Don’t let a lack of space or time limit your holiday decor. You can set the mood for seasonal celebration just about anywhere with a tabletop Christmas tree.

And that’s precisely what Linda Walker, one of our talented visual designers, did in our Farmhouse in Aurora, New York, by decorating a 3-foot-tall artificial tree on an entry table in the foyer. Linda was guided by the same principles that she uses when decorating a full-size tree, and those are: thrill, fill, and spill. Thrill is something beautiful at the top, like a topper. Fill is adding ample decorations throughout the tree so there are no empty spaces. Spill is using ornaments and/or picks that cascade a little, adding dimension and drama.

Here are more step-by-step details:

  • First, Linda stacked three 12-inch grapevine wreaths and placed the tree in the center to hide the tree’s burlap base. The wreaths also added visual height to the tree.
  • Then, Linda shaped the tree’s flexible pre-lit branches, bending them just a little, so that they light the tree on the inside and outside, giving the display more depth. If you’re working with a tree that isn’t pre-lit, a good rule of thumb is to use about 100 lights for each foot of tree, according to light retailer Christmas Light Source.
  • Next, Linda wrapped a garland of 3-inch-wide Courtly Check Daisy Ribbon around the tree, working from the bottom to the top. The ribbon mixes Courtly Check with wired gold edging and a center of stitched daisies that repeat the natural theme. Linda likes to twist the ribbon a little as she tucks it into the tree because that also adds some dimension.

  • Then, Linda hung the “fill” ornaments. For this tree, she chose about a dozen Home Sweet Snow Bird Clips in blue and peach and about a dozen of our Home Sweet Snow Glass Ornaments. Both repeat the check pattern and have “spill” elements, including tail feathers on the birds and finials on the glass ornaments. Linda says you could add some of your own favorite bulbs, too. The important guideline to remember here is to keep the ornaments in proportion to the tree. A larger tabletop tree (3 feet and up) can handle full-size ornaments, while a smaller tree (2 feet or less) might need even smaller ornaments. For that, we suggest the Mini Ornaments from Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs.
  • The final finishing “thrill” touch is more Courtly Check Daisy Ribbon tree topper that is fashioned into two oversized bows with dangling streamers and wired to the tree’s top. Linda added two bows because the tree is visible from all sides.

The finished tree is just as big on style as a larger tree. Says Linda, “If you put this in the foyer and open the door, people should say ‘wow’ and want to come inside.”

 

If you’re ready to get merry and bright for the holidays, simply step inside our stores in Aurora, New York, and in SoHo in New York City.

Both locations are sparkling winter wonderlands, filled with holiday decor, plus loads of products that simply need a bow and they’re good to gift to someone special, including yourself.

The vision for these settings belongs to Nerissa Calder, our visual manager for retail operations. Says Nerissa, “I want the shop experience to be that you’re surrounded by magical products that will envelop you in the Christmas spirit.”

Nerissa begins to plan the shops’ decor nearly a year before the holiday products are unveiled online and in our stores. Then, by mid-November, both locations are fully decorated, featuring our three holiday decor collections—Deck the Halls (traditional red and green), Snowfall (silver and winter white), and Home Sweet Snow (pretty pastels).

The holiday displays are tailored to the size and customer base of each location. Our store in Aurora, for example, offers the luxury of space—nearly 5,000 square feet—and display areas are free-flowing. Inside the main entry, Nerissa sets the scene for shopping by decorating the center promenade with gift items that customers can easily see and touch.

The back of the store has been transformed into our Christmas Shop. Says Nerissa, “Everything you need to decorate your tree lives in this room.” Three large trees featuring the holiday decor collections are on display, and they also incorporate classic MacKenzie-Childs products among the branches, including Taylor and Courtly Check ceramics and Flower Market enamelware.

The SoHo store, which opened in March, is half the size of the Aurora store—about 2,500 square feet. Its display areas are more defined and focus on how products will function in specific spaces. The Tabletop Lab, for instance, displays our new wintry Highbanks dinnerware, and the seasonal section is home to Christmas decor and decorated Christmas trees. Glow Home Apothecary, another new collection that we’re excited about and makes a great gift, is near the MacKenzie-Childs Glow Candle Bar.

