The holidays started very early for Hubby and I this year. We visited our son in Houston, Texas for the first time since he moved there.
For our long weekend we stayed at the Houstonian Hotel which in itself was an experience. It is a very large and beautifully furnished conference center also located in Houston. Visitors are greeted by this impressive two story fireplace in the lounge.
Our son bought us all tickets to go to the “Nutcracker Market” which is very famous to the city of Houston. I have never heard of the Nutcracker Market, but from what we learned, it promised to be a fun day.
These words, taken from the website of the market, explain how this yearly event came to be:
“In 1981, visions of sugar plums inspired long-time Houston Ballet supporter Preston Frazier to approach the board of Houston Ballet Guild with a new concept and means to raise much needed funds for the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs. His dream of a holiday market in the tradition of a European or Latin American street market has grown steadily and spectacularly ─ from humble beginnings in a church bazaar setting to a four-day shopping extravaganza at NRG Center. In 2017, over 104,600 customers with a strong passion to shop spent over $19.8 million at more than 280 national and international booths ─ each offering unique items for the entire family, including home décor, gourmet food, apparel, accessories, toys, garden items and much, much more … and all of this just in time for holiday shopping!
From the moment former First Lady Barbara Bush cut the ribbon at the opening of the Nutcracker Market, and through the many successful years filled with a lot of enthusiasm, imagination and dreams, the Nutcracker Market has become an annual tradition that kicks off the holiday season in Houston, Texas.”
(picture courtesy Nutcracker Market website)
We all went out for a big southern breakfast, and with comfortable shoes on, we made the trip to the NRG center, next to the Houston Astrodome.
Overwhelming was an understatement. Booth after booth of Christmas decor, Christmas attire, Christmas crafts and Christmas food were everywhere.
And EVERYTHING was for sale!
Even Elvis made an appearance…
We spent about five hours browsing aisle after aisle. We managed to leave empty handed, knowing whatever we bought would have to be put on the plane ride back.
But I certainly got a lot of ideas for our yearly Christmas party…
The day after the market, the boys had enough shopping so the girls decided to go out and explore the town. We had a lovely outdoor lunch at “Tiny Boxwoods”, a very popular and well known place for great food.
After eating, we went to the newly completed Restoration Hardware.
The company has completely redone their marketing strategy. They are now only located in major cities and in large, iconic buildings, be it an old post office library or bank. The stores are now made to look as if you are in a multi level estate with each different room showcasing oversized pieces in a grand manner.
Gone are the days of walls covered in doorknobs and handles. They have really evolved into a virtual display of well made furniture with a true WOW factor!
The most impressive part of the showroom is the rooftop terrace.
It showcases all of the outdoor collections RH offers. The combination of the 85 degree temperature that day with the view of the Houston skyline was such a delight!
This space would be perfect to rent for private parties, but the manager said they were not equipped to do that for now…
But speaking of parties,… even though I left Houston empty handed, I knew as soon as I got back it would be time to start planning our annual Christmas party. I had so much inspiration from the Nutcracker Market dancing in my head. I had centerpieces to make and decided that this year’s theme would be all gold.
I made lit Christmas trees that stood on pedestals with little wrapped presents at the base.
On December 9th, we celebrated the upcoming holiday with family and friends, thankful for another year together.
So, with six days to go, all that is left to do is wrap presents, welcome the kids back, and prepare the menus for the day. I am very grateful for another year of doing what I love with Design, and having health, friends and family to make me smile.
May you all have a blessed holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!