Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Vintage, White & Gold Christmas Inspired by Italy

Buon Natale Italiano!

I haven't had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with my family since 2008 - the year Justin and I were married. It was just too hard and expensive to travel back and forth from SC to Midwest, PLUS we were lucky to spend holidays with Justin's fam in Virginia or in Greenville. I didn't want our tight budget to affect my obsession with needing to decorate or "come up with a theme" for everything, so I didn't! My mom had mentioned how fun it would be to switch things up this year -- instead of our traditional Swedish dinner (oh yes. Swedish meatballs, lutefisk, lefse, rootamoose, lingonberries, the works. We have a lot of Swede in our blood), she wanted to go with an Italian dinner (despite having no Italian blood). The menu was all catered by Capital View - the same restaurant who catered my Lanae's wedding. It was delish!

I will say.. Christmas has changed since my 2 of my grandparents have passed away. We would have a huge gathering at my parents every other Christmas Eve - I miss those times. You know what, though? It's OK, because new traditions are starting and we have a blast no matter what. It was really great to have my Grandma, a couple Aunts and a cousin join us this year - in addition to our entire family + all of the husbands. 

Inspiration for our little dinner party came from some vintage elements with a little holiday mixed in. I loved the idea of shades of gold and silver metals with white, tan and cream.. but the thought of not including red seemed so wrong. So I included red. I thought it turned out pretty well.. It was all thrown together pretty quick with our budget in mind - I found some birds on clearance at Michael's and bought a bunch of clearanced, silver, sparkly branches for the place settings. I believe the total cost for everything came to less than $13.00 (of course, using things I already had). Not bad!

My mom and I added to the menu by making our own garlic bread, cheeseballs (new and old recipes!) and punch. 

Anyway.. I wish my photos were a pinch better in quality, but oh well.. Enjoy. 

To give our dining area more of an "Italian cafe" feel, we removed the large dining table and set 3 separate tables. Garlands included string lights, a paper flag garland (hand cut and punched), gold and silver strung beads, strung cotton balls and strands of knitted yarn. I give the knitted yarn credit to my sister, Vanessa - She did all the work on those, and I didn't even have room to use all of what she made! I totally loved the combination of the different textures together.. It really wasn't as chaotic as it might appear (ha!). 

Centerpieces were made of gold and champagne sprayed branches with birds and tied fabric, lace and ribbon. I added my new little birds and suspended old ornaments (which actually belonged to my grandma) along with a few of my hollow yarn balls (see DIY here).

The food table was in the kitchen. We did a "buffet style" for serving and it worked out quite nice. Centerpiece included several vintage milk glass vases (received as gifts or found at the thrift store), pearl branches, red and white feathers and sprayed branches mirroring the dining room centerpieces. I made 2 vertical garlands out of old muslin I already had, adding lace, ribbon and beads for more texture. 

Our fantastic menu..

Lanae and Vaness, loading up their plates

Being silly

Punch buddies!

Jon and Vanessa

Jordan and Lanae's new pup, Bernard! I like to call him "Sire" with an English accent.

With Grandma!

With my mom and aunt

Lanae & Aunt Dynette

Our beautiful tree my mom and I spent hours decorating

All zonked out..

Merry little Christmas to you!

What I'm Listening To.. A Little Christmas Mix

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