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Christmas Favorites: Raspberry Ribbon Salad and a giveaway for you!

raspberry ribbon salad recipe

Do you have a recipe that is your signature dish…you know, the one everyone says that you will be responsible for bringing to the family get-togethers?  I want to share “Kelly’s salad” with you today. Whenever we have a covered dish anything between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, this is often what I make, and I have been making it since 1987 when Southern Living featured it in their November issue. (Yes, that long.) Do you know how some smells or tastes take you back to places in your memory? Whenever I taste this salad, it tastes like Christmas to me. (The smell of tangerines does that to me, too.)

Talk of the House - raspberry ribbon salad recipe

In the original recipe, Southern Living called for making it in many layers.  When unmolded from a gelatin mold, it made for a beautiful presentation.  But goodness, it took a long time to make!  So over the years I simplified it down to making one layer.  Let it set.  Add the sour cream layer and then the final jello layer. Much easier.  The Southern Living recipe also did not call for any sugar to be mixed with the sour cream.  I felt like it was a little too tart without it, so I add in some brown sugar to tone that down. (My mother still thinks it is too tart, but my oldest son and I love it.)

In the news here this weekend, the large pine with the ladder leaning against it came down yesterday (with no injuries to anyone or anything. Hallelujah!)

pine tree coming down

And this beautiful evergreen got all dressed up in her Christmas attire.

Christmas tree in net

And just a reminder for you that this is the last day to leave a comment on any of the Christmas Favorites posts to be entered in the drawing for a $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card.  The contest is open until midnight tonight (12/8/13) and yes, you may enter more than once by leaving a comment on more than one of the posts (but only one comment per post, please.)

Williams Sonoma gift card

I want to leave you with a sneak peek of the Christmas tree decorations.  If the sun will ever come out, blind girl here will take photos to show you the entire tree (and room!) this week. Yes, that is tinsel you see there!:)

Christmas ornaments

And I will leave you with a question to get you started with a comment for entering the drawing.

Do you have a signature dish?  If so, we would love to know what it is.

Looking forward to hearing from you on this rainy December day!

a signature

***giveaway has closed***

annette - December 8, 2013 - 11:24 am

This recipe has taken me back about thirty years(seems like just a few!) when I made something similar for a potluck and became an instant hit. Thanks, Kelly for your inspiring photos and giving us a peek into your warm and beautiful home.

Lynne - December 8, 2013 - 11:44 am

Kelly, the Raspberry Ribbon salad sounds so good I think I will make it at Christmas. What size dish do you use since you are just doing the one layer?
I would have to say my signature dish would be Spinach Souffle.
It is my Aunt Callies recipe from my Daddys side but I always make it for our family when Aunt Callie will not be with us. Everyone loves it!

Kim - December 8, 2013 - 11:45 am

I really want your house. :) I just love the outside and inside and no grass.

Dawn - December 8, 2013 - 11:55 am

This is similar to something we make except we use the Jello cheesecake instead of sour cream.

judy - December 8, 2013 - 12:08 pm

let me first say I don’t think anyone needs to worry about me EVER moving to Atlanta….that traffic about did me in!

I love that raspberry recipe and will sure be adding it to my list of “things to make”. I have several recipes that are my signature and favorites of family members. I wrote a post about my blueberry delite salad a few years ago and will send you the link and story behind it.

I just showed my husband the outside of your house….it’s so pretty and the setting is perfect. can’t wait to see all your pretty decorations.

Connie - December 8, 2013 - 12:19 pm

Kelly’s Raspberry Ribbon Salad looks great! I make a raspberry salad at Thanksgiving but this is a must-try recipe!!

Dara Morse - December 8, 2013 - 12:26 pm

I really enjoy your blog and get lots of decorating ideas from it,. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win!

Shannon - December 8, 2013 - 12:26 pm

I was wondering what decorations you were going to put in the tree.. And I’m Glad your tree made it inside!

Marken - December 8, 2013 - 12:29 pm

I will try this recipe soon. We make a strawberry Jello salad with sour cream in the middle.

Barb - December 8, 2013 - 1:00 pm

You can never have too much tinsel or too many twinkle lights. Looking forward to your next post. My signature dish would be Strawberry Pretzel jello. Pretzel, butter, sugar base. Cream cheese, vanilla & sugar layer then strawberry jello. It makes an appearance every Christmas and there is never any left.

Donnamae - December 8, 2013 - 1:13 pm

Kelly…I have had that ribbon salad before…and it’s delicious! I love that you used tinsel….so many memories! Waiting to see more! ;)

Laura - December 8, 2013 - 1:44 pm

I make a cranberry salad for Thanksgiving that is yummy!

Lindy James - December 8, 2013 - 1:46 pm

We must be kindred spirits ! I have a cranberry jello salad recipe my mother-in-law gave me close to 40 years ago that is definitely my signature dish. I use cherry jello, ground cranberries, ground apples, crushed pineapple, and walnuts. It has such a wonderful taste! Can’t wait to see your beautiful tree all decorated. Take care, Lindy

Debra - December 8, 2013 - 2:04 pm

Kelly, I’m sitting at the farm table, snow finally falling outside and taking time to enjoy your sweet blog. I have never had the Raspberry Ribbon Salad, though it sounds and looks wonderful. I enjoyed your Hot Christmas Punch, so I will need to try this one as well. My salad that I would bring for holiday was the Strawberry pretzel jello. Probably quite a few of your followers are familiar with it. I have to share too, a recipe that everyone always loved from my husband’s side. It was the “Cookie Pudding”. Do you know that one? It is made with caramelized evaporated milk, whipping cream and vanilla wafers. It is so rich and delectable. It was always served with the cookies. Oh, now you have my mouth watering and memories of my in-laws, whom are now no longer with us. You stirred my senses in a good way Kelly. Thank you. Have a wonderful week ahead.


Shar - December 8, 2013 - 2:12 pm

Gee! I think we need to get a little recipe exchange going here! All of the yummy cookie recipes, and now the ‘signature dishes’–makes me feel Christmas-y! My dish is sort of a Cranberry Applesauce: fresh cranberries, diced apples, orange peel, a touch of cloves, cinnamon. It’s especially good at this time of year. We think it tastes like Christmas!

Donna - December 8, 2013 - 2:22 pm

I have been decorating, listening to Christmas carols and when I noticed you had a new post sat right down for some inspiration. My blog still has fall posts, so I need to take some pictures and do a new post myself. I don’t know how you find the time to do all you do.
My signature dish is called Indian Fudge. Now I don’t know if it is politically correct in todays standards, but it was my Mom’s recipe and she was part Micmac Indian from Maine. Anyway it is cranberries, golden raisins, nuts, chocolate and I have mailed it to my son whenever he was deployed because it wouldn’t be Christmas or Thanksgiving with out it. It brings me wonderful memories of cooking with my Mom.
I can’t wait to see you tree all done.

Andrea - December 8, 2013 - 2:35 pm

I can’t wait to see your tree decorated! I do have a signature dish….meatballs and a sweet potato casserole that is to die for!!!!

lisa - December 8, 2013 - 2:45 pm

My dish would be my blackberry wine cake or my Hawaiian meatballs.
I love the strawberry pretzel salad which I have taken to church potlucks as well as the strawberry spinach salad.
All these recipes sound delicious. I can’t wait to try this one Kelly. I love raspberries. Can’t go wrong there!

Patty - December 8, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Kelly, May I join the others and tell you how much I love your blog? It has such a sweet spirit and a comfortable peace about it. Your home is beautiful and I always look forward to your post. My signature dish is deviled eggs. To a dozen hard boiled eggs I add a block of softened cream cheese and sandwich spread. A tad bit of mustard and salt and pepper. Everyone loves them and my first born grandchild, who doesn’t eat eggs, can’t get enough of them. Merry Christmas. Patty

Linda - December 8, 2013 - 2:59 pm

My dish would be spaghetti! Recipe has been passed down for several generations! Beautiful tree BTW!!


Megan - December 8, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Hi Kelly,
I would LOVE to try this recipe! It sounds delicious :) And what a tree you have! I am sure the pictures will be breathtaking (as always! :)

Carol Getz - December 8, 2013 - 3:07 pm

I know I will be copying down this recipe…and making it this holiday season. Thanks for sharing it with us! I love following you and love the look of your darling home.

Pippa Griffin - December 8, 2013 - 3:31 pm

Can’t wait to try your raspberry jello recipe – love the color and think it will look so beautiful on the table!

Signature item is from my childhood – in Goshen, IN, we had the nicest Amish egg lady who shared her recipe for what she called party potatoes and I’ve seen many variations of it since then but it would not be a holiday without these potatoes. Mashed potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, whipped to perfection and then baked in the oven to a golden top. They are heaven …. and can be made a little healthier using Greek yogurt and lo-fat cream cheese (NEVER the no-fat kind!).

Kelly, your decorations and ideas never fail to inspire me — thanks for all you share with your avid readers! Hugs, Pippa

Rose L - December 8, 2013 - 3:32 pm

Hi Kelly, I haven’t been much for posting lately but I’ve been reading. I finished installing the new kitchen flooring late last night and am now breathing a big sigh of relief! I’m very happy with the result! Now I’m just putting the kitchen back together and I’m really wanting to do some baking next but will hold off and get more done in the LR/DR first. Love the sounds of your recipe and I’ll jot it down and give it a try. I don’t have a signature dish per se but I guess I have some family favorites that get requested off and on depending on which one of my kids is doing the asking. I like to try new things whenever there is a potluck. I’m looking forward to seeing your tree all decked out!

Anne from Atlanta - December 8, 2013 - 3:57 pm

Hi Kelly,
Love your blog. Can’t wait to try your Raspberry Ribbon Salad. I like to make a
Sherried Fruit recipe at Christmastime.
Sorry the tree fell but glad no one and no property was hurt!

Sandy - December 8, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Sausage bread as an appetizer at our family’s annual Christmas Eve party at my sister’s house.

Dawn - December 8, 2013 - 4:13 pm


I am going to have to try your signature Raspberry Ribbon Salad! It looks divine. I usually make several batches of a snack mix that has a caramel and sea salt coating on it. It is not difficult but it takes an hour to make since you have bake and stir through out the process. It is delicious and addictive and the perfect gift this time of year. However we devour several handfuls of it sitting on the couch watching football.

Polly (KS) - December 8, 2013 - 4:21 pm

I can’t wait to see how you decorate your tree and try your ribbon salad. Sounds delicious! I’ve had something similar, but made with cranberries. Very tart. I prefer food to be on the sweet side, so I can’t wait to try your recipe. As to a signature dish, not really since I like to try different recipes. Have you ever thought of making a cook book with all of your wonderful recipes? I keep downloading the ones you’ve shared on your blog and so far have about 5 pages worth. One of these days I’ll print it off and have a hard copy. Happy Holidays!

