I was one of those children that started dreaming about Christmas after Halloween. I drew up my plans for that year’s Christmas decor and gift wrapping theme, started the shopping the day after Thanksgiving as a tradition —there were no Black Fridays back then—and started playing Christmas music endlessly. I began with the “jolly” songs and as we approached the 25th, the beautiful hymns.
After that I begain bargaining with my parents when I could put up the tree. Then of course came the anniual cookie decorating. The list of the traditions was endless and made the season magical. For over 60 years I have continued those rituals. But now I struggle to find that magic. I suppose book tours, the constant noise that is the internet, the media , world news, and perhaps age have numbed me to the magic of Christmas. I am behind, a bit sad and frenzied. I hope that has not happened to you.
I searched for photos of passed Christmases that inspired me. I have resolved to recyle and reuse what I have -no new ideas for this season. So while I am not assuming the rest of the world is as late as I am, here are a few pictures that might serve as an aid to those of you who are feeling the pressure.
Ideas of Christmas past in NYC, Weatherstone, Aspen and Charleston
Christmas in NYC
Christmas in Weatherstone
Christmas in Charleston
Christmas in Aspen
Carolyne’s Santa List for Last-Minute Shopping
I also know how tough it can be to find gifts during the holiday rush and at the 11th hour.
I am so lucky to have so many talented friends. Here are a few new ideas from some of my designing and writing friends. I have written descriptions of everything you will see below to give a bit of history but if I type all I have written it will take me another 3 hours and I will never get this post off and the number of typos and mistakes will drive everyone crazy. Just know these are old friends and some new ones all very talented. I know their work and thus their product. BTW they have not solicited me for this in fact they do not know I have put them on this list yet. I just believe in them and what they create. If you want information send me a comment. There many other friends who create but their work is custom and requiers time to make so one day I shall do a post about them!
Tony Duquette’s Dawnridge
French Country Cottage
Carolyne Roehm: Design & Style: A Constant Thread
Cece Cord & Travels with Tiger
The Barfield Collection
Available at Barfield Collection
Maya DuBrul Jewelry
Available at Maya DuBrul Jewelry
Cattle Baron Necklace
Available on Instagram @cattlebaronincashmere
Happy Holidays! i hope this might help some last minute decorating and shopping
You have always been a holiday inspiration for me! Sometimes, we do the holidays to such an extent that they exhaust us. Just do what feels right. It doesn’t have to be perfect nor anywhere near the level that you might have aspired to in the past. Get back to those memories, scents and traditions that made it magical. It can be whatever you want it to be and doesn’t have to rise to any expectation. You have set the barre extremely high for yourself and others. Now it is time to relax and enjoy, for yourself!
Benjamin – I think you have perfectly worded the ways in which we can all get back to the true joy of the holidays!
My Christmas Season was all the more special this year with meeting you at Winterthur and attending your lovely presentation! Your talk was so Heartfelt and your work so organic. I love to see the fabrics, flowers, nature – items no one seems to take the time to touch and feel in this hurried world. I have your Prints hanging on my wall and I must say you give Mother Nature a run for her money with your use of color. Just spectacular!
Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy 2019! Tina L.
Tina – it was wonderful to be there! Meeting new faces and sharing design tips and stories is a huge inspiration for me as well! Mother Nature is in a class by herself but your kind words are very appreciated.
This is the season for love and joy. Your ideas and photos are wonderful. We all need to take a deep breath, drop our shoulders and find our moments of true holiday spirit. Your updates are always a delight. Merry Christmas to everyone.
Peggy – you said it so well. We often need to unburden ourselves to experience the true joy of the holidays, which is quite often in the small things!
It’s always a pleasure to view your blogs. I too am feeling the numbness of the holiday. My mother passed away this year and she was a beautiful women with a lovely lively spirit who made everyone feel the Christmas magic as she filled the house with the joy of the season and cooked an abundance of dishes to satisfy old St. Nick. I’m decorating and baking quietly this year, though I know my mom would be saying to celebrate this joyous time. Thank you for posting these lovely photos. They show the magic of the season. Maybe next year a video house tour of your house at Christmas would be just wonderful with some Christmas hymns as background music? Would be very inspiring. A Christmas decor book?! That would be amazing! I collect all your books so always look forward to a new addition. Look at me, talking about stuff that would be more work for you. Just have a peace loving Christmas!
