Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ring the Bells

ring the bells 021 Since I have yet to begin decorating for Christmas, my sweet sister-in-law Susie was kind enough to "loan" me pictures from her table that's all set and ready for her annual Christmas dinner party this Sunday.  This is the same Susie that some of you have read about on Laurie's blog.  She's so talented that it makes me tired just trying to keep up with her, so I don't even try.

Tommy and Susie have been hosting a Christmas dinner party for their friends for a lot of years.  Each year Susie comes up with a different theme and begins accumulating things to use sometimes a year in advance.  Ideas sometimes come from some hot new Christmas item from Target or Pottery Barn or elsewhere, and the call will go out to snatch up stuff when it goes on sale so that she can put it away for next year.

christmas picture 001 This year's theme is "Ring the Bells," inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  Sad over the death of his wife and the wounding of his son in the Civil War, Longfellow sat at his desk one day, heard the church bells ringing.  Filled with new hope, he penned the poem that later became the famous carol.

ring the bells 019 The invitations went out several weeks ago.   Obviously her guests know the routine, since they are instructed to "Bring the usual."  Shortly after mailing her invitations, Susie found a basket on her front porch containing a box of Hostess Ding Dongs with instructions to serve them for dessert.

When the guests arrive Sunday evening, they will be greeted at the front door by a simple green wreath enhanced with a mercury glass bell and tied with silver ribbon.  The theme is carried into the dining room, where greenery and more bells adorn the chandelier.

ring the bells 005

Chair backs are tied with a sheer bow that compliments the color of the dining room walls, and more mercury glass bells add a bit of glitz.

ring the bells 007

The centerpiece is a collection of bells in all shapes and sizes, surrounding a large creamy pillar.

ring the bells 006

Susie has set the table with her Spode Christmas tree china, using a combination of the traditional green trimmed plates and ones with a floral border.  It appears that each guest will take home a favor with the women getting Travis Cottrell's "Ring the Bells" CD and the men a copy of  "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" so they can make their own music.

ring the bells 008

Finally, each guest will open a special Christmas cracker.  I wonder what prize they'll find inside.  Something small and fun, I'm sure, but the biggest prize of all will be enjoying a great evening in the company of longtime friends.

ring the bells 017

New_size_125_tall Now since you've probably finished all of your Christmas decorating, you can head over to Susan's at Between Naps on the Porch.  But if you're like me, and haven't even started getting the boxes out of the attic or up from the basement, you're sure to find all sorts of inspiration in the ideas bloggers are sharing.

19 comments:

niartist said...

Gorgeous. How sweet your sister loaned you photos ... this tablescape is absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Teri said...

Beautiful table. I love the Christmas crackers. Wonder what's in them? =)

Just Breathe said...

It looks so beautiful.

dee dee said...

What an excellent themed party! The room looks simply wonderful, what lucky guests!... Dee Dee

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

What a wonderful party theme and all of the decorations and the table are just stunning. I know everyone will have a fabulous time. You will have to show us more pics. I just started on my decorating too, however I do hope you are joining us for the "Holiday Cloche Party". I will have Mr. Linky up tonight. Hugs, Marty

Soosie said...

Kathy..You make me blush with all your comments..it has been a fun theme to work with..I am getting ready to put up the fresh cut Frasier fir tree with just bells on it..actually your BRO is going to put it up..I will decorate it..like the one in the Pottery Barn catalog!
The artificial tree is loaded with "the usual"..so far, Mister Soxx has ignored it. The menu will be poppy seed chicken, green beans, stuffed mushrooms, Sister Schubert rolls, green salad with mandarin oranges and almonds, wild rice and a surprise dessert! We do the same menu every year..except the dessert is always different. The 6 guests bring a lot of the meal, so it is easy on me! Susie

Joyce said...

So I may have to steal this idea next year : ) So pretty and simple...I love it!

Tonja said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. I love to see how others decorate, and carry out plans for parties and such!

Mimi said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Jeanette said...

Some many lovely beautiful things and arranged wonderfully

Lori E said...

It is all about the little details isn't it. Actually having a theme makes it easier.
She really does an outstanding job.

Sue said...

The sister in law's table is lovely...I like the bells with the bows on the back of the chairs...I love people that plan way in advance and I think it's really neat that she already has the table set for her party....I set mine last weekend then forgot to phtograph it for last night's Tablescape...but no party just some pictures then it will all get packed away for next year...I'll have to remember to post it next week...

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, Susie's decor is fabulous, as always! I don't try to keep up with her either! I just wish she lived closer. I'd be begging her to decorate for my parties. Love those big bows with the mercury glass bells on the backs of the chairs. laurie

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Kathy,
Susie's her table is stunning! I just adore the way she decorated the gorgeous chandelier. ~Lovely!

I can't wait to see yours as well.

Many Blessings, ~Melissa :)

xinex said...

Susie's table is beautiful! I love the "bell" touch!. Thanks for showing us, Kathy...Christine

Robin said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

{{HUGS}}

Robin :o)

Joyce said...

Nice theme and good idea to plan in advance. Nice to be a guest at this pretty party.
Joyce

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

So pretty! Love the theme and how she's carried it through. This looks like a wonderful gathering table of fun.

Sarah said...

Kathy, please tell Susie that Sarah stopped by and thinks all the details of this party are splendid. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall watching all the fun of friends gathered round this beautiful table.
Happy Holidays to you and to sweet Susie! ~ Sarah