A Special Christmas Giveaway from AKT Designs

Not too long after we moved to Birmingham – way back in ye olden days of 2000 – I met my friend Alison. It would take me thousands of words to explain what she and her sweet parents (her daddy used to be my boss; her mama is my Bible study leader) have meant to me over the last 11 1/2 years, so just suffice it to say that I can’t talk about their family for very long without fighting back tears. I will never, ever forget the countless ways Alison and her precious mama welcomed me to this city; their friendship is one reason why Birmingham immediately felt like home to me.

You may be picking up on the fact that I just love them to pieces.

A few years ago Alison started her own floral design business, and I am consistently blown away by her work. She’s so creative, so deliberate, so thoughtful in everything that she does, and she has such a gift for taking ordinary objects and using them in surprising, extraordinary ways. Lately she’s been doing lots of weddings in and around Birmingham, and during the holidays she branches out (is that a bad pun? I do apologize) and makes the prettiest arrangements for mailboxes (and front doors! and mantels! and dining room tables!) that you ever did see. As a matter of fact, last year I loved the arrangement on our mailbox so much that I left it up until ’bout near February.


I’m only half-kidding.

Because just look at how pretty these are.

In the interest of spreading a little Christmas cheer, Alison has graciously agreed to give away one of her original designs for a lucky blog reader’s mailbox. Obviously she can’t travel to, you know, WISCONSIN, but she’s definitely willing to travel within a 60-mile radius of Birmingham in order to deliver the winner’s prize. So let’s say that our giveaway borders are Cullman to the north, Tuscaloosa to the west, Montgomery to the south, and Oxford to the east. If you live within that great big circle, you’re good to go giveaway-wise.

(By the way, I don’t have any idea how many Birmingham-area people read my blog, but in my head it’s somewhere around seven.)

(Given that, I think the odds for winning this particular giveaway are mighty strong indeed.)

(Also: if you don’t live in this area but would love to try to win the giveaway for a friend or relative who does live here, that is totally fine with me. Just please make sure that the person lives within a 60-mile radius of the ‘Ham.)

(And if your house doesn’t have a curbside mailbox, Alison will make an arrangement for your front door. Which is pretty sassy if you ask me.)

If you’d like to win one of Alison’s custom greenery designs for your (or a friend’s) Christmas mailbox, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post that answers the following question: what are your favorite colors to use when you decorate for the holidays? Are you a traditionalist who likes red and green? Do you throw a little turquoise or hot pink in the mix? Maybe a hint of lime green? Or are you more of a metallics girl?

I’ll leave the comments open until Monday, December 5 at noon central time, at which point I’ll draw for a winner using random.org. I’ll notify the winner via email, and if that person doesn’t respond within 72 hours, I’ll draw for another winner.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Just so you know: this is not a sponsored post. Nobody gave me anything free in exchange for this post. Unless you count all those times that Alison and/or her mama hosted Bunco back in 2001 and we had some really good snacks. The end.

This giveaway is now closed.

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  1. I may not live in the area, but I know a little someone who does that would probably love to receive this :) So, color me in!

  2. First of all, I love, love these floral creations. Secondly, while I don’t live in Wisconsin, I am just a stone’s throw away in MIchigan. Thereby disqualifying me for the giveaway. Alas, I have a brother and he has a wife who l think would love these creations as well who live in Montgomery! All of that to say, I am totally a traditional Christmas decorator. Green,red, gold…glorious!
    Happy Thursday!

  3. What if we paid for shipping if we won? Just a thought. They are gorgeous.

  4. Our new neighbors would love us if we hung one of these up on our new Starkville house! I could drive to Tuscaloosa or somewhere closer if Starkville is technically outside the radius.

  5. I know a single working mom of a teenage girl (needless to say she’s exhausted) who lives smack dab in Birmingham. She also takes care of her own mom. I’m sure a door or mailbox arrangement would give her some holiday cheer! Thanks for the opportunity to enter on her behalf! And as far as your color question, it’s funny how that changes for me as the years go by. I was all for deep, deep greens and dark, dark reds for a long phase – now I’m kind of liking the brighter shades of green and the bolder shades of red. Merry Christmas!

