From the Desk of Dixie

Dixie's Guide to Spectacular Holiday Cards & Invitations

The Dixie team has pulled together a list of answers to frequently asked questions and some advice from our card designers as a guide for our customers to reference when they create their Holiday cards.  Here are our suggestions for addressing and creating holiday cards...
  • Proper Plural - Use the plural form of your last name and not the possessive form (Correct:  The Collier Family or The Colliers; Incorrect:  The Colliers’ or Collier’s).  The only proper use of the possessive form is when the invitation reads:  "Please join us at The Colliers’ Home.” We see this mistake a lot and we don’t want it to happen to you!
  • Proper Way to List Names - We prefer to list the husband first, then the wife, followed by children oldest to youngest.
  • That Pesky Comma - The Oxford comma is common practice for every day use, but it can sometimes be unnecessary and even distracting on a holiday card. We like the way this name list looks without the Oxford comma on a holiday card:
Merry Christmas!
The Holland Family
Henry, Anna Beth and George
  • Monograms - We recommend using a single letter monogram of the family last name. If you are a newly married couple, you might want to use your married three letter monogram. If you’re an engaged couple sending a holiday card or a party invitation that includes a monogram, the bride’s initials should be used or the couples first name initials and not the married monogram.
  • Addressing Families on the Envelope - We think either "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" or "The Smith Family" could work! Using "The Smith Family" includes everyone if the couple has children. 
  • The Best Photo - Make sure your photo is high resolution and good quality so it will print well.  Remember the photo you see on your computer screen or on your phone is backlit and will appear brighter than it will print.  So please ensure you do not use a dark photo when customizing your card.
  • Photo Logistics - Fill the entire photo box with your photo and zoom in or out to get it placed exactly where you want it. If you zoom too much though, it could reduce the sharpness of your photo. You may click on the photo and move it around or use the buttons on the personalization screen. You may also click the CORNERS of your photo and resize but never click on the SIDES of the photo to move it around as it will distort the photo. If you accidentally do that, re-upload your photo and start again.
  • Don't forget to order some extra cards! We think it is nice to have some extras to send out to someone who sent you a card and you did not have them on your original list.

For Holiday Invitations

  • No Zip Needed - No need to include the zip code on an invitation, only include on the envelope return address.
  • RSVP - When requesting a reply on an invitation, include "Please Reply" or “RSVP" and not "Please RSVP” as that is asking the recipient to Please Respond Please!

 Photo: Mandy Busby Creative

A Holiday Spiced Tea Tradition

If you were able to read our post last week, you saw the meaningful design inspiration behind the Colonial Citrus Christmas card suite that Dixie Creative Director Holly Hollon created for our founder, Jennifer Hunt. When Holly initially showed Jennifer the card designs, Jennifer knew that this design would also make beautiful gift tags and recipe cards for one of her favorite holiday traditions - her family's spiced tea drink. 

Jennifer's grandmother, Martha Davis “aka Nonnie,” is the one who began the holiday spiced tea tradition in her family. Nonnie's recipe is based off of the traditional Russian tea recipe, but Jennifer says it is the best version she has ever tasted!  Jennifer now makes a batch of the tea with her family at the beginning of each holiday season, so they can enjoy it throughout the winter. She has also been known to add honey to the hot drink to cure a winter cough!

Jennifer has fond memories of making the tea mix with her mother, portioning out in jars with ribbon and delivering to neighbors and friends in her hometown. Thankfully, she was happy to share the recipe with us here in the hope you could use the gift idea too. For an added touch, she tied the jars with a gold measuring spoon this year. 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Store in an airtight container like the ones we found here.

Tie with ribbon, a gold spoon and Dixie's Colonial Citrus Recipe Gift Tags.

To serve, stir 2 tablespoons of mix into 1 cup of boiling water.

We think this is the perfect holiday gift idea for neighbors, co-workers, or even your children's teachers! Shop the Colonial Citrus gift tags and recipe cards here.

Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

A Look Behind the Design - Jennifer's Colonial Williamsburg Childhood Christmas

When our Founder, Jennifer Hunt, was thinking through her Christmas card this year, she asked Holly Hollon, our Creative Director, to include artwork of a Boston Terrier, the dog breed Jennifer and her family have owned for five generations.  So when Holly was gathering design inspiration, she asked Jennifer for any Christmas memories that would help her with creating a card that would be personal and special. 

Jennifer immediately thought about her childhood home in Russellville, Alabama, its Colonial Williamsburg design and how beautifully and thoughtfully it was decorated by her mother, Donna Norris, each holiday season.  Having a deep interest in history and also having lived in Greenville, North Carolina, where home design is heavily influenced by Williamsburg, Jennifer’s parents chose to build the first Colonial Williamsburg style home in Russellville in 1980.  It’s still the house the family calls “home” after almost 40 years. 

Donna’s holiday decorating was also influenced by this design style and Jennifer recalls fruit wreaths on the doors, candles in the windows, lots of holly, magnolia and ivy and certainly the quintessential Colonial Williamsburg pineapple used throughout the house.  Her mother decorated with rich historical colors - blue, red, gold, green and cream - which translated into the colors Holly used in the Colonial holiday card suite she created.

With these visuals of Jennifer's childhood Christmases to design around, Holly created several Colonial Williamsburg-inspired Christmas papers. Jennifer's Boston Crest card ties in the pineapple, glossy dark green Magnolia leaves from her childhood Christmas dinner table and mantle, and it also features a certain Boston terrier that is near and dear to all of our hearts!

