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Welcome Christmas!

And here it is again. The most wonderful, magical, sparkling time of year. I’ve been giving some thought to why I love it so much. In the end, it really is about the weaving and evolution of traditions. About beauty and baubles, and all that is most delicious and delightful. About that magical glowing feeling that twinkles in my children's eyes and in our own hearts. 

My family’s traditions blend things very old and very new - a love for the tree as an ancient symbol of the brighter days to come, for elaborate handmade ornaments (I have inherited my mother’s lifelong collection), for a house filled with candlelight, and for an abundance of gifts in shiny wrappings and velvet ribbons. An abiding enchantment with believing in Father Christmas. From my grandmother, the care baked into her cookies, the delight of sending and receiving handwritten Christmas cards, of artfully decorating her mantle with antique treasures, of sprouting perfumed narcissus or vibrant amaryllis to bring blossoming life indoors during the coldest of days. From my husband's family, the tradition of the annual jaunt to cut down a carefully selected, elegantly slender tree, and trimming her with garlanding and straw ornaments. 

All that we have loved and learned has evolved into something uniquely our own. Driving to Battenfelds Farm the weekend after Thanksgiving to find our tree, and coming home laden with garlanding and ranunculus from their greenhouse. Cuddling together to watch favorite Christmas movies, from the original Grinch and stop-motion Rudolph, to Elf and Home Alone. Making fleur de sel caramels, chewy molasses, Mexican wedding cookies, delicate speculaas biscuits from our Northern European heritage, and buckeyes candy from the Midwest. Christmas tunes vinyl on the Hi-Fi. Magnolia or olive branches curling around the banisters of our townhouse, wreaths in every window, mistletoe above the door. Decorating Christmas cards with my children in the evenings, sending wishes of peace and light to all our loved ones. Antique mercury glass baubles collected from my favorite NYC haunts - John Derian, Bergdorf Goodman, Paula Rubenstein, and ABC Carpet & Home where we used to visit the most elegant Santa of all. Driving slowly down 5th Avenue on the quietest nights right before the holiday when the city empties out, and all the glittering windows dance before our eyes. 

Each Christmas Eve we gather with our nearest and dearest at home in Fort Greene, where we lay a table with items gathered from near and far, mixed crystal and porcelain and silver, Christmas crackers, swirling candlelit pyramids, place cards made by the children, and an explosion of peach amaryllis. We eat too much, we wear our fanciest frocks, and at the end of the evening we gather and sing before the fire from a red ribbon-tied songbook filled with all of our favorites, from fifteenth century hymns to fifties classics, and even our own original compositions. Joining our voices in song is perhaps my favorite of our new traditions, leaving our hearts aglow as we bid goodnight to sleepy children and tipsy adults and hang our stockings for the magical nighttime visitor. Welcome Christmas.

We’re celebrating the holidays by highlighting the work of three organizations that are based near our store locations: City Harvest, Clamshell Foundation, and PATH. Supporting families in need this season is more important than ever. We encourage you to discover their amazing work and support their efforts by donating at checkout. We’ll be matching all donations made through the end of this year.