Christmas Around the World: Southern California

There’s a lot of pressure commerically and socially to keep up appearances when it comes to Christmas. But here’s the thing. There are no rules. In this special interview series I ask some favourite Instagrammers around the world how they celebrate the holiday.

Tamera Beardsley, fashion accessory designer, is determined to squeeze every last possible drop of joy from the Festive Season. Come with me to Southern California where Tamera reveals her infectious passion for all things Christmassy.

Tamera Beardsley, Southern California

Tamera Beardsley is a fashion accessory designer living in sunny Southern California. Tamera blogs with the hope of inspiring women to style their lives … with love and joy! “Making My Life My Art … One Day at a Time!” @tamerabeardsley

Jumping straight in… I asked Tamera

Decorations up from 1st December, complete with flashing reindeer on the roof, or a last minute discreet sprig of holly? Christmas for us starts as soon as Thanksgiving is done. For me it’s more of an entire Season, rather than just the day itself.  Decorating inside and out is a passion of mine. I plan my holiday schemes in November and always trying to vary from year to year. Many years I think I will do a simple decor, but it always seems to grow … because I really do get so much joy with the process!

Gift giving, ‘it’s the thought that counts’ or ‘any excuse to splurge’? I always design my gift wrap to coordinate with the decor of the year.  My first leaning to becoming a designer was arranging and rearranging presents under my parents’ tree when I was a little girl.

Christmas at home in Southern California. L to R: Tamera’s natural table decorations; exquisitely wrapped gifts under the tree. Photos courtesy Tamera Beardsley Designs.

A festive lunch with all the family or a late romantic supper for two? This year with my parents both gone, we will be celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our wonderful daughter, her husband and my brother. Christmas Eve we will most likely follow our usual tradition of a sit-down dinner in our beautifully decorated home. All the candles will be lit and, depending on the weather outside, a fire in the fireplace, and Christmas music playing. Afterwards, hopefully this year … a church service.

L to R: an abundance of oranges and lemons feature in the decorations, this is California after all!; gorgeous festive glassware. Photos courtesy Tamera Beardsley Designs.

Dressing up. A glittery dress – it’s Christmas after all – or your favourite Santa jumper? Holiday dressing is also a passion of mine. Since we celebrate the season for almost a month, I start working on my holiday ensembles sometime in October. Again, because the process brings me joy starting early allows me the time to take inventory of what I already have. I can then make a list of a couple of things I want to add to my wardrobe … to make each year’s ensembles feel fresh and exciting to wear!

“Here in Southern California, our family Christmas traditions have changed through the years, as our family has changed. But one thing is constant, the gusto with which my husband and I celebrate the Season! Decades ago, my sister died before Christmas and my parents chose not to have Christmas that year. They were deep in their heartbreaking grief, but I decided that year, I would always celebrate Christmas to the very best of my ability as long as I was able.”

Tamera Beardsley, fashion accessory designer.

Favourite festive film or TV special? Living here in Southern California our December weather is usually mild. So many of our traditions involve walking outside looking at the lights, especially in the different local harbors. Some nights are spent watching our treasured Christmas movies. Our holiday season always starts on Thanksgiving with the Macy’s Parade, followed by Miracle on 34th Street.

L to R: Paperwhites and candles, table decoration; festive snacks. Photos courtesy Tamera Beardsley Designs.

Has the pandemic changed how you will be celebrating the festive season, and if so, how? The pandemic really hasn’t changed any of our traditions but this year we will be missing our son and his family. They aren’t able to travel because of his wife’s pregnancy. But if there was ever a joyful reason to miss coming home for Christmas, that is certainly a very special reason. I know I will still have a big hole in my heart, missing my parents …but I know too I want to leave a legacy of Christmas Love and Celebration. I will intentionally look for, and spread, all the joy I can find! Loving those that can be with us this year.

A cosy Merry Christmas sofa. Photo courtesy Tamera Beardsley Designs

“One thing I know for sure, I will be savoring the season … to the best of my ability. Wrapping my heart with the beautiful memories of the past … and still investing wholeheartedly in the present.”

On Christmas Day I think we will once again change-up our tradition with a boat ride in the harbor. We did that last year and it was a lovely way to take in the day. We packed champagne and a special picnic, and enjoyed Christmas carols. It was quite different than years before. But still beautiful in a brand new way.

All photos courtesy Tamera Beardsley.

Discover Tamera Beardsley’s beautiful online accessory shop at Follow Tamera on Instagram @tamerabeardsley.

Next week I chat to Bård Gram Økland, an Archaeologist and museum curator from Norway. Catch up with more festive interviews below. Share your own traditions and seasonal photos on Twitter and Instagram #christmasaroundtheworld and link up with a tag @hashtagtravelin. And if you enjoyed this blog feature please ‘Like’ below so I know you’re out there!

However you choose to spend the Holiday Season, I wish you peace and joy.

The Ancestral Nomad family geneaology.

Discover more in the Christmas Around the World series… read on

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