  6. I don’t live in the area but would love to win to donate to a certain lady who brings smiles to my life, gives me many ideas, reminds me to keep on having faith, and I could go on and on and on……. And if by chance she would already have ordered one I would donate to a charity involving children.

  7. Count me in…my decorations come in all colors. Our stockings are purple and red. Other than that its whatever someone has given me :)

  8. Amy Childs says:

    We are a military family that recently moved to south Mississippi. We have family in B’ham and have visited several times…including the Mom Conference. This move was hard as we left many friends in San Antonio! Would be fun to get something beautiful! Thanks for the effort you put in on this blog!

  9. Red, Red, and Red. I would love to throw in some pink, but it doesn’t really work with all boys in the house.

  10. Traditional – red and green with white lights on the tree. Some years I put a tree in our girls room with colored lights and decorations.

    On a side note – saw you at Chuy’s last night! I looked up just as you had walked by, lucky for you or I would have had to jump up and hug you! Don’t be scared :)

  11. I’m a traditionalist with a side of preschool crafty / snowman footprinty / handprint ornament on construction papery kind of decorator. :)
    And even tho I’m in Bham, I would SO give this to my mama in Prattville. She would LOVE IT.

  12. I live here!! I’d love one of those for my mailbox. I made a mailbox bow last year at a MOPS meeting craft time and let’s just say, it was sad, sad, sad. Crafty, I’m not! Anyway, I’ve tried lots of different color schemes over the years including purple and gold, and blue and silver, but I always come back to red and silver. It’s classic with a bit of sparkle thrown in for fun :)

  13. Ooooooooh. Pick me! Pick me! I LOVE these and definitely need something for my mailbox. I used to put a lime green tinsel garland around my door and decorate it mightily with my whimsical Raz ornaments. I say used to because we usually go out of town for Christmas and the thought that some Scrooge could steal it while we’re gone scared me into making it an inside mantle garland. Sure, I get to enjoy it more, but my neighbors are out of luck. A precious mailbox ornamentation is just the thing I need!

    The traditional Christmas colors and lime green are my favorites! Thanks Allison and Sophie!

    • Forgot to mention — I actually live in the area! Moody to be exact but would pick it up from Allison without hesitation!!!

  14. GORGEOUS!! I don’t live in Bham, but my inlaws do! How great a daughter in law would I be if I won!?

    I typically decorate with whites and different shades of silvers…. but I decided that my 2 and 4 year old should have the main Christmas tree be the FUN Christmas tree, so now it’s purples, pinks, greens, turqs, etc…. AND since the main tree is in the family room, it’s changed my color scheme just a tad :)

  15. Jennifer A. Tucker says:

    I love the traditional red and green! I think it just reminds me of my childhood when my mother always decorated the tree with us kids in mind. She would put wooden toy ornaments on there and colored lights. Back then she didn’t have much money to use for decorating so she would always use the same ornaments, but we always thought the toy ornaments were so special each time she brought them out.

  16. I am a traditionalist–red and green all the way–but mostly red! (Tuscaloosa area)

  17. Aw man! I live in Wisconsin! It’s just as well because that beautiful masterpiece would be BURIED in snow soon and I wouldn’t be able to pry it off the mailbox until, say, June? Have fun!

  18. I HAVE to enter this because I am generally the laughing stock of my cul de sac when it comes to home decor. I may string a few things around on the inside, but I haven’t got anything happening outside. Once, my neighbors “punked” us by putting a blow-up Santa and a bunch of mechanical reindeer in the front yard. So if I actually got something pretty to put on my mailbox? Well, WIN FOR ME.

    I like shiny stuff with woodsy stuff. I tend to decorate with naked tree branches. Which could explain why I never decorate outside… because that stuff is already out there.

  19. I LOVE red and green outside… with a little bit of whimsy! Win or not, she does beautiful work!

  20. Hey, Sophie,

    I’m a long time lurker on your blog. I read it every single day. Love it.
    I like the traditional colors for Christmas, but lime green and red are fast becoming a favorite of mine. I usually have all these bright ideas for Christmas decorating and then end up just throwing up the tree and letting the kids put some ornaments on it. I am happy that now one of the kids is tall enough that all of the decorations aren’t just at the bottom of the tree anymore. :)
    Hope your holiday season is spectacular!

  21. I live right here in Birmingham! Lately I’ve liked the combination of limey green and red, but I’m always changing up! Those arrangements are beautiful!!

