I cannot believe it is already Christmastime.


Every year Christmas seems to sneak up on us. Just as we are coming to the end of a very busy fall season decorating homes for elegant living for every season, it’s time to pull out all the holly, tinsel and, of course, majestic peacock, to overwhelm guests with the exuberance of the holiday season. After all, nothing says Merry Christmas like a five-foot peacock tree topper.


But…this year our 10 year-old daughter, Julianne, says to me, “Daddy, I think we need an undecorated tree this year.” Naturally, this stops me in my reindeer tracks. What is she talking about? My designer mind cannot perceive what she means. She goes on…”We should just have a small tree with simple ornaments.” (picture big-eyed emoji here). “Nothing that matches.”

IMG_7596I’m shocked…but curious. At the tree lot she walks up to a 7’ Frasier Fur. Perfect lines, classic Christmas tree shape. (Obviously she has my discerning eye.) “I think we need this one,” she says smiling. Well, I think, it’s only 7’, not the 11’ we always get for our Great Room. Perhaps we can do, no, we should do BOTH.

We get the trees home and the small, simple tree is quite elegant in our den. The size is perfect to nestle next to the fireplace. I quickly string on 700 lights. Then, I tell her to do the rest. Watching the joy on her face as she carefully selected the simplest ornaments from our current collection was such pleasure. Homemade ornaments she had created for us over the last 10 Christmases really make the tree become a living history for us.


Now, for the topper…she doesn’t want a “topper.” You know what a topper is–a resplendent explosion of feathers, fabric and glitter ting, you know…the eternal symbols of Christmas for goodness sake! “I just want a star,” she explains. So, we select a simple star (with a very small amount of glitter) and let her top the tree. We both stand back. I’m surprised at how pretty it is. She runs off in delight. And I, or course, add a small bow and 3 pinecones just to add a simple flair. Now it’s perfect, and surprisingly our favorite tree.

IMG_1013All this proves to me that even a 10 year old can teach this designer a thing or two about #redemptivedesign!  Merry Christmas and Happy Decorating!