Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of Christmas morning: waking up at the crack of dawn, reaching deep into the bottom of my stocking for every last treasure and devouring thick, warm slices of my mom’s famous almond kringle with mugs of hot cocoa. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I’ve been thinking about starting some special traditions for Phoebe’s first holiday, so we’re inviting our families to meet at our house for a Christmas morning brunch and gift exchange. Thought that our collaboration with kate spade new york was the perfect time to give it a test run, so I invited a few of my favorite families to celebrate early – blazing fire, presents under the tree, stacks of pancakes and all. Click through for all the details shot by Buff Strickland, including the kate spade new york pieces that inspired the entire look. And just in case you missed the first in our series, hop on over to check out a cozy holiday open house!

A finer feast.

Set the scene for an unforgettable gathering with a long table that’s beautifully set for brunch.

All decked out.

The centerpiece of any Christmas morning gathering? The tree, of course! I decorated mine in a magical, monochromatic palette of snowy white and sparkling silver and surrounded it with gifts in similar shades. The mantle is hung with stockings and filled with white pillar candles for a look that’s simple yet striking.

Prepared for anything.

For a stress-free fête, set the table the night before. Tight bunches of crimson amaryllis (these were done by The Byrd Collective) in modern white vases, paired with silver candlesticks in varying heights, create a clean, dramatic centerpiece that oozes timeless elegance.

kate spade new york castle peak vases

Cup of cheer.

Set aside an area near the dining room as the designated coffee station. Now’s the time to break out your best china, and a matching coffeepot lets guests pour their own refills. Don’t forget the cream and sugar!

kate spade new york belle boulevard china

The most magical time.

It’s a celebration that captures the imaginations of guests of all ages.

Bottoms Up.

In addition to coffee and cocoa, serve champagne straight up in pretty flutes, or mix with fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice for morning-appropriate cocktails. Nothing’s more festive.

kate spade new york belle boulevard flutes

kate spade new york sandi cardigan and bangle.

Rules of thumb.

A few things to remember when setting the table:

1. Glassware to the right, bread plate to the left.
2. Forks on the left, knives & spoons on the right.
3. Flatware is ordered first course to main course, from the outside, in.

kate spade new york belle boulevard china and glassware.

kate spade new york todd hill flatware.


Places, please.

Make a gathering feel extra special by planning the seating chart in advance; having guests’ names calligraphied is icing on the cake! These surprise ball ornaments are such a pretty way to mark guests’ places, and each one holds its own little treasure.

calligraphy by kathryn murray.

Something sweet.

Christmas morning calls for a bit of extra decadence, and these scones studded with cranberries and drizzled with white chocolate fit the bill. Serve warm from the oven and watch them disappear in a flash.

kate spade belle boulevard oval platter.

Sweet as syrup.

Everything’s more fun when it’s tiny, including these diminutive pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and served with crispy bacon and sweet-meets-tart citrus salad with mint. The graceful bow pattern of the belle boulevard china hints at all the packages just waiting to be opened.

brunch menu prepared by word of mouth catering and styled by jeanine donofrio.

Sneak a peek.

The girls’ ornaments hold tiny stud earrings

For the boys.

kate spade new york “left & right” cufflinks.


The holiday hostess.

Midway through the meal, I like to circulate and top off champagne flutes, pass an extra scone and refill coffee cups so guests can keep lingering as long as possible.

Wrap star.

Of course, lingering can’t last too long since the littlest guests will be itching to tear into the packages under the tree. Crank up the carols, pour hot cocoa for dessert and make sure to arm yourself with plenty of extra trash bags.


Frame it up.

I love to display favorite family photos among the holiday décor. These two, from my wedding and soon after Phoebe was born, look sleek in kate spade new york’s grace avenue frames.

The countdown…

Our inspiration shoot made me so excited to celebrate Phoebe’s first Christmas! I’d love to hear: what holiday tradition do all of you most look forward to sharing with family this year?

And stay tuned for the video we’ll be posting later this afternoon, when you can see the entire party come to life.

photos by Buff Strickland, food by Word of Mouth and styled by Jeanine Donofrio, flowers by The Byrd Collective, calligraphy by Kathryn Murray, and all dishes, glassware and flatware by kate spade new york.

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Comments (24)
  1. 1
    Tereza December 17, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Beautiful! Specially the last pic.
    Have a happy blessed Christmas!

  2. 2
    Yelle December 17, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Super cute decor! And I love your rule of thumb – will definitely have to remember glassware on right, bread plate on left – I always mess that one up!

    • Camille Styles December 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Yep, and water glass always goes closest to you, with other glasses arranged to the right in order of use! 🙂

  3. 3
    classiq December 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

    The Christmas tree is beautiful and the last photo is my favourite one. 🙂 Most of all I look forward to spending time with my entire family at Christmas. That’s the biggest joy for me.

    • Camille Styles December 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      Beautifully said… especially this year with our sweet baby, I’m already looking forward to the same!

  4. 4
    michelewestrick December 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful post. Lovely table and tree. Also loving the ornaments with little surprises inside. Lovely!

  5. 5
    Love This Life December 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    So sweet and so beautiful, Camille! I love the pops of classic red and the addition of the chalkboard with the wreaths. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Camille Styles December 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes, that chalkboard served a double purpose of covering the TV that hangs above the fireplace. Looks a little more festive with the wreaths! 😉

  6. 6
    Brandi Reiland | Soiree December 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    This is lovely! Congrats again on baby Phoebe and have a very merry Christmas!

  7. 7
    Karen December 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    So beautiful and festive. Merry Christmas!

  8. 8
    ashley December 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    love the way this turned out! looks great and so festive. sweet phoebe is amazing just like her mama.

  9. 9
    Delia December 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Looking forward to seeing the video 🙂


  10. 10
    [email protected] December 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Love love … great idea about the coffee station, will be doing that this year for sure! Last pic is my fav…hugs D

  11. 11
    Lindsay {Everistta} December 18, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Gorgeous! I look forward to continuing and starting traditions with my new little one too.

  12. 12
    theowords December 18, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Hi camille, as if you havn’t supplied us with enough recipes already! I am making your cranberry scones, the sticky buns, the cider ( dont’ care if its hot down under!).. would your mum be happy to post her almond kringle recipes do you think?? Thanks again for all your efforts to help us entertain Austin style! x