Christmas Decor: Creating Displays, Tablescapes and More from Sentimental Items!

Dec 12, 2016

I went to a lovely Christmas party last year that’s inspiring me to mix up my own home’s holiday decor this year! The wonderful hostess, Nancy, had Christmas everywhere, but what I loved so much is that she grouped items with sentimental meaning in every room.

Christmas Decor! Grouping Sentimental Elements to Create a Spectacular Display!

This was an especially fun gathering for me because I was able to bring my two daughters, who knew Nancy’s son from college!! He was in charge of the peppermint martinis, which it looks like they all have in hand!

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Of course, everyone always congregates in the kitchen where she had placed this amazing collection of candy trees! She makes these every year with her daughter!! I really enjoyed listening to her stories of past craft days and what type of candy tree they were planning to do next. By spraying them with a clear acrylic, they last for years to come! I am going to make them this year, so stay tuned for a little tutorial in next week’s post!

Christmas Decor! Grouping Sentimental Elements to Create a Spectacular Display!

Nancy worked for Estée Lauder for 25 years before retiring, and this Christmas tree contains a few hints of this career. Can you spot them?

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She started collecting compact mirrors and fancy perfume bottles (which had quite the cult following!) while working there…

… and turned them into ornaments for the tree! What a fun idea!!

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There are just as personal trees in each of her children’s bedrooms, too. She decorates these with handmade ornaments they created along with special ones that recall their childhood milestones! What a wonderful thing for the kids to look forward to every year! I might have to start this tradition in my home!!

Segreto Secrets - Sentimental Christmas Groupings - Jackie Kennedy Nutcracker Tree
Source: Photo by Robert Knudsen, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

While I was looking up sentimental Christmas trees, I stumbled upon some great ones decorated by our past presidents and first ladies! Jackie Kennedy actually started the White House tradition of themed trees. In 1961, she chose a Nutcracker theme and decorated with ornaments of angels, toys and birds!

Segreto Secrets - Sentimental Christmas Groupings - Carter Antique Toy White House Tree

Rosalynn Carter’s 1978 tree took on a Victorian theme with antique dolls and miniature furniture borrowed from the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum!

Segreto Secrets - Sentimental Christmas Groupings - Barbara Bush Needlepoint Tree
Source: The White House

Barbara Bush celebrated the art of needlepoint using ornaments crafted by the Saintly Stitchers of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church here in Houston! It features 92 handmade, needlepoint decorations!!

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Sentimental groupings aren’t just for Christmas trees! Here’s a wonderful Santa collection that Nancy displays in her living room. She started collecting Santas over 30 years ago, inspired by fond memories of her Aunt’s impressive collection. Each one has a story behind it… her favorite is a wind-up Santa that belonged to her grandfather!! Find elements you’ve collected over the years that are meaningful to you and your family and group them together for an impactful conversation piece.

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Well, Kirby and Sammy spied another one of their friends there!! Parker is really in the holiday spirit and spreading Christmas cheer with this suit he scored for $30 at a Macy’s Christmas sale!

Segreto Secrets - Christmas Ideas - Grouping Holiday Cards by Year

Here is a great idea for saving Christmas Cards from The DIY Playbook! I am sick that I didn’t see this before… I’ve thrown out tons of old ones recently when I was cleaning out my house, thinking, “Will I really go through these boxes and look at them?” If I had grouped them by year, it would be easy to store and to display. What a fun activity when people come over to remember past Christmases! This could even be a great gift for a friend or mom if you can sneak their past cards away from them.

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Well, I decided to group items on my Christmas table this year! I started a collection of Murano glass Christmas trees and reindeer years ago. Neiman’s, before they had Neiman’s Last Call, had their only outlet store in the country, in Houston! Boy, did I scour every year to find items to add to my collection, including the candlesticks!

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We are pretty casual at the table, mainly because I really don’t want to hand wash all my good china and crystal!! Maybe next year I will. I decided to go colorful this year with my new burlap placemats I purchased from our Segreto Boutique. I really love to give everyone party favors at the place setting, so I typically pay a visit to Trader Joe’s! They have all sorts of things for about $2 to $5 each. You can see we used these Panettone cakes as place settings by writing each name on top of the box.

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The little roses are are from Trader Joe’s too! They have a great flower selection! I tend to always use white dishes, and my office one year, gave me these white chargers from IKEA. I have loved them, and if I remember, they were less than $5 each. I tried to pull them up but I don’t think they carry them anymore… Such a shame!!! I love chargers, but so often they are very expensive. Be sure to send me your sources if you’ve found some you love! Tip: if you want to use a table runner, but don’t have one extra napkins can do the trick!

Segreto Secrets Blog! Grouping Sentimental Christmas Decor!

Join me next week for how to make these beautiful candy trees and other crafts!! ‘Tis the season!!!


Meet Dawn, a beautiful Segreto book series follower from Kentucky! She was so excited  about her copy that she has been taking the book around to some of her favorite local stores! Segreto Vignettes and Segreto Style is now available at Digs Home and Garden! Thanks, Dawn! And meet Dawn’s cute pup, Sugar!!


A fan of the new Segreto Vignettes, too! Still time to order before the holidays!!

xo, Leslie


If you are interested in hosting an event or carrying the book  please don’t hesitate to reach out! Email for all inquiries! We love to visit new cities!!!

  • noreen
    Posted at 07:34h, 12 December Reply

    love the candy Christmas trees!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 13:15h, 14 December Reply

      Nancy actually asked me over this weekend to make some!! I am so excited about it!!! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

  • Cara Iacovetta
    Posted at 07:40h, 12 December Reply

    I really enjoyed this blog post! My grandma made trees out of gathered nylon net glued to a cone support. Then she sewed tiny bows and ornaments on them. She made them in green, red and white. The white ones were my favorites. They looked so romantic and airy with added lace and metallic ornaments.
    I started a collection of snowflakes when I was 25 and someone gave me 5 handmade crocheted ones. I do a “Winter Wonderland” theme. Over the years, I have received a variety as gifts, made some and purchased the rest. Who knew there were so many different kinds?: wooden, painted twigs, metal and an endless variety of plastics. On our first Christmas together, my husband bought a gorgeous crystal one! Of course, each one must be different, so if I receive a set, I do something to them to make each unique. I made a table runner from a lovely snowflake patterned fabric. The tree is usually covered with them, except that this year I did minimal decorating because I am recovering from a broken bone. I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 13:15h, 14 December Reply

      Thank you Cara for all your ideas!! I am so sorry that you are recovering but next year when you are decorating in full force please send me pictures! I would love to see it sounds beautiful and how special so many came from special people! Have a wonderful Holiday and feel better soon! xo Leslie

  • Rié Moratto
    Posted at 07:47h, 12 December Reply

    Wishing you and your beautiful family, very Merry Christmas full of blessings and love!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 13:12h, 14 December Reply

      It is so good to hear from you? How are things going? I hope you have a very special holiday with your as well! xo

  • 'Tricia
    Posted at 12:20h, 12 December Reply

    All the Christmas decorations are beautiful…
    almost as beautiful as your daughters.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 13:11h, 14 December Reply

      Hi Tricia! That is so sweet!! they are lucky to look like my husband! I can’t wait to see her party décor this year!! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!xo

  • joni Webb
    Posted at 19:13h, 16 December Reply

    Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!!!!!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:33h, 17 December Reply

      Thank you and to you as well! Happy Holidays!!!

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