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.
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
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 todd hill flatware.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.