Welcome to our Holiday Home

One of the joys of a grand house like the B&B is decorating it for the holidays. It shows off even less-than-elegant ornaments to great effect. Our family has lived in this house since 1978, and we have decades of holidays to look back on and traditions to cherish.

img_9122

We’ve always put up a plethora of lights around the house; there’s nothing like fairy lights to cheer up winter evenings. In the past we’ve used a mix of of colored and white lights,  but have veered towards mostly white more recently. Another trend has been the introduction of poinsettias and, more recently, greenery.

img_9046

We’ve also made a habit of stringing lights in the houseplants. The blend of lights and foliage is not only beautiful, but a look that gracefully complements our Victorian home.

img_9027

Our one nod to more playful lights has traditionally been around the Inglenook mantel. We used to hang Santa lights, but have recently switched to poinsettias, which gleam beautifully on the rich woodwork.

img_9033

The last concentration of indoor lights is, of course, on the tree.

img_9103

Decades ago we cut down two 8 or 9 foot trees, one for the front hall and one for the parlor. However, with everyone grown up and moved away, we now purchase a more modest table-top tree that decorates the parlor beautifully, showcases a fine selection of ornaments, and allows plenty of room for our guests.

img_8047

Also in the parlor is our village, something Katy started collecting after most of the children had moved out of the house. Collecting ceramic houses with seven active children is just asking for trouble, after all.

img_9072

We added various buildings for about a decade, along with accessories, and the lit up display adds considerable charm.

img_9008

A much longer-standing ceramic display is the creche, cherished more for its sentimental value and family history, than for religious symbolism.

img_9005

This set was meticulously hand-painted by a great-aunt, and the children vied to set it up on the built-in buffet every year.

img_9001

Cradled by beautiful woodwork, illuminated by white lights, and reflected in mirrors, this sumptuous creche glows. It has also survived a rambunctious family fairly well, with some gluing necessary, but amazingly few lost parts.

img_8167

Last, but certainly not least, are the smaller decorations we’ve traditionally displayed throughout the house. From an example of the years when Katy and Bill decided they wanted ornaments from their children for Christmas,

img_8188

to the dolls hand-sewn by Katy, designed to mirror the family structure. (Eventually a set was given to each child to decorate their own homes.)

img_8978

From the light-up tree from Dayton’s that has adorned up the living room since the 1980s,

img_9040

to the Swedish-style Santa that I don’t know much about, except that it’s been around as long as I have and came from Katy’s side of the family.

One of the great benefits of running a B&B is getting to share our family home with others, and we’re happy to welcome you into some of the Gray holiday traditions.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 6:55 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Celebrate the Holidays with Bells On

If you’re visiting us during the Holidays, here are some fun events that might tickle your fancy.

ole-lena

1. Ole and Lena’s Family Christmas

“Christmas and the holidays has always been Lena’s absolute favorite time of the year, even if, as Ole says “it makes her more than a little loopy.”

“As usual, Lena has invited her whole family, to include her snooty cousin Mildred who’s, in the past has been off on to many exotic vacations too to attend. Ole really wants nothing to do with the whole thing, especially the part when Lena dresses him dress up in the old ratty Santa suit to hand out presents. But, he may have hope if Sven can come up with a scheme to get him out of playing Santa? Will Lena be able to keep it all together while she prepares for the family Christmas? And will Sven come through with a plan? Find out in this hilarious holiday comedy about life, love, family and growing old together.”

Thu, Dec 15, 2016
2:00 PM

Burnsville Performing Arts Center
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN 55337

Prices: $20.00  Reserved Seating

russian-christmas

2. St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral Choir – Russian Christmas Nativity Concert

“St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir will present a concert of hymns from the Orthodox Church’s Vigil and Divine Liturgy for Christmas. Hymns will be sung in Church Slavonic, the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox Church, and in English. The concert will end with traditional hymns and carols from Eastern Slavic countries and regions.”

Sun, Dec 18, 2016
5:30-6:30 PM

The Museum of Russian Art
5500 Stevens Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419

$15 – Members
$20 – General Admission

holiday-follies

3. Holiday Follies with Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque Show!

“LCR celebrates its 14th annual Holiday Follies variety show, and continues a long tradition of irreverent, sexy, top-rated musical performances! Known for their vaudevillian comedy, and song and dance since 2003, features their critically acclaimed live jazz band, and world-class, triple-threat singers, dancers, and performance artists!”

Sat, Dec 17, 2016
7:00 PM doors open
8:00 PM show starts

Amsterdam Bar and Hall
6 West 6th Street (6th & Wabasha)
Saint Paul, MN 55102

$20 General Admission Advance
$25 General Admission Door
$65 Table for 2
$125 Table for 4

21 and over

connie-evingson

4. Holiday at the Dunsmore Lodge with Connie Evingson

“Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson is known for taking divergent musical paths. Her recorded catalog of acclaimed CD’s ranging from jazz and Broadway standards to the music of Peggy Lee, the Beatles, Django Reinhardt, Dave Frishberg, Norman Gimbel and more reflects an adventurous spirit that knows no boundaries. She has been a guest artist at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Vince Giordano, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto Symphony conducted by Doc Severinsen, the JazzMN Orchestra and Vocalessence, among others. Her ten CD’s on Minnehaha Music have all charted in the Top 50 in the U.S. and Canada and can be heard on radio stations around the world. All the Cats Join In, her third CD in the “jazz manouche” style popularized by Django Reinhardt, features John Jorgenson and his Quintet and was released in Oct., 2014.

