We know the Real Housewives of New Jersey ladies love to go all out for the holidays, but we think it’s safe to say that the real Queen of Christmas decor is Kathy Wakile. While chatting with the cookbook author at the grand opening for R. Home Interior Design Store in Livingston Thursday night, Kathy revealed to me her holiday decorating secrets (including three trees!) and what decadent desserts are on the menu for her annual Christmas Eve soiree.
The mom-of-two — daughter Victoria Wakile and son Joseph Wakile — tells me she loves decorating for the holidays and this year has not one, not two, but three Christmas trees in her gorgeous new Franklin Lakes home.
“I like every room to have a little touch. I have the one tree that’s a traditional red and white with feathers. I like to bring in earth elements too so I have a lot of birds and natural elements like flowers,” she tells me. “Then I have another one that’s attached to my dining room entrance foyer, it’s more blues and silvers and more birds. It’s an icicle look.”
Kathy tells me her trees are Balsam Hill, which is a company that makes extremely realistic looking artificial trees up to 30 feet tall!
“They are really great and easy to assemble. I don’t have to worry about stringing lights and they just connect by the trunk,” she says. “They are just beautiful. They look real. They even have like a swag, a hang that makes them look really real.”
Kathy and her husband Rich Wakile will be hosting Christmas Eve this year, as they’ve been doing every year for the past 25 years. “Christmas Eve has always been a big deal with my husband’s family and mine. We do the traditional feast of the seven fishes, then we also, since my husband is Lebanese, we have Lebanese favorites,” she tells me. “We incorporate the Italian tradition and the Lebanese tradition.”
The 51-year-old, who tells me she is working on her second cookbook, of course will be making plenty of desserts. On the menu this year will be cannoli, biscotti, cheesecake and cream puffs. “Things that are easy cause there’s so much food and things that carry home well because I always send my guests home with trays.”
Kathy has an open door policy when it comes to the holidays. “My family comes, and his family, friends, anyone who doesn’t have any plans. Its kind of an open house,” she says. “Last year we moved in December 23rd and December 24th we had 80 people and they didn’t leave til 5 in the morning. It was great and I’m hoping for the same thing this year.”
While she goes all out for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day is a different story. She and her family spend the day in their pajamas, cleaning up and eating leftovers by the fire.
The PalaBingoUSA host tells me she doesn’t have a big holiday wish list this year. All she really wants is health, happiness, and an apple watch (Rich take note!) “It’s the same every year. I just want the health and well being of my family. I’m very blessed and thats all I really want.”
But when it comes to giving gifts, well that’s a different story. Kathy tells me she does a little bit of shopping online and a little bit in store.
“My son just started working with a new company, Fancy.com, and it’s a great site so I get some things from there, and I do Amazon,” she says. “I love Robin’s Closet Boutique of course. For my daughter it’s the perfect spot. I do the malls of course. Riverside Square is my favorite, and I like Short Hills too.”
I know we aren’t the only ones who can’t wait to see photos from Kathy’s fabulous festivities!