Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Home for the Holidays!

It is December! My favorite month of the year. Lots of snow, twinkly lights, Holiday Jingle, baked goodies - the world feels like a magical place! So, who cares if the sun sets at 4 pm right ? How can you not love the Christmas season?

And like always, I have tried to bring the spirit of the season into our home with a little seasonal styling.

Over the years, we have picked up a few traditions too and they are now ours to keep and cherish. I am going to share some of our family Holiday traditions with all of you and would love to hear about yours.

Hosting a holiday get together is our favorite Holiday tradition.  A Christmas party with savory holiday cookies and customary gift exchanges is a great way to experience the yuletide spirit. This year we will dearly miss our Dallas friends  with whom we have celebrated many holiday soirees. We even flew back to spend last Christmas with them. So, really this is our first year celebrating the season with new friends and we are absolutely grateful for their company.  

Trimming the tree is another Christmas tradition that we all look forward to. It usually takes us  a few hours (well, this year it took us all day and you'll see why) but we love this annual ritual that our family bonds over. Tree trimming is a strictly family event that no one else is invited to. Between my husband getting upset over a  string of tangled lights and me getting impatient over mounting the baubles - it's a party alright!  We try to make this party memorable with some Christmas music and lots of laughter! And till I get a real tree one day, I will make do with my faux tree. I don't mind it at all. I think it's eco-chic and eco friendly! Every year, I buy a few new ornaments that serve as tender reminders of a chapter of our life.

Another favorite Holiday tradition of ours is to bundle up and drive around neighborhoods that have spectacular Holiday decor and lights. We love these drive-by nightly (yes, nightly!) excursions!  

Our home on a cold wintry holiday night!
Holiday movie-nights is yet another cherished tradition!   Holiday-centric movies are sure to keep the whole family entertained. We've already watched National Lampoon's Christmas vacation this year and the trials and tribulations of the Griswold family is a reaffirmation of the fact that 'tis the season of families! In fact we watched this movie over Thanksgiving break and that's what kicked our Christmas decorating into first gear!  

And then, I  love to display all our holiday cards. It is an absolutely wonderful feeling to receive hand written notes from many of our dear friends. It truly means the world to me that people would take the time out of their busy lives to spread some holiday cheer via a sincere handwritten note.
We listen to lots of holiday music  (we have our holiday playlist) and sing too! Yes, we get the lyrics all jumbled up and even make up our own lyrics and yet, we sing all our cares away with a Holiday Jingle! And oh, what fun it is too!

I buy a red outfit and put on some red lipstick! I didn't realize this had become a holiday tradition till I looked at some old pictures the other day. Red on red,  that's my holiday trend and I am sticking with it. Red is after all the color of the season and after a year's worth of hard work we all want to add some magic to the mundane and red lipstick is great way to do it - don't you agree?

Who knows, we might even add a new tradition this year  - build a snowman or - take some pics in the snow- simple traditions that can be a lot of fun. I am thinking snow, since we got a ton of it here in the Midwest this week!  So, really the Holidays are all about making some warm fuzzy memories with family and friends and that's what defines the season. So, make the most of it and remember to have a good time while you are at it. And if you don't want to put in any work, that's fine too! Just step into your favorite store to feel the energy in the air. 

'TIS THE SEASON to give back and do some good. We have talked about this idea of service in the past as well and I am taking this opportunity one more time as a reminder for you all to chime in and take some action. There's many that need help and now is as good a time as any to give back and bring some holiday cheer to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Here is a link to nat geo on some Holiday volunteering ideas for kids - check it out.

Dear readers,  this is my last post for the year. Supriya is up next and will help ring the new year in. So, thank you all for your unwavering encouragement, support and appreciation.  I will leave you with pictures of our beautiful trees. We have two this year actually. Welcome to our home!

My boy wanted his own and we didn't have to heart to say no. He is 10 and lives and breathes sports. Rightfully, we have a miniature tree with many sports themed baubles and this one is in his room. It was a great way to add a playful spin to out holiday decor this year.

For the family tree, we settled on a red and white and "lots of fun" theme. And it is exactly that  with lots of snowmen and plenty of Christmas candy hanging on the boughs.

 It is whimsical and magical and reminds us to appreciate the beauty of life despite the myriad complexities that it sometimes throws our way. And because my kind men (husband and son) allow me to get the last word in - I decided to wrap our gifts in polka dots! 

With a rather hectic work schedule, I have been unable to add festive touches to the rest of the home this year. So, really my breakfast nook with the tree and the gift table is our Holiday central station.
Once again,  welcome to our home and take a look at how our tree came to life this year. Stay as long as you like and if you have  any questions about tree trimming, shoot me an email or leave me a comment.

My husband works on setting up the tree and stringing the lights - 3000 of them!

Snowmen, red and white and polka dots - I could be in heaven!

We stop along the way for a picture of course!



Red and white christmas tree

Merry Christmas y'all! For more ideas on Christmas decorating check out my posts from last year - tablescape, dessert table and yet another beautiful tree


p.s: All pictures in this post are from my home and taken by my husband. Please ask before using.


  1. That pic of your home from outside is straight outta a fairytale... Such heaven you have for home :-)

  2. Ambika: thank you! the snow dusting does make it like a fairy tale home - doesn't it? Home is where the heart is and this home stole our heart at first glance...I think this was the fourth house we saw and we said, this is it!
    Thanks for reading. Merry Christmas!


  3. So beautiful Deepa....we also bought our first Christmas tree..my son asked for it. Yours looks so beautiful ..love it.outside lights too..

    1. Thanks nayana. There's nothing more exciting than putting up your first christmas tree - would love to see a pic - share it?


    2. You have a stunning place to call home!
      Looks like straight out of fairy-tale books...
      Lights just have that miraculous way of transforming spaces and life,doesn't it?!Your pictures sure do exude a lot of warmth :)
      Merry Christmas to you and your family,Deepa :)

    3. Vidya: Thank you! Yup- the right kind of lighting can magically transform a space. Our tree this year has twinkling lights too. So, I am planning on turning off all the lights and spreading a blanket on the floor and jsut spend time watching the twinkly lights on the tree - again, that is one of our favorite holiday thing to do.
      Merry chrsitmas!

  4. Gorgeous Tree! I love how the colors intermingle with each other and lights up the whole place. Specially love the red and white packaging with the green ribbon so christmasy.. If you dont mind can you tell where you got them from? Happy Hoilidays!! Molly :)

    1. Molly: Thanks for reading and commenting! Yes, the red and green on pine green is classic christmas! Most of my ornaments is from Hobby lobby this year and then a few come from this specialty shop closer to home - just to add a dash of special :)
      Happy Holidays to you too!


  5. What a beautiful setting! You must have a lovely view from the window!

  6. Madhu: thank you for stopping by. If you are new to Aalayam, take your time and browse through our archives - we have close to 75 posts full of inspirations and you won't be disappointed. Yes, I am blessed to have a beautiful view of our yard with over 50 mature trees - we love looking at the seasons go by through this window!