{TWELVE} Days of Christmas: Holiday Decorating à la française (+ linky party & giveaway!)

Can I share some more random holiday fun? Ok, thanks.

(if you stick with me, you’ll have a chance to share photos of your own holiday decor AND a link to enter to win $150 in amazing boots from Country Outfitter!)

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Ultimately, I’ll rant about 12 little things around my house I love to see throughout the holiday season. First, I need to take a moment to rave about my favorite little store in northwest Arkansas. Even if you don’t live here, you can get excited about their general awesomeness. The store counts as number one on my list of holiday delights.

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1. French Quarters in Fayetteville, Arkansas has been stealing my heart for well over a decade. We moved to Fayetteville in 1998, and I remember very early in our time there stumbling on this shop near our beloved Hugo’s on Block Street. One of the first things I spotted was an antique bread paddle (the kind pizza shops and French bakeries use to place bread in the oven), and I’ve been smitten ever since. I’m not the first to notice their unique touch by any means: this popular shop was named one of the top 200 places to shop in the South by Southern Living!

I was in last week and had to ask the ever-present Storm if I could shoot a few pictures to share here on the off-chance you’ve never encountered this shop. I told him some women go to the spa, but I consider it the perfect treat to sneak away to French Quarters to inhale the French antiques by myself for an hour. Honestly, I can barely keep from emitting a constant stream of “Squeeeeee!” the whole time I’m in the store. I. Love. It.

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I’m currently smitten with (more) bread paddles and some truly amazing, gigantic, original wine bars that appear to have emerged from deep in a Burgundy cave. Le sigh.

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French Quarters also has an amazing blog – they just posted a great article on traditional French holiday decor. Which leads me to the need to share my holiday decor and host a holiday decor linky party!

2. I LOVE this Christmas card – it’s a reproduction of a vintage 1940 Vogue cover – and I picked up a set probably ten years ago. I still have a few including a framed one I use somewhere each year while decorating, but this year I let it infuse my holiday mantel. I woke up one morning and decided to go with a vintage Parisian vibe that would incorporate all sorts of fun things that used to be scattered around the house. This year, our mantel brought them all front and center with a cohesive theme that I love!

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3. The mantel is an ode to a Givenchy “Winter in Paris” snow globe I used to have (released in limited edition in 1999) depicting Paris at Christmas, complete with a Citroën deux-chevaux parked out front. My Mom gave one to me not long after I returned from France, and a decade later I broke it and found myself shockingly heartbroken over a material thing. I sobbed in the remnants of the shattered glass in a room we were remodeling in the good house, and I’m certain it had nothing to do with the overwhelming insecurities of parenting and life. And yes, they are $35 on Amazon, but I have a funny faith in life and know that one will eventually cross my path fortuitously, so I’m waiting it out.

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4. The whole concept of brown paper packages tied up with string? I love it. So, there’s one on the mantel.

5. (we’re picking up speed on this list now, aren’t we?) See that red camera under the sort of pseudo-terrarium on the mantel? It was my Grandpa’s. That means it incorporates some more of my favorite things: a) it’s red b) it’s old and battle-scarred c) it has a good story d) it comes from family.

6. That little glass Eiffel Tower is a perfume bottle scoured from an antique store by my Mom and wrapped up as a gift.

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7. Also, those yellowed, vintage French novels tied with a red ribbon…

8. And the Givenchy brass Paris 2000 ornament…

9. And the vintage Guerlain perfume bottle near the Joyeux Noël chalkboard sign…

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10. And the completely awesome red patterned Guerlain Paris gift box… All of those are francophile goodies scooped up by my Mom and tucked into gifts. She’s good, isn’t she?

11. That pre-1964 edition of Les Misérables is special to me because it is signed by my Mom and was evidently one of her high school or college text books, but it was “signed over” to me by my Dad as a gift in May 1997, right before I shipped off for France. It seemed timely to put out this year.

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None of this is a particularly big deal, and the mantel isn’t even that striking from afar. However, it makes me nerdy-happy every time I see it, and I’m pretty sure that’s the point.

12. One last item to share: if you saw the tour of my kitchen last week by Lyndi (aka nwaFoodie), you know that I may have a chalkboard problem. I don’t even mind saying it out loud, and I have zero intent to seek help. In fact, I prefer to just deck those chalkboards out for the holidays.

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Now, for the fun: if you haven’t already entered, you have until Friday 12/21 at noon to throw your hat in the ring for a pair of $150 boots from Country Outfitter! Enter here, and be sure you subscribe and leave a comment on the blog post to be eligible!

And, for the linky party: I’d love to see a photo or two or a full post of your home for the holidays!

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One thought on “{TWELVE} Days of Christmas: Holiday Decorating à la française (+ linky party & giveaway!)

  1. French Quarters! Looove. I was just in there this past week and I told Jonathan that if he wants a warm fuzzy holiday feeling, he should go walk around in there. He looked at me like I was a weirdo but I am serious. If you go in and don’t even buy anything (which would be an impressive task) I guarantee you will walk out happier than you came in. It’s like a candy store for grown ups!

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