Pamela G - December 8, 2013 - 5:09 pm

I make a strawberry congealed salad, very similar to your recipe, that I adapted from my mother’s recipe that has been at our family Christmas dinners for many years. I love just about any kind of congealed salad! Merry Christmas!

Linda@Lime in the Coconut - December 8, 2013 - 5:30 pm

Lovely LARGE tree! The salad sounds yummy too! I just did a post on a tropical version of egg nog using coconut milk. Crack, I tell you!

Kathy - December 8, 2013 - 5:54 pm

Kelly, thank you for responding so quickly about the chalk marker. I had a friend to pick one up at Hobby Lobby in SC and she is bringing it to me tomorrow…in time to letter the wedding chalkboards. (I told her where you said to look….and it was right there.)

I wish I had a signature recipe. I have been trying to find one. I can make a few things that are time consuming….like baklava and cheese braided coffee cakes; but, nothing that I can just whip up. So, instead of telling you a signature recipe, I am going to tell you what I tell one of my brothers when he asks what I brought to eat. I always say, “I don’t have to bring food, I bring great gifts.” LOL!

Cindy - December 8, 2013 - 6:02 pm

I will definitely be trying the Raspberry Ribbon Salad. Sounds wonderful.

Martha - December 8, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Kelly, I have had the ribbon salad, but never had a trusted recipe for it.I have decided to change up my Christmas dinner and this is going to be on the menu. Every recipe of yours that I have tried has been a hit. Thanks! I am known for my potato salad and Congo bars…..I think I probably need a new name for the Congo bars, but it is what my mom called them from the 1950’s on and we just go with it. They are a blond brownie with choc chips and walnuts. My family adores them.
Tinsel!!!!!! I love it!!! I hate the way it lingers long after the tree is gone.
I love your ginger bread houses from the previous post. I just made one this afternoon with my 2 oldest granddaughters. Such fun!

Brandi D. - December 8, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Your signature dish sounds delicious, Kelly! And I love the name: Raspberry Ribbon Salad. It sounds Christmasy. :)

As strange as it sounds, my family is always asking me to make “my” mashed potatoes. Loads of butter, sour cream, pressed garlic, and chives with a bit of mashed parsnips mixed in…mmmmm…

Katrina - December 8, 2013 - 6:23 pm

Gosh, I don’t think I have a signature dish. I wish I did. I can’t wait to see your decorated tree!!! There is nothing like the smell of a fresh frazier fur tree!! I hope your Christmas break starts soon!!!!

Darla - December 8, 2013 - 6:53 pm

I’m in denial that Christmas is here, almost! I don’t know if I really have a signature dish. I do make a coffee cake recipe that has been in my family since the 1880s. It is most unique and delicious. Old folks usually say that it reminds them of something their mothers used to make. I need to get baking!

Lisa K - December 8, 2013 - 7:05 pm

Your Raspberry Ribbon Salad sounds yummy! I’ll definitely give it a try. My signature dish is Cranberry Salad. It’s made with strawberry or raspberry gelatin, chopped fresh cranberries, crushed pineapple, shredded apples & chopped nuts – delicious! :-)

Chris Brown - December 8, 2013 - 7:37 pm

Yum! I’ve never had that raspberry recipe but it does look good! Everyone’s dishes sound really good! I’ve made the strawberry/ pretzel dessert and we all like that one but I was thinking of making it this year with whole berry cranberry sauce, diet cherry Jello, some orange zest and of course the pretzels, to take to our traditional family Christmas Eve pot luck dinner. Looking forward to seeing your tree decorated…looks like it’s a lovely tall one!

Pat in Georgia - December 8, 2013 - 7:47 pm

It has been a misty dreary weekend in Georgia, but, what a wonderful weekend to decorate the house for Christmas. We have the trees in the house, yet, no decorations. The house is decorated inside and out. It is my favorite time of year. I love playing Christmas music just enjoying the season. I can’t wait to see your beautiful tree all decorated. God Bless the pine tree came down without incident.
I don’t know that I have one signature dish. My children and my family members each have their favorites that I must make every year. Red Velvet Cake is a must. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Patty in Michigan - December 8, 2013 - 8:03 pm

I don’t have a signature dish, but I do make a loaf of artisan bread that is a favorite. I would love to try this recipe of your’s…..looks beautiful and would add some pretty color to the table during Christmas. Your tree is huge! Can’t wait to see pictures when it’s decorated. Thanks again for the giveaway. I was in Williams-Sonoma today. Love that store!

Talia - December 8, 2013 - 8:43 pm

It wouldn’t be Christmas without nut rolls. My family has made these my whole life and they are amazing!

Love your blog! A welcoming place for sure!

Solducky - December 8, 2013 - 9:03 pm

I make a great gooey butter cake!

Louvina - December 8, 2013 - 9:14 pm

That salad looks yummy! Think I’ll make it for New Years! And I feel the same way you do about the smell of tangerines– we always had them when I was little and that smell “means” Christmas is here! My signature dish ( my kids beg for every year) is Cherries on Snow. Have not been able to make it because I lost the recipe– but “glory” I finally found it– it is made with Dream Whip and I was concerned they no longer make that– BUT I found it at Publix!! So guess what my Christmas surprise is going to be–:) it is a no bake cheese cake — I tried it with Cool Whip but didn’t taste the same-topped with cherries! The real name is “cherries in snow” that was why I had a hard time finding it on google.

Karen - December 8, 2013 - 9:18 pm

Can’t wait to see the entire tree….no signature dishes here but that dish of yours will be gracing our Christmas table.

Sandy @ You May Be Wandering - December 8, 2013 - 9:48 pm

Don’t you just love Southern Living recipes from back in the day?! Yours looks tasty and your tree looks like it will be beautiful! Williams Sonoma is one of my favorite stores, so! Of course I would love to win!!

Ailene - December 8, 2013 - 9:50 pm

My signature dish is a broccoli casserole. Even the little ones like it!

Julie - December 8, 2013 - 9:51 pm

My signature is a bay blue salad. Lots of steps but loved by all and worth the effort!!

Ellen - December 8, 2013 - 10:00 pm

Kelly, I can’t wait to see the complete unveiling of your tree. After 40+ years of live trees. we broke over and put up an artificial tree this year. I am using live greenery for decorating though.

Your raspberry salad sounds wonderful. I make a similar one with strawberries. For holidays, one of my signature dishes is a cranberry apple crunch (almost like a dessert) with an oatmeal, brown sugar, pecan, and butter topping.

Always look forward to your posts…….

Martha - December 8, 2013 - 10:28 pm

Hi Kelly…. me again
Looking at your recipe for ribbon salad I have 2 questions:
what size dish do you use and how do you keep the jello mixture for the second layer from setting while you wait for the first layer to set? Thanks!
Hi Martha!
Good questions! I use a 9 1/2 X 13 1/2 in. casserole dish, and I leave it out covered on the stove (with the burner off) until the first layer is set (or partially set).

Lori - December 8, 2013 - 10:44 pm

I cannot wait to see the rest of your tree. :)
Tinsel sure takes me back to my childhood. How fun!
Not sure I have a signature dish, but I do get rave reviews for my
fried chicken.

Lynda Lamon - December 8, 2013 - 11:10 pm

Love your recipe! My signature dish is apple dumplings made with orange juice,
Thanks for the chance to win!!!

Wanda - December 8, 2013 - 11:45 pm

Just popping into,the com box to say Merry Christmas! We are under several inches of ice and have been housebound for 3 days. Another tomorrow! I am going to have to try that salad. Looks wonderful!

Garden, home and party - December 9, 2013 - 12:11 am

I don’t think I have a single signature dish, but your jello dish looks s
Delicious and I’ve had something very similar…yummy.
Did the tree fall down? It looks like it will be a beautiful Christmas tree.

This is such a fun time of year.

Melody - December 9, 2013 - 12:24 am

I can’t say I have a signature dish yet but I hope that with enough cooking and trying new recipes I’ll find one!

Paula Jolly - December 9, 2013 - 12:44 am

I thought of you this week when I made a trip to Fresh Market to buy some of those yummy gingerbread men! My son & I will have fun decorating them ~ & eating them (maybe will share a few!)!!

Merry Christmas,

Debbie w - December 9, 2013 - 8:26 am

I make a good brown rice with mushrooms for special occasions…by popular demand! Hope the next couple school days will be stress free for you!

Kaye Ann - December 9, 2013 - 9:27 am

Great recipe. I love to cook and I was thinking about what recipe that defines me, I guess my banana pudding would be the one. Can’t wait for the pictures of your tree…, love you house.

Tracy - December 9, 2013 - 10:26 am

I am definitely making your Christmas Raspberry Salad this Christmas. LOve your Blog

Sally - December 9, 2013 - 12:32 pm

I DO have a signature dish for Christmas — and I’ve told a lot of people about it lately, so forgive me if I’ve mentioned it here before. My family likes me to bring dessert on Christmas. Actually, it’s just one item in a dessert feast, but everyone always enjoys my Peppermint Patty Brownies. You can find the recipe here: Your raspberry ribbon salad looks and sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe Kelly!

Marianne in Mo. - December 9, 2013 - 6:27 pm

Too late for the giveaway, but that’s okay. I am the Caramel Pecan Roll maker around here. Family can’t seem to have Christmas without them! At our old house, I made the mistake of giving them out to our neighbors one year, and afterwards, they always asked when they would be arriving! I ended up making way too many batches for too many years!

Bobbie Allgood - December 9, 2013 - 7:51 pm


I can’t wait to try your salad. I have a potato salad that I have become famous for. Everyone just loves it; potatoes, mayo, salt and pepper, red onions and cottage cheese. Sounds strange, but it is a real winner.


Jayne - December 11, 2013 - 4:31 pm

My signature dish is apple pie! My nephew would be very disappointed if I didn’t make him one. I gave him one for Christmas when he was 12. After Christmas, his teacher had them write a paper about their favorite present. he wrote about my pie! One proud aunt here! I love tinsel on the tree, although I didn’t use any this year. I tied raffia bows to get the “hanging” look I like. Posting pictures hopefully tomorrow. I’ve been waiting for the rain and clouds to go away to get some good pictures.

phyllis - December 13, 2013 - 8:33 pm

Ooo, your salad sounds wonderful, too! I’m sure I’ve never had it.

