# Christmas

Christmas Chat, Inspiration & Decorations 2015

Christmas decorations, presentable pajamas and cookies... oh my! I can't believe how quickly the end of the season has come upon us. In this week's video I have a nice, long chat with you about how the holiday season is going for us. I share a glimpse of some of our Christmas decorations and give you seasonal encouragement and inspiration.

I will be taking a break from the blog and YouTube channel as I do every year so I can spend time with family and take a break from working. This will be the last video you see of me until mid-January in the new year.

What will we be doing on our break? Visiting family, relaxing, sleeping in (wishful thinking!) and enjoying the kids being home from school. Also, the girls and I plan to get very organized. We are clearing out our closets, going through their toys and reassessing our storage. This may sound strange to some but, we can't wait! (Yes, I seem to have passed on my love of organizing gene to my daughters.) Nothing like a good group organizing effort to get you in the mood for the new year.

Also, I have some very exciting news for you that I will share with you upon my return in January. I can't wait to tell!

I hope you and your family have a marvelous holiday season. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this blog for making this year so dynamic and special. I am wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year and I look forward to seeing you back in January, 2016!

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

For a link to my dried orange Christmas ornament tutorial, click here.

Check out my interview with Celebrate Magazine on everyday elegance and don't forget to enter their giveaway.

Time to sharpen those towel-folding skills before holiday guests arrive! Christy Linens feature my towel folding technique on their blog this week.

The Non-Desperate Housewife gets inspiration from Lessons from Madame Chic for her holiday celebrations.

Mix and Match Family loves Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic as much as Lessons from Madame Chic.

Comment of the Week

Susan C writes:

Here in south west UK I have had to completely re-think my winter ‪Ten‬ Item Wardrobe. It has been exceptionally mild, according to the newspaper we were experiencing the same temperature as LA. Thanks to my wardrobe now being well organized, out of season items neatly packed away in vacuumed bags I have easily swapped my usual winter knitwear back to Cotton tops. I had been planning to purchase a new light grey cashmere roll neck this winter but have put this off. I new that for next spring I wanted a long-sleeved cotton jersey dress. When I saw a lovely Colbert blue dress on sale I knew this would fill the gap perfectly and used the budget for the jumper on this. The Ten Item Wardrobe mentality does work.

Hi, Susan. I am so happy you are learning how adaptable the ten-item wardrobe can be!

This week I would love to know what you plan to do over the winter holidays. Do you like to pack in fun activities or go at a slower pace? Will you be doing any organizing for the new year? How will your family celebrate Christmas this year? Let me know in the comment section below.

Once again, thank you for making this year so special on The Daily Connoisseur. I really do cherish this community we have! I will not see you on the blog until mid-January, but you can always find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Merry Christmas!

With love,

Jennifer x

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Maureen @Raising The Capable Student said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Your blog has meant a lot to me over the last few years, and I wish you the best for the new year. Polish Your Poise has been my favorite gift to give this year! We will be using our holiday break to refresh and reconnect with family.

Unknown said...

Thank You Love all of your blog. So inspirational. Can't wait for your news!Perhaps the pitter patter of new baby..
Sharron xx

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, dear Jennifer.

This year, my Yorkie Jax and I are going to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my older daughter and her family. Since Jax is only 4.5 pounds, he is going on the plane with me, quite an adventure for both of us.

Since I am packing as lightly as possible, I don't have room in my bag for a dressing gown. Pajamas don't work so well for me, but I am taking a very festive Lanz flannel Stewart tartan gown. I'll be modestly covered from neck to ankles and look like the stereotypical sweet old granny who cuddles the dogs and grandkids as we sit by the fire (if it is cold enough in FL to have a fire).

I look forward to your nuggets of wisdom for the new year. Cheers!

Natalie Tze said...

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Jennifer. I wish you and your family peace, love, rest, wonder, beauty and magic this holiday season. Thank you for ALL that you've done for your readers and viewers. Your words and videos have inspired me to sail through 2015 with more grace, patience, wisdom and poise. I look forward to sharing many more insightful and enlightening moments in 2016 with the Daily Connoisseur and you. Thank you again and cheers!

Anonymous said...

Tapping into your wisdom, encouragement, poise and chic attitude is the gift I give to myself this holiday season. I read all three of your books this year and have begun in earnest to incorporate attitude and behavioral changes per the books' examples. I'm already looking forward to the topics and "news" on your blog for the new year. Congratulations on modeling extreme self care for your faithful readers by giving yourself a well deserved break from work's obligations. Enjoy every moment!

celkalee said...

Dear Jennifer, first let me wish you and your Family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. I am just finishing your 3rd book now and it is just as insightful as the others. For one so young you are blessed with great insight and wisdom. We must all strive to bring out the best of our culture and strengthen our values at the same time. Your New Year surprise is written all over your face. Lovely. Thank you for all your hard work. Enjoy your down time, it is a great idea and sets a good example for all of us who burn the candle at both ends!

Ami said...

you got a dog! happy holidays!

lykta said...

