The five of us have been the closest friends for many years.  We have been together through thick and thin (literally and figuratively), highlights and lowlights, single and double processes, and even the occasional life twists that makeup cannot cover.  Over the years we have decided that the best gift that we can give to one another during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is a night off to enjoy time together.  So every December we happily take turns playing hostess for our favorite Christmas tradition:  a festive dinner and gift exchange.

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

When it was Cynthia and Brad Hammond’s turn to host the dinner, their gorgeous Georgia home in Buckhead was a perfect setting.  Cynthia’s concept for the evening was a dinner inspired by Old World English Christmas traditions with a hint of rustic elegance.  Cynthia cleverly turned an upstairs sitting room that had walls covered in a cheery red Cowtan & Tout toile into a dining room for the night as gifts from Santa, carefully wrapped in coordinating colors, were piled high on a pair of red tole-painted chairs for all who had been naughty and nice.

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

The dining table was covered in layers of crisp ivory linen and set with glistening silver and snowy creamware.  In a single large, clear cylinder vase, richly colored peonies and sprays of pepper berry anchored by cranberries to hide the stems made the perfect centerpiece.  The names on the place cards were written in scrumptious curlicues of calligraphy with ingenious-devised nicknames for each guest based on funny little shared memories accumulated over the years.

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

After a wonderful, winter-inspired traditional Christmas dinner of beef tenderloin, delectable mashed potatoes, endive salad with roasted beets, blue cheese and a honey-sherry vinaigrette, a dessert of sticky toffee pudding was served in heavy, etched crystal bowls and dolloped with cinnamon whipped cream and caramel ice cream.

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

Following dinner, a festive gift exchange in which each woman had four of the same gift elaborately wrapped for the other women (and their partners did the same) made for a madcap, laughter-filled visit from Santa!

I’m Dreaming of a Blonde Christmas

 

 

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