  22. Janice White says:

    I fall into the “traditionalist” primarily because of home decor. So, instead of RED, my decor is more in the Redish/Burgundy tones. I throw in a lot of Gold because that just sparkles with the little white lights!!! My favorite tradition we have done in the family, is buying a unique ornament for each child. They each have a theme, so, I look all year long to find a good one….when we decorate the tree, I wrap up each ornament and they still get excited about opening theirs. I always include the year written with a sharpee!!!

  23. I love any color for Christmas. We always decorate our main tree in a theme, last year it was blue and white. We also have an Auburn tree that I use all orange lights! I live right outside Birmingham and would love to win this. Her creations are beautiful!

  24. I live in the north Shelby county :o) and would love to win a beautiful arrangement from Alison! My husband and I are traditionalists….I cannot handle blue, lime green, pink or purple trying to masquerade as Christmas colors. So, heavy on the red, green, gold and silver, please :)

  25. Ahhh! These are gorgeous! I love metallics and sparkly golds, bronzes, coppers, silvers. Shiny things! It would really liven up our dark little entry way in our building. :)

  26. ooooo! how pretty are those!! i do hope i win! :)

    I guess I am more traditional with my colors. I love red, gold, green, and white.

  27. Well, I live in New England and therefore am out of the running. But I want to say how pretty they are and if I win I would love it to go to a senior home where it would spread some cheer.

    I love the red and green and if it is plaid all the better.

    Happy Holidays to all!

  28. I’m local and could definitely use some mailbox love. What I put on my mailbox can be summed up in one word. LAME.

    I’m a traditionalist with red and green, but prefer lime green over dark green. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  29. I live in Colorado but a good friend just moved there (you may know them as her hubby, Dennis, is newly on your church staff) and it would be a great gift for her!

    I am pretty traditional, but I painted my front door turquoise not long ago, so I added some great turquoise/teal accents to my front door wreath and it looks FABULOUS! I may end up adding some more funky colors to my decor this year.

  30. Don’t we all have a sweet friend who lives in Birmingham? Well, I certainly do! I just know she would love the sassy polka dots, but in traditional colors. She’s in Homewood, so it would be an easy drive!

  31. Dawn Stephens says:

    What a great idea! I have someone in mind who would be blessed by this arrangement.

  32. I’m pretty traditional w/ my decorating. I love the reds, greens, golds and silvers. What a great giveaway and I live in Trussville!

  33. I am traditional is style but love more burgandy color with a touch gold. I live in Tuscaloosa. My mailbox would be the envy of the cul de sac!

  34. I’m a traditional girl – green, red and gold. And I don’t live in Birmingham, but my sweet Great Aunt Mary does and I’d LOVE to send her some Christmas cheer. She is an inspiration to me – raised a family on her own after her husband died early in their marriage, gracious as the day is long and still sharp as a tack!

  35. Amanda T. says:

    Love your blog, Sophie! You are so funny! I live in B’ham and would love to win! I decorate with red and gold and green each year :)

  36. I love the lime green and red combination making the rounds in recent years! And I’m a local.

  37. I live in Bham! Would love it!

  38. I would love to win a mailbox arrangement. I love to decorate in red and green.

  39. I feel really out of place commenting here, revealing myself as a dude that reads this blog. But, I’m secure in my manhood.

    I’m not much of a decorator, but I really love seeing the blue and gold mixed in with the traditional red and green, especially the blue.

    I work in the ‘Ham and live towards the Gadsden area, and would love to win this, for my wife, of course.

  40. I like the traditional red and green with a little (okay, a lot) of sparkle thrown in! What a fun giveaway!

  41. Purple! I love me some holiday purple.

  42. Canaan Herkamp says:

    Yay! I live in a bland little ole base house on Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery. Our house looks identical to every other house. This sure would make us special! I like red/green traditional stuff generally! Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  43. I mostly decorate with red and green, but last year we had a “blue” Christmas and that was fun too! I would love to win this for my friend, Betsy, who lives in B’ham!!

  44. my favorite colors to use are the traditional red and green with just a splash of gold and silver for some sparkle! :)

  45. I love silver, blue and white for my tree. But I do love to combine red and gold at Christmastime too! And your friend, she is so talented!

