Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christmas Traditions Kick off at Barbara Cheatley's

Barbara Cheatley with daughter Kim

Barbara Cheatley's offers a touch of England to Southern California.   Its annual Christmas Open House is my kick-off to serious festivity planning. 

Whether the year's coffers overflowed or not, there is simply no place better to sugar and spice up an abundant holiday spirit. 

Barbara's specialty is inspiring customers to smile. Her decorating style- how can one go dour when there are mice and reindeer watching from on high?

Ms Modern Country would thoroughly appreciate Barbara's selection of Emma Bridgewater mugs.  I love their solid heft balanced with a bit of visual whimsy. 
Some people think romantic style is glamour and glitz. For me- it is a cup of hot creamy cocoa in front of a roaring fire. 

The shop is chock-full of collectibles full of meaning- like this simple bag of birdseed based on Scandinavian tradition of feeding birds on Christmas Day. How perfect is this for the bird-lovers on your Christmas list? 

Every inch of the store is filled with possibilities of future memories. 
Our personal Christmas tree, the primary theme is of our family history and hobbies. One of our sons once remarked- we are the only family he knows of with a hunting and fishing themed tree. Many of the ornaments, a special one for each family member each year, originated from this annual pilgrimage.

However, don't think of ornaments as only being for the tree or limited to our love of nature. Your holiday should be authentic to you.

Perhaps you love  The Wizard of Oz.  Warner Brothers is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the film. Why not plan a party. Watch the film. Maybe do a little sing-a-long, then give ornaments of the characters as mementos. 

Have family who live by the sea- or dreams of waves lapping at their feet- a seashell ornament would be a lovely dangling with curled ribbon from their gift. 

For the gardener- imagine a rosemary tree loaded with accouterments of their passion-  watering cans, spades...maybe critters??? 

Context is everything. Certainly a glass grasshopper will bring a bigger smile to the face than any hopping by the rest of the year. 

This stitched owl reminds me of my granddaughter's nursery. Made of stitched fabric- a child can launch into flight- this ornament won't break. 

Having raised boys in a home their cousin Manny described as having " testosterone bouncing off the walls" I suggest the hosts of a celebration including budding ball-throwers plan accordingly. If your the nervous type, maybe take a Valium. 

A confectioner's tree would be lovely in place of flowers on a dessert buffet. Ringing in at zero calories- imagine satisfying the sweet tooth of some disciplined soul who manages to keep to a proper diet while the rest of us indulge like on our next visit all the scales in the doctor's office will pretend the holidays never happened.

If it takes a village... make mine gingerbread. 

If you have a holiday kick-off- whatever your faith- or no faith- please share!  Let the joy of the season join back together what politics puts asunder.

God bless you all!

Linking to Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home.

Barbara Cheatley Antiques is located at 215 Yale Ave., Claremont, CA 
Phone 909 621- 4161

Quote from Brainy Quote


Anonymous said...


Just beautiful!! What a lovely shop! Love the ginger bread village. Well love everything I saw and your narrative was perfect.

John has always, since our boys were born, bought special custom inscribed ornaments denoting something about each boy. Now that they are grown we seem to be running out of ideas for those ornaments.
Ms. Cheatley's looks like THE place to go to get those new ideas.

Thanks for a lovely time.

XO Trisha

Lydia said...

Hi Trisha- Let me know if you want to do a field trip. Downtown Claremont is a FUN area.

nikkipolani said...

What a fabulous treat for the eyes, especially eyes like yours, Lydia. You see futures and fun in so many things :-)

Lydia said...

Thank you Nikki!

rebecca sweet said...

Yours is the first holiday post I've read this season and what a treat to wake up to, this November 1st. Thanks, Lydia, for a jolt of holiday spirit!

Lydia said...

Thank you, Rebecca!