A Little Holiday Inspo: Bobbie’s Christmas
I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to the holidays, mainly because we’re a mixed-up household (Jewish and Catholic). But I do like a tree and some greenery on the mantels. I’ve collected antique glass ornaments over the years, and I like those, too. But what I really love is to see someone who goes all out. Maximal to my minimal, and that’s my friend Bobbie. She acts like it’s entirely reasonable to have a tree in every room and a wreath in every window. How did the crazy start? She grew up with your average American holiday, but one day the lightbulb went off and she realized one could Christmasize top to bottom! The end result may be over-the-top, but it’s tasteful and elegant and that’s why I’m sharing it with you.
There’s a method to her particular madness: every room has a theme. Antique white goose feather trees with vintage German ornaments bedeck the bedrooms. A giant 13” pine is hoisted in the library, with bright lights and baubles (which work well with the classic Knoll Womb chairs). Two smaller trees, potted in urns (in a slurry of sand! So complicated!) sit on either side of the fireplace in the living room with ONLY white bulbs, which complement the minimalist white decor. Roping and garlands on mantels are color coordinated, and the folks at Ballek’s in East Haddam collaborate to come up with each year’s theme, some winterberries here, a few pinecones tucked in there, but color, in general, is kept to a minimum.
Then there’s the party. Weeks ahead, Bobbie glances back at the journal she’s kept of every bash since 1989 and starts designing a menu. Unlike the rest of us (who look for the easy way out), Bobbie believes Christmas is a reason to celebrate and SHOULD be as elaborate as possible. And her dinners are an all-out extravaganza: think sausage stuffed quail, tender slabs of filet with a red wine reduction, mushroom stuffed quince, panna cotta studded with amareno cherries, fruitcake, figgy pudding and buckets of champagne. She swears she enjoys the weeks of baking and shopping (!). If anyone could one-up Martha Stewart when it comes to Christmas, Bobbie can. It’s enormously spirited and inspiring. Have a peek at some pix.
A Christmas Cocktail of barrel-aged Negronis
Individual vanilla panna cottas with Amarena cherries
Italian black fruitcake, apricot nutcake, chestnut cheesecake and poached pears in Muscat de Venise