LIFESTYLE: Christmas, Bower Style

WE. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. THE INEVITABLE CHAOS IT BRINGS - THE DESPERATE ATTEMPTS TO FIT IN CATCH UPS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TIMETABLED EARLIER, THE PLANNING, THE PREPPING, THE LAST MINUTE CHORES AND THE MIDNIGHT WRAPPING AND CARD WRITING - IS ALWAYS WORTHWHILE WHEN IT FINALLY COMES TO SIT DOWN AND CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS TOGETHER.

For Taliah, Bower owner/creative, Danelle, our property manager extraordinaire, and Georgia, our marketing and communications creative, it’s all about family and friends, some time-honoured traditions, cooking up our favourite dishes, and hunting down special gifts for special people. That and how to set a stylish table and what to wear on the day.

And if you like The Bower aesthetic, we’ve given you some of our favourite places to shop for last minute presents that reflect our obsession with local fashion designers, bespoke home wares, artisan-crafted baskets and rugs, natural fabrics and gorgeous kids stuff.  Come see how we do Christmas Bower style!

Which shop would you go to buy…. 

A present for a girlfriend 

Danelle: Habitat

Taliah: Haveli

Georgia:  St Agni

A present for your partner

Danelle: Red Ginger

Taliah: Department of Simple Things at Habitat

Georgia: Mr Simple for a new Summer wardrobe

And for kids….

Danelle: Paper Aeroplane

Taliah: One of Byron’s fab surf stores - McTavish, Deus or Surf Dive n Ski

Georgia: The gorgeous kids section at the front of Newrybar Merchants

Something to wear on Christmas Day….

Danelle: Habitat for fab local designers and natural fabrics that are perfect for summer days in Byron.

Taliah:  Island Luxe 

Georgia: Hope and May or Habitat

To buy decorations for the house…

Danelle: Nikau Store

Taliah: The Flower Bar or The Corner Store – both in Bangalow

Georgia: Newrybar Merchants. Or have Mikarla from Wilderness Flowers create some beautiful fresh floral arrangements


Our go-to Christmas recipes…

Danelle: Super secret recipe seafood sauce to serve with crayfish. I would share the recipe, but I'd have to kill you! So I'll share our Easy Christmas Fruit Cake recipe instead...

Taliah: My beautiful friend Jody Vassallo's Rosewater and Pistachio Cake 

Georgia: Donna Hay's Crispy Pork Belly with Spiced Plum Sauce

 

This is how our homes/tables look at Christmas….

Danelle: Our kids do the decorating and we love it.  Mostly they decorate with found bits from nature like driftwood from Tallows Beach and native flowers from our garden.

Taliah: This year is all about the natural habitat around us.  It’s natural textured table cloths such as linen or even soft textured cheese cloth, piles of native cuttings from the scrub lands between our house and the beach, driftwood garlands, rustic timber and stone platters and native flowers in ceramic vases. And we’re going to paint pine cones white to add to the Christmas vibes. 

Georgia: I keep things relatively simple, pared back and in a muted colour palette (how Bower can you get!). I have an aversion to non-traditional Christmas coloured decorations, we always have a real Christmas tree and a Crabtree and Evelyn NOEL scented candle burning. For the table, I love raw-edged linen napkins, accents of brass in cutlery or serve ware, textured ceramics (my hack for this year was my $3 dimpled dinner plates from Kmart) and glass vases in different sizes with sprigs of pine tree - smells and looks like Christmas.


Our Christmas traditions…

Danelle: We always take the kids to the Bangalow Christmas Eve Festival. Then once the presents are opened on Christmas morning, we hit the beach and come back in the heat of the day to eat way too much!

Taliah:  There’s always been truffle chocolates wrapped up under the tree every year since I was a little girl, usually from the local chocolate makers. 

Georgia: Every year we watch the Carols in the Domain on Christmas Eve as a family, and being the emotional types we are, cry every year when David Hobson sings The Holy City! Christmas Day we open pressies together before sitting down to a table bulging with Christmas fare.  Then it’s an all-in game of soccer or cricket, board games, laughs and more food of course. Boxing Day is a biggie for us too. It's tradition to stay in our PJ's all day with some playing board games and cards, others watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart or the Boxing Day Test and turning all our leftovers into the world's best toasted sandwiches.


Our Christmas wishes for you…  

Danelle: To find a way to see each day as a blessing and to live with a grateful heart. 

Taliah:  My Christmas wish is that everyone remembers the importance of family and friendships and the simple pleasures in life such as a swim in the ocean, a walk in the mountains or simply having a cuppa and feeling the ocean breeze on our faces. It’s so easy to forget the most important things around us when we are constantly made aware of the negative stuff happening all over the world through social media. 

Georgia: I wish you more time with family and friends, good health and a year ahead that’s full of love, kindness, fun, laughter and dreams realised. And maybe some all important time out!