Merry Christmas from The Graceful Host

Christmas is a special time of year for family and friends. I love hearing stories of generosity between strangers and witnessing kindness among all the hussle of the holiday season. As many of you know, I'm originally from New Orleans and my husband is from Ohio. So, our Christmas consists of a lot of travel! It was definitely an adjustment on our part to wake up in a hotel room and then hop on a plane on Christmas morning, rather than sleeping in our own comfy bed and coming downstairs to breakfast, seeing if Santa came to visit. Some days it's overwhelming preparing to leave home and experience whirlwind holiday travel. But, then I remember that Christmas is about family and I think about how fortunate I am to be able to travel, and to see grandparents, aunts and uncles, in-laws, cousins, and friends that I rarely get to see. I remember that I am blessed to live this life and to have two amazing families to visit. Just a little side story: One of my favorite traditions is sending a Christmas card. As a kid it was always very annoying dressing up in matching outfits and smiling with my brother until my mom got the "perfect" shot. Trust me, it took a few dozen ... rolls of film. But, I really love looking back to see how we've grown as a family. Once I was going to have a family of my own, I started bugging my then fiancé, Todd, to let me put together a Christmas card, but he thought we should wait until we were actually married to send out a card together. (Men!) You better believe I started designing our first Christmas card as Mr. & Mrs. as soon as I saw the first advertisement come through my inbox! Of course, for our first Christmas there were many photos to choose from since it was such a big year. But, for our second Christmas card, I ran into some troubles. It seems, without even realizing, we had not taken a single photo together since our honeymoon in June 2012! Fail. This year, I didn't have time to get photos taken, even though I have so many incredibly talented photographers at my fingertips. Double fail. So, I used a photo from our honeymoon in Cabo. Which, ironically, we took ourselves! I had to send out a Christmas card even though I didn't have the perfect photo because traditions are so incredibly important to me. Please excuse the old, very unprofessional photo! But, the sentiment holds true.

Our 2013 Christmas Card:

2013CashChristmasCardAnd, I wanted to share just a few photos from my trip home to New Orleans for the holidays! My dad and brother refused to have their photos taken so there are some important people missing, but oh well. Also not pictured, are the annual Christmas Eve trips to the casino on Canal Street. It must be a lucky time of year because Todd walked away with $310 and my brother with over $500!

Merry Christmas 2013The nature of wedding planning is so intimate, and my brides and grooms are like family to me! I want to extend a big cheery Merry Christmas to you and yours. And to all of my 2013 brides - I hope you enjoy an amazing first Christmas together as Mr. and Mrs.! I wish you joy and happiness this holiday season. I hope your days are full of family and friends! Cheers, from my little family - Ashley, Todd, and Lucy (my adorable furry assistant) pictured below.


XO, A.