Christmas Table Round up from 2020

Good morning, friends!

We are a week into the new year, and looking back I can say that we had a wonderful Christmas season. We enjoyed so many traditions, and I am thankful we were able to host some special meals. I am rounding up some of the table settings I used for Christmastime 2020. These were previously posted by themselves either on Instagram or blog posts. I am putting them all in one place in case anyone would like to save them to Pinterest to reference later. I’m happy to give sources or links if anyone has questions. You can save this post to Pinterest by scrolling to the bottom of the post and clicking on the Pinterest button, or you can use the Pinterest extension on your chrome bar.

What I Shop for the Day After Christmas

Some people look forward to Black Friday deals every year, but my favorite shopping day of the year is the day AFTER Christmas. I thought I would share the things I look for on the day after Christmas in case you were interested in finding deals that day, too.

Gift Wrapping Supplies

The day after Christmas is the time you want to buy wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, gift tags, etc. You can find these items on clearance in so many stores. I like to buy mine at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods. But you will surely find gift wrapping supplies on sale everywhere from the grocery store to big box stores like Target and Walmart.

Cooking and Baking Supplies

Baking supplies are often bundled as gifts in stores. If you need items like sheet pans, utensils, measuring cups, and the like, you may want to look for them the day after Christmas. Make sure to look in the holiday section of stores for them. Last year I bought sheet pans, measuring cups, and measuring spoons all on deep clearance because they had a cute little Christmas gift tags on them, and they were being marketed as holiday gift items.

Expensive Collectibles

I’ve mentioned before that I give Samantha a Spode ornament and Spode plate each year. When I shop on the day after Christmas I look for those on the clearance racks. I also like to collect a more expensive, German-made brand of Nutcrackers. Any time I can find one of my favorite (albeit more pricey) things on clearance, I am a happy camper!

Gifts for Next Year

Basically anthing that has something holiday related in the name (i.e. Peppermint, Gingerbread, etc) in the name will most likely be deeply discounted the day after Christmas. Look for things that you can use as gifts for next year. I have a spot that I put little gifts that I might need next year for people like the mail man, neighbors, or an unexpected guest bearing a gift.

Cozy Items that are Often Gifted

Items like sweaters and blankets are purchased a lot as gifts. On the day after Christmas you will notice that those will be on clearance, as well as things like slippers and pillows. If you need those things, the day after Christmas is the time to buy them.

Vintage Christmas Items

Okay, if you are a vintage Christmas collector, you are well aware at what happened to the price of vintage Christmas collectibles this year. Prices absolutely skyrocketed. But as a former vintage Christmas seller (both online and in-store), I can tell you that after Christmas I didn’t want to keep unsold merchandise. On the day after Christmas, you will surely find sales in your favorite antique stores. Many online antique sellers on eBay and Etsy will also offer sales. If you’ve been eyeing something online, but couldn’t afford it before Christmas, check back and see if the seller put it on sale afterwards.

Food Items in Christmas Packaging

If you are in need of individual packs of candy, tins of popcorn, hot chocolate, and so much more…you will find food items boxed or wrapped in anything holiday related will most likely be on sale. A lot of gourmet items in holiday packages will be on clearance in places like World Market or TJ Maxx.

And finally, the obvious thing to buy the day after Christmas is Christmas decor

Anything and everthing Christmas related will be on sale. I’ve seen most big-box stores sell out of artificial trees this year, but if you’re looking for an artificial tree, the day after Christmas would be the time to buy it. Christmas lights (indoor/outdoor) are most affordable when they are on sale the day after Christmas.

My favorite stores to shop on the day after Christmas:

  • TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods
  • Pottery Barn
  • Williams Sonoma
  • World Market
  • Target (doesn’t discount as deeply on the first day after Christmas)
  • Michael’s (Hobby Lobby discounts their Christmas stuff way before Christmas, so there is not a lot left by the time the day after Christmas rolls around, but check there if you were waiting to buy something specific.)
  • Antique Stores

Victorian Christmas Place Setting

Hello, friends!

Just ten days until Christmas! I’m done shopping, decorating, and baking. But I’m not ready for Christmas to end, so I am savoring these last few weeks of lights, ribbon and bows, evergreen branches, and Christmas music.

Today is Tabletop Tuesday, and I am sharing a place setting we used this past weekend while hosting some guests for brunch. If these plates look familiar to you, that’s because I recently found them on Thrifty Thursday. Thrifty Thursday is something fun I do over on Instagram. Usually I show things I find while thrift shopping, and my followers let me know if they’d purchase it or not, or sometimes they guess the price. (Join us, HERE!)

I picked these plates up at a local thrift store for $1.21 a piece. They are made in England by Johnson Brothers, and the pattern is called “Victorian Christmas.” This pattern was produced in the 1990s, and I used them with a 90s style Christmas tablecloth that I picked up years ago from an estate sale. If you haven’t noticed from the fashion trends, many 90s style decor and clothing items are making a comeback.

