Ann’s Gift

Ann's party in Fairhope

The perfect Fairhope Christmas party.

She’s the perfect Southern Lady.  Charming, witty, and beautiful.  And Christmas is her brightest time to shine.  Ann has been my friend for a long time, and every year I can’t wait to see how she decorates her home. “Over the top” is often used to describe her incredible, always changing designs.

Joy outdoor decoration
Even the backyard gets a touch of happiness.
That’s the prettiest potting shed in town in the background.

One tree is never enough, and even the artwork in Ann’s home is coordinated for the season.  And while the decorations are spectacular, Ann keeps the meaning of Christmas as her top priority.

But more than the trees, flowers, or food, the most beautiful thing about Ann’s house, is that she uses it as a gift for her friends.

Santa painting
New artwork often appears at Christmastime.
Christmas tree in Fairhope
Another tree filled with white and gold ornaments.
Also, more Christmas artwork on the wall.
Fairhope Christmas party
The festive “Kids Tree” in the foyer.

Every December, Ann hosts approximately eleven different parties in her home. Church groups that would usually get peanuts, watery punch and cold metal chairs in the fellowship hall, are instead given the royal treatment.  Neighborhood groups, social clubs and dear friends all get an invitation, and Ann especially looks forward to including precious older friends who don’t usually get invited to many events during the holidays.

Everywhere you look, there are special touches.
Festive touches everywhere, with fresh fruit in glass containers in the kitchen.

The food is always as fabulous as the decor, and I’m impressed with Ann’s ability to keep all her antique linen napkins perfectly cleaned and pressed, ready for the next group of revelers. No paper plates either!  (Remember –  ELEVEN parties!!!)

Say it with me, “Christmas Belle.”

Christmas decorations
This is the main tree, filled this year with a harvest of natural items – grape vines, seed pods, and even small pumpkins!

Here’s the thing.  We all have gifts to share this time of year.  Do you make great soup?  Do you like to sing Christmas Carols?  Do you like to bake brownies, wrap gifts, send cards, or even clean house?

The mantel with more natural elements.
Christmas cocker spaniel
Sweet Miss Abby admires her Poinsettias

Then why not take inspiration from Ann and share your gift?  There’s always someone who would dearly love to be invited over for coffee.  A lonely neighbor, a single mom who could use a hand, a distant relative who would like to hear from you.

Your house doesn’t have to look like this. It’s YOUR gift that matters, and NOW is the time to share.

Christmas mantel in Fairhope

By decorating at the end of November, Ann is able to relax and enjoy her home and guests throughout December. Smart, organized, kind and creative.  I’m so glad she’s my friend.

Christmas lights in Fairhope

And by the way, Ann’s favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving!

See another party by Ann HERE.

Leave a comment 28 Comments


  1. Rachel says

    Your friend’s house is beautiful and reminds me of one here in Marietta — former Gov. & Mrs. Barnes start putting up Christmas decorations in July for a spectacular glittery display of hundreds of trees and about everything else you can imagine. They generously open their home for tours to benefit Marietta Garden Center.

  2. says

    Now THAT is some DECORATING. The family Christmas is at my house every year, as I’m the only one with children. So I decorate — but 1/10th as well or as thoroughly. I also make Christmas dinner, which is more my calling!

  3. says

    Stunning home!!!! I love her gold and white tree the most and those outdoor Christmas light lamp posts?! I want one!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing these! Linking back from Holiday home

  4. MM says

    It’s clear that Ann is just a lovely person and enjoys sharing her home and her heart with those around her.
    I hope that a lot of people see this post and realize there are many people around them who could use some holiday cheer but are too embarrassed to ask to be included. Often, our friends are so busy with their own holiday preparations, family & festivities they forget that there are those around them who are sitting in an empty house with nothing to do.
    There are many who are in need and their names are never on the Angel trees at church and/or work; they don’t need gifts just a bit of your time.


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