Create a simple and inviting home for the holidays tablescape for your family and friends by combining traditional and farmhouse elements. Buffalo check, pops of red, and a beautiful rustic centerpiece will make your season merry and bright!
Christmas has always held a lot of nostalgia for me. It reminds me of when I was a little girl helping my mom decorate and bake cookies. But it is also a tough time of year because we lost my mom just a couple of days before Christmas in 2004. And this year is especially bittersweet because it is our last Christmas in this house.
All my kids are officially big kids and starting their own lives, and it’s my first Christmas as a Grammy! All of that nostalgia came together in my favorite Christmas tablescape yet!
Most often, when I create a tablescape, I decorate around an item like the faux mini pumpkins in my Pumpkin and Buffalo Check Fall Tablescape. This year I did something totally different. I centered my table around a “home for the holidays” theme rather than an object.
Home for the holidays has had different meanings for me throughout my life. When Tom and I got married in 1991, I moved from Chicago to San Diego where he was stationed at the time. We started our family right away, and for the first two Christmases, we went “home”. We absolutely loved spending the holidays with our families in Chicago.
When Tricia was turning 2, and I was pregnant with Danny, I knew that home for the holidays was going to take on a whole new meaning. I wanted to wake up in my own home with my hubby and little girl and start all of those fun traditions that I had growing up with my new little family. It broke my mom’s heart, but she understood my reasoning. For the next two years, home for the holidays was San Diego, and we loved the new traditions we were starting with our kids.
In 1995, we moved to Germany where the holiday season is absolutely incredible. So many Christmas markets, St. Nicholas, gluhwein, and fun German traditions. Once again “home” for the holidays changed for me. There were several years that Tom was not home for Christmas. I was always sad when he was gone and I missed my family in Chicago, but I had my babies and lots of friends.
The kids and I started a new tradition the first year Tom was away for the holidays. Instead of opening presents, (we waited for daddy to be home) we made a birthday cake for Baby Jesus. We used my grandmother’s famous chocolate cake recipe and invited friends over to sing happy birthday to Jesus with us. I, of course, had the cutest Christmas dessert plates and mugs that I purchased at a German Christmas market for our birthday celebration. Singing happy birthday to Baby Jesus became one of Tricia and Danny’s favorite parts of Christmas.
Holidays in Texas
After 4 years in Germany, we moved to Texas and had baby number 3. We built our first home, and have lived in it for the past 19 years. We have created many holiday traditions in this home over the years as we did in our other homes. Tom has had to work some years and last year Tricia was not able to come “home” for the holidays.
Now that my kids are all grown, some of the traditions have changed and some have taken a little nap. I know they will be back with my grandbabies. And next year, home will be somewhere else. But this year our home for the holidays is in this house with Tom, all three of my babies, my son-in-law, and sweet baby Jack!
I have taken extra care this year to make our home cozy and am filling it with all of our cherished decorations. I wanted our Christmas tablescape to feature some of the items that have created so many memories over the years. My “home for the holidays” theme evolved from there.
Home for the Holidays Tablescape
I knew I wanted my tablescape to feature my grandmother’s chocolate cake which I had not made in years, and the dessert plates I bought in Germany so many years ago. The cake did not taste nearly as moist and delicious as my grandmother’s cake. But, it looked pretty and the frosting was pretty dang close to my gram’s and my mom’s! I’ll be giving the cake another shot on Christmas Day!
How perfectly do these adorable plates with cute little houses go with my theme? To be honest, I didn’t even remember that they had houses on them. I have several sets of Christmas dishes that I have collected over the years, and I haven’t pulled these out in a while.
Another happy surprise was finding the silverware Tom and I received as a wedding gift. It has been lost since we moved into this house. I started to pack some things to put into storage shortly before I started putting this tablescape together. I found the silverware in a closet behind a huge storage box filled with Tom’s Navy uniforms.
These red truck ornaments were a Target find this year. I thought they would make cute place card holders. I used the buffalo check one in my fall tablescape last month and the pine cone one is from last year’s Christmas tablescape. Which do you like better with this tablescape? I liked the buffalo check which led to the purchase of new buffalo check napkins from Pier 1.
I bought the little houses at Nebraska Furniture Mart a few years ago. They were part of the Magnolia collection. I think I’ve had the glasses for close to 20 years. The fresh greenery and centerpiece flowers are from Trader Joe’s.
The log centerpiece is also very special. It was one of the centerpieces from Tricia’s wedding. I love that I have been able to combine the old with the new. I initially thought this would be a throwback to past memories and traditions, However, combing things that are decades old with new things reminds me that family traditions change and evolve and there are always new memories to be made.
Can we just talk about this pillow for a minute? I needed one more pillow for my window seat and was looking to add a pop of red. Home Goods had nothing so I stopped in Kirkland’s which is right next to our local Home Goods. I didn’t find my pop of red but this was even better. Talk about all of the stars aligning for my “home for the holidays” theme! This was the icing on the cake! LOL!
My home for the holidays and the people in that home may change, but the memories and traditions from the each year that passes will always have a home in my heart!
I hope that this tablescape has given you some inspiration for your holiday table this year where you can create new memories with your family and friends.
You can download the buffalo check place cards for free here and the pine cone place cards for free here.
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