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Cheryl’s annual ornament exchange

beatufiul Cheryl

My beautiful friend and neighbor, Cheryl, held her 15th annual ornament exchange luncheon last Saturday.


Cheryl is an amazing cook…


… and the consummate hostess.


My idea of the perfect hostess is summed up perfectly in this excerpt from Woman’s Day Magazine – February 1957

“Many people say entertaining is an art.  More truly, it is an attitude.  It has to begin in the heart.  The hostess who has learned to open her heart as freely as she opens her door has learned how to make people feel at home in her house.  This is the hostess who does not look at entertaining as a chore or a duty.  She welcomes every guest with anticipation, knowing that there is an opportunity to share her home, her family, and herself with people who will enjoy whatever she has to give.  And while she gives her best she is secure in the knowledge that her best is good enough because she has learned that entertaining is not pretending.  Here we are, her welcome seems to say.  This is our house, this is our food, this is our heart.  The most wonderful thing that can happen is that you enjoy it with us.  While you are here, all this is yours.”   

chocolate panna cotta

That is the perfect definition of Cheryl too.

The 13th annual party, in 2012, was the first one I was invited to. It was wonderful, I had the best time and I couldn’t wait to go back again the next year. Unfortunately, I booked a class that same day, so I was unable to attend in 2013.

The moment the invite for this year’s party arrived, I began to ponder what ornament I would bring. I was disappointed with my choice from that first year – I knew I needed to up my game.

3 ornaments

No great surprise – I decided to go with a food theme. I found these three glass ornaments at Sur la Table.


I wanted to package them creatively too.

food ornaments in pots

I filled the little “suitcase” with Epsom salt “snow” and put each ornament in a “snow” lined stockpot, saucepan or skillet.


I placed the lids on all three and tossed in a mini red-checked hot pad for good measure.

keep flat

A bossy little instructional tag was needed to be sure everything stayed in place.

tablecloth wrap

Then I wrapped it up with a Christmas tablecloth and a big bow.

wrapped ornaments

The best part? Cheryl ended up with my ornament and I ended up with hers!

ornament keepsake

To wind up with Cheryl’s ornament is a BIG DEAL. Each year she creates a perfectly gorgeous needlepoint ornament – that is to die for! It is highly coveted by all guests and past recipients speak lovingly of “their Cheryl Creations” of years past.


Look at that detail! The intricate stitching and those teeny tiny little glass beads! Oh my!

cc 14

Even the back is over the top fabulous!

cheryls needlepoint ornament

It will be a keepsake that I’ll always treasure! Thank you, my talented and generous friend! xoxo

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1 lisa { 12.19.14 at 1:55 PM }

Love you both to pieces! I would have arm wrestled for either of those ornaments. Hated missed you all, but loved watching my baby girl that day. xoxo

2 Sloane { 12.19.14 at 1:59 PM }

So pretty!

3 Cheryl { 12.19.14 at 9:32 PM }

You must really want an invitation next year! XO

4 Linda Hopkins { 12.19.14 at 10:16 PM }

I do! I do! xoxo

5 Tram Mai { 12.20.14 at 8:14 AM }

Love this blog!! What a wonderful time!! 🙂

6 bernie evans { 12.20.14 at 2:31 PM }

Merry Christmas to all who visit here. This is a wonderful blog:-)) Thank you for this occasional lift in the day.
PS. The ornament party photos are oozing with merry warmth. Kudos to you Cheryl, whoever you are!!

7 Linda Hopkins { 12.20.14 at 2:36 PM }

Bernie Evans, you just made my day. I’ll pass along the KUDOS to Cheryl! Merry Christmas to you.

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