The SoHo store is in a shopping district and often attracts tourists who pop into the store, enticed by the color and charm that they see through the windows. Although the windows aren’t as large as some of our previous New York City stores, they do make a big impact, especially when they display one of our unique lamp mannequins.

“The mannequins make people want to come in,” says Nerissa. “They have an attitude.”

For the holidays, some of the windows also feature holiday decor, which beckons passersby to come inside and look around. And once inside, Nerissa knows that the excitement of the season will take over and customers will be thinking about their own holiday decor.

“You’ll find that there’s something special to add, plus you’ll find lots of ideas for reinterpreting the old favorites you already own,” she says. “You’re never done decorating for the holidays. There’s always something to make it fresh and new.”

Ready to visit us and shop? We’d love to see you. Here’s what you need to know about the stores’ locations, hours, and events.

It’s easy to be sentimental about the holidays, which is why some of our 2019 holiday designs celebrate the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The movie, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, was released in 1946. It tells the story of George Bailey, who is on the edge of financial ruin, when he meets an angel, Clarence, who is in search of his wings, on Christmas Eve. Clarence shows the despondent George that he truly has had a wonderful life. While not a big box office hit when it was initially released, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is now considered one of the greatest films of all time and has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made.

The name of George’s hometown—Bedford Falls—is honored with our Bedford Falls collection. It includes the Bedford Falls Lumber Pillow, Stocking, and Tree Skirt, which feature appliquéd and embellished ornaments and snowflakes on a background of black felt, trimmed with checked cording. There’s also the Bedford Falls Dish Towels, Oven Mitts, and Pot Holders in cheery red and green plaid, which are named for the movie’s small town.

A second holiday group—Every Time A Bell Rings—invokes one of the recurring classic lines from the film. The Every Time a Bell Rings Triple and Double Glass Finials are crafted of glass, mixing hand-painted red and green plaid with our Courtly Check and Courtly Stripe patterns. There’s also the Every Time a Bell Rings Santa, attired in red and green and bearing more than a few bells, and the Every Time a Bell Rings Throw, in cozy red and green tartan.

There’s a local connection to these names as well. Nearby hamlet Seneca Falls, which is just about 20 miles west of our campus, calls itself “the real Bedford Falls.” It has been celebrating everything about the classic holiday movie and its connections to it for several years with The It’s a Wonderful Life Festival each December.

Festival organizers say there are plenty of similarities between Seneca Falls and the movie’s Bedford Falls. The movie makes references to Buffalo, Elmira, and Rochester, making it clear that it takes place in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region. It’s also believed that the movie’s director, Frank Capra, who had relatives in the area, visited Seneca Falls in 1945 while he was writing the movie’s script. Capra might have seen the quaint main street, the architecture of the houses, and a steel truss bridge over the Seneca Canal, all of which are features in the movie’s Bedford Falls. Capra might even have noticed a plaque on the bridge honoring Seneca Falls resident Antonio Varacalli, who leaped into the canal in April 1917 to rescue a girl who had jumped off the bridge. A similar scenario is in the film when George jumps off a nearly identical bridge to save Clarence. Seneca Falls has even named the street over the bridge Clarence Street on one side and George Bailey Lane on the other side to highlight the connection to the movie.

The It’s a Wonderful Life Festival will be held Dec. 13–15 with a full slate of activities, including screenings of the movie, a parade, a run, and appearances by the actors who played the children of George and Mary Bailey.

If you can’t make it to Seneca Falls then, you can visit The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum, which is open year-round. The museum, at 32 Fall St., is in a portion of what was Seneca Falls’ first movie theater. On display are a few pieces of memorabilia from the movie, plus many items donated by actors that appeared in the film. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. It is closed on major holidays. Admission is free, although donations are welcome.

