As that festive time of year grows nearer, the weather grows colder, the fires begin to flicker in their hearths, and the schedules of our lives shift to fit the festivities of the winter season. The winter holiday season was always special for Princess Grace, who grew up celebrating Christmas in Philadelphia, and invited her future husband, Prince Rainier, to celebrate with her family before the announcement of their engagement in 1956.
Christmas was of great importance to Grace, who narrated the television special The Nativity in 1981, on the grounds of the Vatican itself. It was also a way to bring her own family together. Instead of appointing staff to dress the Christmas tree inside the Palace, she insisted on having her family decorate it together each year.
The Prince and Princess were often photographed on December shopping trips in London to purchase gifts for their children. A number of these traditions marked the season during her life in Monaco, during which she held countless celebrations to enrich her community.
If you’re searching for more ways to celebrate this holiday season, take a cue from Grace Kelly herself and begin with the list below:
1. Support the Arts
Grace always loved dance, and took both classical and modern classes as a child before opening the Princess Grace Ballet Academy in Monte Carlo in 1975. While your yearly in-person or online Nutcracker performance may or may not go ahead as planned this year, there are plenty of ways to appreciate the arts this season.
This December, the Ballets de Monte Carlo, established in Grace’s memory, has planned multiple performances to fit the bill for holiday whimsy, such as Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. If you can’t catch these in person, you can always stream videos from the company’s official YouTube channel to catch pieces of the magic. The American Ballet Theatre, home to Princess Grace Award winners Isabella Boylston and Catherine Hurlin, has a wonderful curriculum of digital programs for its patrons. Check to see if your local ballet company has any safe activities, videos, and programs to support this season.
2. Give Back to Your Community
The following video, entitled "The Christmas Tree at the Prince's Palace in Monaco," depicts a holiday celebration at the Palace hosted by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
Princess Grace was a lifelong supporter of charity work and community service; her affiliations with various organizations and causes remained unyielding over the years. Upon her marriage, she began to hold annual Christmas celebrations at the Prince's Palace of Monaco, complete with snacks and cartoons, hosting orphaned children and personally gifting each with presents each year.
To invoke her charitable spirit, try connecting with your local children’s organization or charity. You can donate gifts, write letters, and raise funds to make the holidays unforgettable for the most vulnerable of our population. Grace was also linked to Monaco’s Red Cross, which became one of the world’s most charitable branches after her patronage. The Red Cross hosts many special programs and initiatives worldwide to assist communities during the holiday season, which can be found on their website.
3. Give Gracefully
The holidays are a time often a time for presenting our loved ones with gifts - and what better than to show your appreciation but a Grace Kelly-inspired present? From a bespoke pearl bracelet to a book whose enthralling plot surrounds the wedding dress of Grace herself, there’s a range of ideas to make sure your gift is truly special. Here are a few Grace Kelly inspired choices for this Holiday season.
Pearl Dreamer Cuff by Apples & Figs
The Kelly Bag by Hermès,
Imogen | Merino Wool Glove by Cornelia James
The Grace Kelly Dress: A Novel by Brenda Janowitz
3. Cherish Your Loved Ones
This year and every year, it is important to show the ones we love we care about them. Princess Grace grew up in a tight-knit family, and made sure to pass a deep sense of love and tradition on to her children. Whether it be by serving your community or creating new memories with family, don’t forget to spend time with those who matter the most this holiday season.
Credits: Gracie-Bird via Tumblr, Archives of the Princely Palace of Monaco, the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco, Howell Conant, ABT, Ballets de Monte Carlo, Daniel Simon/Getty Images