I am so sorry for your loss, Rosemary. I am hoping that some time will bring you peace. Your tribute to your mom will be carrying on the traditions she created and so lovingly passed down to you.
Carolyne I’m so very glad I stumbled onto your site. Just beautiful!!
Merry Christmas, ET
Thank you, Elisabeth!
My goodness…if anyone deserves a “bye”…it is you, Mz Roehm!! Fabulous creations and incredible appreciation. Had to smile…leopard pillows (print)…I have them…in every room, some, I suspect. I put brooches on mine. A very MERRY CHRISTMAS!! franki
Thank you for the reprieve, Franki! We all need one from time to time!
Me too!! And Amen! Carolyne, thank you! I feel more relaxed because you’ve shared that among the quintessential holiday decorators and theme makers the “I’m not there and that magic feeling is harder to find” can happen too! Xo
Ps. I may go to NYC because my cottage looks like an Amazon Shipping Department
Tracy – we’ve all been in that spot before. It’s about relieving some pressure and finding those moments of pure joy!
Beautiful post. Everything you do is pure magic. Wishing you and yours a beautiful and peaceful Christmas!
Thank you for the kind words, Eve! Looking forward to more holiday cheer!
Thanks, for the inspiration – we all need take time to breathe, sip some champagne and enjoy yours/theirs/my lovely surroundings!
I couldn’t agree more, Lisa!
Love, love the pictures and the book suggestions. Merry christmas
Thank you, Dawn!
Dear Carolyne. I understand how you feel. I have always embraced the holidays with joy but lately feel a melancholy with the season as the day comes closer. I think I am just more reflective of my corner of the world at this moment in time. Peace on earth and to you and yours this Christmas.
Heather – we all have holidays when we feel that way. Sometimes it takes adding a new tradition that maybe helps others or finding the small moments or gestures that bring us peace and real joy. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Preparing and decorating for Christmas have been lifelong passions for me. For the last few years, for a host of reasons, I, too, have found myself, either late, or entirely forsaking the joys of the season. I thank you for the posts of your Christmases past through which I rekindle my love for exquisite aesthetic you so beautifully uphold. Here’s to the magic of Christmases to be! Wishing you and yours the very best in the New Year and, most of all, the time for allowing inspiration to flow and create.
Ana – I think sometimes the pressure of the holidays eclipses the reasons we adore the seasons and we need to scale back and focus on what truly makes us and our loved ones happy. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with all that makes your heart sing!
Sending you joy and love…… late or not you are wonderful and inspiring! Best Wishes for a
Happy Christmas and a Merry 2019 –
Thank you, Sherine! Looking forward to 2020!
Looking at all of the beautiful Christmases of your past, it strikes me that perhaps this year, you are just tired. To create the beauty and magic that you have shared with so many others over your lifetime, takes a tremendous amount of energy and time. Sometimes, it is hard to summon up that powerhouse of energy and heart at will. Do what you can without totally depleting your resources and next year will perhaps be a bit calmer and you will remember the true meaning behind what you do and it will be easier. Thank you for the extraordinary beauty that you have so generously shared with all of us. Merry Christmas and God Bless.
Lori – I quite agree! Life is unpredictable and things ebb and flow. We often must accept altered versions of ourselves and, at times, our traditions, just as long as they still come from the heart. That’s what truly counts.
Holiday Christmas Greetings from Virginia-
Ms. Roehm thank you for the visual delights from your homes-always soothing to the eyes and soul. What a thoughtful gift to those who admire your style. Thank you for sharing.
May 2019 be a blessed year of peace, joy and happiness to you and yours.
Monica – hoping your 2019 has been wonderful as well so far!
You are not alone! I too wait for Christmas almost all year long. I can’t spell but can type. And I do adore all the Christmas fun. I even listen to Christmas music all year. But every year you would think I didn’t know that December 25 was Christmas!!!!! I’m behind but taking this time to wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you for all your wonderful books, photos and writings. They inspire me every day.
Marcy – I think we all have come to rely on spellcheck!
And PS…they say not being able to spell well has something to do with being artistic☺️
YES, I too am in the same SPOT as YOU!I think its an AGE THING!
I have just purchased ALL YOUR OLDER BOOKS from AMAZON and have been pursuing them rather than doing what I NEED TO DO!I had a couple of them but somehow missed OUT on the GIFT wrapping and PARTY PLANNING books!LOVING THEM AS MUCH AS A CONSTANT THREAD!
