fridays with oscar | holiday inspiration

holiday inspiration | the front door

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holiday inspiration | the front door

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Southern Living®. The opinions and text are all mine.

have your holiday traditions remained steady and sure through the years or have they evolved decade by decade? growing up as a young girl, there were certain things that never varied in our family. turkey for thanksgiving, standing rib roast for christmas day. gifts were opened christmas eve, not christmas morning unless you counted santa’s goodies–but only if you were nice. and a honey baked ham come new year’s day.

there’s something to be said about steadfast traditions. these were the things that you could count on year after year. when november arrived, i knew freshly baked snickerdoodles and russian tea cakes would soon be stacked high on the spode cookie trivet.  and i began to count down the days for a christmas tree to appear, boughs heavy with ornaments.

there are so many fond memories of my mother decorating our house for christmas. she loved it so:  it was her time to shine. weeks before thanksgiving, she would pour over magazines cover-to-cover for new recipes or yet to be discovered trim the tree tips. her official kick-off for the season was the day after thanksgiving.

no, we never went shopping on black friday. instead, my mother would haul out her treasured decorations which were carefully stored in christmas crates. one by one  the boxes would make an appearance, and ornaments collected over the years would make their yearly debut.

hands down, her favorite decoration was her byers’ caroler collection. it was a joy to watch her face light up as she carefully lifted the figurines from their box. she would place the carolers on the living room table snuggled between two striped wing chairs. after they were in place, wisps of cotton appeared, replicating freshly fallen snow. then miniature evergreen trees were scattered around the table. wrought iron fences were anchored into place as were round mirrors reminiscent of frozen skating ponds.  what a delight to see the tablescape slowly transformed into a winter wonderland.

my mother loved every single christmas decorating detail! red bows that adorned fresh evergreen wreaths; a noble fir tree trimmed with silver holiday garland; white twinkle lights; and let’s not forget those stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that st. nicholas soon would be there.

holiday inspiration | the front door

what fun to travel down memory lane. but now it’s time to make new memories and transform my home into a winter wonderland. but where to start? my family and i have been vagabonds for many years. we’ve spent many a christmas on a south sea island with blue waves crashing over pristine beaches, or traipsing over hill and dale to xian, china to pay a visit to the terra cotta warriors. it’s been quite some time since i had an entire house to decorate. i need help! thankfully there’s southern living magazine. if, by chance, you haven’t heard of it, then it is my great pleasure to introduce you to their december issue--annual white cake. it’s available in stores now and filled to the brim with holiday gift ideas, tried and true recipes, and more than one decorating tip.

holiday inspiration | the front door

holiday inspiration | the front door

with southern living in hand, i feel my decorating mojo come back. remember y’all, i live in georgia now with a proper southern porch. it just wouldn’t be right if i didn’t give my friends and family a festive welcome. after a quick pit-stop to target where i picked up a few outdoor decorating essentials, oscar and i are ready to roll our sleeves up! are you ready to take a peek? watch your step and rest your feet. the djalalis are ready to unveil a holiday treat.

holiday inspiration | southern living

now it’s your turn to pick up your copy of december’s southern living. i promise you won’t be sorry. not only is it chock full of holiday inspiration but there’s a fabulous sweepstakes to boot.(www.Southernliving.com/HolidaySweeps2016). between 11.1.2016-12.19.2016 you can enter to win one of two $1,000 visa gift card shopping spree grand prizes! and seven first prizes: each first prize will be one $25 visa gift card and one southern made living fresh cookbook. all entrants will receive a coupon for $1 off a southern living magazine to purchase in stores and a pdf copy of the southern living recipe booklet “10 recipes every southerner should know.”

so what are you waiting for? oscar and i can’t wait to hear how you found some holiday inspiration with the special double issue of southern living. and let us know what you think of our finished project.

a big thank you to Southern Living for this supported collaboration! and thank you, lovely readers, for supporting the brands that allow me to bring you fresh ideas daily!

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  • Sue Smith
    December 2, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I love Southern Living. I was first introduced to it years ago by my mother-in-law when I lived in the Shenandoah Valley in VA. I still make the best gingerbread cookies that were featured in that magazine. ‘Course, I can’t eat them any more, since I don’t eat any grains, but I still make ’em for other people to enjoy!

    I laugh to think I used to paint cards for every single person and mail them all off. Now it’s email. Sigh. But there are still so many good traditions. I love the holidays.

    Your entry way looks wonderful–great curb appeal. We just put a big wreath up on the door and have little candles in each window to welcome us home. Holly Jolly. Enjoy the season! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/876a3016e42492efdeddd61b93da9e144d77a92ef54256426a8de222f650ab19.jpg

    • beth djalali
      December 4, 2016 at 9:21 am

      hi sue! don’t you just love holiday memories? it can be stressful at times, but i love those six weeks from thanksgiving to new year’s day. it’s filled with family, and friends, and lots of good food. i love that you used to paint individual cards. what a treat to have one of those sitting in your mailbox! but, yes, times change. and email will have to suffice.
      is this one of your cards by chance?
      xoxo

  • donnanance
    December 2, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I can just see your mom bringing out all the holiday treasures and decorating the house. Love your entry…festive and nary a blowup decoration in sight! Love the rug… Is Oscar saying, “Please, Mom, can I take this off?”. Southern Living was always my go-to magazine, even tho we live in the Midwest. Must be my Kentucky roots… xoxo

    • beth djalali
      December 4, 2016 at 8:31 am

      that’s exactly what oscar was thinking! but there’s not doubt he’s a trooper. isn’t southern living one of the best magazines? i love their yearly cookbook edition that included all of the best recipes month-by-month.
      xoxo

  • Kim
    December 2, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Y’all are too cute in your holiday attire!

    • beth djalali
      December 4, 2016 at 8:29 am

      wasn’t oscar a trooper, kim? but the look on his face when he’s wearing his hat is priceless.
      i think he was more than happy when it came off.
      xoxo

  • Bonnie Schulte
    December 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Love your porch, love you and Oscar in your Christmas hats..Love your Christmas spirit..

    • beth djalali
      December 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      thanks, bonnie! oscar sure is a trooper. especially when it was time for him to wear his hat!
      xoxo

  • Maria João
    December 5, 2016 at 6:31 am

    You both look so fancy!

    • beth djalali
      December 5, 2016 at 7:49 am

      don’t you love oscar’s expression? he’s trying to be a good sport, but he’s not altogether convinced he looks good in a hat.
      xoxo

  • Danielle Stephens
    December 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    My son and I are doing portraits for the first time with our newly adopted GSD. We think he’s just a tad over a year old, so he’s a big 70 pound baby. He’s been a good sport about wearing his Christmas collar with attached bowtie, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he cooperates on picture day!

    Love your front porch and Oscar is just precious!

  • Marcia
    December 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Such nice traditions! I adore Southern Living for decor inspiration!

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