It’s the most splendid time of the year! The lights seem to shine a little brighter and people seem to be a little cheerier. The Christmas season can also be a hectic time of the year, especially if you’re trying to find the perfect family Christmas gifts for everyone in your family. Don’t let the stress of picking out the right gift quench the Christmas spirit. When you shop for Christmas gifts for the whole family at MacKenzie-Childs, you’ll be sure to delight everyone!

Gifts for the parents and grandparents
What do you give someone who has given you everything? You give them a picture frame in the signature MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check® pattern that is just as special as the memories that will go inside. Grandparents will never get tired of showing off precious family moments or highlighting the newest grandchild, so a picture frame from MacKenzie-Childs is the fail-proof way to put a warm smile on their face.

Gifts for the wine connoisseur
MacKenzie-Childs is your one-stop shop for the wine lover in your family. Nothing says a holiday get together like a bottle of merlot or a chardonnay, so give them a hand-crafted Blooming Wine Glass. With mouth-blown Eastern European glass and delicate floral designs, they’ll be able to enjoy their favorite wine in elegant fashion. For a truly unique gift, try our Moose Bottle Stopper!

Gifts for the baby
Don’t forget about the little ones in your family. Christmas gifts from MacKenzie-Childs will have people drooling over your baby. Try our Baby & Child’s Curated Gift List to find a functional and fashionable gift certain to cause your baby to be the life of the party.

Gifts for the pet
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about your sweet four-legged friends. Your cat and dog are just as much a part of your family as you are. Therefore, they deserve to dine in MacKenzie-Child’s style. We’ve got a number of gift ideas for your favorite cuddle buddy, including the fan favorite, Courtly Check® Pet Dishes!

Put a bow on your family christmas gifts
How you give a gift is almost as important as what you give, so no Christmas gift from MacKenzie-Childs is complete without a little MacKenzie-Childs flair. Don’t settle for ordinary wrapping paper. Instead, package your Christmas gift in our signature Courtly Check® Gift Wrap. And don’t stop there. It’s all about the details. Wrap it up with our Courtly Check® Tissue Paper. Need a bow? We’ve got all sizes of ribbons too!

No matter what you need to get for your family, MacKenzie-Childs can help you out this Christmas! Check out our online store for everything you need!

 

We’re celebrating our historic home in Upstate New York with our new Highbanks collection.

The collection consists primarily of enamel dinnerware, plus assorted kitchen linens, a cookie jar, and a tea kettle. The common thread is the name Highbanks, which was what our 65-acre campus was called in the late 1800s when it was a working farm. The property, which is in the Finger Lakes region, sits on a hill, high above the banks of Cayuga Lake. We find the location to be inspirational year-round, which is why it’s a recurring theme in our designs. Our wintry landscapes can be especially beautiful and they’re well worth a trip to visit us.

The Highbanks collection features a clean, winter white setting, mixing images of our historic Farmhouse and touches of blue tartan,  Courtly Check, and Courtly Stripe. The Highbanks Mug, Compote, Tea Kettle, and Pedestal Platter are embellished with hand-applied accents that include roses, pine cones, thistles, and hollies.

Like our other enamel dinnerware, Highbanks has a heavy-gauge, hand-glazed steel underbody rimmed in bronzed stainless steel. While it is dishwasher-safe, we recommend hand-washing and drying to extend the life and lustre of the finish.

We love the versatility and longevity of Highbanks. You can put it on your table as soon as the first snow flies and use it throughout the winter. It plays well off our fresh, white Sweetbriar dinnerware, and Courtly Check and Royal Check enamel dinnerware. Adding a pop of red with napkins or a table runner would make it special for Valentine’s Day, too.

Finish your Highbanks table with our Snowfall glassware, which is manufactured from top to bottom in Eastern Europe, home to some of the world’s finest glass artisans. The collection includes a water glass, champagne flute, cordial glass, highball glass, wine glass, and tumbler, as well as a pitcher and trifle bowl. These pieces have hand-painted grey and white checks on the foundation, topped with hand-applied snowflake transfers and bands of gold lustre.

So, remember Highbanks when you’re setting a place for MacKenzie-Childs style. We think the pattern is sure to become a tabletop classic.