Wish we could have a potluck and have all these people bring these things so we could taste! We’d have to wear our elastic pants, right? Spinach souffle…mercy..sounds good!

phyllis - December 13, 2013 - 8:48 pm

I read all these comments and had fun…I wish I could click on their names and go to their blogs…is there any way you can enable that?

phyllis - December 13, 2013 - 8:49 pm

OH…I get it now…if they aren’t clickable…they don’t have a blog. Carry on :)

Christmas Favorites: A Christmas Table … and a giveaway for you!

dining room and kitchen at christmas -How is your holiday decorating coming along?  With Thanksgiving so late on the calendar this year, it seems we are having to squeeze everything in much faster to be ready by Christmas Eve.  I never want to overlook Thanksgiving because I think the spirit of Christmas begins with a heart of gratitude, but it would definitely help if it came early in November! Maybe we can see about getting that changed.:)

Christmas table settings

Since we are talking about decorating, do you have your table set with Christmas dishes?  This is my third year of using the Williams-Sonoma Christmas ones I purchased through a number of Ebay auctions. I still appreciate its variety of patterns, and I fully intended to go in the direction of the Nutcracker theme this year, but cookies and gingerbread just made more sense to me for a kitchen.

Christmas table with trees and cookies

Instead of using the gingerbread house in the center of the table like I did last year, I decided to branch off of the Christmas tree theme in the pattern. I ended up stealing the two little trees out of the kitchen to use on the table since they were the perfect scale for there.  (I am using live ones now in the kitchen.)   In the center is a large red mixing bowl (from Hallmark several years ago) filled with bags of cookies tied with red and cream grosgrain ribbon.

Talk of the House - centerpiece for Christmas

Talk of the House - Christmas centerpiece
It is not a fancy centerpiece, and it can be removed easily for  meals if needed. (I don’t know how families are able to serve food on the table with some of the elaborate centerpieces I have seen lately.)  You can see that the cabinet in the dining room has a wreath with the jute webbing like the kitchen window, and there are touches of red in the cookbooks and other things in there.

dining room cabinet with wreath

Christmas details in dining room cabinet

cabinet vignette details

I did not use the jars of gingerbread houses on the antique cabinet this year. They are still in good condition, but I wanted a change.  To store them, I simply remove the lid, cover it tightly with plastic wrap that is held in place with a rubber band, and put the lid back on.  The jar is then kept in that cabinet until the next year.  The gingerbread houses that are not in jars, are put in a super large zip lock bag and stored in our deep freeze.  That is how I stored the one in the photo below this past year.

Again, I wanted to use the tree theme along with the gingerbread houses, so you can see that I added them to the little display here…along with some cookies for Santa.:)

gingerbread house vignette and cookies

gingerbread house vignetteAnd that wraps up the holiday decor in our dining room this year.  The weather has not been very cooperative for taking indoor photographs, and it gets dark quite early now.   So please forgive the lighting (and fuzziness) in some of these in today’s post.

Christmas dining room

Don’t forget as part of my Christmas Favorites, we are giving away a $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card in a random drawing on Sunday night (12/8/13.)  Just leave a comment on any or all of the Christmas Favorites posts that publish between Nov.29 and Dec. 8.

Williams Sonoma gift cardFrom all your comments in the last post, it is obvious we need to have a huge cookie swap!  (Great idea Lisa!)  Good grief at the variety of cookies you all talked about, and I just loved all the ones that had a family connection to the cookie.  I am leaving you with another question to talk about today so that you can jump right on in and comment for another chance to win the gift certificate.

Do you have a Christmas china pattern, and if so, what it is?

Can’t wait to hear from you!a signature

***giveaway has closed***

Terry - December 4, 2013 - 10:38 pm

I prefer to use a classic white china pattern that can we dressed up with holiday linens and table decorations.

Katrina - December 4, 2013 - 10:49 pm

Oh I just love all your red! I am still drooling over your new curtains! I cut fresh evergreens, nandina berries, and magnolia today for finishing Christmas touches! It was so pretty in western NC today that I even washed my car in the driveway…the mailman started laughing when he dropped off our mail. My husband is making me two boxwood wreaths tomorrow for the doors that lead to my porch and then I’m calling it quits. On to making chex mix and a cheese ball tomorrow……..Merry Christmas!!!

Suzanne DeVeau - December 4, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Hi Kelly! Love your blog! House looks so festive! Merry Christmas!

Deborah Wilkins - December 4, 2013 - 11:07 pm

A girl after my own heart… all the red, particularly the red check drapes! Merry Christmas!

Louvina - December 4, 2013 - 11:09 pm

I attended an Advent Tea this evening with my daughter and her friend and each table had a different table setting decorated by the ladies of the church. Just so lovely! My table setting (already done!) is made up of two different Christmas trees designs on a white background and I have had them for years. Enjoyed looking at your table! Feeling a little rushed myself with losing about a week with a late Thanksgiving. I don’t decorate for Xmas until after turkey day– I also feel that the spirit of gratefulness ushers in the season for me and my family. Now if only we could get the temperature out of the 80 degrees!! PS– the new store I went to was Trader Joe’s NOT Bahama Joe’s!! ;)Crazy me! And my favorite cookie is a butter spritz.

Pippa Griffin - December 4, 2013 - 11:14 pm

Gave my Spode Christmas tree dishes to my daughter-in-law several years ago, so now just use plain white dishes and dress up the table with napkins, candles and flowers.

Sharon H - December 4, 2013 - 11:17 pm

I don’t have a “Christmas” china. I use my collection of “Memory Lane” red transfer ware. It is so versatile. I can use it Valentines day, Mother’s day, etc.! I also acquired the pieces from Ebay auctions! Thanks for the opportunity to win a gift card!

Donnamae - December 4, 2013 - 11:18 pm

I don’t have Christmas dishes. I guess I thought of that as a luxury, and it never fit into my budget. But, I sure enjoy looking at other’s! ;)

Rebecca Dexter - December 4, 2013 - 11:22 pm

Love what you said about Thanksgiving…I too wish that it was earlier…like Canada’s. Then, maybe we wouldn’t feel so rushed at Christmas and be able to enjoy each season as it comes. The media rushes things so much that by the day after Christmas I am more than ready to throw out the tree. I would love to be able to enjoy and celebrate all the way to Jan. 6th…

My Christmas china is “The Holly and the Ivy” an English ironstone.

Sandy @ You May Be Wandering - December 4, 2013 - 11:35 pm

What a charming table!! My holiday pattern is the Spode Christmas Tree…I have had it since I was in my 20’s and look forward to using it every year!!

Sherry - December 4, 2013 - 11:35 pm

Kelly, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and love your beautiful home! Merry Christmas to you!

Mary - December 4, 2013 - 11:36 pm

Love your beautiful red table setting. I have had the Lenox holly christmas dishes for years. I still like them but as things go my tastes have changed and would prefer a simpler pattern. Wish I could find a nice plane red dinner plates and change the salad plates. So enjoy y,our blog!

Stacy - December 4, 2013 - 11:40 pm

I love your new curtains! (I’ve been obsessed with that same James Farmer picture too!) My Christmas china is tartan plaid. I’ve had it for 25 years now, and I still love it!! Two years ago I added the nutcracker dessert plates from Williams Sonoma. They look beautiful with the tartan plaid dinner plates!
(I love your blog! It’s always such an inspiration!)

Lynda Lamon - December 4, 2013 - 11:51 pm

Kelly, beautiful Christmas decor!! Love your blog-you inspire me!! Thanks for the chance to win!!! Merry Christmas!!

Lisa K - December 5, 2013 - 12:00 am

I don’t have “Christmas” China. But, I do love to set our table with white dinner plates paired with vintage Anchor Hocking Royal Ruby salad & dessert dishes that were given to me by my mother. I also use a vintage red & white Christmas tablecloth. Then, I add a few candles & some greenery for a very festive table! Love your Williams-Sonoma Christmas China & all the touches of red in your kitchen.

Laura Ingalls Gunn - December 5, 2013 - 12:10 am

I have two sets of dishes. Plain white everyday Villeroy and Bach that can be dressed up or down, as well as red transferware. It works so well for Christmas, Valentine’s, 4th of July, Back to school, etc.

maria white - December 5, 2013 - 12:13 am

I don’t have Cmas china/dishes. I have thought about it for years, but could never decide on a pattern. And now I have too many sets of dishes to add another! Love your blog – read it every time you post! Merry Ho Ho!

Ellen Martin - December 5, 2013 - 12:15 am

I love the warmth and charm of your décor!! It’s not overdone……just inviting and so pretty. Thanks for sharing family life with your readers. I too am inspired!

Nanette Romo - December 5, 2013 - 1:44 am

I LOVE my Christmas china! My mom let me pick out a pattern after I graduated college and after many years I had a complete set. It is Naif Christmas by Villeroy and Boch…I love it because it is more winter than Christmas and can be used all season. Love the gingerbread house jars!

Melody - December 5, 2013 - 3:58 am

I love the way you styled the shelving. So cute with the wreath!

Jayne - December 5, 2013 - 4:05 am

I have always loved the Christmas theme china, but have never gotten any. When I married I chose a china pattern I could use with any occasion. It is white with silver flower trim around the edge. We use it every Christmas morning for Christmas breakfast. I do have Christmas mugs we use all season long for coffee, hot chocolate and other drinks. I love your touches of color that make everything pop. I’m going to start doing that.

Kara - December 5, 2013 - 5:10 am

I have a few odd pieces from Spode’s ‘Christmas Tree’ pattern! I love china in general, and to have a Christmas pattern would be wonderful!

Sally - December 5, 2013 - 7:02 am

Good morning Kelly! The dining room looks amazing! You have such a magic touch! I love your red Hallmark bowl [I collect bowls] — and I have to agree with you… don’t know how people make these large centerpieces work! Perhaps they are just for show? I only had a small arrangement in the center of the table for Thanksgiving, and I had to remove it in order to have room for all of the serving dishes!

Donna - December 5, 2013 - 7:20 am

Kelly, I love you table. I have plain white dishes, but have added plain red for Christmas. I also have a black with big green holly tablecloth by April Cornell that adds some punch. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Natalie Andrews - December 5, 2013 - 7:26 am

I love a nice white or cream colored pattern…that way I can dress it up with Christmas tablecloths….it is easy to store because you can use it every day and I can make it look like any holiday….by the way your table looks fantastic…

Chris S - December 5, 2013 - 8:01 am

I love all the touches of red. It’s right perfect for some holiday cheer and goes perfectly with what you already have. For our ‘Christmas China pattern’, we just combine our everyday dishes, Mikasa French Country, with Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles in Pink.

Jill - December 5, 2013 - 8:10 am

Thanks for the info on preserving your gingerbread houses. You’re the best! One of these years I’m going to make one!
A few years ago, I started to collect a Pfaltzgraff Christmas pattern and about two years in, they discontinued it. BOO! So now I just pick up pretty dishes here and there that I like. I mostly use them for decor anyways since I host Christmas Eve and we don’t have a big sit-down meal.
You’re dining room looks lovely as always!