Using citrus is a long-standing Colonial Williamsburg Christmas decorating tradition, so Holly expanded the collection to include that theme with her Colonial Citrus collection and her Colonial Pineapple collection. We love the elegance of the cards and the option of either the crimson ribbon or the gold ribbon.

Stay tuned for our post on Monday where Jennifer will share her family's spiced tea recipe! We think it is the perfect thoughtful holiday gift for neighbors and family friends!

All vintage photos taken by Jennifer's dad, Lanny Norris.  Photo inside Boston Crest cards by Holland Williams Photography.

A Holiday Sweets 'N Treats Dessert Party

The Dixie team is so excited for the third installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger! We had a ball using designer Sarah Robbins Powell's Gingerbread Sweetness Invitation to dream up a whimsical holiday dessert party.

Holley helped us pull together all of the delectable sweets and treats menu items for the party's main event, the dessert bar.   

Holley's scrumptious sweets menu has a little of something for everyone's sweet tooth. For cake lovers, the cake balls pack a bite-size sugar punch. And the maple popcorn, while it still has a hint of sweetness, balances out the chocolatey and peanut butter items. And we love the idea of a hot chocolate bar! What a thoughtful and appropriate "beverage" item for this particular party.

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

Now that the dessert menu is set, we can begin dreaming up ways to use these adorable gift tags attached to party favors for our guest.

Sources: Appetizer Plates | Holly Heights by Kate Spade for Lenox. Cocktail Napkins | Caspari. Pink and Green mini tress | Michaels Craft Store. Peppermint Bark | Williams Sonoma. Pastries | Whole Foods. Nutcracker Garland | Swoozies

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our two earlier posts in this series where Holley Grainger created a ladies brunch menu based off of our Paper Whites Invitation and she created a dinner party menu based off of Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation.

A Blue & White Ladies Holiday Luncheon

For the second installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger Holley Grainger, the Dixie team used Shanna Master's Paper Whites Invitation as an inspirational starting point. 

Holley created a sophisticated holiday brunch pulling the classic blue and white color scheme from the invitation for the table settings. 

Holley dreamt up a delicious menu that we believe is perfect for an elegant ladies Christmas brunch. The menu has just the right mixture of savory and sweet, striking the perfect balance for a mid-morning feast. 

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we created for this ladies get-together...

Sources:  China | Blue Willow. Monogram Napkin | Bromberg's. Silver | Grand Baroque by Wallace. Knife Set | William Sonoma.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our post yesterday where Holley Grainger created a dinner party menu inspired by Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation

A Colonial Inspired Dinner Party

When the Dixie team began organizing all of the paper suites for our 2017 Holiday Collection earlier this year, the stunning holiday invitation designs were practically begging us to begin planning our holiday parties! We could not help but imagine endless entertaining possibilities with the vast array of invitations our artists had created.

We were able to take all of our dinner party aspirations one step further with the assistance of Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger. She kindly contributed three different menu ideas for three separate styles of Dixie holiday invitations. The first menu that Holley created was based off of our Creative Director, Holly Hollon'sColonial Pineapple Invitation

With the Colonial Pineapple invitation design in mind, Holley did her best to stay authentic to the Colonial American time period when choosing her menu items for the dinner. Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we dreamed up for this elegant dinner soirée...

Sources: Gift tag | Dixie Design. China | Mottahedeh Duke of Gloucester from Bromberg's. Silver | Antique. Monogramed Napkins | Bromberg's. Candlesticks | Christine's in Mountain Brook, AL.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

The Etiquette Expert's Advice on how to be a Gracious Host this Holiday Season

We are thrilled to re-introduce you to on one of our 2017 Holiday Tastemakers, Beaumont Etiquette Founder, Myka Meier. You'll remember her as the guest speaker at our Paper Petals Plates events in August.  We loved working with Myka then and it was a true pleasure working with her to design her stunning Park Avenue card collection with the our talented Creative Director and designer, Holly Hollon.  The artwork was inspired by the architecture in Myka's in New York City neighborhood and her love of French crests, garland and candy canes.  Shop Myka's cards here.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought you might like some advice from the Etiquette Guru herself on how to be a gracious hostess. Whether you are a first time host or you have done it for more years than you can count, we believe everyone can glean a few useful insights from this thorough list of tips Myka has passed on to us. 

We love her advice on how to graciously dispel any heated political discussions that could crop up at the dinner table! According to Myka... 

  • If you are the host, then it's your job to be the conversation moderator at the table. If Uncle Harry starts a political debate at the table, you can try one of two approaches to end the politi-chat:
    • First - Try the "Honest Abe" approach: Be direct, straightforward and honest from the start. From the very beginning of the conversation, it’s okay to simply say, "Uncle Harry, I respect you are passionate about your beliefs, however, as we share different ones, I think it’s best you and I don’t talk about politics and just enjoy family time.”
    • Second - Agree to Disagree - Change the subject to something everyone agrees on. Simply saying, "I understand you have a perspective on this and thanks for wanting to share, however I think we’ll need to agree to disagree on this one. Now, I know we can agree on XX... how about we chat about that." Remember, you can’t help what other people think or say, but you are in charge of your response and reaction. Avoid raising your voice. It’s easy to do, but also one sure way to escalate any situation. 

Some of Myka's other hosting tips follow...

Make sure you do not to miss Part Two of this series, Myka's Advice on How to be a Gracious Guest this Holiday Season.