This set is circa early 1990s, and it was made in England. This pattern is still produced, however currently in China.

Keeping with the thrifted theme, these crystal Longchamp D’Arques glasses were second hand as well. Even my gold colored flatware set was an estate sale find.

Sometimes people ask me if we really eat off the pretty plates or use the crystal glasses. The cloth napkins surprise some people, too. We really do use them. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this quote by William Morris, “Do not have anything in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I want to have things in our home that are both beautiful and useful. We don’t have a museum. I would love to pass things on to my kids and grandkids, but I also believe that we should enjoy things and feel special when we use them.

I guess the moral of the story is that you don’t have to pay a lot for nice things, and when you have them – use them. 🙂

I’ve taken all of the hard work out of trying to recreate this look! I’ve link everything you need, including some vintage Victorian Christmas plates (made in England). To find everything you need, head on over to my LIKEtoKNOW.it page HERE, or screenshot the image below and use it in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app.

Merry Christmas!

Abby

Christmas Cocoa Cocktail Kit

If you’re looking for an easy, last minute gift idea, I have the perfect one for you…Christmas Cocoa Cocktail Kits! I have made and given these away these several times in past years, but they are really perfect for 2020 and those who are social distancing.

Here are the supplies that I gathered: small bottles of peppermint flavored vodka, individual packets of mint flavored cocoa, red and green marshmallows, disposable cups, paper shred, and a cookie tin. I found the cups, cocoa, and shred paper at Walmart. These fun red and green marshmallows are a Target find. And this cookie tin is one that I picked up the day after Christmas on clearance last year. In Georgia the only place you can buy liquor is a liquor store, and you can usually buy individual bottles this size for around one dollar. You can easily substitute a little bottle of Bailey’s or Kahlua.

Arrange everything inside your tin, and wrap it up with a sweet ribbon. Another idea is to use Coca-Cola bottles and straws instead of the cocoa and marshmallows. Make sure your recipients know that this is an adults-only gift so that they don’t mistakenly hand it over to the under 21 crowd. Although you could easily make this a kids-friendly version.

  • A few other ideas for a cookie tin:
  • peppermint tea and cookies
  • cocoa and cookies for the kiddos
  • a kit for sharing while looking at Christmas lights
  • gingerbread decorating kit
  • Everything needed to leave out for Santa, like a little plate, carrots, cookies, and a drink
  • Individual bags of coffee (World Market) or k-cups, disposable coffee cups, biscotti

Only eleven more days until Christmas, and this will be an easy gift to pull together. I hope you enjoy it!

Abby

DIY Christmas Garland

Hello! Christmas will be here before we know it, and I wanted to share my garland in case any of you wanted to make one for yourself. What I love most about my garland is that aside for a couple of oranges that I bought from the grocery store, it was completely free. Yes, free!

You may have seen my Costco Wreath Hack post previously, but in case you haven’t, I have been up close and personal with the construction of Costco wreaths and garlands for several years know. I felt that I knew how they were put together, and I had everything that I needed to do so.

I gathered clippings of Magnolia branches, Holly leaves and berries, and Cypress branches from our yard. I already had floral wire and ribbon left over from previously “hacking” Costco Christmas wreaths. To make the garland you will need to lay overlapping branches, making sure to cover the stems. Wherever you want them joined, wrap floral wire tightly around them.

I have a bag full of these tiny beeswax taper candles left over from Christmas Eve love feast services. And we already own several antique sleds. (Another one is outside our front door. Hopefully I can take pictures of that soon.)

I know how to make bows, so I made my own. I joke around with Ken that I am putting my college degree (Interior Design) to good use whenever I make a bow. It was taught in one of my college elective classes – floral design.

To help my Magnolia and Holly last longer, after I cut them I stuck the stems in a mixture of water and glycerin. To do this, you’ll need to mix a 1:1 ratio of boiling hot water and glycerin. Don’t cool the water before putting your stems in. The stems need to have been freshly cut, too. Don’t cut them and let them sit a few hours or days. Plan on cutting them right before you put them in the mixture. I let mine sit in the mixture for about 3 days. Afterwards, I sprayed the fronts and backs of leaves, as well as the berries, with Mod Podge Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer. You don’t have to soak them or spray them with anything, but it will help them to last longer.

You may have already seen these giant pinecones on my Thanksgiving tablescape post. I’ve had them for several years, but I think they came from Hobby Lobby. I’m linking these red stockings on my LIKEtoKNOW.it in case you want to recreate this look.

