The trees are decorated, the treats are abundant, and Martha's famous eggnog has been whipped into a froth. At her annual holiday party in Bedford, New York, revelers of all ages join in the joy.
On a brisk, beautifully gray afternoon in mid-December, Martha is in her element, opening her home for the holidays and entertaining a crowd of more than a hundred. “I’m moving around all the time, welcoming guests, introducing good friends, and making sure everyone has enough to eat and drink,” she says. The party is in constant motion, too: It spans three houses on her property, and everyone is encouraged to explore the farm and make their way through all three spots, each one decked out in a different yuletide theme.
Let It Snow
Down the path, chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s daughter, Anna holds a prized lollipop. She's just come from the weekend home of Martha's daughter, Alexis. It's called the tenant house and today it's kid central, brimming with confections. As people flow in and out, laughter echoes across rooms, chestnuts roast on a crackling fire outside, and carolers sing on the porch. As if on cue, a soft snow begins to fall. “It’s become a holiday tradition, "says Martha. "One I look forward to every year.”
Flights of Fancy
Martha has been collecting artificial Christmas trees of all kinds -- in varying shades, new and old, short and plump, tall and lean, and everything in between (many of which she created for The Home Depot) -- for decades, preferring this approach to cutting down living evergreens. In her bird room, above, she sticks to a green-and-white palette. On a sideboard, a pair of mint-colored trees, dripping with glittery ornaments and crystals, sit in birch-bark-covered vessels topped with cotton-wool “snow.”
The Sweetest of Endings
Vintage trees from Germany have soft-pink goose feathers in place of needles. They're placed on top of countertops in the summerhouse. Dotted with metallic glass balls in subtle hues of copper, bronze, and gold, they match the milk-glass cake stands, which are piled with iced cookies.