Tales & Tradition

Happy Monday, friends! I hope your weekend was grand, and full of festivities! We’ve loved every single day in this new house, but are feeling especially happy and grateful to be sharing it with friends this holiday season.

If you follow me on InstaGram, you saw we hosted friends both Friday and Saturday nights, and I surprised myself by not stressing or over-planning, but simply enjoying the time spent with friends. However, this coming weekend might be a different story…we’re throwing a big Holiday Housewarming for our friends and neighbors! I stocked up on wine at Trader Joes, so I should be all set, right?! 😉

Recently, Pottery Barn asked me to share my favorite holiday tradition, and while we have many, there’s one I cherish above all the rest…our cozy Christmas Eve night ritual.

After a fun day spent with our extended family and a candlelight church service, the kids are bathed and in new pajamas (a gift they receive that morning), Christmas music is playing, and the fire is blazing. My son will round up some sweets for Santa, while Little Miss writes him a note.

Then we curl up together and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ And not just any old copy, but the coolest pop-up version my aunt gifted us years ago. It’s the perfect evening, just the four of us, and really helps us focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and have a little calm before the next day’s storm!

I’m pretty smitten with how our new fireplace looks for Christmas, too! The mantel has always been my favorite spot to decorate for all seasons and holidays, and our last home, with a double fireplace, was prime for it! #twomantels We had the inevitable TV mounted over one, and the other was left for me to decorate to my heart’s content(See them all here.)

When we moved, the boys insisted the TV had to go over the single fireplace. Noooooooo, not my mantel! But they won out (and remember what happened?!? #kharma #justkidding #kindof)

But I’ve made my peace with the world’s largest black rectangle staring me in the face (or at least I thought I had until I started writing this post!), and had a ball decorating our new mantel and fireplace this season. (See the fireplace before our makeover here.)

I didn’t have time to get the stockings monogrammed (you know I’ll monogram anything not moving!), so I personalized them with glittery letter ornaments.

And it was only a matter of time before I added my most favorite adornment….the elephant charm tassel….to my Christmas decor. It already hangs from half my bags and our bedroom lamps!

And just for you lucky ducks, use code SUGARPLUM for free shipping on as many tassel charms as your heart desires! Oh, and guaranteed by Christmas, so go ahead and grab one for every gal on your list. Trust me, they are cute on everything, and everyone loves them!

Glitter Letter Ornament | Elephant Pom Tassel (free shipping with code SUGARPLUM)

The pre-lit garland looks completely realistic in person, but I always add a few fresh clippings and berries for the smell. And I have to admit, the outlet behind the TV came in handy for plugging this in with no extension cords! #smallconcession

Velvet StockingElephant Pom Tassel (free shipping with code SUGARPLUM)

The adorable reindeer migrate from Dining Room to fireplace, depending on where I am. I like to keep them in my sights at all times. #obsessed I know tons of you are looking for them…such a bummer they sold out online, but my local store still had some in stock, so it’s worth calling around!

We can’t seem to stop making Oreo Cookie Bark and Salted Chocolate Pretzel Bark this year, so Santa will likely get a combination of the two. If there’s any left! I snatched the ‘Merry’ mugs up from HomeGoods last month…love how they coordinate with my coffee station!

This chair normally lives in our new Living Room, but I like the cozy spot by the fire. Maggie Sugarplum usually has the floor in front of it claimed.

The reindeer theme is everywhere this year…I told you I was obsessed! Their little scarves and felt stick legs slay me!

This is how Faith, our Elf on the Shelf, made her first appearance. You can find some of our more creative spots in this post.

This is my view from perched on the couch every night…a girl could get used to this! (See our Christmas Tree here and decorated Dining Room here.)

Lots of questions about Little Miss’s panda pajamas…they’re from H&M, and the girl lives in them at home. She and I are pretty serious about our lounging clothes, and always change into pjs and wraps as soon as we get home everyday. I’m wearing this insanely soft wrap Sheaffer talked me into, and these favorite leggings.

It’s hard to believe there are only 10 more sleeps before our special Christmas Even night. Even though the home is different, and the kids older, the cherished tradition will unfold just the same as it has for 14 years. There’s so much comfort in tradition, don’t you think? What are your most special family traditions this time of year?

