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Decorating for the holidays was always a big deal in my family. My father made the decorations while my mother added the appropriate seasonal elements - from pumpkins to Poinsettias! But, of all the holidays, Christmas was my favorite. I loved watching my father make the wreathes and fill the stockings with candy while my mother got busy changing the table linens, adding candles, crystal dishes, fruit centerpieces, pine cones and flower arrangements. Every detail was considered, even our home's aroma. The delightful smell of orange peels and cinnamon sticks boiling on the stove filled the air. This was my mother's version of Potpourri.

A photo of the dining room showing the candles, fruit centerpiece, table cloth and poinsettias. The chandelier was also decorated with tinsel and bulbs.

Our dining room table with all of the pies and cakes my mother baked from scratch. Her highly-coveted German Chocolate cake was missing, but I know it was somewhere as she had to bake one for my sister and me for Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes New Year's Day. We had an unwritten contract! LOL

An exterior photo of our home showing the lighted wreathes my father made and the lights in the garage windows.

A closeup of the front door with the wreathes my father made. In subsequent years, my parents would plant Poinsettia's in pots and place them on either side of the front door for a truly welcoming entrance.

My sister and I also got in on the decorating action. We loved to help our father put up the Christmas tree. Although the tree was fake, it looked and even sounded amazing thanks to a chirping device that was hidden on one of the tree branches. We got a good laugh whenever our guests asked where the bird was.

Once we finished decorating the tree, we'd complete the look by placing a nativity scene underneath with several empty boxes that had been wrapped by my father to give the illusion of a bountiful Christmas. You can imagine our surprise when we first discovered that Santa had not been THAT generous to us on Christmas Day!

The decorated tree. Notice the piano was covered with a red cloth and red candles were placed on top...details!

Another photo of the living room with the tree and stockings that my father made hanging over the fireplace. He decorated the mantle and the chandelier with garland and tinsel.

The chirping "bird" device that made everyone think we had a pet bird.

My parents took great pride in decorating our home for Christmas, and I'm grateful that they did. Their enthusiasm produced a cozy and festive environment for our Christmases to unfold. They also laid a strong foundation for building my own holiday decorating style.

Speaking of my decorating style, it's dramatically scaled down from my parents' style. I don't have the space, time or energy to decorate as they did, so I keep things simple. I usually begin the season swapping out my pillows. This year, I'm going with Indian/Italian pillows from our limited edition collection (click to purchase). I add new scented and unscented candles. I'm using Annie Bell & Nicolet candles (click to purchase). I also change my tablescape. Like my parents, I usually decorate with a red color scheme. Although we both infuse global elements, my parents' style of decorating was more traditional than my own. I tend to be more transitional/contemporary.

My living room with the curtains and matching pillow my parents made for me when I moved in 8 years ago. I've added two pillows from our latest collection to round out the space.

Okay I have a confession. I get bored easily, so this year I wanted to do something slightly different. I wanted to color outside the lines a bit. I decided I wanted to pay tribute to Prince, so I chose to go with purple decorations. I also decided to go with a global theme and I knew exactly what I wanted to use as my table runner.

Back in September, I found myself perusing a market in London when I saw IT! IT was a lovely purple, black and gold Indian shawl embellished with mirrors and gold sequins. At the time, I had no idea that it would become the core of my holiday decorations. However, it is now serving as my beautifully unique and ornate table runner!

Purple, black and gold Indian shawl with black fringes serving as my new table runner.

Up close view of the embellishments on the shawl/table runner.

Using the shawl's color palette, I used black plates and bowls that I already had. I then purchased some affordable gold chargers and not-so-affordable small plates. However the small plates had a gold trim and were transparent. This added a nice visual effect as more of the black dinner plate beneath it could be seen. That was purely accidental, but neat nonetheless!

I purchased purple napkins to compliment the table runner and used purple bulbs, white candles, pine tree branches and gold flower decorations for the base of my centerpiece. I used a frosted glass vase that my parents owned and filled it with cinnamon-scented pine cones. This is how they would use this vase when they decorated with it. However, I wrapped LED lights around the vase, adding a subtle contemporary touch to it. I completed my tablescape with wine glasses and coasters that I already had.

Overhead view of the table decorations. I didn't add the flatware yet because I was unsure if I should use gold or silver...what do you think?

Another view of the almost completed tablescape.

For the rest of my house, I continued the purple, gold and global theme. I took a gold tray and a Turkish bowl and filled both with purple, gold and copper bulbs, pine cones and pine tree branches. I placed more LED lights around the bowl.

My Prince altar (YES I HAVE A PRINCE ALTAR, LOL) even got a fresh holiday makeover with pine cones, purple bulbs. and an Indian lassi cup filled with frosted purple berries. The cup, combined with the purple juju hat hanging on the wall above the altar, helped to further connect and convey my purple and global holiday theme.

So there you have it. This is decorating Kabria style! By infusing elements and ideas from my parents with my own transitional/contemporary style, I was able to create a global theme, pay tribute to Prince and continue our family's holiday decorating tradition!

How do you decorate? Are there traditions in your family that you build upon to create your own individual style as I did? Drop me a line and tell me all about it!

Gold tray filled with bulbs, scented pine cones and pine tree branches on top of an Indian fabric with cowrie shells.

A Turkish bowl filled with Christmas bulbs, scented pine cones, pine branches and LED lights. The scented candles are in Teakwood and Cardamon scent from Nicolet.

I ran out of my purple decorations so I used red here. I'm using an Indian lassi cup to house the decorations and to tie into the global theme.

Last but certainly not least, my Prince altar with purple bulbs, scented pine cones, Indian lassi cup with frosted purple berries and the beautiful purple juju hat from Cameroon.

Kabria, Founder

Global Attic LLC, Exotic Home Decor

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