KellyinPA - December 5, 2013 - 8:12 am

Love the tree theme this year:) My great aunt gave me the serving dishes and mugs from her Spode Christmas Tree china, I have no idea what happened to the dishes. I will be using the mugs when I make up my hot chocolate bar, hopefully sometime this week. As always, thanks for the inspiration:)

Barbara Hinske - December 5, 2013 - 8:18 am

Lovely and so inviting. And your tablesetting looks like you are really going to sit down and eat, without removing TONS of items from the centerpiece and between placesettings. i admire all of the beautiful tablescapes out there in blogland, but you wouldn’t actually be able to use them. As for Christmas china, I had some unexpected cash last January and bought myself a complete service of Villeroy & Boch’s French Garden Noel. Was SO excited to get it out and start using it this year! Love your WS dishes, too!

Barbara (WA) - December 5, 2013 - 8:50 am

I adore Christmas china and have had several patterns over the years. Now I’ve “settled” on Holiday Gatherings in the Berry pattern by Lenox. It is mostly discontinued but still available here and there. Your table is so welcoming (and I agree, how do people actually eat at some of those tables, heh!).

Sherri - December 5, 2013 - 8:59 am

Thanks for sharing your beautifully decorated home!

Cheri - December 5, 2013 - 9:11 am

My sister in-law got me some cute luncheon plates at the Dollar General several years ago and I liked the pattern and needed some more, I was lucky enough to get their last couple of sets to make 12. While there, I also found these luncheon plates that have a log cabin on them and a deer which work well with my nature theme this year.

Gail - December 5, 2013 - 9:16 am

Merry Christmas Kelly. Your home looks wonderful…as usual. Love the gingerbread house and trees idea…truly a walk through the snowy woods:-) My centerpiece is the nativity scene with candles and straw surrounding. Usually it’s tucked away in the bookcase in the family room, but wanted it right in front of us when we eat as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. I borrowed the idea from you…thanks again for all the inspiration! My Christmas china is Magnolia by Tienshan. I purchased it years ago as my inspiration for moving to NC, (still in Ohio) but I love the pattern of the magnolia flowers and buds. I use it for company as well as everyday a lot. Still dreaming of NC! Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us this Christmas.

judy - December 5, 2013 - 9:21 am

I love the table because of its simplicity. And you know I’m dying to see “my” porch that I get a peek at through the window! One question though…can you please tell me how you tied that gorgeous bow on the wreath? With jute (and burlap) it’s so bulky I have a hard time getting mine to look as pretty as yours!

We’re off to Atlanta tomorrow (Friday) for the SEC game on Saturday….lord help me!

Anne from Atlanta - December 5, 2013 - 9:22 am

Hi Kelly,
Your table looks so pretty! I have Spode’s Christmas Tree pattern which I have collected over the years. We start using it December 1st.
Thanks again for your beautiful blog! Anne

Talia - December 5, 2013 - 9:23 am

What a fun table you’ve set! I don’t have Christmas china anymore, but currently have a set of solid white dishes that I accent with red for Christmas. It is still very festive looking!

I have yet to decorate, but have plans to this weekend. I am feeling a bit behind! EEK!

Thank you for once again, inspiring me with your lovely home.

Barb - December 5, 2013 - 9:24 am

Another beautiful and inspiring room. I bring out our Nikko Happy Holidays dinner plates and Martha Stewart plaid dessert plates the day after Thanksgiving. We use those daily during the Christmas Season. I also switch out all our glasses. For Christmas Dinner I use my mom’s china. It’s cream with a maroon and gold border. Her sterling silver also makes an appearance every Christmas. When I was a little girl, I was in charge of setting the table. Now, when I set the table with her china, I feel like she’s with me.

karen - December 5, 2013 - 9:41 am

What a lovely table….everything is so festive at your house….can i come over and visit???? My Christmas dishes are from Christopher Radko that Target carried…I was just at Target the other day and forgot to look and see if they are carrying them this year. Love them! Thanks :)

Betsy(@coastal-colors) - December 5, 2013 - 9:47 am

Your Christmas table is so pretty! I love all the pops of red! Thanks for the tip on storing Gingerbread houses; I had no idea they would last. I love your china; I use Spode’s Christmas tree. I started collecting it over 30 years ago. Thank you for hosting this wonderful giveaway too!

Darla - December 5, 2013 - 10:15 am

I don’t have Christmas dishes. We do more of a winter theme and don’t use red much. I was thinking of getting clear plates where I could change out theme that peeks through the plates. You’ve done a beautiful job of making your home warm and festive.

beth - December 5, 2013 - 10:18 am

We have Christmas dishes handed down from my husband’s great aunt. They depict a snow scene with a cabin and blue and white snowflakes. They don’t necessarily go seamlessly with our decor, but they bring back fond memories of Dh’s great aunt, who was very much like a grandmother to him.

Kathy - December 5, 2013 - 10:21 am

My mother-in-law started Holiday by Lenox china for me the first Christmas we were married…32 years ago. And, I still love it. I keep it displayed in my china cabinet all year because I like it better than my wedding china. I have this thing for dishes. I also have everyday Christmas dishes that are red and white/cream gingham and gingerbread men. I forgot what they are called but the plates don’t fit in the dishwasher which is a problem. I love seeing you different tablescapes. Merry Christmas!

Susan - December 5, 2013 - 10:31 am

I love the simplicity of your centerpiece and the pops of Christmas red in your decor. I wish that they still made the Williams-Sonoma dishes that you set your table with. They are just my style!

Monika - December 5, 2013 - 10:44 am

Hi, Kelly,
As always, your blogs are the highlights of my day! Thank you!
We have had a set of Christmas dishes I bought more than 25 years ago when we lived in Virginia – it’s called ‘Christmas Time’ by Nikko. It was affordable but I still had guilt pangs thinking that I should spent our money on more important things – but every year I am so happy that I bought it over time, when on sale, piece by piece.

Could you please tell me what the Gingerbread Houses in the big jars are resting in? Sugar? Flour?

Pat Peele - December 5, 2013 - 10:44 am

Lovely table! When we downsized several years ago, our Christmas dishes went.
I really enjoy using white dishes and my pastel lLuray dishes. Decorative touches make it festive.

Polly in KS - December 5, 2013 - 11:53 am

I love how you decorated your dining room. It flows so well with the kitchen. The red you use is perfect – a cherry red. You and your home are such an inspiration. For now, I use white dinnerware, but next year…..hmmmm. That’s gonna change because I plan on buying some red dinnerware to use instead. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

Becky - December 5, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Hi Kelley. Love your dishes. Everything looks just lovely.
I have Christmas dishes. The pattern is Old Britain Castles.
It is a rose/mauve with a Christmas tree in the center.
I use burgundy salad plates and small oval white dishes with small burgundy flowers that sit in the top left corner. These small dishes sit on top of the salad plate and their crescent rolls sits perfectly in them.Sitting the table is my favorite thing.
I put a small gift at each place setting. Everyone enjoys it and looks forward to the table and how I change it up from year to year.
I use my mother’s oval white platters for the meats.Have a lovely day Kelley… Blessings, Becky

Debra - December 5, 2013 - 12:24 pm

Love your table scape and holiday décor. I think you have that wonderful “minimalist” mindset in your decorating. I don’t have any holiday china, but will be on the search after the holiday to see if I can just pick up a few plates for fun. Every time I visit your blog, I wish I had your wonderful built ins. Very smart. They are so great to have for display and storage, rather than a furniture piece that takes up floor space. Thank you for the inspire Kelly.


Dawn - December 5, 2013 - 12:54 pm


I do have a Christmas china pattern but it is not all matching. My Mom has bought and given me mixed pieces over the years adding casserole pans and other serving pieces as the years have gone by. They tie right into my everyday cream colored Longerberger basket weave dishes. My most favorite of all though are the silverware she gave me a couple of years ago. They came from Target and they have snowflakes etched into the silver handles. I get everything out for christmas eve dinner. We serve tons of appetizers and lots of Christmas cookies. Both sides of the family come over and it just so much fun. I wash everything up that night after everyone is gone and lay it all out for our breakfast the next morning.

Patty in Michigan - December 5, 2013 - 1:05 pm

I don’t have an expensive set of china, but I have a pretty holly pattern with gold trim, simple and classic that was a gift from my inlaws one year. Love getting out my Christmas dishes to use during the month! Thanks for the giveway offer, Kelly.

Kaye Ann - December 5, 2013 - 1:36 pm

I JUST LOVE THE RED CHECKED CURTAINS!! Did you make them. I want for my living room, but I will have to sew them myself because of odd shaped windows. Tell me how you made them if you did. I have a week off during Christmas and New Years. But have to find the material.
Love your decorating!

Leanna Mathias - December 5, 2013 - 3:19 pm

I always mix my white china with Pottery Barn’s reindeer china. It is a mix of classy and whimsical fun :) We have a large farm house table that my husband made. I usually decorate it with a burlap runner, lots of greenery and candles. It really makes the plates and the table stand out . I wish I could keep our table like that all year!

Pat - December 5, 2013 - 6:08 pm

I have a set from dollar tree! They look great. I don’t have to worry if one of the grandchildren break one.

Debbie w - December 5, 2013 - 6:38 pm

My pattern is an old one…..octagon shaped dishes by Nikko. I will pick up random pieces by Spode, Lenox or Culbertson when I find them!

Linda - December 5, 2013 - 7:01 pm

I’m using the classic white this year along with red linens. Merry Christmas!

Susie Hamlin - December 5, 2013 - 7:02 pm

I started with Waechtersbach Christmas Tree not long after I got married in 1983, still love it. I’ve been so busy lately I forgot to bring it out…late Thanksgiving is impacting my holiday prep for sure. Oh, and teaching, I suppose! Have a great Christmas, Kelly. Love your blog.

Tracy - December 5, 2013 - 8:00 pm

I really have enjoyed your decorating so far!

Charlene - December 5, 2013 - 8:01 pm

This is, by far, my favorite blog. I enjoy every posting. Especially these holiday ones! Can’t wait to see more of your house at Christmas. My holiday dishes are a pattern called Holly Holiday that was sold through Macy’s several years ago. It somewhat mimics Lenox’s traditional holly pattern, but I think it’s even prettier! (And was less expensive!) Looking forward to more postings.

Brandi D. - December 5, 2013 - 8:39 pm

Your gingerbread houses give me the smiles every time! Your home just seems made for the holidays. :)

I actually don’t have a Christmas china pattern. We use our everyday white dishes and spruce up the table with a tablecloth that was passed onto us by my husband’s aunt.

Pat in Georgia - December 5, 2013 - 8:40 pm

Kelly, your dining room looks so inviting and ready for Christmas, it is just beautiful. My dining room is decked out in Lenox Holiday. My sweet husband started buying pieces for me over twenty eight Christmases. Lenox Holiday gives the dining room the richest hue of green and gold. The Holly just pops on gold plate chargers. Christmas is the most beautiful time of year for the dining room.

