Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tales of the Traveling Totes #5 ~ Miss Merri Mac Prepares for the Holidays

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Totes #5

Miss Merri Mac and I have been busy 

preparing for the holidays.

The Annual Junior League of Austin Christmas Affair

kicks off the holiday shopping season in November of each year.

Miss Merri Mac is the perfect shopping companion 

because most Austinites have adopted the 

European custom of carrying one's own shopping bag.

Merchants from far and wide join local merchants

to offer shoppers a variety of merchandise.  

There is something for everyone.

Even a local favorite ~ Tiny Pies.

The first week in December signaled 

the start of decorating in our homes around Austin.

Miss Merri Mac and I were thrilled and honored to receive 

an invitation to help decorate a historic home.

Not just any historic home,

but the beautiful Greek Revival-style mansion

that has been home to Texas Governors since 1856.  

~ The Texas Governor's Mansion ~ 

The most historic home in Texas. 

The Texas Governor's Mansion was built in 1856 

and is the oldest continually 

occupied executive residence west of the Mississippi.

This beautiful home is both a Texas and 

a National Historic Landmark.

You can read more about it here.  
To take a virtual tour, click here.

The First Lady of Texas decides on the theme

of the decorations for each room and a group of

volunteers arrive ready to deck the halls with holiday magic.

Last week while my sister was in town for a visit,

we spent some time touring our 

state's Capitol and Governor's Mansion.

Welcome to the Texas Governor's Mansion.

Let's go in and take a peek at this 

grande dame dressed for the holidays.

First Lady Cecelia Abbott chose a Texas theme

for the Mansion Christmas tree this year.

The large tree and the decorations in the 

living room and adjoining parlor

 feature the colors of the Texas flag along 

with golden stars and balls.

Beautiful Texas flag glass ornaments 

are prominent on the tree.

The library is just across the main hall.  The fireplace mantel is

decorated with large glass ornaments of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Large orbs of russet, gold, copper, and bronze rest among

the green garland infused with springs of golden berries.

The dining room, decorated in traditional Christmas colors,

features swags of Christmas greens with vibrant red poinsettias.  

The day we visited, the table was set for an evening dinner party. 

The sterling silver flatware is by 

Reed and Barton in Pointed Antique 

and bears the seal of the State of Texas on each piece.

The conservatory, in the back of the house, 

is filled with natural light.  

Mrs. Abbott, with a nod to her Hispanic heritage,

chose to decorate this room with bright vibrant colors. 

Papel picado, traditional Mexican folk art 

in which intricate designs are chiseled out 

 of layers of tissue paper to create flags and banners, along with 

paper flowers and corn husk flowers create a color filled garland 

that decorates the beautiful antique breakfront on the east wall.

A smaller tree decorated in the same paper items sits 

in the southwest corner of the room.

Mrs. Abbott is the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas.

Another beautiful Christmas tree can 

be seen at the Texas State Capitol. 

The 26 foot Virginia pine sits in the Capitol House Chamber.

It is decorated in ornaments that represent 

the uniqueness of each district.

Spouses of House Members decorate the tree. 

Click here to see a video of the 

fun process of decorating this enormous tree.

There are numerous holiday activities to take in this time of year,

and Miss Merri Mac and I want to share one more of our favorites, 

 Georgetown Heritage Home Tour.

Georgetown, Texas is a thriving community just north of Austin.

The homes on the annual heritage tour this year

were all built by Belford Lumber Company between 1901 - 1925.

The tour featured four homes 

and a former hotel, now an office space.

Each of these beautiful heritage 

homes reflected the contemporary lifestyle of

vibrant young families while 

retaining the period integrity of the original home.

Home owners had their homes exquisitely 

dressed for the holiday season, 

and all tables were styled with gorgeous

tablescapes ready for holiday entertaining.

Kudos to these talented young families!

All photos by Michael Walton, Georgetown Heritage Society

and used with permission.

Click here to see the complete album on Facebook.

Sadie and I'll be back soon to share holiday

decor here at Hyacinths for the Soul.

A very Merry Christmas to all!

Lots of adventures this time of year,

so be certain to visit each of the Traveling Totes.

Don't miss the fun!

Leave a comment on Pandora's Box for a chance to win a MacKenzie_Childs Flower Market soap dish, Balsam scented soap from the Adirondacks, and a mini soap from Cape Cod, all items purchased on Miss Kenzie's recent travels.