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It’s been two years since our last “normal” holiday season. Back in 2019 when we cooked our holiday meals and wrapped gifts for family members who traveled great distances to celebrate with us, we had no way of knowing that it was the last holiday season we would physically spend with our families and loved ones. Instead, we spent the greater portion of the next two years isolated and forced to celebrate birthdays, holidays and momentous occasions through computer screens. Now, as almost 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data, we are gearing up for a holiday season that is truly worth celebrating because it will somewhat resemble the traditional festivities we enjoyed just a few years ago. So how are our favorite celebs celebrating the holidays? Well, we sat down with one of the people we know we can always count on for holiday advice, home decor guru Bobby Berk, and asked him all about his holiday plans and his best gift-giving tips.
SheKnows: How will you be celebrating the holidays this year?
Bobby Berk: While I am a homebody at heart I do love spending holidays with family and friends. This year I am excited to see a few faces that I wasn’t able to see last year due to the pandemic and catch up on all that has happened with everyone.
SK: What’s the most memorable gift you’ve ever received?
BB: I am usually not a super sentimental person but I am a sucker for anything that is personal. I recently was gifted a framed photo of me, my husband and our new puppy, Bimini, and it really struck a chord with me. Who knew that I would be such a sap for something as simple as a family photo.
SK: You forgot to get someone a gift and you need something super last-minute. What are you getting them?
BB: We’ve all been there, right? I personally love Shutterfly’s instant books. They are a perfect and easy way to share photos — especially for some of my family members who are not as digitally savvy. I also love that they are a great way to spark conversation — looking back on some of our memories together. It’s more meaningful and is such a great way to connect with friends and family after being apart.
SK: How would you describe your personal holiday decor style?
BB: You can’t go wrong by keeping it simple with small personal touches throughout the space you’re decorating- whether that’s adding a fun photo or a familiar saying to serving plates, decorative pillows, or ornaments. I also tend to stick to a color pallet of 2-3 colors and use them throughout my home. While I love the holidays, I try to avoid the usual Kelley green & bright reds found in holiday decor and focus on styling my home with neutral tones and lots of greenery from the outdoors to give it that festive feeling.
SK: What would you say are your 3 best tips for making holiday hosting easier?
BB: 1). If I’m hosting a party, a custom ornament or customized wine glasses are great additions to a tablescape and can be used as place cards. The best part is they can also be given to guests as a favor at the end of the evening. 2) Lighting is also so important. I have all my lights on a dimmer and bring them down to a pretty low light and then add lots of candles throughout the house to create a glow. 3) Bringing in personalization is also a great way to spark conversation and make everyone in the room feel special. Finding the best photos of your party guests and using them as name tags, place cards or as part of your favor is always a winner in my book.
SK: Favorite hostess gift to bring to parties?
BB: There are so many, but my go-to is usually a candle. You can’t go wrong, and there are so many ways to add a personal touch — whether that’s a special scent or a funny saying or photo. You also can’t go wrong with bringing them a bottle of their favorite wine or spirit.
SK: Any traditional holiday foods you absolutely can’t stand?
BB: You would think that the yuletide log is one that would be a big NO on my list as it seems to be so cliche but my husband Dewey has somewhat perfected the art of the yuletide log and I love watching him make it every year.
SK: Do you have any tips for designing a holiday tablescape that’s still functional and festive?
BB: The tablescape can definitely be one of the most stressful parts of entertaining. Keeping it simple with small personal touches can go a long way- whether that’s adding a fun photo or a familiar saying to serving plates or doing something fun for the place cards. If I’m hosting a party, a custom ornament is a great addition to a tablescape or customized wine glasses for my place cards. Both can serve a dual purpose as a party favor.
SK: What’s your favorite Christmas ornament?
BB: My favorite Christmas ornament is the Christmas cube ornament from Shutterfly. My aesthetic leans more modern and I love the simplicity of this ornament. This year I changed some family photos to black and white and added it to the ornament and it’s so fun. You can never go wrong with any style of an ornament though. It’s something you can make super meaningful and always tie a memory to whether it’s a photo from your camera roll or a fun saying that only you and your recipient would understand.
SK: Do you have a favorite holiday cocktail?
BB: I am a gin and tonic kinda guy no matter the holiday or day.
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