One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is entertain friends and family in my home. I think having a beautifully set and decorated table makes these holiday get-togethers all the merrier! Setting the table has always been very special to me, since it is something that my mother has always done extremely well. I find that it sets the tone for every meal or gathering and also is a reflection of yourself! It takes time, thought, and a meaningful effort, which makes it so much more rewarding. I am feeling so grateful this year to now be a mother myself, and I can carry on the tradition of setting the table for my loved ones during the most wonderful time of the year. I can only hope to be as talented as my mother!
Family, friends, and loved ones come together to dine, make memories, and share precious moments around the table. This holiday season, my table inspiration is filled with classic colors, elegant details, and feminine touches. Enter MacKenzie-Childs. I have loved the brand for years and years, ever since my childhood best friend’s grandmother introduced me to it.
This year my holiday tablescape is filled with the most gorgeous handmade and handprinted ceramics. How beautiful are the delicate scalloped edges?! It amazes me that each piece is handmade and hand painted by an artist in Aurora, NY, making each one unique. The best part about these gorgeous pieces is that they are truly timeless and seasonless, making them incredibly versatile for years to come. Another reason I love MacKenzie-Childs is because of the way all their pieces mix and match flawlessly. Patterned serving ware may be intimidating to some but I cannot encourage you enough to play and have fun with this iconic brand.
Being in our new home, I knew I wanted to throw a cookie exchange for my girlfriends during the holidays. It is such a fun way to get together and also get everyone involved to enjoy the holiday cheer! My tip is to ask everyone to bake their favorite cookie and bring along the recipe to exchange with all guests. You can also provide little takeaway boxes so guests can take home remaining treats for their families. I’m a bit old school when it comes to hosting parties and prefer sending out paper invitations in advance to create excitement around the upcoming festivities. To prepare for the exchange, I look through my grandmother’s recipe book to decide what to bake. As for party prep (it’s really quite simple!) I provide a little bubbly and mock-tails ingredients for my friends + family and then, (and possibly my favorite part!), get to decorating!
I was so excited to decorate for this party and knew the MacKenzie-Childs Parchment Check Three Tier Sweet Stand would make a beautiful centerpiece to display the cookies. This gorgeous, handmade stand has just the right amount of flair making it perfect for the holidays. Due to its neutral palette, this exciting display piece can be used year-round. All of the baked goods, including my homemade gingerbread cookies, look so festive on the beautiful display stand. Since I went a little overboard with assorted baked goods, I also used this fluted heart plate (could be used in so many other ways, too!) and this elongated hors d’oeuvre tray for the remaining sweets. I also fully incorporated a bow theme this year if you couldn’t tell! It was inspired by these precious MacKenzie-Childs bow napkin rings, which led to bows on the chairs, on my dress, and even as my jewelry. From there I added the classic MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check fluted plates and matching champagne bucket. Et Voilé! I hope this inspires your upcoming holiday fêtes!
My Grandmother’s Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- 3 C flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 3/4 ground ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl add butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and molasses. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Slowly combine wet + dry ingredients until blended.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it come to room temperature for 3 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat over to 375 and flour counter surface.
- Roll dough out on floured surface to 1/4 in thickness – make sure rolling pin is also floured. Cut cookies with cookie cutter.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and place cookies at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes and allow to cool on cookie rack.
- Now it’s time to decorate!
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*Thank you to MacKenzie-Childs for sponsoring this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.