The Twelve Days are upon us. And so is the weather. In my eternal quest to find really warm, yet stylish, gear for Mrs. E., I stumbled across this:
The Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket. Yes, it was a bit expensive, even on sale, but it has been a game changer. So much so that I bought the Ultralight Down Sweater for her to wear around the house. This would make a great stocking stuffer as it folds down into absolutely nothing. Amazing technology! Wear it alone or as a liner to a favorite warmer weather coat. Fit, finish and colors are all fantastic. (I wound up with an orange one…)
Yesterday we decorated the tree. Some people love decorating. While I love the result, I don’t like the legwork. All I can think of is taking it all down and having to pack it away. The task is made considerably less onerous by our habit of asking for help. Mrs. E. and I invite friends over. This started years ago with a bachelor friend, Mr. W., who provided all the props necessary to luring us into the afternoon. Champagne and, in those halcyon days, maybe even caviar.
There really is nothing like a champagne bucket to make even an inexpensive bottle look its best. Considering an elegant Christmas gift that will get lots of use? If you haven’t inherited, the hotel silver number above is a good price at Pottery Barn.
Longtime readers of Easy and Elegant Life know of my struggle between my ideal, sophisticated, elegant existence, and my rather baroque inner self. I am more maximalist than minimalist. This probably boils down to my half-Greek side warring with my Protestant upbringing. Usually this dilemma manifests in my wardrobe choices. It is also painfully clear in my home decor. How I long for neutrals… these days. Relaxing simplicity. Order.
With the holiday season upon us, the morning commute is always a treat. Lights decorate trees and houses. Massive Christmas decorations, glossy and colorful balls, white sparkling snowflakes dance in the wind and pine swag drapes everywhere.
Please don’t get me started on the tacky house tours.
What I really appreciate is a perfect wreath on a black door. A thick, six inches deep, green mass of magnolia leaves, bay leaves and pine, with a deep purple velvet ribbon. That’s it. Take this live eucalyptus berry example. It doesn’t even need a ribbon. (Click on any of the photos to be taken to the site from which it was cribbed.)
This is a classicist’s delight. The photo could have been taken here in Richmond. You know the radio is tuned to Lessons and Carols on the BBC.
Add to a perfect wreath window candles glowing in every window — even the attic dormers — and I find a peaceful elegance that reflects the stunning Victorian architecture of my neighborhood. Here’s a beautiful example from Maine. That’s Federal style architecture, I believe.
This year, how will you decorate? A riot of color and joy, or quietly peaceful?