Patience Brewster’s love of all things little started, coincidentally enough, when she was little.

As a child, Patience began collecting small items, starting with Steiff animal toys that were gifts from her father and dollhouse furniture from her grandmother. Entranced by their tiny details, Patience started her own collections of little objects. Later, when in college, she made miniature books and containers, including one that has a story hand-painted on a delicate blown-out egg.

Today, Patience still collects small items, drawn by the fine handiwork that they display. She also creates them, designing miniature versions of her figures and ornaments for the Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs collection.

Patience’s Mini Ornaments are entirely handmade and hand-painted in the Philippines, following the same creative process as their full-size counterparts. “It starts from scratch,” says Patience. “There’s no shrinking it down like you might on a computer.”

First, sculptors carve the Minis from blocks of Philippine mahogany, working from Patience’s illustrations. Some extra-fine details are added with a sticky clay that is carved as well.

Then, mold makers use the carvings to create molds and cast the pieces by hand-painting stone resin into the mold. After the figure has been removed from the mold and sanded, it’s ready for painters to paint colors and patterns with tiny brushes. Extra-fine embellishments of gold leaf, silver leaf, and glitter can be added, as are attachments and accessories, including the tiniest of beads or feathers.

 

Most of the Patience Brewster Mini Ornaments are sold individually, but there are holiday groupings available, making it easy to celebrate the season in style, even if you’re tight on space. You’ll find the Patience Brewster 12 Days Mini Ornaments Set, which includes all the characters in the song’s 12 verses, from the partridge in a pear tree to the 12 lords a-leaping. There’s also the eight reindeer and their accompanying elves in the Dash Away and Moonbeam collections and a 13-piece Patience Brewster Nativity Mini Figures Introductory Set. Patience says the Nativity Minis are a good way to bring the Christmas story down to a teachable size for children. “It helps children understand what Christmas is all about,” she says.

Other ways to use Patience Brewster Minis abound, especially for decorating. Of course, they’re perfect for a smaller tabletop tree. You can also tie a Mini onto a package, hang it from a chandelier, embellish a stocking or add one to every place setting on your holiday table. Taking the Minis beyond the holidays, place one on a shelf, hang one from a lampshade or pop it on a windowsill or anywhere else that it might bring a smile.

So, as you can see, with the Patience Brewster by MacKenzie-Childs Mini Ornaments, it’s easy to have yourself a merry (little) Christmas, as well as celebrate whimsy and wonder year-round!

 

Thanksgiving falls on November 28 this year (2019), which means it will be here in three weeks and a day. So, now—right now, in fact—is the time to formulate your plan of action, particularly if you’re the hostess.

Here’s a suggested Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) timeline starting 21 days in advance to help you keep track of all the details and make everything run a little smoother. (And, yes, you’re welcome.)

Three weeks before Thanksgiving

  • Decide on the menu, making sure to include dishes that you can make ahead. Include entrees that are family traditions, of course, and if you want to experiment a bit, consider a new side dish or two to complement your traditional mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. Try mixing a little sweet or savory with vegetables and adding the crunch of nuts to top it off.
  • Another way to expand your options is with desserts. While pies are traditional, you could ask your guests to bring a fall dessert along with the recipe.
  • If you are serving a fresh turkey, now’s the time to place that order.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving

  • Think about how you’ll present the meal, considering the place settings, linens, and a centerpiece. We have lots of options for all of these, including how to give our versatile Sweetbriar chargers a fresh look for Thanksgiving and how to make an everlasting wreath.
  • As for centerpieces, keep them in proportion to your table so that they don’t inhibit your guests interacting. If you want a centerpiece that’s ready to go, consider our Harvest Arrangement, and if you want to create one yourself, plan to include some of our beautiful autumn stems and picks.
  • Don’t forget the kids’ table. Make it fun and include an activity to keep the little ones occupied. You could cover the table with craft paper so they can draw and color. Supply crayons in our Courtly Check Enamel Pot.

