When our team started talking about how we wanted to celebrate Christmas this year, I wished aloud that I could take everyone with me to my hometown in East Texas. “Small town Christmases are just so special,” I said wistfully, thinking back to the days my family would spend Christmas afternoon feeding the animals on our farm and driving up to the courthouse to see the lights. (Seriously, there were even instances of actual caroling in my youth.) Never one to back down from a challenge, our team immediately started brainstorming how we could make a country Christmas a reality. And so our holiday mission was established.

Keep scrolling to see our country Christmas come to life, and check out our behind-the-scenes video from the day right here!

Obviously, we’d need a destination much closer to Austin than my actual hometown. So we pulled out the map and decided on Fredericksburg, a historic small town about 1.5 hours west of Austin. A quick bit of internet research led us to Settlers Crossing, a bed and breakfast consisting of 7 charming historic guest houses spread over 35 hill country acres. And on a cold sunny morning a few weeks later, we loaded in Camille’s car and hit the road.

We dressed up the gate of the Bohl Cabin with two diamond dusted potted Christmas trees.

Approximately 30 Christmas songs, 6 lattes, and one pack of local gas station jerky later (hey, we’re on holiday!), we pulled up to our little country cabin. As we built a fire and decorated our flocked tree, we couldn’t help but feel a bit like kids on Christmas morning.

We kicked off our shoes and spent the day snacking on cheese, sipping cranberry apple cider, and swapping laughs about our favorite Hallmark movies (“A Husband for Christmas”, anyone?). And when a flock of local sheep came right up to our door, somehow it seemed perfectly natural.

Everyone brought gifts wrapped in the “CS” way: kraft paper and pretty ribbon.

I decorated the gate with a blue ridge mountain wreath — lucky for me there was already a nail in just the right place.


Then we all decorated the front porch of the cabin using several 6 foot strands of blue ridge mountain garland and a standing reindeer. Instant holiday vibes!

It was the first chilly day of the year, but we stayed warm with a delicious cider infused with blood oranges, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and star anise.

The whole gang posed for a photo in front of the Bohl Cabin with our gifts. Maybe we should start sending out a Team CS holiday card…

pictured: blue ridge mountain wreathdiamond dusted potted christmas trees

We hung our stockings (with care!) over the wood burning fireplace in the cabin and decked out the mantle with the sun valley pre-decorated candleholder centerpiece.

Inside the cabin, we couldn’t wait to start setting up our tree. We were absolutely amazed by the ingenious design of the grand snow blue spruce inversion pre-lit Christmas tree — it has a wheeled base for easy moving and the trunk flips upside down with a simple push for perfectly full and fluffed branches.

Carmen did a balancing act with the last load of gifts from the car.

Camille set up an amazing buffet for us outside the cabin featuring a gorgeously curated cheese board. Heaven on earth!


This ultimate holiday cheese plate included a wheel of creamy brie and all the accoutrements: dried fruit, nuts, salami, pomegranate seeds, crackers, and honey. Check out our tips for creating a cheese board on a budget.

We also set out a lovely pumpkin soup that we brought with us in thermoses, then gently rewarmed and garnished with herbs, pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

After all the activity of the morning, the cheese board was demolished in approximately 5 minutes.


There’s nothing like a bowl of spicy soup to warm hands and heart. Get the recipe for our creamy curried pumpkin soup right here! 

Lighting the tree was a cinch — the grand snow blue spruce is beautifully flocked and comes completely pre-lit. We were excited to plug it in and get straight to the real fun: decorating!

Landrie surprised us with these sweet cozy sock favors (which we all put on immediately).

One of the best things about the holidays is taking some dedicated time to just really relax and get cozy together… we had to ask ourselves, why don’t we do this more often?


Laura dished up cranberry apple cider and passed it around while we lounged by the fire.

We’ll be making this cider all winter long.

A tiered cake stand was dressed up with greenery and piles of winter citrus fruit (which doubled as decor and snacks throughout the day.)

Then Carmen surprised us with the most fun afternoon craft: decorating gingerbread houses.

We decorated our houses (in between bites) with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon sticks, chocolate peppermint wafers, fruit and nut chews, almonds, walnuts, and royal icing. YUM!

The result was pretty darn cute (and tasty) if we do say so ourselves. In fact, things got a little competitive as we each tried to build the most picturesque house (typical.)


As we opened presents around the tree, I caught it all on film. Watch our behind-the-scenes video right here! 


After opening presents, it was time to get seriously snuggled down and watch a few old holiday favorites on the VCR.

Thank you Frontgate for the gorgeous Christmas decorations and Settler’s Crossing for making our holiday dreams come true this year. It was a day we’ll never forget. The magic of a small town Christmas still rings true: time, relentless as she usually is, moved slower for one day. Merry Christmas, everyone!

20 comments
  1. 1
    karin | December 1, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Love it!

    Reply
  2. 2
    suwanneerose | December 1, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I’m heading home, to a small town on the east coast of Florida. I’m looking forward to my mom’s brunch and Santa delivering jars of bloody Marys from the back of a truck on Christmas morning.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | December 1, 2016 at 11:09 am

      That sounds heavenly, Suwannee! I LOVE bloody marys.

      Reply
  3. 3
    Gabriella | December 1, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Can I just say how incredible your work is? I know this was also a team getaway, but for sponsored content this is just out of this world. Go team CS!! And Merry Christmas 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | December 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Wow, Gabriella. Thank you. This comment MADE my day!

      Reply
  4. 4
    Samantha Lee | December 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    This looks like so much fun and the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! All the decor is beautiful too.
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

    Reply
  5. 5
    Caroline | December 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Jenn, just when I think you have created my all-time favorite post (such as the Halloween group costumes!) you do something even more amazing. I love every frame from this beautiful day in the country, and I am now officially in the Christmas spirit 🙂 The gorgeously-wrapped gifts, bountiful cheese tray, that incredible cake stand of fruit and greenery — love it all, and it certainly shows that the CS team loves to spend time together.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rose Smith | December 1, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you Caroline! Your words warm my heart. This might be one of my all-time favorite posts as well! Happy Christmas.

      Reply
  6. 6
    Chanel Dror | December 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Best day ever <3

    Reply
  7. 7
    Pamela Clay | December 2, 2016 at 7:51 am

    The punch looks great! Could you share the recipe?

    Reply
  8. 8
    emilyseyeblog | December 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    This was so adorable! I think it’s great that you all seem like such a close team. Happy holidays!
    -Emily
    http://www.emilyseye.com

    Reply
  9. 9
    Diana S | December 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    So so cute!! Love the socks!! 😉 Also, I am not convinced Camille had the best house.

    Reply
  10. 10
    Chanone | December 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Where did you get the cute & cozy socks – ever fabulous Camille Styles Parties blog?

    Reply
  11. 11
    Jennifer Rose Smith | December 8, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Hi Chanone! The cozy socks are from target: http://rstyle.me/n/b85ezen4xn

    Reply
  12. 12
    Lizzie | December 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Do you have the recipe for the Cider? Sounds delicious! Thanks and Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  13. 13
    Courtney (A Thoughtful Place) | December 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I am in love with every single detail. Wow! This was all so stunning. And I adore you website design. Gorgeous.

    Reply
  14. 14
    Janis | December 27, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Which little town in East Texas are you from? I grew up in Palestine.
    Love those cabins in Fredericksburg and how y’all decorated inside and out. What a wonderful girls trip you had!

    Reply
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photographer

Kristen Kilpatrick