{Cozy Wear for Snuggly Nights}

{Shop the Space}

*This post was written in collaboration with Pottery Barn, but all items, ideas & panda-snuggles are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors. Beautiful photos by Mary Summers.*

Leave a Comment


  1. Cassie! Everything looks so lovely! Just gorgeous.

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  2. How beautiful! And what a lovely tradition!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  3. Everything is so cozy and festive! Carter gets a new pair of pajamas every year too….but he doesn't put them on until Christmas morning…says pajamas make him "not cozy". He insists that just undies are "super cozy". Crazy kid. 🙂

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • ha…I can just picture that little cutie saying that! Mine are the same way..PJs are for once they are up and lounging. We're all professional loungers, so it's our uniform. 😉

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  4. MelissaG wrote:

    So beautiful #homegoals!! I am not a fan of Elf on the Shelf! In fact, he is my least favorite part of Christmas. Thankfully, when my kids were young enough for him, all he did was move around every night. now, every morning on my FB news feed, I have to see all these people trying to one up each other on his naughty antics. Ugh!! I love Christmas traditions! Ours changed a little last year…moving from WI to TN, away from one side of the family and closer to the other. But we still have the same Christmas Eve traditions with the kids! Do you have your shopping done?

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • That darn Elf has been a thorn in my side more than once this season, but my kids just love her! She hasn't been all that creative or naughty this year 😉 We used to live in Nashville, so Tennessee has a big piece of my heart…enjoy your second Christmas there!! xo And no, not done with all the shopping just yet. I keep procrastinating the last thing since it involves the mall and the Apple store!!!

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  5. I love seeing how other people celebrate!! We are not xmas people and it's not a big day in our family but we do keep some traditions. One of my favorites is cutting our tree ourselves, another is the breakfast on xmas day, in a nod to my jewish heritage we have bagels and lox and a smattering of other delicious things!!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • I have to second the above about not liking elf on the shelf. It gives our fam the creeps hahaha

      Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • We do bagels and lox on Christmas morning as well, then it's off to the living room to rifle through our xmas stockings! Love mixing holidays & heritages (is that even a word?!)

      Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • Hahaha we do the same, my dad is Catholic so we mix the two and now we add in some of my spouses traditions too! Our kids will either be completely confusedor just relish the warmth and fun of the day.

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
    • I love that you blend…sounds like a perfect day!

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  6. Jillian wrote:

    cute stockings! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  7. Beautiful Christmas Decor

    Kisses from http://www.poshnessary.com

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  8. I must have missed your fireplace plumbing pipes 'episode'. I clicked back for a look and was horrified at what you went through! I got to thinking, this could happen to us. We are in escrow for a 62 year old house near the beach. After living 15 years in two brand new town homes, I told my husband it will be different. On the good side, no homeowners fees or sharing of walls, but also no one to come to the rescue if the roof leaks or termites come knocking. Whatever happens, it WILL be a Happy New Year in our new, old home!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • Yes it will….congrats on your new house!!! So exciting!

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  9. Kris M. wrote:

    Wow Cassie! Love it! Everything you do is just perfect…perfect Christmas decorating, perfect traditions, perfect date nights, entertaining, perfect traditions with quality family time…just amazing. And your posts come off as sincere, that you enjoy all of it. What a perfect life–you are so blessed and it shows!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
    • Thanks so much, Kris…it's perfect for us, but definitely not perfect! 🙂 Lots of messes, both literally and figuratively, going on behind the camera!! 😉 xo

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
    • Kris M. wrote:

      Yes, how true is that! But your posts give inspiration! Hope you have wonderful holidays!!

      Posted 12.15.15 Reply
  10. Beautiful Christmas decor, as always! 🙂 I love your new home, and the reindeer are precious!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  11. '10 more sleeps' – that's how my mom describes it too! Your fireplace is so cozy, you're making me jealous and regret that we didn't do one in our house! That and your pool!! And seriously, those are some gorgeous photos- I'll be pinning for sure!

    Posted 12.14.15 Reply
  12. are you kidding me??? it's January something or other and I am literally (LITERALLY) dying to go home and decorate for Christmas 2016 right now. ob-sessed. joanna gaines who?!?!

    Posted 1.15.16 Reply
    • You are the sweetest! Thanks so much!! xo

      Posted 1.15.16 Reply