This Must-See Tree Is Decorated With Hand-Painted Chili Peppers

tree decorated with hand-painted chili peppers
Photography by Caroline Smith

The memories spill into the den, where the couple’s Christmas tree is laden with ornaments commemorating favorite trips and special occasions. “Every one of the ornaments has some meaning behind it,” she says. She notes that she and Scott enjoy unpacking mementos from places like Los Angeles, California, and islands in the Caribbean. “You remember the things that happened on a specific trip when you bought that certain ornament,” she adds.

But some trips are closer to the heart than others. “The Southwest is very special to us,” Christina says, noting the tree that is decorated entirely with hand-painted chili peppers and ornaments from their favorite Christmas shops in New Mexico. “It’s one of the very first places that we traveled together, and we usually go twice a year.”

dining room with Christmas tree centerpiece
Photography by Caroline Smith

In the dining room beyond, a table ready for family and friends is the highlight of the space, according to Christina. Joined with mercury-glass votives, glittering bottle brush trees are part of a collection that her mother helped spark. “She owns an antique store, so she started giving them to me when I found an interest in bottle brush trees some years ago,” Christina says.

For Christina and Scott, the holidays are all about taking time away from their hectic lives, remembering good times, and creating new memories with one another and with loved ones.  “We always have Christmas at our house,” Christina says. “Both Scott and I are only children, so we don’t have brothers and sisters to share our parents with. So, everybody comes here for Christmas, and I think that’s become a tradition for us.”