Julie S - December 5, 2013 - 9:55 pm

I would love to have the Spode Christmas China, but have never pulled the trigger.

Julie - December 5, 2013 - 9:57 pm

Love, your blog and your home! Portmeirion Holly and Ivy, which I display until the end of January since it is more of a winter theme.

Debbie - December 5, 2013 - 10:53 pm

Your house looks wonderful as always. I hope you’ll share your other decorated rooms too!

Sharron - December 5, 2013 - 11:15 pm

I love your style. Your home is beautifully decorated. I loved your bedroom decorations from Christmas last year so much, I copied it in my own bedroom. I am still looking for a cool pillow, but I really like how it turned out. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Sandy - December 6, 2013 - 7:07 am

Kelly, I so love your display of pictures in your kitchen. It must be the teacher in you. Your drapes are fabulous. I have a small check navy blue and light carmel color in mine. Enjoy your blog!

Loretta Hamilton - December 6, 2013 - 9:40 am

You decorate beautifully and your Christmas decor is my favorite! I have a Crate & Barrel snowman pattern mugs and plates (on clear glass) pattern that I have had for years and I do place that on a shelf with some hot cocoa mixes and cookies for the holidays!

Marianne in Mo. - December 6, 2013 - 12:03 pm

I use classic white dinnerware, with festive plaid table linens. Not much fuss here, we are casual, with littles around. Hard enough to just keep the tablecloth in place! My 2yr. old granddaughter likes to “reset” the table, moving place settings and silverware all around! Lately, we’ve switched to having an all hors d’oeuvres Christmas, making that our meal. The kids must also visit the other sides, so we found it better to just not do a big dinner they didn’t have room to eat. We have several pounds of shrimp, snack sausages, cheeses, veggie and fruit platter, dips, crackers and cocktail rye or a bread bowl, along with cookies, brownies, and sometimes cake or pies. We all share the prep work and cleanup. Then around the New Year, when things calm down, we do a big dinner, with Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding. Family tradition for at least four generations now, the holiday isn’t complete without that dinner!

Paula B. - December 6, 2013 - 1:15 pm

Still coveting that jute ribbon, so chic. I second the motion for a cookie swap, next year! Do you follow Susan Branch’s blog – she has a post with all her top cookie recipes. Favorite Christmas pattern (I love them all), but it’s Spode’s Christmas Tree for me!

Gina - December 6, 2013 - 2:17 pm

I have a set (only 4) of Fitz and Floyd St. Nicholas dishes that my husband bought from a women who worked at the Christmas tree lot. She had 4 five piece place settings so he bought them for only $50!! He knew I loved dishes. After looking them up we realized what a steal he got! I used to put them in my hutch but haven’t in a few years because my decor is a little different. Your post makes me want to dig them out though. Maybe so! ;) I also have some cheapo Dollar General snowman dishes that I end up using more because I have a lot so when we have our family get together we eat on them. My great niece and great nephews used the snowman cups a couple of days ago for their hot chocolate. :) I’m kinda a “white” girl now so that is mainly what is out. :P

Pam C - December 6, 2013 - 4:35 pm

I love my Longaberger Christmas pottery. When I need extra pieces, I just pull out my regular Longaberger pottery – the colors are perfect together. I think everyone needs some Christmas china – even if you just get mugs or luncheon plates that coordinate with your everyday.. Your table is just beautiful!

Bev Tippett - December 6, 2013 - 10:07 pm

While I love classic white and use it often;I have started collecting red transferware. I use it with vintage red glass goblet. Love the festive look!

Beth - December 6, 2013 - 10:21 pm

I have a set that Target carried ten years ago, and I still LOVE it! Wish I could find more pieces. Simple design with a pointsettia in the middle. Still looks updated even ten years later!

Stacey Young - December 7, 2013 - 8:51 am

I have a pfaltzcraft pattern with the Christmas tree in the middle and the toy train underneath the tree. My mother-in-law started me on this pattern and thanks to eBay, i have added to it over the years. I now have a complete set for twelve.

PEGGY - December 7, 2013 - 10:22 am

Love your blog! After years of waiting I now have a good collection of Spode Christmas Tree. I hate I don’t get to use it longer!

Carol M - December 7, 2013 - 4:41 pm

I love my Christmas dishes! They are the Holiday Gathering pattern by Lenox.

Amy L - December 7, 2013 - 11:29 pm

I don’t have Christmas dishes, but I like yours. So cute and festive :)

cindy hattersley - December 8, 2013 - 5:48 am

Love your china with your new curtains!

Dawn B. - December 8, 2013 - 9:38 am

Just found your blog and have been catching up with past posts. Love that your house has color!!! All of your travel posts make me want to head east. My husband’s aunt and uncle live in Beaufort. May need to plan a trip.

Laura - December 8, 2013 - 11:06 am

I love your pretty decorations! I have the Lenox Holiday pattern china with holly on it. It makes me happy to get it out and use it every year.

lisa - December 8, 2013 - 2:51 pm

I use the Christmas dishes that go with my everyday pattern I’ve used for thirty years now. I have the Pfaltzgraff Heritage. I sometimes add red or green solid pieces to change it up. I love the WS pattern you have. Maybe it’s time for a change.
Beautiful ideas. Your classroom must be fun with all your creativity. Can’t wait to see more!

Solducky - December 8, 2013 - 9:05 pm

We just use white plates but change up the napkins and placemats for color.

mary mac - December 8, 2013 - 9:26 pm

We use table ware my father brought home from Thailand from 1969, with beautiful teak handles.

Kelly D - December 8, 2013 - 10:36 pm

I have plates with Christmas trees on them, but I have not used them yet.

Kathleen - December 8, 2013 - 10:40 pm

You have a lovely home! I love your dishes! Merry Christmas!

Lori - December 8, 2013 - 10:53 pm

Catching up on your posts again. :)
I have a holly pattern. Holly leaves and berries are one of my
favorites. I do love those small trees on your table. Perfect!

Jaclyn Reynolds - December 10, 2013 - 11:05 am

We have a lovely snowflake pattern China set!

Janet G. - December 12, 2013 - 8:50 pm

I have a 30+- year old set of Royal Gallery Holly fine china (which is similar to the Lennox Holly pattern) purchased from Davison’s at the after-Christmas sale.

Christmas Favorites: Red in the Kitchen and… a giveaway for you!

Talk of the House kitchen cookbooksDo you use much red in your home?  The Christmas season provides the perfect excuse to add even more of my favorite color to our home here (not that I needed an excuse. :)) I love to use it everywhere I can – especially in the kitchen.  For example…do you see those drapes in the photo below? Every time I saw that photo on Pinterest, I wanted those drapes. Every time I went in James Farmer’s shop and saw them hanging there in all their checked beauty, I wanted those drapes.  So guess what I did…

Talk of the House James Farmer Atlanta Showhouse 2012I ordered some fabric and made some red checked drapes for the kitchen and dining room!  They are not hot pink as they appear in the photograph.  They are a lovely Christmas red.  I really debated about using the trim on them like James Farmer did on his, but I finally decided that was a bit too fancy for our very casual rooms.

Talk of the House Christmas wreaths in windows
For our wreaths in the kitchen this year, I didn’t think red ribbons were needed with the jolt of red in the fabric.  So I used jute webbing with a touch of red in it.  Mine came from Hobby Lobby, but it is also available here if you are interested in ordering any.

jute webbing

 Natural 3 1/2″ Jute Webbing-36 Yards

Here is a closer view of how it looks on the wreaths.  The bows are pinned on since this fabric is too stiff to actually tie in a bow.

Talk of the House WreathsNow for a little more red in the kitchen.. packaging, my Christmas dishes, cookbooks, and notebooks all in the desk area bring a punch of holiday color.  The little tree is back in the corner there with its red paper wrapped pot again.

Talk of the House desk

Here’s the chalkboard I hand lettered with Martha Stewart’s recipe for her Christmas cookies.
Talk of the House desktop

At the other end of the counter are more red cookbooks and red cups in the flour and sugar jars.  Last year’s gingerbread house is there on a red plate after spending the year in the freezer.

Talk of the House kitchen countertop with cookbooks and gingerbread house

Talk of the House gingerbread house and jarsThe cocoa tray is back by the window with the Williams-Sonoma Christmas Icons mugs and a red tin of hot chocolate and some candy canes for stirring.

Talk of the House Hot cocoa tray

The other beverage areas have red cups, napkins, tea packaging, and bags of coffee.

Beverage cabinets

The island is full of jars of Christmas cookies again, and a red cake stand holds pecan bars.  I made the chocolate chip and the sugar cookies, but my sons bought the Christmas tree cookies and the bourbon pecan bars at Fresh Market for me.  Those sweets won’t last long around here.

Talk of the House dessertsThat takes us all the way around our little kitchen area.

Kitchen decorated for Christmas And on this first day of December, I wanted to begin celebrating Christmas with you by doing  one of several giveaways I have planned for the next couple of weeks.  Because my favorite day in December is the 25th, I am giving one of you a $25 gift card to one of my favorite stores, Williams-Sonoma. I am not affiliated with them, but I do LOVE to shop there.  So I hope that one of you will also enjoy finding something for your kitchen there.

Williams Sonoma gift card

Just leave a comment on any or all of the Christmas Favorites posts that publish between November 29, 2013 and next Sunday, December 8, 2013 at midnight.  (That means if you left a comment on the previous post about my favorite Hot Christmas Tea you are already entered! :))  I will be back with the dining room decorated for the holidays in my next post, and I will leave you with a sneak peek of the room and a question:

Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie? If so, please tell us what kind.

We devour quite a few Christmas cookies around here in December!  My husband’s favorite is a very plain (and soft) sugar cookie – with no decoration on it. I love those easy to make graham cracker pecan praline cookies.

Talk of the House dining room cabinet

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

a signature

***giveaway has ended***


Mickey - December 1, 2013 - 11:17 pm

Hi Kelly…Happy Holidays to you and your family. I love your use of red in your home, you have wonderful taste and I enjoy your blog. I don’t bake a lot of different kinds of Christmas cookies, my family prefers the old standards, sugar cookies with a lot of frosting, snickerdoodles, nut rolls, and pressed butter cookies. We eat a lot of cookies also during the holidays, who doesn’t!!! The Williams-Sonoma store is one of my favorites! Enjoy your week. Mickey

Darla - December 1, 2013 - 11:25 pm

My favorite Christmas cookie would be homemade persimmon cookies . . . a family favorite! I like the red this time of year as well!