One week before Thanksgiving

  • Clean, clean, and clean some more. Round up the dishes, flatware, and serving pieces and clean them too, especially if they’ve been in storage since last Thanksgiving. Also, give the house a good cleaning and get the guest rooms and guest bath ready.
  • If you’re serving a frozen turkey, now’s the time to check its weight and estimate how long it will take to thaw. For every 5 pounds of turkey, you’ll need to allow 24 hours, so your 10-pound bird will take at least two days to thaw. A 20-pound turkey will take four days and so on.

Three days before Thanksgiving

  • Shop for groceries, making sure you clear out the refrigerator first. Remember to shop at the grocery store with a list, so you don’t forget key ingredients like cranberry sauce or green beans.

Two days before Thanksgiving

Turkey day is a big pie holiday, and there are so many ways to dress up even the most familiar family recipes. Here are few decorative pie suggestions:

  • Create a decorative pie crust by using cookie cutters to cut out leaves, circles, and other small shapes from pie crust dough. Moisten the edge of the crust with a little water and layer the cutouts around the edge.
  • Use kitchen utensils to crimp the edge of the crust. Try a small measuring spoon upside down, the side of a corkscrew or pinching the crust with tongs.
  • Give your pie a fitting presentation. Place it on top of a pie wreath created by placing leaves or herbs in a circle or place the pie on one of our elevated Cake Stands and Pedestal Platters.
  • Cover and refrigerate the pies until Thanksgiving Day. Pull them out in the morning if you’d like to serve them at room temperature.

One day before Thanksgiving

  • Prepare any other dishes that you can refrigerate and just reheat.
  • Set out serving dishes in the order they will be used.
  • Prepare the bar area and chill beverages and purchase or make extra ice. z
  • Then, set the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Thanksgiving Day

Prepare and cook the turkey and other dishes you cannot make ahead. Clean the kitchen, as much as you can, as you cook. Assign family members to help with the guests and the following tasks:

  • Recruit the master of the home bar to take charge of drink orders and restocking the ice bucket.
  • Have extra aprons and oven mitts on hand for kitchen helpers. Have someone prepare a relish tray with vegetables you pre-cut.
  • Add a game to the mix: Try Turkey Trivia (fun facts about turkeys), Thanksgiving Bingo (you can download cards online) or simply have family members share their childhood Thanksgiving memories.

Most importantly, be thankful for the family and friends gathered around you and the memories you’re about to create. Now, relax and enjoy!

 

We have some exciting news that’s simply scent-sational! We’re introducing MacKenzie-Childs Glow Home Apothecary.

A new collection that defines the essence of home with fresh and inviting scents, MacKenzie-Childs Glow Home Apothecary represents our point of view on fragrance, says Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer. The collection, Rebecca says, is designed to “deepen the personal relationship between nature and the beauty of home.”

MacKenzie-Childs Glow Home Apothecary includes soaps, lotions, room diffusers, candles, tassels, and potpourri. Products are elegantly packaged, making them super-easy gifts for just about anyone on your holiday gift list, as well as for treating yourself. And we also like that they’re the gifts that go on giving. The candles, for example, are packaged in checked glass containers that can be reused in the powder room or to store jewelry and other trinkets.

The first fragrance in the collection, Winter Bouquet, is available now. It has a fresh scent that evokes a forest in bloom, featuring fresh-cut fir trees melding with the warm embers of spicy cloves.

Here’s a closer look at all the Winter Bouquet products:

Winter Bouquet Bar Soaps and Hand Lotion
Winter Bouquet Bar Soaps are formulated from natural ingredients, without animal testing, including oat extract and olive oil, to leave your hands soft and clean. They are available in two sizes, Winter Bouquet Large Bar Soap and Winter Bouquet Bar Soap & Dish Set, which also includes a Courtly Check Enamel Soap Dish. Winter Bouquet Hand Lotion, which is in a pump dispenser, leaves your hands soft and moisturized.

