Celebrate holiday preparations this season by incorporating plaids, checks, and MacKenzie-Childs‘ festive hot chocolate mugs into your Christmas home decor. Join me on the porch as we begin decorating for the holidays at our home in Vermont with MacKenzie-Childs.

Because this year, it’s all about plaids, tartans, and checks.

Red and Black Plaids and Checks and a Dog

What are plaids? Plaids generally feature color bands or stripes that intersect one another, forming a particular shape. You can find plaids that are part of a fabric weave or printed directly onto fabric.

Did you know that there are 8 different types of plaids? Yes!

The tartan, gingham, check or checkered Madras, windowpane, Houndstooth, glen plaid, or the Prince of Wales check, and the Tattersall patterns.

This Christmas season, we’ll be embracing MacKenzie-Childs‘ tartans, plaids, and checks.

Christmas With MacKenzie-Childs

It’s a magical time of the year, and MacKenzie-Childs is here to make it your most colorful holiday yet.

From traditional reds and greens to bright pinks and shimmering silver and gold, welcome your guests with beautiful decor this season.

Whether you’re just starting your collection or adding new pieces to your current collection, you’ll find several incredible items you won’t want to pass up.

MacKenzie-Childs Christmas Hot Chocolate Mugs

*In full disclosure, I am delighted to be a home decor ambassador for MacKenzie-Childs, but all thoughts and opinions in today’s posts are my own.

Christmas Preparations on the Porch

I want to welcome you on our porch today for a gathering of Christmas preparations and hot chocolate. We’ll pick some fresh greenery, dig out the vintage ski lodge decorations, and get cozy with blankets, sheepskins, and the cutest little hot chocolate mugs.

Won’t you join me?

Celebrate Holiday Preparations With Christmas Plaids, Checks, and Hot Chocolate Mugs

Have a seat, grab a “Courtly Check” hot chocolate mug, and let me pour you a cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, and a gingerbread cookie to help warm you up.

Well, because it’s chilly in Vermont right now…

Hot Chocolate Mugs and Christmas Plaids



Experience the season’s magic and use this one-time code, MERRY20, for 20% off MacKenzie-Childs December 3-9, 2023! Mark your calendar and set your alarm!

Tartastic Flower Buckets

We begin today with this set of three metal flower buckets decorated with decaled red tartan and MacKenzie-Childs‘ distinctive logo plate, which is the perfect traditional touch for the holidays, especially when filled with fresh greenery picked from our very own backyard.

Red Flower Tin with Evergreens in Tray with Hot Chocolate Mug

What is the difference between plaids, tartans, and checks? The word plaid describes almost any criss-cross pattern. Within the broad heading of plaids, tartans should always have a pattern with a recognized name or history and are usually irregular patterns like these MacKenzie-Childs‘ holiday buckets. Tartan is very classic and traditional in its style. Check patterns are also plaids but usually have a regular pattern. Also, while most tartans have multiple shades, checks are typically only two colors. Make sense?

Red Tartan Plaids Flower Christmas Buckets

Set of 2 Tartastic Serving Trays

Next, this set of two serving trays, decorated with decaled red tartan and MacKenzie-Childs’ distinctive logo plate, is the perfect traditional touch for the holidays.

From the porch to the table, these terrific colorful trays are sure to impress this holiday season.

Beautiful tartan plaids paired with the “Courtly Check” teapot and hot chocolate mugs are Christmas season-ready.

Plaid Tray with Courtly Check Pot and Mug

You may also enjoy the Christmas Buggies & Go Karts Decoration Ideas: Get Creative & Enjoy The Ride! post.

Ella is touting her favorite holiday plaid scarf today, too, handed down to her by my father…

Berneses Mountain Dog with Hot Chocolate

What do you think, Ella?

“The hot chocolate mugs are my favorite and certainly holiday magic…”

Christmas Preparation Bloopers with Ella

Courtly Check Tea Party Set

Today’s Christmas preparation gathering is furnished with MacKenzie-Childs‘ popular “Courtley Check Tea Party Set.” I used the set for my hot chocolate on our porch to indulge and warm up while collecting evergreens during our Christmas preparations.

Courtly Check Hot Chocolate Mugs

And I’m wearing a thrifted vintage ski sweater with reds and blacks to match with this Christmas plaids affair.

The “Courtly Check” black and white pattern matches brilliantly with the tartan plaids.

