These friends captured my heart for the holidays


This holiday season will be magical for me. My granddaughter Maeve is now 3, old enough to be swept away by the wonder and awe, carrying all of us with her. I want my holiday decor, from my table to my tree, to not only spark her imagination, but also anchor her to the season’s simple message of love. Eric and Eloise are going to help me.

Every year at the market, there is one thing I absolutely flip over. This year, it was a captivating children’s book of an unlikely friendship between a fox and a hare. I can’t explain why, but drinking in this collection of beautiful dishes and ornaments inspired by the book brought me back to the real heart of the holidays. To a sense of wonder and play. The beauty and power of friendship. And the need, now more than ever, to reach out in love and acceptance to those who are different from us.

I knew on the spot that Eric and Eloise would be the muse for my family’s holiday celebration, from dressing our Christmas table, to being my gift pick for friends who have little ones, to giving me a chance to snuggle with Maeve by the fire and read a story that fills us both with warmth and joy.

I love the creative process of coming up with a new look for my holiday table each year. Early in the season, I play around with all the elements I want to incorporate, from the linens, to the dishes, to the centerpiece, until it’s just right. Then, I replicate that same design each time I entertain family and friends.

Now that I’m a grandma, I need a tablescape that is whimsical enough to captivate Maeve, yet sophisticated enough to delight the grown-ups. I found my perfect sweet spot with the gold-embossed bisque-ware in the Eric and Eloise collection.

On one table we set at Nell Hill’s, we paired accent plates with everyday white dinnerware. A wintry forest of birch trees and clusters of sparkling votive candles made the perfect centerpiece.

The figures of Eric and Eloise take my breath away. They jump out of the pages of the book and make the characters real. How can you not lose your heart to a bunny with antlers?

One of my greatest joys as a small, local shop owner is the freedom we have to seek out and work with organizations, individuals and companies that are doing good in the world. Accent Decor, the makers of Eric and Eloise, are doing just that.

Each copy of Eric and Eloise is a handmade work of art, crafted start to finish by a women’s collective in Nepal. It’s a fascinating story, of how Lokta bark is sustainably harvested, made into pulp, dried in the mountain sunshine, each page individually screen printed, then hand-stitched into books. The women use their income to support their families and pay for education.

———

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, musicians will raise funds for victims’ families 
Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw, musicians will raise funds for victims’ families 

Nashville's musical community is raising money to benefit the victims of a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House with a special T-shirt honoring the man who stopped the gunman. James Shaw Jr., lauded as a hero during the shooting that left four dead and more injured early Sunday, met with country singer Brantley Gilbert and indie rocker Chris Carrabba...
6 ways to explore West Palm history by foot or on wheels 
6 ways to explore West Palm history by foot or on wheels 

Whether you're new to the area, just visiting or have been living here for years, there's always new things to discover about West Palm Beach and its unique history. Exploring a little bit of local culture and history is a great way to exercise while you learn. There are numerous guided opportunities to delve deeper into the city's heritage. You can...
Why are so many celebrities connected to a Lake Worth radio station?
Why are so many celebrities connected to a Lake Worth radio station?

They called it “the station with feminine flair at 500 beautiful watts.” WLIZ, a tiny AM radio station on a Lake Worth back road, was a radical concept when it opened 59 years ago. In that pre-liberation era, when booming male voices defined the airwaves, the disc jockeys were all women. Or as their ads put it: “All Girl.&rdquo...
'Avengers' stars raised $500,000 in charity while filming in Atlanta
'Avengers' stars raised $500,000 in charity while filming in Atlanta

“Avengers: Infinity War,” in wide release Friday, was filmed largely in Atlanta. While the Marvel stars were in town, they put their talents to use in a very special performance to raise $500,000 for a very worthy cause: hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Proceeds from the November event at the Fox Theatre benefited the Hurricane...
Prince Harry asks Prince William to be best man at royal wedding to Meghan Markle
Prince Harry asks Prince William to be best man at royal wedding to Meghan Markle

Prince Harry has asked his brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to be his best man at his wedding to American actress Meghan Markle.
More Stories