Happy Holidays 512ers. I hope you’ve been good this year, I think Santa has a lot in store for us coming up.
At least there has been a lot in store for me. I love the Holidays and I start decorating and getting in the holiday spirit as soon as the Halloween decorations come down. Thanksgiving is just a stop along the way to Christmas, and usually I’ve done the majority of decorating before Thanksgiving even gets here.
There are three things I love during this time of year, the decorations, the parties and events, and the tradition of the entire season.
Christmas is in full swing at my family’s home, or “Hall-Luper Manor” as my friends have sardonically named it. The Hall-Luper family takes Christmas serious, and having a mother that works in interior design no doubt means we like to create a Christmas Wonderland every year. This year we toned it down, but that doesnt mean its not as elegant as it always is.
From the tree to our dining room table, everything is done to a level that only makes me more excited for Christmas.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving every year is one of my favorite events in Austin, and acts as the official start of the holiday season, and that is the Holiday Traditions Tree Lighting at the Four Seasons Austin. They light the great tree in their lobby and unveil their infamous Gingerbread Village, which has a different theme every year. This year the theme was Texas, and being a proud Texan, I especially loved it this year.
My friends and I attended the event, of course to get great holiday pictures. We followed with having drinks at Four Seasons Lobby Lounge, or “Austin’s Living Room” as its so perfectly nicknamed. Hanging out on couches in front of their great fireplace you truly feel like you’re in the living room of a good friends home, coupled with great service and delicious drinks its a tradition that I no doubt will continue, and an activity that I full heartedly endorse. What’s also great about Four Seasons this time of year is the Holiday drink menu. My grandmother once told me “You should only be seen in public drinking champagne” and I’ve tried to take her words to heart and follow that sage advice. If you know me, something bubbly is the quickest way to my heart. Four Seasons this year has a great holiday drink which consists of champagne, cranberry juice and a splash of orange juice. While on paper it might seem to err on the side of a mimosa, its anything but. The champagne really shines through with the two juices merely complementing and adding another flavor palette. Garnished with a bit or orange rind and a floating cranberry, its perfect for having during a holiday get-together with friends, but I wouldn’t mind one at a brunch either.
I am a man of tradition. And also one that appreciates gentility, something often lost on today’s culture. Something I have been taught by my family, and every generation of them, is correspondence will never go out of style, especially on good stationary. Since entering college, I have sent out my own Christmas cards, along with still being included on the family one. While the family card goes out to everyone we know on this green earth, I use my card to send to close friends as well as my family who I often don’t speak to throughout the year. My family has told me they so appreciate my card because they are so appreciative that I thought of them this time of year. My friends simply say, “Wow you’re on top of it. You do a million things and somehow find time to send out cards”. One of my biggest tasks this time of year is finding the card to send out. The card is a reflection of me, so I want something that will match my personality as well as provide a great message. This year my criteria were that the card be elegant, but still fun and not overly formal. That it be not overly religious but not overly “Santa”, and that it have some type of “pop”. Let me tell you it was not easy to find that card this year. I searched every retailer from Target to Crane and came up with nothing that pleased me. However I then remembered that a new stationary store had opened in the Domain a couple of months ago. While in my mind I was thinking it was Crane the entire time, I went up to the Domain yesterday to check it out and hopefully find something since I saw it as my last resort. To my surprise however it wasn’t Crane, but instead Papyrus. A company I hadn’t even thought of or considered. Upon entering I welcomed with a bevy of different card options. They had every size card you could want, every color, every price point, every message. It was at Papyrus that I finally found what I was looking for.
The card is a simple green, with am embossed Christmas tree in gold foil on the front. A simple Merry Christmas is at the bottom of the card. The inside of the card is where I was wowed and suprised when I got home. The design continues throughout the inside of the card, along with the message text. You can really see the Papyrus believes in a quality product, and that quality is definitely noticed. I especially loved the lining of the envelopes that matched the card, and the Papyrus signature Hummingbird seal. I hope my friends and family enjoy the card as much as I do. Something great about Papyrus as well is that they offer custom stationary, as well as carrying one of my favorite stationary brands, Crane. I will definitely be returning to get some of that made. I was also let it on a little secret that they’ll be having a great sale on the stationary after Christmas, so keep that in mind but don’t tell them I told you.
As I write my Christmas cards and get ready to send them off, as well as manage my calendar for the next couple of weeks filled with events, parties and celebrations, I hope everyone else in Austin forgets the stresses of the season and just enjoys it like I do. I also should probably consider starting Christmas present shopping…
Stay warm 512ers.