Happy holidays to you and your family!
Me and my fiancé plan to spend christmas with our families, and we'll actually be celebrating it three times! First on christmas eve with my parents and my maternal grandparents and my uncle (my mothers brother), then again on christmas day with my parents, my brother, his wife and my three month old nephew, my other uncle (my fathers brother), his wife and my two cousins and my paternal grandfather. And then on boxing day we are celebrating with my fiancé's family: my soon-to-be father in law and his parter, my fiancé's aunt and his paternal grandmother. Lots of celebrations, but luckily everyone lives rather close to us, so we don't have to travel much, it's less then an hours drive to everyone.
On new years the two of us are going away for a new years "weekend" at a nice hotel. We'll arrive early afternoon on new years eve and our stay starts with afternoon tea, then we'll have a very nice new years eve dinner (four courses) with a show, followed by dancing and then champagne at midnight. The morning after there will be a breakfast buffet and we hope the weather will be nice enough for us to go down for a winter walk on the beach. Then we'll have lunch, maybe visit the spa and then a three course dinner at night. And then on january 2 we'll go home again. We are soon looking forward to this!

Mazzamatazz said...

Hello Jennifer, first time commenter here. I've been following your YouTube channel for about a year and a half, and read Madame Chic, which really resonated with me.
We are in Australia and celebrate Christmas in the high heat. This can make looking polished a bit of a challenge! On Saturday, we took a 2.5 hour car trip (one way, so nearly 5 hours return) to a regional/country centre to celebrate Christmas with part of my husband's family. The temperature here in Melbourne was over 41C (106 degrees Fahrenheit), so that was fun.
I really struggle with keeping our home clean and tidy and have gained much inspiration from your books and videos. Your style of decluttering and grooming reminds me of my elegant mother. Although she has many clothes and shoes, her outfits are easily and flawlessly put together. She doesn't believe in clutter, and always kept a clean house, with lovely welcoming touches. I hope that by following your tips I can become more like her!
Feliz Navidad y próspero año to you and your loved ones, and may God bless you all over the festive period.

Much love and many thanks from a Latin-Australian follower!

xx Mara

Vicki Zimmerman said...

Your home looks lovely for Christmas and I really enjoyed seeing each and every item and how they were special to you and your family: the new train with your own childhood memories, the orange and lavender handmade tree ornaments you mentioned (I'd love a tutorial on the lavender ornaments and will watch the dried orange video again), the stockings and holders, and everything else in the home tour. There's a wonderful quality of continuity and memory-making in your home, which is so wonderful.

I hope you and your husband had a great time at the church party, with one (or two?) Christmas ornaments in hand. I'm so glad you're getting a brief respite over the holidays and I look forward to seeing you in the new year when we all resurface.

May I tell you how, motivating, helpful and hopeful your comments were about the organizing you and your daughters will be doing at the beginning of 2016! Your words were the incentive I need to go through some paperwork on my desk (my weak spot) and clear the space for new beginnings with an open and uncluttered work space. You are such an inspiration, Jennifer. Thank you.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and see you in 2016!

Andrea W said...

I'm sooooo curious about your January news!

I also love holiday traditions. This year we went to see a new museum called the Museum of Wonder and Delight, in Folsom California. It features folk art and antique, vintage Christmas related ephemera. It was truly delightful, and I know we will go again. Right after Thanksgiving, we decorate the house for Christmas. Santa will put chocolate oranges and lemon drops in the stockings again, along with other inexpensive but surprising treats. I love it all!

I loved your waltz on the piano! And last year you inspired me to buy some deep red pajamas-- something I have not worn in years. Much more elegant than my normal attire!

You are so special, Jennifer. Thanks you, and I look forward to continuing to follow your weekly blog. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Andrea W.

Rose said...

Another fun video to wind up the year. Thank you Jennifer for the way you share with us, for your confident yet modest approach to daily connoisseur-ship and for your warm vitality.

I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas.

dysfunctionalscrapbooking said...

Have a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to your news in January! As always, I am so inspired by your gentle and positive energy in both the video blog and your writing.



Ladylike said...

My daughter and I finally tried making your cream cheese Christmas mints this year. My daughter loves them. She even presented and demonstrated the recipe in French to her class at school. If anyone wants the recipe in French, let me know!
I like your candy cane cookies. My daughter wanted to make candy cane cookies, but we were thinking of flat ones frosted with royal icing, which seemed a bit daunting to me. Your style looks more manageable...
This year we tried the Polar Express train ride in Sacramento, California. I don't recommend it. The tickets are exorbitant, and the "hot" chocolate (the only beverage they offer) is cold... We had a fun time anyway, but for those in Northern California, the Napa Valley Wine Train's Santa Train has a much greater selection of good food and beverages, and the scenery is more beautiful.
Before our train ride, we tried dinner at a Moroccan restaurant. This was a success! Now I'm going to get back into Moroccan cooking, and our Christmas dinner will be a Mediterranean feast! Happy Christmas to you and yours, Jennifer!
Warm best,

Anonymous said...

