In the Spirit of the Season: Gift Giving

There is such joy in giving generously to family and friends!  My Seven Simple Steps for a Sustainable Holiday, below, can help to make your holiday both happy and environmentally friendly.  I also share a link to the National Resource Defense Council for their 50 Great Gift Ideas, all focused on saving the environment.  Perhaps one or more of these ideas will be just right for you and your family.

  1. Put your money to work helping others and the planet with a “life-changing gift”, such as Heifer International, or ChildFund International.
  2. Be socially conscious with gifts that promote fair trade.
  3. Use energy efficient LED holiday lights to add sparkle. (Install a timer!)
  4. Give locally made products, help reduce the impact of transportation.
  5.  Purchase greeting cards printed on recycled materials with vegetable
    based non-toxic inks, or send email greetings.
  6. Give gifts such as gift certificates or theater tickets – they don’t require a
    lot of gift wrapping.  Avoid wrapping with glossy or metallic paper.  Colorful fabric or reusable gift bags are an environmentally friendly alternative.
  7. Choose toys that do not require batteries. Instead choose gifts that stimulate a child’s imagination without impacting the environment. For more on sustainable ideas for your home, visit our newly redesigned website at

More than 50 extraordinary holiday gift ideas from the National Resource Defense Council!
More than 50 great gift ideas from NRDC all aimed at saving the environment. From defending polar bears to protecting clean water … from reviving rainforests to promoting renewable energy … you will find the perfect gift for a friend or loved one who cares deeply about our planet’s future.  Follow this link to learn more!

Christmas Cheer & Hannukah Happiness


No matter what holiday you celebrate when the snow falls in December, it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with candlelight, ribbons and bows, elegant table settings, and holiday meals that bring loved ones together.

One of my greatest joys as an interior designer is decorating the house for the holidays, whether it’s my own, or a labor of love for a client.  I love green swags draped from chandeliers and on mantles, vintage silver on red linen tablecloths, and twinkling lights sprinkled not only on the Christmas tree, but all around the house.

Decorating for Hannukah also gives me a thrill, as blue and white are favorite colors, and are stunningly beautiful in cold and snowy December.  Silver stars and deep blue table linens set off crystal goblets to perfection.  Flickering candles from a treasured family menorah add a warm glow; it’s always a delight to see the tiny flames reflected in the eyes of eager children.  Sugar cookies iced in blue and white are a sweet treat at the end of the meal.

 Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or the beauty of the winter season, here a few tips to make your holidays merry and bright:

  • This is the season of enchantment:  it’s a visual celebration, but don’t forget the importance of sound (background music and the jingle of bells), fragrance (fir trees and the aroma of warm apple cider), taste (the first delectable sip of eggnog, and a golden roasted turkey.)  Engage every one of the senses to create a truly memorable occasion.
  • This is the season of abundance:  Don’t be afraid to overdo it!  Heap the mantles with greens, bring out your fine china and heirloom silver, light all the candles then add a few more, and drape the Christmas tree in lights, ornaments, strings of pearls or crystal, and hundreds of little white lights!
  • This is the season of open hearts and open hands:  Gather the people you love close to you.  Invite the neighbors for an open house, throw a dinner party, deliver cookies to all your friends.  When giving gifts, plan carefully to surprise loved ones with the just right present.  And don’t forget those less fortunate:  the Jewish tradition of mitzvah, performing an act of human kindness, is always appropriate, but never more so than during the holiday season.
  • This is the season of joy:  Instead of feeling frazzled by the season, take whatever time you need to sit by the fire and rest.  There is no charm in exhaustion, no cheer in feeling stressed.  Take good care of yourself and your family in what can be a hectic season, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to rejoin the party!


“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Glad Tidings for a Happy Holiday!

© Venture Photography

‘Tis the season for joyous celebrations and the loving company of family and friends!

 We’re wishing you all the happiest of holidays, and a healthy, prosperous 2012!

 P E A C E  +  L O V E  +  L A U G H T E R

From all of us at Dujardin Design

Our family has many wonderful customs and we alternate between the years.  The Christmas Pledge is a favorite – it’s printed on parchment paper, rolled and tied with a beautiful ribbon and placed at each place setting to be opened at the dinner table: