If there’s one person ready to spread some major holiday cheer this year, it’s Danielle Moss. Co-founder of The Everygirl – and now the design store, Anecdote – this fundraiser and advocate for children with cancer is especially looking forward to this holiday season. In fact, by September she had already called her landscaper about lighting up the tree in her front yard, because, she explains, “I wanted to be first on the list!”
In the three years since moving into their 1930s home outside Chicago, Moss and her husband have welcomed two daughters, Margot and Kate. But this holiday season is the first one they’re able to truly celebrate at home.
“We haven’t really had a normal experience for Christmas,” Moss explains. In May 2020, the couple’s older daughter, Margot, was diagnosed with Leukemia and will be in treatment until July 2022. With Margot now 3-years-old, and a self-proclaimed Christmas fanatic, Moss is excited to stay home this Christmas and make it not only magical, but memorable for her family. She’s pulling out all the stops—and invites you to do the same. Here are Danielle Moss’s 8 House Rules: Holiday Edition to make this the merriest season ever.
There’s no way to overdo cheer.
Moss has already started channeling her inner Buddy the Elf. “We’re breaking out the Christmas pajamas a little earlier,” she explains. “Thanksgiving night, we’re having Rudolph do a little drive-by, ringing some jingle bells, and dropping off some Christmas pajamas to start the season. I just think it’s so cute.” Her daughter Margot is also a Christmas fanatic. “Since September, she’s already requesting Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson. I get a lot of, ‘Is it Christmas? Will it be Christmas tomorrow?’ She’s super festive.”
Starting the Christmas cheer early, Moss has plans to elevate everyday activities with festivity. “We’ll be doing a lot of the decorating together, and do all of those fun baking, movies, crafts, pajamas—all of it!” There will be many viewings of The Grinch movie, a Christmas Pop playlist on repeat, a bookshelf dedicated to Holiday books, and lots of attempts at baking pies. Oh—and Christmas PJs on always.
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Wool is great for everyone—babies included.
Moss, who has our Numa rug in her living room, said she saw it and immediately loved it. “I loved how soft it was, and knew it would be great for when we were having kids since I was due two months later,” Moss explains. “It was something that felt cozy, warm, and I liked the design. It had that Moroccan feel without being an old vintage shaggy Moroccan rug.”
In her basement, Moss uses our Network Black Woven Wool rug for playtime with the kids. “It’s wool, but it’s very flexible,” she says. “And it’s so soft, great for kids, and doesn’t shed. So it’s a great rug for us to sit and play with the kids. And we sit and play on that rug a lot!”
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Choose seasonal decor that lasts.
Moss believes the best way to bring that Christmas cheer is through greenery—real or fake. “I was very committed to real garland, and it is just not worth it,” Moss says. “Two years ago, I ended up investing in some really good faux garland. And I still will weave in a little bit of real garland, but when it comes to the stairs or anything else besides the mantle it is so much easier. You can put it up whenever you want and it lasts.”
Find Child-Friendly Ornaments.
Moss, who has two girls aged 3 and under, knows how to spread family Christmas cheer without a broken ornament. “The biggest thing—especially with babies and toddlers—is really thinking about the Christmas tree and ornaments,” she says. Moss advises hanging child-friendly, softer ornaments towards the bottom of the tree to save any breakables since kids will try and rip them off.
You’ll never regret a cozy, classic rug.
“A life lesson I learned is to figure out what you want to do with the room before you get a rug, because I’ve had to make some changes based on eventually switching out furniture,” says Moss. “That’s why I chose staples and classic pieces you can move around from room to room if you decide to change things up.”
Moss looks for big, classic rugs and found them at Annie Selke. “I prefer a timeless rug, and Annie Selke has a lot of that,” Moss explains. “It’s a brand I’ve always—or as long as I’ve been someone into design—always loved.” Though she says she has no specific rules for rug placement, she believes in having the rug really fill the space to make a room feel warm, cozy, and homey. Plus, she says, there’s nothing worse than seeing an awkwardly small rug!
Make it Magical!
Moss didn’t grow up with Christmas traditions, but that hasn’t stopped her love of the holiday and want to create those memories. Since daughter Margot was diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2020, “We haven’t really had a normal experience for Christmas,” Moss says. Due to Margot’s treatment and the Covid-19 pandemic, her family stayed in a tight bubble and weren’t able to see anyone or do much. But, that’s not stopping Moss from creating special traditions with her family and making it magical. “As a parent, there’s nothing more exciting than making kids little dreams come true and making things magical for them.”
In creating traditions and magic, Moss has plans to make a real Christmas dinner, do a special breakfast with Christmas pancake molds—and make everything festive and fun. “This is where you’re just making everything a more festive version of itself.”
Indoor/Outdoor Rugs = Swiss Army Knife.
Almost ten years ago, Moss bought our Birmingham Indoor/Outdoor Stripe rug for her home for the purpose that the design could be used anywhere, and it would last. “That runner is actually the same runner on our staircase leading into the basement!” she exclaims.
Knowing her two girls would be up and down the staircase constantly to their playroom, Moss knew an indoor/outdoor rug was the best option. “They’re the best of everything because they’re family-friendly, stain-resistant, soft, and the most budget-friendly runner option.”
Remember to Give Back.
Though the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be really hard on people. Whether they’re alone for the holidays, or struggling with hard times, it’s important to be there for people and give back. “Whatever it is that someone may be struggling with, just check in, say hi, let them know you’re there,” Moss advises.
A tradition Moss has with her family is helping families in need. “We do this throughout the year, but definitely during the holidays, is making sure we help other families who need it,” Moss says. “Normally, we would go out and actually pick up toys. But this year it will be online, but going through and picking out toys to give to kids who are in the hospital, and then to kids whose parents might have trouble.”
Moss recommends checking in with your local children’s hospital and seeing if they have a toy wish list. “I know people don’t think these toys are meaningful, but I can tell you that when a nurse can come in with a little pack of crayons or stickers, something to make them less scary and to bond with a child, that is huge.”
If you’re looking for ways to give back during the holidays, join us in donating to Habitat for Humanity.
Danielle Moss’s Holiday Checklist:
Danielle Moss’s Holiday Checklist:
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