Holiday style: how two editors are spending Christmas Day |

Holiday style: how two editors are spending Christmas Day

Christmas Day is all about spending quality time with family and friends. It’s a day of celebration and always a lot of fun (even if things tend to get a tad chaotic)...

So how to two ex-VOGUE editors spend their Christmas Day? We quizzed our editor Georgie Abay and her close friend Sigourney Cantelo from beauty website Beauticate on everything from what they’re planning on wearing to how they’re decorating their tabletop (hint: it involves a Seed Heritage embroidered peasant dress). We also asked their children – Arabella and Max – what they think of Christmas. Oh and if you’re after fabulous gift inspiration for everyone from the stylish mother to child, you can shop the story below (hello watermelon bongo drums). Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | Sigourney’s hair and makeup: Jessica Diez |  Go to

Georgie Abay, founder of The Grace Tales and GRACE magazine, mother to Arabella and Lottie

How are you spending Christmas day?

In Sydney with my family. If the weather is nice, we try and go for a swim first thing in the morning with the girls. Then we will see my Dad and that side of the family before we head to my mother’s house. We stay here for the rest of the day and usually end up watching the movie Love Actually again. It’s such a feel good movie. There’s always lots of chocolate almonds involved (I eat them for breakfast on Christmas), champagne, prawns, turkey and more. We’re also having my Dad’s side of the family over for Christmas Eve dinner. Luckily my husband is a great cook and takes care of the food!

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

I’m too busy deciding on what to get the girls to think about it (how amazing are these toys?). A gorgeous embroidered smock or a new pom pom basket bag would be nice. Some Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses or anything from Emilia Wickstead.

How do you decorate the tabletop?

My starting point is always a beautiful tablecloth. Often I’ll go for white linen but lately I’ve been loving print. My dear friend Georgia Macmillan prints her beautiful watercolour artworks onto linen – I love her tablecloths and they also make great gifts. Next are some fun Christmas crackers. Papier D’Amour has a great selection – how cute are these flamingo bon bons? Then onto the flowers – Christmas bush, holly – I love anything festive. I always have a lot of fun doing our Christmas table.

What’s on the menu?

More to the point – what’s not on the menu? Like a lot of people, we tend to eat a lot on Christmas Day! Kir Royale cocktails, prawns and oysters to start then we have turkey, ham and roast vegetables. Given how hot it usually is, we also have some fresh salads on the table. Desert is always Christmas pudding and custard. Oh and more chocolate almonds and champagne!

What will you wear?

If Arabella’s gingham smock came in my size, I’d wear that (is it ok to be jealous of your four year old’s wardrobe?). I love all of Seed’s embroidered smock tops and dresses – so easy and effortless. They’ve totally nailed holiday dressing. On Christmas Day, I’ll probably start in the day in a white lace dress then change into a relaxed smock. I’ll also wear some summery sandals.

What are your memories of Christmas as a child?

I have so many happy memories of Christmas as a child. The sound of cicadas in the garden, spending hours splashing around our pool, the beautiful summer light as the sun set, standing on our deck looking at the sky searching for Santa (one time we were convinced we’d seen him). We’d always leave food out for Santa and his reindeers. Beer, cookies, milk, carrots. In the morning, I’d discover that they had been half eaten – it was so exciting. The smell of our fresh Christmas tree. In the lead up to Christmas, we’d always go to our local park for ‘carols by candlelight’ with our friends who lived in the area. As a child, Christmas is so magical. Your parents are the ones running around doing everything while you just get to be a kid and soak up the magic. Now that our girls are a little older, we’re really getting into the spirit of Christmas again.

SHOP: Georgie wears Seed Heritage dress, $159.95. Arabella wears Seed Heritage shorts, $39.95, and Seed Heritage top, $39.95. Lottie wears Seed Heritage dress, $49.95 Toys from a selection here 

SHOP: Georgie wears Seed Heritage dress, $159.95. Arabella wears Seed Heritage shorts, $39.95, and Seed Heritage top, $39.95. Lottie wears Seed Heritage dress, $49.95 Toys from a selection here 

Christmas with Arabella Abay, 4

What would you like most for Christmas?

A unicorn. And Minnie Mouse. My friend Milly likes Minnie Mouse too.

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

Going to see Santa and telling him I want a unicorn.

What’s your favourite toy?

My drums and my baby. My baby cries sometimes and I have to put her on the potty.

What do you think of Max?

He’s funny and makes me laugh. He’s silly and chases me.

What do you love about Lottie?

She’s my sister and she sleeps in my room. She’s very naughty sometimes.

Where would you like to go most?

To Santa’s house. And to Nanny’s house.

What is Christmas about?

Santa making presents for little children everywhere. We went and saw some bears making presents as well.

SHOP: Georgie wears Seed Heritage dress, $129.95. Arabella wears Seed Heritage top, $44.95. Seed Heritage basket (available in store)

Christmas with Sigourney Cantelo, founder of Beauticate and mother to Lulu and Max

How are you spending Christmas day?

With my beautiful family – it’s my daughter Lulu’s first Christmas and Max is four and a half and has been excited for weeks. We might sleep over at my parents in law’s house on Christmas Eve and open presents together and then head to my Dad’s place for lunch. If we have time on New Years Eve or Boxing Day, some champagne and ham with close friends!

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

A Solid & Striped gingham bikini – I love the Poppy Delevingne collaboration. And I’m also coveting a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. I might have to save up and treat myself next Christmas! I always love summer sandals, lace dresses, basket bags and fine gold necklaces – anything summery really.

How do you decorate the tabletop?

A linen tablecloth, big boughs of holly spraypainted with gold spray paint and lots of (unscented) candles. Last year I made up little beauty bonbonieries of Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams at every place setting.

What’s on the menu?

I’m pretty traditional and even when it’s hot I love a bit of turkey and ham. When else can you do the full roast dinner with cranberry sauce? My step mum has some special coins passed down through the family that predict the year you’ll have and they hide in Christmas Pudding, I love those traditions.

What will you wear?

Again – I love a theme! So I often wear a red or white dress in linen or cotton. Something fresh and light as it’s usually pretty warm. Flat gold or beaded sandals dress it up and maybe a fun tassled earring.

SHOP: Max wears Seed Heritage T-shirt, $24.95 and shorts, $39.95. Sigourney wears Seed Heritage dress, $289.95. Shop boy gifts here

Christmas with Max Cantelo, 4

What would you like most for Christmas?

A spiderman that can transform into a Christmas car. With a joker inside it. And an ant farm. A rocket that flies up into the air and you step on the spring and it flies up.

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

Ah…. A Spiderman that can turn into a bumble bee and it can transform into a Lego bumblebee.

What’s your favourite toy?

A batmanbile that comes with batman and the joker and the batman and the joker house.

What do you think of Arabella?

I love Arabella – I’d love to have a party with Arabella with cake and Spiderman is going to come and Elsa is going to come and Batman and Joker and Pepper Pig. I like play hide and seek with Arabella and I like to climb up in the tree with Arabella and go to the park with Arabella and that’s all. I love Lottie and I like to see Lottie.

Why do you love Lulu?

I love Lulu being cute. She is just so cute. She has a chubby face. Look at her!

What do you love most about Georgie?

She gives me cool stuff and she gives me yoghurt.

Where would you like to go most?

To the zoo to see a monkey and platypus. I would also like to go to America because I’d like to see Captain America.

What is Christmas about?


SHOP: Sigourney wears Seed Heritage dress, $289.95. Lulu wears Seed Heritage romper, $49.95