Kathy R. - December 1, 2013 - 11:26 pm

Hey, Kelly! Beautiful post, as always! I do use red in decorating and just scored a red Kitchen Aid mixer that is my new inspiration in the kitchen. Yes, I do have a favorite Christmas cookie. It is a lemon pecan cookie that my mother-in-law makes just for me. I can eat the entire recipe. I have never tried to make them but since you mentioned cookies and I have to make cookies for a reception at my daughter’s job….guess which ones I will try? Thanks for the idea! But, how can I make them and give them away???

Carol - December 1, 2013 - 11:28 pm

I love your red checked curtains. I also love the red checked and have wanted it in my kitchen but was not able to afford the ones at Country curtains and have not been able to find any large checked fabric. Our family tradition was making our favorite Sugar Cookies when our children were little. We enjoyed making the cutouts and decorating them. My grandchildren also loved making them and decorating them when they were little. My daughter and I still make them together when she comes home for Christmas. Can’t wait to see how you decorate for this year, you help me get in the Christmas spirit.
Thank you

Lynn Case - December 1, 2013 - 11:32 pm

My favorite cookies are the butter cut out cookies with icing. I love how you used the webbing on your wreaths! :-)

Sally - December 1, 2013 - 11:34 pm

Oh Kelly, your kitchen is always so cute & fixed just right. I love your style.

My favorite Christmas cookie is definitely a frosted sugar-cookie cut-out! Thanks for the chance to win.

Mary - December 1, 2013 - 11:39 pm

Love Christmas cookies of all kind but the orange drop cookies with glazed icing are my favorite. Came frommy mother’s
old red and white cookbook and when I make then she is here with me and I and 10years old. Worth every calorie.

Pippa Griffin - December 1, 2013 - 11:43 pm

Simply LOVE your use of red in your kitchen — it’s so cheerful, festive and the absolute right touch of holiday fun!

Favorite Christmas cookie? That’s like asking which child is your favorite!!! LOL I think it’s a toss up between the chocolate covered cherry cookies (very tasty but not the prettiest cookie) and the pecan butter crescent cookies my grandmother used to make – covered in powdered sugar.

Have the best holiday ever – I can’t wait to see all you do to celebrate the holidays… I get the best ideas from your blog! Merry baking and creating! Pippa

Dawn - December 1, 2013 - 11:43 pm

Love the red! My favorite cookies are pecan sandies. Make them small and pop them in your mouth!

Marlene - December 1, 2013 - 11:47 pm

Love love your red/white checked curtains and the ribbon you used on the wreaths. All your Christmas touches are charming and those mugs with peppermint sticks look so cute displayed. I’m afraid that I like too many Christmas cookies to just choose one : )!

Bernadette - December 1, 2013 - 11:55 pm

I absolutely love the red in your kitchen, my kitchen in Ohio was red and white and when seeing your post I miss it so much.
Since moving South my new home has maple cabinets and apple green accessories. My only remnant of red left is my red kitchen-aid coffee pot. My favorite Christmas cookie is my Grandmother’s recipe for orange cutout cookies.

mary - December 1, 2013 - 11:55 pm

I have 2 favorite cookies…..Russian tea cakes and Danish kleiners

Think I’ll incorporate some of your touches of red in my kitchen. I really like the webbing ribbon on the wreaths.

Donnamae - December 1, 2013 - 11:58 pm

Oh, my favorite Christmas cookie is a sour cream cookie with cinnamon sugar on top! It’s my family’s favorite! ;)

MARY - December 2, 2013 - 12:38 am

We love to make, although not a cookie, homemade marshmallows. They are delicious as is, in hot cocoa, or dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts or bits of candy cane!

phyllis - December 2, 2013 - 12:43 am

So pretty! I love the wreaths and of course your new curtains!

Favorite?! Yikes! On the Land O’Lakes website…the Almond glazed cookies or Almond butter ones…both…people love them.

Nanette Romo - December 2, 2013 - 12:54 am

I have always used a cream cheese sugar cookie recipe for our cutouts…they are very sturdy and my little boys have always had great luck in rolling the dough and cutting out cookies. And we always get asked for the recipe!

Colleen M - December 2, 2013 - 1:05 am

Thanks Kelly for getting my Christmas spirit in gear!! I love cream cheese press cookies. So remind me of the scents of Christmas’ past!! Wishing you blessings of the season

Linda Ellison - December 2, 2013 - 1:21 am

Kelly, I love your website!! Keep up the good work. My favorite Christmas cookie would have to be pecan cresents with lots of powdered sugar!

Sandy Jacobson - December 2, 2013 - 4:13 am

Such a cute kitchen . . . definitely love all the red decor :O) Favorite cookie for sure is oatmeal with walnuts and cranberries. Blessings, Sandy

MarilynAnderson - December 2, 2013 - 4:22 am

I love the idea of all the treats in Jars and on cake stands. So fun to have those available in December. Also I have the most delightful red and gold buffalo plaid drapes in my great room and even though they are a jolt of color I never tire of them and have had so many people ask me where I got them.

Rose L - December 2, 2013 - 5:37 am

I love your new buffalo checked drapes in your kitchen, Kelly. What a bright punch of color! Everything is looking colorful and festive and I adore the jars of cookies and cocoa fixings on your bar. I recently added a coffee bar to my kitchen and our guests love how welcomed they feel to just helping themselves to whatever they see there. I have some vintage Santa mugs to use on mine over the holidays! I guess I don’t have a “favorite” Christmas cookie but enjoy making cut out cookies the most. We are candy lovers here so I do make a lot of different candies every year and I’d say that divinity and dark chocolate mints would be two of my favorites. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your house all decked out for the holidays!

Stacey - December 2, 2013 - 5:45 am

Kelly, you amaze me. You are teacher who gets so much done at home too!! Your kitchen looks beautiful. Love your new curtains. I have red and white checked curtains in my dining room that hang all year. I love them so much and consider it an absolutely timeless look. Our favorite cookies are Snickerdoodles. :)

Anne Boykin - December 2, 2013 - 5:49 am

Hi Kelly, You never cease to amaze me with how beautifully you put things together in your home! I love red for decorating and recently bought an old weathered set of shutters in a beautiful red. I so enjoy your blog. I too have lusted after those red curtains of James Farmer’s.

Jill - December 2, 2013 - 6:35 am

The kitchen looks wonderful, Kelly! I love the new red curtains. They are so festive! The jute ribbon was the perfect choice too. I am fascinated by the fact that you are able to reuse your gingerbread houses from year to year. Can you share more about that some time?
My favorite Christmas cookie? I like a good iced sugar cookie…soft, not crispy. My sister also makes peppermint patty brownies (only at Christmas because they are so rich) that are hard to resist.

Laura Ingalls Gunn - December 2, 2013 - 7:08 am

Your curtains are adorable! I love chocolate covered peanut butter balls.

Barbara Hinske - December 2, 2013 - 7:46 am

So charming and inviting! Your post reminded me of a decoration for my kitchen (a fake gingerbread house that looks real) that I forgot to dig out this weekend when I was decorating and thought I was done. ARGH!! Does anyone else do this? Off to search….

linda strickler - December 2, 2013 - 7:56 am

My favorite Christmas cookie would be the cutout sugar cookie. So many good memories making them with my children and now grandchildren. Your home is so beautiful thanks for the inspiration!

Carole - December 2, 2013 - 7:59 am

I was just talking with my girls on Saturday night about which Christmas cookies we should make this year. We all have a different favorite so there will be lots! Mine are thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam. And I love Williams Sonoma!

Louvina - December 2, 2013 - 8:00 am

I just woke up and thinking of all my teacher friends– like you–who have a few weeks of hectic work keeping the kids engaged with all their excitement!! Fun times!! You have inspired me to “kick it” in gear and get my decorations up. I did get my real fir wreath and rosemary tree this weekend which I haven’t had in several years. Found them at Bahama Joe’s– a new store for me! Loved it! I have to travel to Orlando to go to WS– always think of you when I go to these types of stores. Love all your beloved RED! :)

Kay - December 2, 2013 - 8:29 am

Seems kitchen curtains are a ‘thing’, + I super love yours!
I wish I was brave enough to put a big red check skirt under our farm sink!

KAY - December 2, 2013 - 8:31 am

I forgot to add that my favorite Christmas cookies is my old (C. 1960’s) 4-H recipe for Snickerdoodles. YUM!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. - December 2, 2013 - 8:39 am

Such a beautiful kitchen! And gosh, Christmas is all about cookies. We have lots of favorites. But the best has to be the cut-out sugar cookies we bake and decorate the afternoon before Christmas. It’s a family affair!

Debbie w - December 2, 2013 - 8:44 am

Love to make sugar cookies each year with my adult daughter…a true family tradition…

Talia - December 2, 2013 - 8:45 am

I love how you use red throughout your home. So festive! and just the right touch.

We love Christmas cookies, well any cookie in my house. A favorite has to be lemon crescents. So so good.

lynne - December 2, 2013 - 8:53 am

Loving your new red and white drapes in the kitchen! You are so talented Kelly. I can’t wait to see rest of the post. I love the little sand tarts that are rolled in confectioners sugar. They aren’t too sweet and my sweet Mama always made them. But I can’t pass up any Christmas cookie of any kind ☺

beth - December 2, 2013 - 8:56 am

Love the red! I have to admit my fav is a classic choc chip. Not the most exciting, but that is indeed my favorite, particularly made with half shortening and half butter. We also love making white chocolate macademia nut biscotti.

Garden, Home and Party - December 2, 2013 - 9:10 am

The red and white checked drapes look great. That James Farmer image is one of my favorites. You think of such creative ways to bring red into the room without being overly obvious. I love the red books and subtle red trimmed Christmas mugs and plates. Such a pretty Christmas house!
My favorite Christmas cookie is shortbread dipped in chocolate, with classic sugar cookies adorned with royal icing as a close second.
Happy December.

Donna - December 2, 2013 - 9:23 am

The kitchen looks wonderful. I love the webbing and the curtains are just so you! Perfect. I have been all around decorating and you inspire me to focus on one space at a time.
Favorite cookies…that is a hard one. Everyone loves gingerbread men and sugar cookies here.
Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Deborah E - December 2, 2013 - 9:59 am

our family LOVES my shortbread cookies. We eat them plain or frosted. I often just roll out the dough and cut it in a sort of triangle shape with the outside rough edges to make like a icicle. When they are cooled I drizzle them with light frosting and sparkle sugar. I always enjoy seeing your kitchen and dining areas.

I hope you have a fun December!

Pam - December 2, 2013 - 10:18 am

My favorite cookies is a molasses cookie. A close second would be the peanut butter blossoms. Love the red all over your kitchen! You’ve motivated me to go home and decorate my kitchen tonight. I might even make a batch of cookies, too.

karen - December 2, 2013 - 10:39 am

I love your Christmas decorations again this year! I don’t have a favorite Christmas cookie because I love them all….thanks for the great opportunity!

