All that Glitters: Embracing Nostalgia for the Holidays

What are some of your favorite memories of the holidays? For me, as a kid it was secretly unwrapping all my gifts, playing with them, then wrapping them back up and sneaking them back under the tree. As a teen, it was working at my parents’ clothing store, making bows for customers’ packages. As an adult, it’s my robust family packed together around the table, laughing, toasting, loving.

All of us have wonderful holiday memories that fill our hearts with joy and make us smile at the remembering of them. So this year, as we approached how to dress Nell Hill’s for the holidays, we decided we would do a full embrace of nostalgia. These days, we can all use an extra dose of “feel good”! We unveil it all next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, at our Deck the Halls: A Holiday Design and Décor Event. I hope you will join us! We’ll be serving bubbly and passing around appetizers. And, our designers will be on hand to show you how to turn all this inspiration into displays you will love in your own home.

There is nothing more regal or awe-inspiring to me than a Christmas tree dressed in gold, silver and bronze. Bev, our seasonal floral designer, has outdone herself yet again with the jaw-dropping trees, mantels, urns and florals that exude the pageantry of the holidays. The baubles and ribbons we have this year celebrate the best of traditional holiday décor, yet are fun and fresh, a brand new look for a brand new year.

When we first started dressing the store for the holidays over 30 years ago, the trend was to do Christmas BIG. Many of us had displays in every corner of our homes and numerous trees. While a lot of people still like a big Christmas statement, the trend now is to have high impact displays in a few key spots.

The fireplace mantel is one of the most important. In the photo above, Bev topped three glass candlesticks with faux fir trees. Then, she draped a generous pine garland over the mantel and covered it with nostalgic glass ornaments, from Santas to balls.

The mantel at the top of the blog is just as powerful, but more simple and elegant. We dangled a swag over the top of a mirror, then dressed just a corner of the mantel in festooned greenery. Apothecary jars and footed glass bowls are perfect for holding beautiful ornaments.

The key to creating a stunning display is to start with great greenery, like garland and picks. I’ll blog more about that soon. On this mantel, Bev started with a simple pine garland, then transformed it with picks, ornaments and ribbon.

We fell hard for these wonderful glass ornaments this year because they tugged at our heartstrings, sparking memories of our own trees growing up.

I hope to see you next Friday or Saturday, Nov. 2-3, at Nell Hill’s for Deck the Halls: A Holiday Design and Décor Event. It’s time for us to come together, be merry and bright, and welcome this most magical of seasons. It’s time to rediscover the simple wonder and joy of the holidays and make that magic happen again for our families.