I attached the dried oranges and grapefruit with ornament hooks. I tried using ribbon on a couple of them, and it got to be a little “busy.” Drying fruit is not expensive or hard, but it does take quite a bit of time. To dry my citrus I cut it evenly into thin pieces using a very sharp knife. I patted both sides dry with paper towels. I set them onto cooling racks which I had put into a sheet pan. I put them into the oven on 200*, and I flipped them over every hour or so. It took about 5 hours for my oranges to dry. Afterwards I let them finish air drying on the counter for a day or so. (Be sure to check on them often. I have heard of them drying much faster in the oven than mine did. We’re in a humid climate, so it took longer here.)

Believe it or not, I found a website selling the dried oranges very inexpensively. For about the cost of a fresh orange, you can buy a box of 15 orange slices already dried. This really is a time consuming process, so next year I may even just buy them already dried.

I am linking everything you would need to recreate this look from the stocking to the Magnolia and Cypress branches if you don’t have access to those. It’s all in my LIKEtoKNOW.it account for you to easily get everything you need. You can either click HERE, click on the picture below, or screenshot the picture below to use it in your LIKEtoKNOW.it app. These are affiliate links, and if you buy something from my LIKEtoKNOW.it, I could possibly make a very small commission (usually pennies).

Feel free to ask me any questions about making the garland in the comments below.

Merry Christmas!

Abby

Our Spode Christmas Tradition

There are just over two weeks until Christmas, so today I am sharing one of our Christmas traditions with you for Tabletop Tuesday. One of our Christmas traditions is that every Christmas I give our daughter, Samantha, a Spode Christmas ornament and a Spode Christmas plate. I try to make the ornament relevant to something we did that year together or something big that happened to her. For example, one year our family went to the Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, so the Spode ornament I gave her was their nutcracker one. Another year Samantha and I did a tea advent calendar together. Each day we sampled a new kind of tea. So the ornament I gave her that year was the Spode teacup ornament. This year’s ornament is just perfect. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for her, so I’ll come back later to edit what it is. (Edit: the Spode ornament I gave Samantha for 2020 is the car ornament. She got her drivers license this year, so this ornament seemed perfect!)

As I said, I also give her a Spode Christmas Tree plate. By the time she gets married she’ll have a set of Christmas plates to use and a set of heirloom ornaments for her very own tree. I went with the Spode Christmas Tree pattern because it has consistently been in production for quite some time. When I started I felt that I would still be able to buy her pieces years from now without worrying that they would stop making it.

Each year I write a little message on the ornament box with Sharpie. Just something like, “2015, the year we went to the Nutcracker. Love, Mom.” Just a little note so she knows why I picked that ornament.

I have my own set of Spode Christmas tree plates that are vintage and made in England. I like to mix and match them at Christmastime with Blue Willow and also with either Johnson Brothers “Old Britain Castles” or Johnson Brothers “T’was the Night.”

I’ve linked everything pictured here in my LIKEtoKNOW.it, even some vintage tablecloths similar to the one I have. You can screenshot the picture below and use it in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, or you can click on the link HERE to find where I have linked everything for you.

You can screenshot this picture to find everything you need to recreate this look in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Or, you can click on the picture or HERE.

I’m always interested in other people’s traditions. Feel free to share yours with me in the comments below.

Merry Christmas,

Abby

Santa Mug and Jadeite Love

Every year at Christmastime I love displaying my Santa mug collection with my jadeite collection. And I get very, very excited talking about my jadeite Santa cookie jar. The first one I ever bought was in 2013. I sold that Santa cookie jar and went on to sell SIXTEEN more of them in my Etsy shop when I had it. (Plus a handful more that I sold to family members and in my antique booth.)

The very first one I found! Excuse the poor photo quality this was on a 2013 cell phone. 🙂

And don’t ya know, Santa cookie jar has a brother. Also Santa, and he’s a cookie plate. HA! And I sold 12 of them in my shop.

Want to know more about them? They are technically vintage, but they aren’t super old. They were made to replica a 1970s blow mold cookie jar. These jadeite Santas were sold by Cracker Barrel, from what I can tell in the late 90s/2000.

I paid $10 for that very first Santa cookie jar I bought, and today they sell upwards of $350 on eBay. (I asked $120 for the cookie jar and $80 for the plate when I sold them on Etsy.)

Current going prices, as of December 2020.

But the moral of the story is that jadeite and vintage Santa mugs are a match made in HEAVEN. My collection is mostly of old, vintage ones. But I am not opposed to adding new ones. I have new mugs from Pottery Barn and Hobby Lobby mixed in. If it’s your collection…do what you want, right?!

I don’t know how many Santa mugs is too many. I just know that I don’t have too many yet.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy more of my old photos below. (Excuse the photo quality, because they date back over a decade. Phone pictures quality has improved a lot over the years!)