Winter Bouquet Room Diffuser, Large Winter Bouquet Potpourri, Winter Bouquet Scented Tassel
Beyond soaps and lotions, MacKenzie-Childs Home Apothecary includes options for adding fragrance to your home. The Winter Bouquet Room Diffuser features  wooden reeds that when inserted into the check-decorated glass vessel absorb the fragrance and disperse it into a room. The Large Winter Bouquet Potpourri is a blend of eucalyptus leaves, gold-frosted mini pine cones, apple slices, and other natural elements. Display it in a pretty dish (might we suggest our Courtly Check Vanity Tray?) to scent a room. Finally, there’s the Winter Bouquet Scented Tassel, which infuses the fragrance into a central fabric cone that’s beneath a stylish skirt of passementerie trim, topped with a threaded bead and pom-poms. Hang it your closet to freshen the air or put it on your handbag handle to make a scented statement of style.

Winter Bouquet Candles
There are also candles available in three sizes (set of two 5-oz. candles, an 8-oz. candle, and a  21-oz. candle). All are a blend of high-quality palm and paraffin waxes. The 5-oz. candles will burn up to 38 hours each, the 8-oz. candle for 50 hours, and the 21-oz. candle for up to 66 hours. The larger candles are packaged in lidded glass jars that can be reused when the useful burn life is over.

Look for similar MacKenzie-Childs Glow Home Apothecary products in five more collections to be introduced in 2020. Three will be unveiled in the spring and two more in the fall. Each has a descriptor that sums up the scent. They include:

 

SPRING 2020

Flower Market
blooming & bright
A blend of market-fresh bouquets with light musk and woody notes.

Paradise
lime zest & bergamot
A mixture of limes and bergamot, inspired by adventures to Thailand.

Studio
natural & clean

Fragrance-free, representing a back-to-basics approach to refreshing your skin. Studio products will be limited to soaps and lotions.

 

FALL 2020

Golden Hour
cake & champagne

Sparkling, with the scents of  roses and mandarin blossoms.

Figmalion
warm fig & amber

A blend of figs and currants with Oriental amber, enveloped in musk and woody notes.

We hope you try them all. Says Rebecca, “Each product invites you to explore a sophisticated palette of fragrances that will infuse your home and enhance the way you live.”

 

 

There’s so much to love about our fresh, white Sweetbriar collection. First, it speaks to our roots. It’s handmade, hand-glazed terra cotta, crafted entirely in Aurora, New York, making it an important part of our Aurora Artisanal collection.

Second, Sweetbriar has so much detail and texture with its combination of checks, stripes, florals, and scalloped edges pressed into each piece.

Finally, and maybe best of all, Sweetbriar is so versatile. It’s great for everyday use on its own, and it mixes and matches with so many of our other patterns. It also makes a terrific base for building extraordinary tablescapes, and that inspired Linda Walker, one of our talented visual designers, to create place settings for Thanksgiving, the holidays, and New Year’s Eve using a Sweetbriar Charger. For each occasion, Linda added ribbon and other accents to the charger’s scalloped edges and topped the look with our dinnerware patterns.

Here’s a closer look at each charger and setting.

Thanksgiving
For Thanksgiving, Linda added a single vertical piece of ¼-inch burgundy gingham ribbon across the center of the charger and tied it on the back. Then, she placed three feathers on top and added a ribbon bow and place card in the corner. She finished the setting by putting a Black Flower Market Dinner Plate on the charger, topped by a Pheasant Run Dessert Plate and Pheasant Run Bread & Butter Plate. Everything is displayed on the Autumn Leaves Placemat.

Holidays and winter
Our holiday table setting features our new Highbanks collection of enamelware. Highbanks, which mixes wintry images of our Farm with blue tartan, looks beautiful for the holidays. And, here’s a bonus: It can be used well into winter. For this setting, the Sweetbriar Charger is wrapped in ¼-inch white ribbon. On top of that, Linda added pre-cut craft foam snowflakes with an sticky backing, as well as a ribbon bow and a place card. Topping the charger is the Highbanks Dinner Plate and the Highbanks Salad/Dessert Plate. Underneath the charger is the Highbanks Table Runner.

New Year’s Eve
Dress up the Sweetbriar charger with silver and gold. For this setting, the charger is wrapped with ½-inch wired gold ribbon, topped with a ¼-inch silver ribbon. Then, add a few large pieces of  confetti, which are secured to the charger’s border with double-stick tape. Top the charger with a Courtly Check Fluted Dessert Plate, which features festive gold lustre on its edges. Underneath the charger is the Snowfall Placemat.

Looking for a couple of ways to show off those ribbon patterns even more? Linda suggests creating a centerpiece of the Sweetbriar chargers without the dinnerware on top. Then, place candles or small accents like pumpkins or Christmas ornaments on top. You could also display the ribbon-decorated chargers upright on a mantel or even hanging on a wall.

Feeling inspired? We hope so, because the Sweetbriar Charger is truly a blank canvas just waiting for your creative touch any time of the year.

The traditional colors of Halloween are orange and black, as in big orange pumpkins and spooky black cats.

In fact, there’s a bit of history to that combination. Many ancient cultures, including the Celts, celebrated departed ancestors around the end of the harvest season and often incorporated the color black, which symbolizes darkness and death. Orange, meanwhile, is associated with the bounty of the harvest and is the most common color of pumpkins. The two colors eventually came together as the celebration of Halloween became more popular in North America.

But we’d like to suggest a different color combination for Halloween: black and white. Stylish and sophisticated, it reminds us of all those classic horror movies that we often tie to Halloween. A combination of black and white also pulls in so many other images associated with Halloween, including spiders, bats, witches, and skeletons. Plus, this combination makes any accent colors, including a bit of orange as well as purple and chartreuse, pop even more.

Wondering how to do a black and white Halloween? Wonder no more. We think our tips will inspire you, and as you know, we know more than a thing or two about mixing black and white.

  • The theme will have its greatest impact if you take it over the top. You don’t have to do an entire home in black and white, but pick a spot that gets a lot of attention and go all out. One spot to consider is the dining room, especially if you plan to host a spooky soirée.
  • If the space has a fireplace, decorate it from top to bottom. Start with the hearth and place a classic urn like our Cheltenham Thistle Urn filled with branches that have been spray-painted black. Top the mantel with a variety of candle holders in various heights along with black and white Glow by MacKenzie-Childs candles. Then, finish the fireplace with lots of simple black construction-paper bats taped to the wall above the mantel.

  • As for plates, we’d like to suggest you start with our versatile Sweetbriar chargers. Using black ribbon, create an eye-catching spider’s web on the charger and top it with a Courtly Check Enamel Salad/Dessert Plate. In next week’s blog, we’ll show more variations with the charger to keep that bit of style going throughout the holiday season and into the new year.
  • You can also enhance your chandelier with black and white ornaments that you hang from the arms. Another option for dressing up a chandelier is to hang black and white crêpe paper streamers, taking inspiration from the Bogie Books that were published from 1912 to 1935 by Dennison Manufacturing Co.
  • Serve black and white Halloween food, too. Some ideas: chocolate cupcakes with white frosting that are decorated with black icing to look like ghost faces and spiders’ webs, deviled eggs that are garnished with black olives, and apples dipped in caramel sauce that has black food coloring mixed in.

Finally, let’s toast a black and white Halloween with a spooky signature drink. Here’s a recipe for an Easy Black Widow Cocktail that can be adapted for a non-alcoholic version.

 Easy Black Widow Cocktail

Grape juice
1½ ounces vodka
Soda water
Ice cubes
Fresh blackberries
Purple cake decorating sugar for rimming the glass

To rim glass, dip edge in grape juice and then in purple sugar. Add ice cubes to glass and fill one-third with grape juice.

Add vodka and fill glass the rest of the way with soda water. Adding more soda water and less grape juice lightens the drink in color and separates the liquids into layers. To finish, add two or three fresh blackberries and garnish with a plastic spider.

To make a non-alcoholic version, leave out the vodka and add more grape juice. If you can’t find purple cake decorating sugar, you can make it by mixing equal parts of red and blue food coloring with granulated sugar.

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