We bought our Victorian home nearly six years ago, and from the moment we stepped through the front door I could envision celebrating Christmas here. The gigantic fresh fir trees we could accommodate thanks to our eleven foot ceilings. Twinkle lights sparkling through the original glass transoms that frame each of our doorways. Singing Christmas carols around the table. And, sitting by the fire on Christmas morning with a mug of hot cocoa as we watch our favorite holiday film – ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’
I’m happy to say that last year, finally, we were able to host our very first Christmas Chez Carr and it was truly and completely even more magical than I could have hoped. We housed all three of our families (a total of fifteen people and four dogs!) for three days of celebrations and, while it was undeniably a bit chaotic, it was an absolute dream come true for us.
A big family Christmas meant lots of gifts, and we opted for two ten foot Christmas trees that we cut down and decorated in our parlor and living room. In our powder blue parlor we went with a ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ theme, leaning in towards icy pastels with pops of pink, while in our more casual living room we chose a traditional holiday palette of greens, reds, and gold. Fresh garland adorned doorways, mantles, and cabinets creating the most magical fragrance reminiscent of a moonlit forest. To further the fragrance journey, we lit our favorite holiday candles from diptyque, Nest, and Cire Trudon.
Our families started arriving the morning of Christmas Eve where we enjoyed a light lunch and mimosas. That evening we continued our family tradition of fireside fondue before enjoying a dessert of Christmas cookies and an über decadent chocolate fondue. We stayed up late into the night laughing, drinking wine, and listening to our favorite holiday music. Finally, we retired to bed to eagerly await the next morning and Santa’s arrival for our nephew Lincoln.
Christmas day Ryan and I woke up early and snuck downstairs in our pajamas to sip tea, fireside, by our tree with the dogs and just soak in a few peaceful moments for the two of us, with all of our loved ones still asleep in their beds. Guests were awoken to the smell of coffee and breakfast being baked. I made one of my brunch go-to’s, an asparagus and gruyere tarte, while others contributed their favorite items from their family’s childhood celebrations. After eating we gathered by the tree to open gifts, then took a break from the cooking to enjoy the sunny day with a walk through our neighborhood and a trip to the park. Finally, we returned to our home to prepare for the feast which began with a champagne toast by the fire and ended with three types of pie and more gifts by the fire, plus several rounds of spontaneous Christmas caroling.
Nearly one year has passed, and now, more than ever, I feel so incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to bring all three of our families together in our home. Little did we know that in less than three months our world would be drastically altered and group celebrations would feel like a thing of the distant past. While I know that, in time, we will be able to gather together once again and celebrate life and love, I will forever cherish the memories that we made during Christmas 2019 at Chez Carr.
Molly Carr Christmas photos by Molly Carr Photography