Dinner tables. This year’s theme in this room is cardinals and reindeer. An additional theme of snowflakes was added for the dinner. The tables are covered with red full-length round tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I recently purchased some ballroom chairs for events at home such as this, and they work out perfectly with cool white Spandex chair covers with contrasting red Spandex sashes, also from LinenTablecloth.com. (I LOVE these because they’re super affordable AND I don’t have to iron them!!!) This is a buffet dinner, so huge white acrylic snowflakes work as “chargers” at each place setting. LinenTablecloth.com red 20″ napkins are neatly folded into reindeer napkin rings purchased on clearance at Target last year. The centerpiece is a simple faux greenery wreath with meandering red ribbon, pine cones and red berries with a trio of LED candles (for safety!) in the center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Kitchen & buffet collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Decor 2013: Kitchen wreath

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner Decor: Candlestick arrangement in window at kitchen sinkI created this arrangement in the window behind the kitchen sink on a moment’s notice. I wanted something really dramatic for the window that could be seen from outside. I simply entwined a curvy wrought iron candlestick with faux greenery, red berry vine and red lights. I made sure to drape the vine across the countertop for a more dramatic look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, IIGuests served themselves from a buffet in the kitchen. On the menu: a choice of Chicken Tortilla soup, Chicken & Wild Rice soup, or Chili along with nice, warm bread and iced tea. The fun red & white snowflake soup bowls and mugs are from Dollar Tree (yes…Dollar Tree!), and the snowy white ramekins – for those who preferred a “flight” of soups – are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace & mantel decorThe fireplace mantel is heavily decorated with faux greenery, holly, red berries, pine cones, glass ornaments and cardinals. Reindeer stocking holders (Pier 1 clearance) on each end hold ornate red & gold silk stockings. Small trees in black urns flank the fireplace hearth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Mice on chair & small tree on hearth collageThese two lovey-dovey mice all dressed up in their Christmas finery are new. I saw them at T.J. Maxx and just fell in love with them. Their names? Ramon & Alycia, of course!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Sofa, reindeer on side table collageWe have lots of black elements in the living room, so I played that up with black velvet pillows behind red silk ones with gossamer gold ribbon. The luxuriously soft throw is from T.J. Maxx. My bold gold reindeer make another appearance this year in different areas of the living room. (To see these reindeer used in other Christmas settings, click HERE and HERE.) On the table behind the sofa, a large red ornament rests above lots of lighted greenery and pine cones.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Living room tree in red & gold

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tree ornaments

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Wrapped giftsThis year’s main tree is dressed in lots of red & gold ornaments including cardinals, musical notes, poinsettias and stockings. The tree is flanked by the two larger gold reindeer wearing sparkling wreaths around their necks. Gifts beneath the tree are all wrapped in colors that reflect the room’s color scheme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: ArmoireThe television armoire across the room always gets a little treat, too. This year the decor mirrors that of the mantel with a huge red ornament (just like the one on the sofa table) rising up like a phoenix from behind.

All very different looks throughout the house. My mind was just going in a million different directions, and I just let the decorative chips fall where they may! 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone!