Hey there. Only 8 more days before Christmas!

So can I get a high-five on being the blog to decide (and worse, announce) a total design/format face-lift between Thanksgiving and Christmas?!

Ya, that won’t be happening until after the New Year.

WHAT was I thinking?!

I’ve no idea. Why didn’t anybody stop me?!

Let’s just pretend it never happened and try to enjoy one or two Christmasy posts before the 25th.

New Year, New Face.

Back to Christmas.

The sheer abundance of holiday inspiration available on the internet is both stunning and staggering. Remember when we used to buy maybe a 1/2 dozen (tops) December magazines, tear out a few images and be on our merry way?

Oh, the good old days

Now the choices, the themes, the internet shopping, the 500 different types of LED lights…

What to make of it all?

sugar dipped cranberries

There’s something to be said for just sugar-coating some cranberries, cracking open the champagne and calling it a day.


You can stick with the tried and true, the bells and gingham of childhood memory

silver & red


Grand Hall



What are you up for?!

Christmas tableRelatively simple, yet lush?

door wreath

Keeping it fresh?

roses, Bristol Hotel, slimpaley.com

Flowers in the Hotel Bristol, Paris

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.16.24 PM

Miho Kosuda NYC

silver platter chargerI’ll let you in on a little secret-

I’m so stealing this idea of using vintage serving trays as chargers. Someday. When I add to my collection of 3. Local Santa Barbara antique enthusiasts back off. It was my idea…OK, it wasn’t, but at least give me a two week lead. Professional courtesy as it were 🙂

christmas cocktails slimpaley.comA little bar in my dining room last year.


wine on ice

Just throw some ice and a few pinecones into a bowl and get on with it.

cmas234It’s all good…


First Instagram image of “Botanik” in Summerland, California (a great florist/gift shop)

Sugar coated cranberries via PeachyTheMag

Uncredited images via Pinterest



  1. Oh, Slim, as I sit here sipping Angel Wings (or something like that) a French rose, which I’ve added a bit of Orange Gray Goose Vodka too, plus 3 little slices of mandarin oranges, I am more inspired than ever to fully embrace Christmas, and I have done so with a gusto, changing so many things…and you know what, they needed to be changed! 25 years in the same position is an impossibility for a woman, no? Love your thoughts. Merry Christmas to all of your family…

  2. Your images make me swoon! This year, I’m doing “relatively simple but lush”. And you’re so right, Slim. It IS all good! Just so you’ll know, I’m also going to copy that idea of using silver trays as chargers. (I already have those Francis I pattern forks.) Such a great idea and beautiful presentation. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Hmmm. Does dust on my books count almost as much as that fairy snow dust?? I keep telling myself next year. And yes I am glad you postponed and now you have saved yourself much angst to-ing and fro-ing with web designers drunk on rummy egg nog!

  4. Hi Slim, Please more Christmas posts. This year I’ve taken a break (for the first time ever) from Christmas and I don’t even feel guilty. Much to be thankful for, but not in the mood for too much a do.
    Blessings. Mary

  5. I am stealing the bells on the string of lights thing. Thank you so much. Ordered wonderful jingle bells from a horse harness bell maker for a sleigh ride party and have lots left. Thank you for all the help here. Still not finished decorating…..or maybe I am

  6. Dear Slim,
    I had tired of the effort Christmas décor, but lo and behold, you have re-inspired me to deck the halls one again. Have yourself a merry one too!

  7. Really like the simplicity of the bells with the gingham ribbon, the frosted sugar cranberries…sometimes less is more.
    Love the fresh flower arrangements too, but could see being decked out in a Ralph Lauren outfit, arriving on horseback to the palatial entry hall with the two Christmas trees!
    Thanks for sharing some good daydreaming images for the holidays!