Thrifty Thursday Christmas

It’s Thrifty Thursday! Ken and I went thrift shopping earlier this week. On one hand, I was thrilled to be thrift shopping with my OG picking partner. But on the other hand, we found absolutely nothing good to show you. So today, instead of showing you what I found this week, I am showing how I used something I found last week. The reality of thrift shopping is that you can’t always find good, quality junk. Haha! I do want to say that we dropped off a load to be donated. I always purge items from our house whenever I bring stuff in.

So are you ready to see how I am using something from a previous thrifting adventure? Remember these vintage Holly ornaments that I found for $2.02? I also showed you on my Instagram stories how they currently go for $30-$40 on Etsy.

Well, they are the perfect addition to our bedroom Christmas tree! I posted about our bedroom decorated for a Christmas just a few days ago HERE. This tree is super affordable, like less than $80. Ken even says that he likes it better than our “big” tree downstairs that cost several hundred dollars. I decorated it with some Martha Stewart premade ribbons for a tree topper and some snippets of other types of plaid ribbon. The other ornaments are new, including the Shiny Brites. They are reproduction ornaments. You can find the ornaments and tree on my LIKEtoKNOW.it.

This is the first time we’ve had a tree in our master bedroom, and I am LOVING it. We have a 16′ x 23′ room, and the tree makes it just feel so cozy. I wish I had put one in there sooner.

Don’t you love the little Santa face? He is one of my Shiny Brite reproduction ornaments.

When Ken and I went thrifting we also went on a little “day date” to our favorite locally owned cafe. It was so cold and windy that day, but the Christmas decorations around town were beautiful!

Screenshot this picture and shop my outfit using the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Or you can follow this link.

I think this just goes to show that you can create a beautiful tree using thrift stores ornaments and a very inexpensive artificial tree. Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot in order for your decor to be beautiful!

You can shop our bedding and Christmas decor HERE.

Papier Mache Vintage Christmas Angels

Good morning, friends! Today I want to share with you my vintage papier mache Christmas angel collection. I shared this type of angel years and years ago on my blog, but my collection has grown a little bit, so I’m sharing it again.

I’ve never seen or heard of anyone else who collects these. They are, of course, made of papier mache. Mine are all either marked “Made in Japan” or “Made in Korea”. (Many types of collectable Christmas decorations came from this area of the world.)

I own angels in gold dresses and some in ivory colored dresses. However, these come in many colors. I just happen to like the gold and ivory.

These aren’t particularly valuable. I think you can find a set of three for around $30-$40. But they have a great sentimental value to me. Growing up my mother had a set of 3 that were always set atop our family piano at Christmas time. Over the years all but one broke. None of the ones in my collection are from my mother’s set…they are all ones that I found on my own.

These are displayed in our foyer. They were kept up higher when our kids were small, but now that everyone is grown they are set on a table for all to see and enjoy. I hope your Christmas season is off to a wonderful start. You don’t need any vintage or fancy decorations to make it special – paper chains and coffee filter snowflakes will do just fine!

Love, Abby

Plaid Christmas, I gave you my heart

I am excited to share my first Christmas 2020 post with you today! For the first time, this year I decorated our master bedroom for Christmas. I have pulled back on Christmas decorating for the past few years, and normally I save Christmas decorating until the day after Thanksgiving. However, 2020 really felt like it could use a little MORE Christmas.

You can shop for many of the items in our bedroom by using the affiliate links by going to my Liketoknow.It page. (BelleAntiquarian) or clicking HERE.

I switched out a pillow on our bed for a down-filled, red plaid one. Other new additions to the bed are the red crabapple garland and some green velvet bows.

Above each nightstand I added the sweetest little wreaths. On the nightstand shelves I folded up some of the many plaid, wool blankets that I’ve been collecting over the years.

My favorite addition to our bedroom for Christmas is the flocked Christmas tree. I’ve never had a flocked tree, and I’ve never had a tree in our bedroom. This one was fairly inexpensive as far as artificial trees go, but I am very impressed with the quality of the branches. I added two types of plaid ribbon to the tree. The bows at the top and the plaid tree skirt were both items that I picked up on Christmas clearance last year.

The ornaments on the tree are a mixture of new, already owned, and vintage. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen these vintage Holly brand ornaments that I picked up on one of my recent Thrifty Thursday stories. (We really have a lot of fun on Thrifty Thursdays. If you haven’t found me on Instagram, please join in the fun. I’m @ BelleAntiquarian.) I wanted to continue the red of the berry garland and plaid bed pillow over onto the tree, so you’ll notice the red ornament theme carries that over.

Below are a few more pictures of our bedroom decorated for Christmas. Have you had a Christmas tree in your bedroom? It’s quite magical and makes watching Hallmark Christmas movies even more fun. I’ve linked many of the items here on my Liketoknow.It account. Our bedding, pillows, and many of the Christmas decor items can be found there if you want to recreate this look.