Sharon - December 2, 2013 - 10:44 am

Hi Kelly,
I love your decorating style and enjoy reading your blog. I love your new curtains in red!!!
Our favorite Christmas cookie is a old beloved recipe I have for refrigerator cookie dough I cut out, ice with homemade colored icing and decorate. They are so good and my grown sons don’t think it is Christmas without them.
Happy Holidays!

Vikki - December 2, 2013 - 10:50 am

My favorite Christmas cookie is a sugar cookie with red or green sugar sprinkled on top. I love WIlliams Sonoma almost as eating cookies! Thanks for the chance!

Lynda Lamon - December 2, 2013 - 11:04 am

Kelly, love your blog!!! My favorite Christmas cookie is from my childhood-Hello Dolly bars. I still love them!!! Your kitchen is so beautiful with the Christmas touches!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

Amy C. - December 2, 2013 - 11:23 am

I love Lady Fingers…the little pecan shortbread cookies rolled in powdered sugar.

Natalie - December 2, 2013 - 11:35 am

Hello Kelly,
Happy Holidays…
My favorite holiday cookies are sugar with crunchy sugar on top…love the way it crunches…lol

Martha - December 2, 2013 - 11:39 am

Kelly, I love the pops of red in your kitchen. Like you, I have so much red in my home decorating for Christmas is easy. Well, I don’t know if easy is the word,after trudging up and down stairs with decorations I am exhausted, but I do have a good color base to work with. My favorite Christmas cookies are Spritz cookies made with my mother’s metal cookie gun. They aren’t really the best tasting cookie,but they have such wonderful memories associated with them. I bought my daughter a similar cookie gun when she got married, but it broke quickly, so I have been searching e-bay to see if I can find her a vintage one.

Linda - December 2, 2013 - 1:59 pm

Red, I love it all year long, but it looks especially pretty in your home…..and buffalo checks, well, awesome!!!! That picture from James Farmer, love that too!

Kitty - December 2, 2013 - 2:21 pm

Hi Kelly, Merry Christmas! Everything looks so pretty! I love your new curtains too. Looks like y’all are all decked out for the holidays. I used the same jute webbing on my wreaths. :) This year instead of fa la la la la la la la la, my husband and I decided to with with fa la light in the decorations department. We only put up a few things – since it’s only about 3 weeks until it will be time to take them all down again. We hosted a large crowd for Thanksgiving so I didn’t want to put up my Christmas decor early. My favorite Christmas cookie is a plain old fashioned gingersnap. The recipe reminds me of the years we lived in Germany, and always makes me happy.

Alexis K. - December 2, 2013 - 2:27 pm

My favorite christmas cookies are the Spritz cookies I make with my grandma every year. I’m 30 years old now, and it never gets old!

Alexis K. - December 2, 2013 - 2:28 pm

My favorite christmas cookies are the Spritz cookies I make with my grandma every year. I’m 30 years old now, and it never gets old!

Cheri - December 2, 2013 - 2:37 pm

I have dough made for peanut butter kisses and pizzelles but will have to add in a few more. There are cookies that we only seem to bake just at Christmas time. My hubby will eat any kind, our oldest daughter loves the pizzelles and will be here with her family, middle daughter love thumbprints with raspberry jam and the youngest is like her dad. Favorites are: Pizzelles, thumbprints and spritz.

Patty - December 2, 2013 - 3:02 pm

How I loved your post! And the hot chocolate tray. I’m about to set one up on our island. My husband will love it too! Patty
PS: My favorite Christmas cookies are spritz!

Ann - December 2, 2013 - 4:02 pm

I love your plaid drapes, too! Everything in your house is so pretty, especially at Christmas. THIS year, I’m going to simplify the decorating around here…but wait, I seem to recall saying that last year, too! Lol! Once I start opening boxes, it’s hard to not get it all out. My favorite Christmas “cookies” are bourbon balls. ~Ann

KellyinPA - December 2, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Hi Kelly,

Your Christmas kitchen is lovely!;) I have started decorating but haven’t made it into the kitchen quite yet. Planning on setting up a hot chocolate bar beside the Keurig this year and putting the kid’s gingerbread houses in jars for display. I am so appreciative of the ideas you share with us, thanks so much! My husband’s favorite cookie, Christmas or anytime, is chocolate chip. Mine seems to change from year to year. Who knows what will this year’s cookie will be? ;)

annette - December 2, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Your kitchen looks like a dream! My favorite cookie at Christmas is made with ground nuts.I prefer pecans because my mother made them in that way.Every ethnic group seems to enjoy them.In our family they are Italian Wedding Cookies

ANITA - December 2, 2013 - 4:59 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the song says! We are in a full blown snow storm with -14F. Yikes, it’s cold. But on the inside it is toasty warm with my red accents throughout the house because it happens to be my favorite color as well. Your curtains are charming and goes perfectly with contrasting ribbon. I love James Farmers’ room as well. So very classic. As far as cookies, I like gingersnaps.

Anne from Atlanta - December 2, 2013 - 5:03 pm

Hi Kelly,
Your kitchen with the new red curtains is perfect! I, too, adore James Farmers’ drapes and may have to drive down to his shop see them in person. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all of the work that must go into it. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us.
We always love Bourbon Balls at Christmas.

Marianne in Mo. - December 2, 2013 - 5:04 pm

Love the red check as much as the green ones! I used to do red for Christmas, but lately have mixed in frosty white and gold. The red plays a back seat now, just a touch here and there. I used to work at a craft store, and our claim to fame was Christmas. I have SO much Christmas stuff, my husband still can’t believe all I have. Some hasn’t been brought out in years, I should get rid of it!
Favorite cookie? Apricot foldovers that my mother-in-law used to make. Very light, with a dusting of powdered sugar…mmmm!

Debra - December 2, 2013 - 5:11 pm

First I want to say, that I made the holiday punch this Saturday. It was wonderful and rather reminded me of a Russian Tea recipe I had years ago. It must have been the use of the cloves and pineapple juice. It will be a repeat through the holidays. Thanks Kelly. Love your red check curtains. I like that you have neutral walls and can have the fun of changing your window look. I just love your place. So comfortable and homey. Well, my favorite cookie, Hmm? So many. I agree with quite a few here that I do love the pecan butter cookies as well, but it is a tradition here to make and have plenty of gingerbread cookies. I got the recipe years ago from a preschool cookie exchange. I had tried several recipes, but I loved that this one wasn’t a heavy type cookie as some can be. I usually start making them at Thanksgiving and cut them in a leaf shape. We are on our fourth batch already. Now I will make little men, hearts and stars. The star one is designed to hang on your cup. Maybe you have seen this cutter. World Market here sells it. So cute. Let more baking continue. Tis the season.


Loretta hamilton - December 2, 2013 - 5:45 pm

I love your Christmas decorations and will try to do some lovely touches like yours around our house as well…so inspiring!

Heather - December 2, 2013 - 5:57 pm

Your kitchen always looks so homey with or without the red! We love soft chewy gingerbread men.

Pat Pegram - December 2, 2013 - 7:22 pm

Kelly, you are incredible and I love your blog. I get so many ideas from you. You are so talented. I love Christmas and am so glad you are sharing your decorations with us.

Charlene - December 2, 2013 - 7:34 pm

Hi Kelly! I absolutely love your curtains! And you are just so talented with your vignettes throughout your kitchen. I really like your wreaths also. I look forward to every one of your posts. Your decorating inspires me! It is just my style. My favorite Christmas cookie is a basic thumbprint cookie. I prefer them filled in with icing as opposed to jam in the “thumbprint!” But, to be truthful, it would be rare for me to find a Christmas cookie that I didn’t like! I love baking Christmas cookies! Have a wonderful holiday season! Can’t wait to read your next post!

mymosk - December 2, 2013 - 7:40 pm

Love the red, especially that red cake plate. I too, have red throughout my kitchen. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your decorations.

Patty in Michigan - December 2, 2013 - 7:59 pm

Your kitchen looks very festive! Love the ribbon on the wreaths. I don’t know how you can keep cookies in jars. Those would be gone in a day in my house! My favorite Christmas cookie is a funny one because it’s actually a jewish cookie and we’re not jewish. When I was growing up my Italian, catholic grandma Florence…..yes, directly from Italy would make these jewish cookies every year at Christmas. Rugelach. They were my absolute favorite cookie. Sadly, I never got her recipe before she passed away, but I have found a recipe that is pretty much identical. Some recipes have dried fruit or other variations. My grandma’s was pretty simple, but oh soooo yummy! We do a lot of sweets at Christmas….sugar cookies are another favorite. I would love one right now!

Brandi D. - December 2, 2013 - 8:16 pm

*sigh* Your home is so inviting, Kelly. The kitchen looks lovely.

As far as cookies go, I’m a little ashamed to admit that my favorite is the no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies. Does it even count if they’re no-bake? haha! I am not a very prolific baker, but my much more domesticated best friend (all the way back to middle school) keeps me well stocked in cookies for the holiday season. :)

Pat Peele - December 2, 2013 - 8:26 pm

The kitchen looks lovely with touches of red and the new curtains. The cocoa and coffee bars are a winner. Our favorite Christmas cookie is a fruitcake cookie.

Gretchen - December 2, 2013 - 8:42 pm

I love the red buffalo check drapes! I just ordered some pillows in the same fabric for the Christmas season!Your house looks beautiful!

Pat in Georgia - December 2, 2013 - 8:43 pm

I love red anytime of the year, whether it is in my house or the red leather in my car. As always, your kitchen is beautiful and all the goodies are making me so hungry. My favorite all time cookie is the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have the original recipe and it is divine!!! Looking forward to seeing the dining room decked out for Christmas!

Evelyn Anne Turner - December 2, 2013 - 9:07 pm

I am so enjoying your wonderful holiday sharings! We love home made ginger snaps ! Delicious and easy to make. Another favorite is mark Ballard’s can’t stops. These two cookies are must bakes for Christmas for friends and family. Merry Christmas. Evelyn anne

Theresa in Nebraska - December 2, 2013 - 9:27 pm

I love the red. Your home is always so lovely. Years ago I had red buffalo checked curtains in my dinette area. Do I wish I would have kept them.
My favorite Christmas cookies would be my mom’s’ Candy Cane Cookies.

Katrina - December 2, 2013 - 10:02 pm

Oh Kelly I LOVE your red curtains!!! I have always loved that James Farmer picture with the red buffalo check curtains and blue and white lamp and ginger jar. I actually pulled up your posts from last Christmas before I started decorating! I also love that you use a real tree and wreaths. I hope your school system has a nice long Christmas break that starts soon!!!