I always have several books going at once, and among them, I am re-reading your three books. As I go along, I am ticking off mentally how many of the things you write about that I am already doing. (Hint -- it's a lot!) Some of the things I was doing previous to reading your books (wearing makeup every day, cooking delicious meals and sitting down to eat them, keeping the place uncluttered and tidy), but others were gleaned purely from reading your books (narrowing down my wardrobe, wearing my best on a daily basis, aprons). There are still things that I wish to master (remaining calm in the face of my careful planning going awry, getting snippy when I think I am being criticized)... which I think are mainly "poise"issues. Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much you have influenced my life for the better, and you do so on an ongoing basis.

Have a very happy and love-filled holiday!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your inspiration. I stumbled across your book on Amazon and have been trying to live a more fulfilling life because of it. Thank you for keeping this blog current and up since it is needed for many people.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your inspiration. I stumbled across your book on Amazon and have been trying to live a more fulfilling life because of it. Thank you for keeping this blog current and up since it is needed for many people.

Unknown said...

Hello Jennifer:

Thank you for being such an inspiration for all of us on this blog! I am hoping that your 3rd book is now under the Christmas tree for me!

I understand exactly what you mean about children's activities taking up a lot of time! My children are 14 and 10 and constantly busy with friends and activities. I wouldn't want it any other way!

This year, we will be attending church on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas Day opening presents and I will be in the kitchen preparing turkey and all the trimmings - I love this and I can't wait! Then I am hoping for some quiet time to reflect on the year that has past, organize all the family photos that we have taken in 2015 and record some stories about them on the backs. I also will think about direction for the New Year and make some plans (I don't like to think of them as resolutions!)

I hope that you have a truly magical time with your family this Christmas and a well-deserved break from work. Cherish every moment with your kids as they seem to grow up so fast! Best wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in 2016!

Steve Finnell said...


John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

What is the meaning of John 6:44?

1. Does it mean only a few, who have been selected by the Father, will be saved? No, it does not.
2. Does it mean that men only respond to the gospel because of irresistible grace? No, it does not.


John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

The Father draws all who hear and learn. The Father does not force anyone to hear or learn. Men have free-will. God does not impute faith into a few so they will believe and be saved. Faith does not come by injection.


Romans 10:13-14 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Men need to hear the gospel before they can learn and believe. The Father draws men by the gospel.

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Faith comes from hearing the gospel. Faith does not come because the Father selected a chosen few, before the world began, to be saved. All who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are the chosen and that includes whoever accepts God's terms for pardon. Faith does not come because of irresistible grace.

God the Father draws men to Jesus with the gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,



Romans 10:21 But as for Israel He says, "All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Israel as a nation rejected the gospel. How could that be possible if irresistible grace were in play? Israel turned away from God.

Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

Jerusalem was unwilling to be drawn to Jesus by believing the gospel. They had a choice.

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

The Jews had the opportunity to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they were unwilling. There was no irresistible grace in play. The Father draws all who are willing to believe the gospel.

John 6:40 This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."





YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

koolchicken said...

First off, I'm VERY curious about your January news! So definitely something to look forward to there!

Secondly, I know you've mentioned things like "presentable pj's" in the past and I totally support that. However I do feel compelled to point something out. Not everyone can fit into normal pj's. I know that probably sounds crazy, but it's true. I have a 37" inseam (yes, you read that right) and I assure you I can't just buy pajama pants at the store that fit. Same goes for tops. If I'm going to be in a cold climate a long sleeved top will stop halfway down my arms, I look ridiculous. I'm only 5'10" but my limbs are disproportionate so dressing can be a serious challenge. I can and do sew some of my own clothes (and that includes my pj's) but not everyone has that option. So when it comes to sleepwear I always cut people some slack. When my little brother (who makes me look seriously petite) comes to visit he's not wearing a robe because owning two is too expensive when he has to shop in specialty stores, and heaven forbid the airline lose his only one. Not only that, the amount of space something that fits him takes up in a suitcase! He's not wasting space on "nonessentials"...

Anonymous said...

I know what koolchicken means by having difficulty finding presentable pjs, only from the opposite end of the spectrum: I'm only 5 feet tall, and pjs I like don't usually run in petite sizes. They would require a trip to the tailor as I don't sew, which would add to the already high cost of ones that I like. If I could find some at a consignment shop at a lower price, it would offset the cost of tailoring, but most consignment shops don't carry sleepwear. And so my winter sleepwear consists of any pajama pants I can find that aren't odious to me (usually those meant as cropped pants fit me as regular pants) and one of my cashmere sweaters as a top. I would love to find black or similarly dark colored charmeuse pjs that fit me well, and hopefully someone will get a set for Christmas that they do not want, send them off to a thrift shop or have a garage sale, and they will find me. It's a long shot, but it's a more likely scenario than sleepwear manufacturers making things in petite sizes. I guess they figure "it's just sleepwear. A small size will do." No. It doesn't. It's not just the pants hem, but the length of the top, sleeves, and tapering on the sides.

Nana said...

I dont like this time of the year, but happy holidays to you and your family!
Kisses and God bless you.