With the craziness that was 2020, I was hardly in the mood to put up Christmas ornaments of any sort. But having a child who couldn’t go out for the holidays (the best he could do is look at Christmas lights—if any—from the safety of the car), one does have to scrounge around for whatever holiday décor available for a bit of cheer.
An all-out, glittery Christmas spectacle isn’t me, so I thought of subtler, tamer holiday themes that are more suitable to the prudent, or even slightly somber mood of the year. And it was just my luck that many of the popular home brands had that in mind.
Crate and Barrel came up with a line called Nordic Neutral; a collection of fine bone china ornaments with the texture of knitted sweaters (!). You can see these in the anchor photo at the top of the page.
And for those who don’t want their Christmas dinner to be some glitzy affair, then the delicate holly stamping of the Holiday Snowflake Dinner Set is just right (above). Pair it with casual cutlery and a freeform green centerpiece and you’re good to go.
Now if you live in a tiny condo and a full-blown, six-foot Christmas tree won’t fit in your space, then a tabletop forest is more than enough. Here are other pieces from the Nordic Neutral collection: brush trees, faux bois, wood, and ceramic just need fairy lights (or not).
What’s a Pinoy Christmas without a parol, and where else could you get one conveniently, but at Kultura Filipino? Simple woven abaca parol lanterns (above, left) will look great indoors or out. But if you want something that’s a twist on tradition, try the foldable fabric parol that’s easy to store. Buying one will help the Kababaihan ng Maynila Foundation too, whose members make these lanterns by hand.
If you’re looking for décor that could stretch beyond the holidays, look no further than the retro quirkiness of longtime export manufacturer Chrysara Nest. They are known not only for their beautifully ornate creches (belen) and religious figurines, but for their vintage-inspired pieces. Check out these Art Deco-inspired angel figurines (above), and the tree ornaments (below), which are faithful portrayals of actual British isle birds.