“Whether singing bebop, bossa nova, big band swing or a ballad, Connie’s voice is readily identifiable – sure in pitch, a tad smoky in places, razor sharp in articulation and exhibiting an inherent sense of swing that’s dead-center in the pocket. Nominated as JazzWeek Vocalist of the Year in 2005 alongside Stacey Kent, Madeleine Peyroux, Tierney Sutton and Curtis Stigers, Connie has been featured on the Smithsonian’s Jazz Singers radio series, NPR’s Fresh Air and Weekend Edition, and is included on numerous compilations discs in the U.S., China and Japan. She is a two-time recipient of both the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist’s Initiative Grant.”

Dec 28th & 29th, 2016
7:00 PM

Crooners Lounge and Supper Club
161 Highway 65 Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55432
(763) 571-9020

Show:  $15.00 ($16.52 w/service fee)

Dinner & Show:  $40.00 ($42.39 w/service fee)

Choice of Side Salad & Entrée (Peppercorn Grilled Sirloin, Pan-Seared Chicken, Eggplant Parmesan) Upgrades: (Salmon or Pork Chop, $5; Walleye or NY Strip, $8; Crab Cakes, Ribeye or Tenderloin, $12.)

salsa-explosion

5. Holiday’s Salsa Explosion “Extravaganza” 2016 (Twin Cities Salsa Asssocation)

“MUSIC Guest DJs
Sala~Bachata~Merengue~Cumbia~Timba~Cha Cha & More …

Best In the City … T…BALLROOM

* Nice Ballroom and Dance floor
* 6 hours of Dancing Music
* Dress to impress
* Free Parking”

Sat, Dec 17th, 2016
7 PM – 1 AM
Complimentary Dance Lesson 7:15 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – Park Place
1500 Park Place Boulevard
Minneapolis, MN 55416

$10.00 in Advance
$15.00 At the Door

tim-sigler-band

6. New Year’s Eve 2017 w/ the TIM Sigler Band

“The NYE tradition lives on!! Celebrate the arrival of 2017 w/ the Tim Sigler Band on Saturday, December 31st in downtown St. Paul @ the Eagle Street Grille (Right across the street from the Xcel Energy Center.)

“Shows at the Eagle Street Grille generally sell out fast, especially when the MN Wild are in town, so we highly encourage you to reserve your spot online ASAP.

“Admission to this year’s NYE event includes complimentary domestic tap & rail drinks from 8-9PM, plus there will also be a complimentary champagne toast at Midnight to ring in the new year. Live music with the Tim Sigler Band will start at 9:30PM and go until 1:30AM.

A limited number of hotel rooms are also available across the street at the Holiday Inn if needed @ http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/st-paul/mspal/hoteldetail

Sat, Dec 31, 2016
9:30 PM

Eagle Street Grille
174 7th St W
Saint Paul, MN 55102

$17.50 – $25.00

brave-new-workshop-what-the-elf

7. The Brave New Workshop’s 2016 Holiday Revue: What the Elf?!

“Our blockbuster holiday shows are well known at the Brave New Workshop, and this year we have more material than ever to draw upon.

““The 2016 Holiday Show” will feature BNW cast members Lauren Anderson, Denzel Belin, Ryan Nelson, Taj Ruler and Tom Reed. The show will be directed by Caleb McEwen. Josie Just will be the music director, and Matthew Vichlach will provide technical direction.

“The Brave New Workshop has been crafting audacious, hilarious, and thought-provoking original comedy, improv and satire in Minneapolis since 1958 – longer than any other theatre in the U.S. Founded by the legendary Dudley Riggs, the Brave New Workshop is a truly unique place to laugh, learn, think, and play.”

Nov 11, 2016 – Jan 28, 2017

Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

$33 – $38 (with discounts for students, seniors, AAA members, and more)

Bringing a group? Planning a party? Family in Town? Awesome! Give the box office a call for a special offer just for you and your group: 612-332-6620

psycho-suzis-large

8. New Year’s Eve 2016 at Psycho Suzi’s

“The best tropical vacation in Minneapolis that money can buy! Go island hopping at Psycho Suzi’s and say goodbye to 2016.

“This New Year’s Eve, purchase a Polynesian Passport, which is your ticket for tasty appetizers, four island cocktails of your choosing, music provided by DJ Shane Kramer of Transmission Music, unlimited photo booth usage and obligatory champagne toast while we ring in 2017.”

Sat, Dec 31 – Sun, Jan 1, 2017
8:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
2519 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
612-788-9069

Advance tickets:  $56.00 ($58.95 w/service fee)

Beer, Wine, Spirits
Hip Hop & Rap, Pop & Top 40

Minimum Age: 21
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

ladanza

9. LaDanza New Years Eve Ballroom Gala

“Break out your dancing shoes and party attire and join us for a special evening. Dinner, ballroom dancing to live music with the Rod Cerar Orchestra, casino games & prizes, fun DIY photo zone. Come join us!

“Dinner options include Braised Short Ribs, Chicken Inwood, Thai Ginger Glazed Salmon and vegetarian option Butternut Tortellacia. Dessert is optional for a small additional fee. A cash bar will be available all evening.

“We feature live ballroom music including the Waltz, Tango, ChaCha, Foxtrot, Rumba, East & West Coast Swing, Mambo, Samba and Nightclub 2-step.

“For more information and a flyer email: ladanzastillwater@hotmail.com or call Mary Pat Cumming 651-248-0752. LaDanza is a non-profit registered 501(c)(7) social club.”

Sat, Dec 31, 2016 – Sun, Jan 1, 2017
6:00 PM – 12:30 AM

Envision Event Center
484 Inwood Ave N.
Saint Paul, MN 55128

$95/per person 12/02/16 – 12/17/16

Enjoy, and have fun!

 

 

 

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,