  8. I was like you the minute I saw the silver tray charger, I was thinking, OMG, I love it, I’m going to do it…but I’ll
    give you the credit, I promise. (and I’m not anybody really, don’t worry)

  9. Sending out an abundance of merry wishes during the holiday season. Enjoy many laughs with family and friends, and, time permitting, please hang out by the roaring fire of the Plow and Angel and eat some mac’n’cheese for me (with a fabulous bottle of red).

  10. I love the DECK THE HALLS photo!I adore all the photos actually but that one spoke to me!As far as using the silver trays for chargers………well, I have been doing that for years!But I’m up NORTH and your down SOUTH so none will know!It is a BEAUTIFUL look…….especially the square ones.
    I have to tell you I was talking about the movie with the Bolero music when I saw your article on BO DEREK in C~MAGAZINE.She looks GREAT!You two could be sisters!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!Off to finish the wrapping!!!!!!!!!

  11. I am heading to the silver closet NOW to check out the options for silver platter chargers! Brilliant. It is on my list of things to find for 2014. But I promise to give you the 2-week SB lead… Thank you for the inspiration. xo

  12. Beautiful and inspiring images, Slim. Thanks for sharing these. I just love the cabin in one of the first shots. Is that your place? Gorgeous. Have a wonderful Christmas and see you in 2014 or maybe sooner. Facelift? Bah.

  13. So doing the sugared cranberries! Keeping it pretty nature-al this year, so they will fit right in (and be so easy). You deserve an extra set of angel wings for posting this close to Christmas…they might even alleviate some of that shoulder healing business too.
    Merry, Merry…
    xo J~

  14. I could not agree with you more about all of the fabulous ideas and images on Pinterest and other blogs, It make me want to change my decorations every other day!

    I hope that you shoulder is feeling better.

    Enjoy the holidays.

  15. Not sure what happened to my comment…

    Could not agree with you more about the abundance of inspiration on the web. It all makes me want to change my decor everyday.

    I hope your shoulder is feeling better. Enjoy the holidays!

  16. I put my horse shoe in my HALLS display. Great idea!
    In reference to the wreath on the door with the horse shoe on top of the wreath on the door.
    Giddy-up and Good Luck – with the horse- shoe going up, it never hangs pointed down.

  17. I like the crystal candlesticks the best. I have a real thing for clear glass and crystal. So pretty. How’s the shoulder? Hope your healing is right on schedule. Merry Christmas from beautiful, snowy, Anchorage, Alaska!

  18. Dear Slim
    Happy Christmas! From all your stunning pictures looks as though it will be as beautiful as usual. With every day may your shoulder feel better and better! Happiness and peace to you and your family! Pamela xx

  19. Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Healing (for your rotator cuff)!!
    Love your Christmas post (Of course I love all your posts -just as everyone does- but this one is especially lovely) & thanks so much for doing all this while you are still recuperating. You are amazing….Just relax now & enjoy!
    LOVE that string if pinecone lights on your bar tray – too cute! 🙂
    It’ll be another wet, cloudy grey, with sunny breaks Christmas day for us here in Coastal Cascadia, as all our snow has now melted…. But we’ll all be tucked in around the gas fireplace singing carols accompanied by UKULELE this year 🙂 … (Anything IS possible if you have enough spiked eggnog & turkey dinner leftovers… )
    JJT xo

  20. Slim, loving the chargers! Great idea. I laughed about the pine cones and ice in a bowl and get on with it…So my holiday this year. I agree with Pinterest and all, too much and for ADD peeps like me, it’s overwhelming. I need to simplify..
    Hope your holiday was great. Looking forward to seeing your blog change in the new year! xx

  21. I recognized the photo of the beautiful silver tray which is used as a charger from Mary Carol Garrity’s decorating book called Nell Hill’s O Christmas Tree. It is a gorgeous book that is filled with page after page of beautiful photos and ideas for Christmas decorating and entertaining. Next to this photo in her book she says that her friend has stacks of silver trays which she uses as chargers. I have all of Mary Carol Garrity books and just love them!

Would love to hear from you!