Courtly Check Tea Set with Tartan Plaids

You may also enjoy the Front Porch Holiday Decorating Ideas with Classic New England Charm post.

24 Hot Chocolate Mugs Recipes

Do you love hot chocolate?

I rounded up 24 hot chocolate mugs recipes for you to enjoy during your own Christmas preparations with plaids, tartans, and checks this holiday and winter season.

Pin and save these recipes to your favorite Pinterest board for later!

24 Hot Chocolate Recipes You Need to Try

Sterling Check Appetizer Plates

MacKenzie-Childs‘ “Sterling Check” appetizer plates are also the cutest pairing with the tartan plaids and holiday checks.

You may see more of the “Silver Check” plaids in the posts Summer Desserts with MacKenzie-Childs Check Designs and Fall & Halloween DIY Grazing Table with MacKenzie-Childs.

Hot Chocolate in Plaid Tray with Cookies

Courtly Check Kitchen Canister – Medium

The adorable “Courtly Check” glass kitchen canister is a tease on the tartan plaids.

Filled with devilish Biscotti cookies, accompanied by hot chocolate in the most darling hot chocolate mugs. Did I mention how much I love these hot chocolate mugs…

Do you like the silver spoons? Learn why they are so special in the Order of the Eastern Star Amidst This Vintage Market Haul post.

Glass Tartan Plaid Tree Ornaments

And can we talk about this set of six glass tartan plaid tree ornaments? Wow, are they amazing! A set of six hand-painted spheres in red and green tartan plaids accented with black and white patterns. Think of these as extraordinary basics that will make your tree even more delightful.

Or accent a Christmas garland on your mantel, door, or table centerpiece with these oversized ball ornaments.

Tartan Plaid Christmas Ornament

Tartastic Table Runner

Decorate your tables this holiday season with MacKenzie-Childs‘ Tartastic Table Runner, combining plaids, tartans, and checks all in one fabulous holiday piece.

Tartan Plaids, Courtly Checks, and plaids Table Runner and Christmas Preparations

Check out the Wood Pellet Outdoor Heater: Why Big Timber Stove post if you are looking for something to warm up around this winter!

Christmas MacKenzie-Childs with Evergreens



Experience the season’s magic and use this one-time code, MERRY20, for 20% off MacKenzie-Childs December 3-9, 2023! Mark your calendar and set your alarm!

Tabletop Rock Fire Pit

I’ve often shared this tabletop rock fire pit, but we enjoy it so much that it’s worth sharing it with you again.

I found this specific rock fire pit at a crafts fair in Maine last fall. It’s a one-of-a-kind; however, you can find similar ones on Amazon and other online stores too.

You may see more in the 7 Ways to Add Autumn Spirit to Your Front Porch this Fall post, too.

Rock Tabletop Fire Pit

I love the ambiance that this tabletop fire pit adds to our porch. It’s super heavy and easy to light and put out with the Tree-Free Fire inserts, also available from Amazon. And you can use them as a stand-alone without a tabletop fire pit. Carry them to the beach, camping, or plop them in the snow and simply light.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure to check out our Home in Coastal Maine, too, where we spend summers and weekends when we are craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

Celebrate Holiday Preparation With Christmas Plaids, Checks, and Hot Chocolate Mugs

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  1. Susan Mogensen says:

    Love this blog on checks, tartans and plaids! It’s getting me in the Christmas spirit…YAY!
    Black check mugs are my favorite and a perfect size for HOT chocolate.

    1. Thanks Susan I love these mugs. We use them in the hot tub😉

  2. Hi Ann! Such a fun post with great photos1. I think I love the mix plaid runner most of all!

  3. Love your posts and especially your shopping ones. But today you helped me with the Tree Free burners, just ordered one. Your posts are always so uplifting. Thanks

    1. Thank you so much Heather. I have my tree free fire going right now on the porch on this beautiful Sunday day🔥🔥

  4. Kathy Munday says:

    What a beautiful, warm and cozy blog!! I loved every comment and pic! I failed to see any bloopers with Ella😂 She is really eyeing that cookie in the hot chocolate mug!😂😂❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️. Thank you for your inspiration Ann. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year “

    1. Aww thank you Kathy, you are just the sweetest. Ella’s drooling all over the place for that hot chocolate, but she’s still a little rock star, I agree, haha. Happy holidays Kathy!

    1. What a sweet thing to say, thank you Cheryl.