AS for DAWNRIDGE……..LOVED EVERY PAGE!Hutton has invited me to see it in person and I hope WE CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN in the NEW YEAR!!! I ADORE THAT MAN and his WIFE RUTH!
I have sent you a card to tell YOU how much I love the WHITE CHINOISERIE EARRINGS!They are even MORE BEAUTIFUL in PERSON!
THE THRILL AND EXCITEMENT WILL ARRIVE!!!
THANK YOU for sharing all THAT YOU DO!
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic words and support! I am delighted you are enjoying my work!
You will always remain my mentor, and my inspiration for ever, regardless of age, times we live in and what the rest of the world is doing. Bring on the glamour I say and keep it coming!!
Thank you, Elana! What kind words – I look forward to sharing holiday stories this year!
Hi Carolyne, Wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your book, A Common Thread. So beautiful and a very good read.
Rosanne – I’m so happy you enjoyed it – it was a very personal, labor of love for me!
All still superb.
Thanks for your beautiful posts.
Happiest of Holidays my beautiful FB friend.
Thank you, Sheryl! Before you know it, the season will be upon us again!
Thank you for sharing Carolyne. I would also add my two children’s books The Jewel Collar. And Hannah the Hummingbird which are available on Amazon and iBookstore among other places.
Christine – thank you for the recommendations!
Magical, Inspirational and just down right stunning. How could these images not get you into the holiday, it does for me all the time. That’s why I keep your books right on my coffee table so I can pick one up and get inspired to do even more. When it is snowy and cold and I miss my gardens I peek into one of your books,get inspired and look forward to the coming spring. When I get like your feeling I thank God how lucky and blessed we are. I’m sure you will do something spectacular as usual. I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Years.
Thank you, Peter. Knowing people return to my books time after time is a complement that warms me – that was my hope in writing all of them!
This is a lovely post! What kind of small, white flower is used in the centerpiece in the second image of this post? Is it white mimosa or baby’s breath? Thank you for the wonderful holiday decorating ideas!
Tori – that small white flower is Baby’s Breath – good eye! Thank you for your kind words!
Fabulous. Thank you for always giving us the most elegant examples to inspire our holiday dreams! Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Ann! Wishing you a lovely holiday season!
Well – as often has happened your gorgeous post came at a perfect time as I awoke @ 5:00 am with thoughts about TWO upcoming parties I’m hosting (in the same week) swirling around my brain. So I crept downstairs and checked email only to find such incredible images (yours of course) and they gave me such inspiration and confirmed some decorating/ table settings ideas that I think were already practically in place. Thanks as always for the brilliant inspiration. Have a wonderful Holiday.
Kim – getting out of bed at 5 AM to see my pictures is the highest form of a compliment! I’m so glad to have helped and hope your gatherings were a success!
I too would shop the day after Thanksgiving. Then I decorated my room with an artificial tree and things my mother didn’t use anymore. Then I made a list of all the things I would do on Christmas Eve night so I could stay up all night. I did this by time segments. The end result was that the family waited for me to wake up to start Christmas Day.
Adrian – sometimes I think we all need 2 of ourselves to accomplish all the merriment! By the time the day arrives, it was hopefully all worth it! Enjoy your holiday season this year!
Merry Christmas to you and thank you so much always for pics of your beautiful home. Regards from Munich,Germany!
A belated thank for your kind words, Maria!
A beautiful message and the same in your pictures…. inspiring us all to make it a beautiful day…. inside and out🎄MERRY 🎄MERRY 🎄
Thank you, Patricia!
Beautiful pictures of past Christmases. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at them .
Thank you, Sharon. Those pictures hold dear memories for me so I was very happy to share!
Love the gift ideas and the photos of Christmases past were wonderful. Happy and healthy new year to you. I pray it’s a better year for the world too. 🙏. Lisa
Thanks, Lisa! It’s at the top of my wish list again this year!
Good Afternoon Ms. Roehm,
I absolutely adore your website and all of your posts, so I wanted to say thank you for bringing so much style to the world! I also wanted to say my partner gifted me a copy of your new & amazing book Carolyne Roehm: Design & Style: A Constant Thread and I LOVE it! The pictures are stunning and the text is eloquent. Hopefully I will be able to get mine autographed sometime in the future!! Best wishes for 2019!