Dawn - December 2, 2013 - 10:22 pm


I love all of your red touches in the kitchen and I can’t wait to see where else you have incorporated red in your holiday home. The hot chocolate tray is my favorite. It is just so inviting. My favorite Christmas cookie is called magic bars. They have a delicious salty sweetness to them. They are perfect with steaming hot mug of tea or coffee. Thanks for sharing you cozy home with us.

Becky - December 2, 2013 - 10:23 pm

Hi Kelley… Your red curtains are beautiful. I love them with your white kitchen.
I don’t have red in my home but I use alot of burgundy.It works for me.
Your home is so lovely. Your cookies look so nice in the big glass jars.
I love chocolate chip cookies. My mama used to make the best ones. I add a little cinnamon to mine.
But my favorite has to be date pinwheel. So so good.
I shopped today. Our dishwasher died before Thanksgiving so we went shopping for one today. It is to be delivered Thursday. Cannot wait. Blessings to you Kelley. Becky

Bonnie - December 2, 2013 - 11:24 pm

Hi, neighbor! My favorite cookie is called a pound cake cookie. It’s soft and buttery, just like a good pound cake. Love all of your ideas and recipes.

Jayne - December 3, 2013 - 12:10 am

As soon as I get the mess left from all kids home for Thanksgiving cleaned the decorating will begin! I am totally borrowing the hot chocolate bar with candy canes for stirring. Now I’m excited to decorate!

Barbara Barnes - December 3, 2013 - 6:50 am

I teach first grade and have for many years…We always do a Gingerbread Christmas unit. I absolutely love gingerbread men. We even perform the plays, “Gingerbread Boy” and “Hansel & Gretel” I love the taste of ginger and molasses and sugar…Thank you for hosting the giveaway! Your blog is my favorite…Your kitchen is divine…I would love to spend the day there cooking and visiting…

JoEllen Hickey - December 3, 2013 - 7:17 am

I haven’t found too many cookies that I don’t love so picking a favorite is difficult. I guess I will pick the no-bake cookies made of oats, cocoa, and peanut butter . My 2nd favorite is the standard chocolate chip cookie made from the recipe on the back of Nestle tollhouse chocolate chips.

Shelley - December 3, 2013 - 7:23 am

Beautiful kitchen, my house in on a Holiday Tour this coming weekend, I thinkI will use your idea of a hot chocolate tray in my kitchen.
My fav cookie is Gingerbread men! Fun to make, fun to display!
Thank you!

Paula B. - December 3, 2013 - 7:50 am

Loving the curtains (you are too clever) and the bright pops of seasonal red throughout your home. That jute ribbon is precious, I have been looking for something just like that to wrap around the tree. Last year, Michael’s had pre-made bows in a similar ribbon – I bought two when I first saw them in October, and, of course, when I went back for more, they were all gone. We just got a Hobby Lobby in our state so I will have to visit there. Favorite cookies for Christmas, sugar, chocolate peppermint, and peanut butter blossoms. Yum!

Diane - December 3, 2013 - 8:14 am

Love your decorating…I study the pics and try to incorporate your talent into my home! The finishing touches are the best! ( red cups in the flour and sugar! Love!) My favorite Christmas cookie is the one my mom made,Thumbprint,with strawberry preserve in the center. Yum! God Bless,I love your blog!

Courtney - December 3, 2013 - 8:46 am

I always make (and eat!) apricot pistachio biscotti every year. That and some chocolate hazelnut biscotti along with orange coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate. Can’t wait!

Polly in KS - December 3, 2013 - 9:04 am

I love all the red, especially the curtains. I’m curious — where’d you buy the fabric? Favorite cookie? Wow! That’s hard to say – chocolate chip, Oreos (with the red middles), no-bake chocolate. I’m not fussy. I love sugar and chocolate. Have a great week!

Lisa K - December 3, 2013 - 9:33 am

I just love your red buffalo check curtains! Your kitchen is so warm & inviting; thanks for sharing it with us. My favorite Christmas cookies are Date Pinwheels.

Ann - December 3, 2013 - 10:47 am

I have printed the hot Christmas tea and can’t wait to try it. I love the red. . .red is my color too. I have painted the back wall of my white kitchen cabinets red. Makes the white ironstone and clear crystal stand out a bit.

Kim - December 3, 2013 - 12:17 pm

I love the curtains in the kitchen. I too am a huge fan of red. Your house is beautiful and I always enjoy seeing your latest projects. Merry Christmas!

Linda B - December 3, 2013 - 12:56 pm

I love your red, too! It is warm and fresh and new all at once. My favorite Christmas cookie is a family favorite…sandbakels. Every family for 5 generations makes a batch, and there are never too many! Merry Christmas.

Mary from Virginia - December 3, 2013 - 1:37 pm

My Aunt Betty makes the best sugar cookies shaped like a wreath, green icing and red hots for berries. I can make myself sick on them because I have no ability to stop eating them! My other favorite cookie is chocolate chip-can’t stop eating those either!

Love your kitchen and the curtains!

Barbara (WA) - December 3, 2013 - 3:02 pm

One of my favorite cookies are Peanut Blossoms.You usually see them made with Hershey’s Kisses but I search far & wide for Brach’s Chocolate Stars for mine. I could make these cookies any time of year but I only tend to take the trouble at Christmas! Plus I don’t need to have these available to eat all year, haha!

Gina - December 3, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Love your kitchen decorations!! My favorite Christmas cookie is Soft Ginger Cookies. They smell heavenly when they are baking!! :) Taste good too. ;)

Brenda S. Moore - December 3, 2013 - 4:32 pm

Viennese Crescents dusted with powdered sugar are my go to cookie to bake during the holidays. Both my family of origin and in-laws all look forward to the tins I hand them on Christmas Day. They taste divine and look so pretty and wintry in all their white powdery goodness.

If I lived in your house seeing those curtains every morning would make me smile.

Enjoy… and Happy Holidays.

Brenda S. Moore

Joy B - December 3, 2013 - 4:39 pm

The red checked curtains are perfect, as is the webbing to hold up the wreaths. Love the beverage stations, too. Now I want some hot chocolate!

Terri - December 3, 2013 - 4:57 pm

How absolutely “Christmas Gorgeous”!!! The cookie jar in multiples’ is brilliant!!! So are the Beverage Stations!!!! And I’m with your husband on the soft sugar cookie… just plain ole’ soft sugar cookies!!! YUMMMMM…. My other all time fav would be my Mom’s Ginger Snap Cookies ….

Shar - December 3, 2013 - 8:36 pm

Hi Kelly! I’ve missed quite a few blog posts, as we had some BIG ‘fix-its’ to take care of before Thanksgiving, but it was fun to have so many posts in a row to read! It’s hard to narrow down a favorite cookie to just one, but I have to say ours must be the ginger cookie recipe I found years ago in a magazine. I use red or green sanding sugar on top of the cookies at Christmas, but when I use granulated sugar, the crackled tops look like mounds of snow. I love all the detail you put into your decorations. Red is a favorite color of mine too. I have a red accent wall in my kitchen, which makes decorating at Christmas easier! ;)

Cindy - December 3, 2013 - 8:50 pm

I love your red buffalo check curtains and your touches of red throughout your kitchen. I always get such good ideas from your blog. My favorite cookies are peanut butter blossoms…small peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey kisses. Yum!

Sandy - December 4, 2013 - 7:34 am

I’m hanging two wreaths at my breakfast windows after viewing your kitchen. Lovely. My favorite Christmas cookies are frosted cut outs.

lisa - December 4, 2013 - 7:56 am

Good morning Kelly,

You know I love your kitchen! Always something new for the eye and the red is beautiful. So festive. How do you like your wood counter tops? It’s an option for us too. My personal favorite cookie is traditional sugar cookies ready for Santa but my sons love pizelles. I just purchased an iron and am ready to try them this year. Usually my neighbor makes them and shares. A wonderful friend. I also love date nut balls and cream cheese cookies. Lots of wonderful options listed here and wish we could all have a cookie swap! Have a wonderful day!

cindy hattersley - December 4, 2013 - 8:04 am

Love your new checked curtains (glad you left them simple) and love the wreaths with the webbing! Darling!

Barb - December 4, 2013 - 9:03 am

Kelly, I just love your attention to detail (red cups in the flour and sugar containers…brilliant!) My favorite cookies are the pecan balls rolled in powdered sugar. My family’s favorite cookies are a butter cookie I make every year. Enjoy the Season!

Robin Wallis - December 4, 2013 - 11:48 am

The red touches in the white kitchen are just darling. My favorite cookies are Snowballs also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes.

rayraycartucci - December 4, 2013 - 12:27 pm

I love gingerbread! Nummy

Cindy - December 4, 2013 - 9:10 pm

I love the red. So cheerful! Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite for Christmas.

Linda - December 5, 2013 - 6:56 pm

I switched to red this year! Love it! Our favorite cookie this year is lemon ricotta!

Susie in St. Louis - December 5, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Can I say Christmas cookie DOUGH is my favorite? I usually eat so much as I make them, I’m too full for the cookies. Particularly shortbread/sugar cookie dough…and I teach Family and Consumer Sciences…please don’t let my students know! Love WS, enjoyed a part-time job there a few years ago!

Julie S - December 5, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Frosted sugar cookies are my favorite!

Tammy - December 6, 2013 - 2:22 pm

I love red at Christmas and throughout the year. Most of my rooms have touches of red so decorating with additional red at Christmas always works. My favorite cookie is my grandmothers annisette cookies that I now make each year.

Carolsue - December 6, 2013 - 10:28 pm

My favorite Christmas Cookies are eiter Sugar Cookies or Snickerdoodles.
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Terry - December 6, 2013 - 11:12 pm

Our family’s favorite Christmas cookies are Chocolate Cherry Cookies – a hands down favorite!

Susan Christy - December 7, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Big soft ginger cookies are my holiday favorite.

Kimberly Lessig - December 7, 2013 - 7:31 pm

soft sugar cookies

Emily - December 7, 2013 - 8:57 pm

I love your red curtains! Our favorite dessert is a fruitcake made with mincemeat. It is an old recipe and does not have a lot of candied fruit in it.

Best Wishes for the Season!


Amy L - December 7, 2013 - 11:26 pm

My favorite holiday cookies are Pizzelles, flavored with vanilla and anise. I love to bake, especially during the holidays :)

Meghan Finley - December 8, 2013 - 3:59 am

I love snickerdoodles!

lisa - December 8, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Making my baking plans and came back here to get new ideas. Still making date nut balls but adding new ones to the list. Also, using your drink set up for the kids as well as a hot chocolate bar. Can’t wait!

Laurel Stephens - December 17, 2013 - 9:48 am

This is the coziest prettiest Christmas kitchen I’ve ever seen.

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