Thank you, Dustin! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book because I so loved working on that project (and your partner has excellent taste in gifts)! All the best to you.
I love this post Carolyne and your website is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see you in Nashville. Hope we have a chance to talk. I know how busy you will be. Sending much love and good wishes for a wonderful New Year. Hope your mom is well.
Lisa – I was so sorry to miss you and hope to return to travel for work some day. I have been home, regaining my strength and focusing on my health. Although I’m always content to be working, travelling for work has proven a struggle for me this year. Your support is so appreciated!
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Thank you for your interest! Your support means the world to me!
Dear Carolyne — Loved all these eye-candy Christmas photos. My husband and I are looking forward to your program at the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show the first weekend in February. We just got the tickets. All the best for a Great 2019!
Andrea – I am sorry I missed you and hope you have had a great 2019 thus far!
Just had a moment to look over your post after the holiday rush. I am so inspired by your decorating with the glistening branches and elegant simplicity. I must do something similar next year! It is just magical. Thank you also for the ideas on books and gifts. I trust your taste and will look into the items for sure. I wish I could get to Nashville to see you speak. Did so in Palm Beach years ago and it was wonderful. Will you be speaking again anywhere soon. It would be worth a weekend trip! Just too busy this month tutoring little ones! Happy and healthy New Year to you and your family. Lynn
Lynn – I always enjoy my time in Palm Beach! Although I have put travelling for work on pause while I regain my strength, I am constantly reminded of the wonderful people I have met along the way and how much their stories and ideas have inspired me. I hope to get out on the road again in the future!
Thank you, Cathy!
I’ve watched many of the YouTube segments featuring your beautiful home & adorable dogs via Quintessence. You are such a sweetheart. Your honesty & vivacious personality are so appealing. Thank you for sharing this post, many of us can relate… 😘
Thank you so much for the kind words. My dogs are my most important sense of home, for sure! I’m glad you enjoyed the videos.
I AM VERY SADDENED YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SPEAK AT OUR DECORATIVE ARTS IN NEWPORT BEACH, APRIL 2019
I SINCERELY HOPE YOUR SICKNESS IS NOT SOMETHING SEVERE. I HAVE ALL YOUR BOOKS AND SO ENJOY EACH
ONE NOW THAT I AM GOING THROUGH BREAST CANCER!
Connie – I am so sorry to hear about your health struggles and am sending strength and positive thoughts your way. I am so happy my books have been a joyful distraction. I adore Newport Beach and hope to return to speaking engagements some day.
Sweet Carolyn, your post moves my heart.
It is not only you. There is a change in the fiber of our shared world which has changed, and changes aspects of what you once assumed to be your bedrock. You will be different now yet still moved by beauty,the beauty as it was and as it is newly defining itself through your morphing. What seemed important, even paramount , now calls you quietly , if at all. It is not apathy. It is a personal evolution.
Resume your wonder, but be comforted , and comfortable as your passions alter. So much more to share.
Suffice to say, it is really ok, but surely not business as usual. Surrounding you with joyous light…
Barbara – I hold dear my ongoing ability to see beauty in the small things. We change, but remain the same! Thank you for your thoughtful words.
Where are you?
Marie – thank you for your concern. I am working on projects and I continue to regain my strength at home. I am taking it one day at a time and feel very fortunate to have the most wonderful support system.
I am writing you from France, I have been impressed by your work which is delicate and show a deep understanding of ” un excellent goût raffiné”, no mistake. If you may please check onPINTEREST my finished project on how I decorated my living room following the inspiration of the XVIII century (Fontainebleau boudoir de la reine Marie Antoinette). I didn’t spend any money, just painting and … adding two armchairs ….I painted also the ceiling and made myself the “cabochons”. Anyway, most important I want to thank you for the joy I got admiring your work and your taste. Thank you so much for sharing. Best Wishes. Delphine Rieugnié
Delphine – changes in color are my favorite way to give any area a fresh facelift. I’m very happy I could provide some inspiration. Thank you for your words.
I had no idea you were ill. Continued prayers and hopefully you have fully recovered by now. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you..
Honorary Consul of Spain in El Paso
Martha – how kind of you to offer help – I truly appreciate it. I am doing well and taking things one day at a time!
Absolutely beautiful inspirational and all that good stuff such a lovely fine for Friday morning
Nothing like waking up to the mountains! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post.