  46. Oh my at the pretty! The neighbors would just love me… actually, I think I’d give it to my sweet neighbor who’s been more of a mentor than a neighbor. She was recently diagnosed with two brain tumors — and she is her positive upbeat self. And my fav colors?
    Red, Bronze with a SPLASH of lime green… or whatever I manage to toss at the tree.

  47. Red, gold and purple are my favorite holiday colors. I have a few relatives in the general vicinity, but one I can think of who worked so hard on “Christmas in Dixie for Tornado Survivors.”‘ I bet that a beautiful arrangement would make her smile!

  48. Red and green with silver metallic. SO pretty! And shiny! And sparkly! (And perfect for my friend who lives in Cullman!)

  49. deanna f. says:

    For the last two years I’ve decorated with REDS, GREENS, GOLDS, and BROWNS…mostly anything in those colors that SPARKLE. Because who doesn’t like to look at a Christmas tree with white lights that seems to SPARKLE???

  50. I love to decorate with red and green :) Traditional to the core! I live in Tuscaloosa, so would love to win a sweet decorative arrangement!

  51. We live in Riverchase and would love to have our mailbox decorated. The arrangements are beautiful. I am more of a traditionalist using red and green with some gold and silver mixed in.

  52. Love, love, love this and how beautiful these would be for my home! May your Christmas season be as beautiful and bright as these gorgeous arrangements! God bless you during this season and always! Merry Christmas to you and yours in Jesus!

  53. Oh, and I live in North Shelby county, off Hiway 280 with a Birmingham address. :-)

  54. Michelle H. says:

    I love to decorate with red and green, I love to accent with a bright green too. Red is definitely the most dominate color that I use decorating. Alison’s arrangements are gorgeous!

  55. Melanie Parker says:

    I am more of a traditionalist, but I do love some metallics thrown in for good measure. You know, just to keep it spicy!!!!!

  56. Darlene Shults says:

    Love the pictures! White and lots of green with a touch of red. You DO have a lot of readers!

  57. Oooh, I would love to win this for my mom (who lives in McCalla). I live in Indian Springs Village which is inside the radius, but we are not able to decorate this year because of our whole house renovation. Having two PODS in the front yard is putting a crimp on the holiday decorations although I have threatened to put a wreath or bow on each one of the PODS.

    My colors depend on my room. I tend to utilize the colors of the room in my Christmas decorating but just jazz it up with sequins and pretty baubles in that color. For example, the sunroom is teal, white, red with a touch of black. The other rooms are going to be pale grey with touches of white, mustard yellow and red when we are all done. Let’s just hope it is soon so I don’t go completely stir crazy living in my one room in the basement!

  58. Cullman Peeps would love one of these. They live in a country-style house painted white with a tin roof and a white picket fence. One of these gorgeous arrangements would be icing on the country cake!

  59. Darn, left out the important part! Cullman peeps are traditionalists who see Christmas in terms of red and green.

  60. BEAUTIFUL! I didn’t know you lived in Birmingham. Wish I had known that when I was living in Alabama (just moved to SC last week and started reading your blog a month ago :)). I have several friends in Birmingham who would love this! Hope I can win it for them!

  61. Jennifer W says:

    Oh! I love traditional colors and the pink/turquoise combination. So much so, this year I have 2 big trees. One in traditional colors and the other SCREAMS hot pink! Me and my 6 year old girl LOVE it! ]

    I have ZERO decorations on my mailbox, so this would be perfect. Also, I live in a neighborhood (Riverchase) where all the mailboxes have to be exactly the same, so this would spruce mine up! Whoo-Hoo!

  62. CynthiaNWilliams says:

    I like a dark red and green, with touches of silver. I like the traditional feel the best.

  63. I have to say I lean more toward traditional colors for Christmas.

  64. I am a traditionalist– I like green and red!!! However my front door wreath currently has a lime green bow with red and gold accents, and believe this or not- an UAB Green and Gold “M” in the middle. Doesn’t really match.. .but… who’s really looking?? :-D

  65. Amy Heard says:

    Ok, I live in Mississippi, BUT My BFF/SISTER I NEVER HAD lives in Birmingham, so count me in!! And I am a red, green, gold, silver girl!!

  66. Leigh Ann C says:

    This entry goes for my mom who lives in Bham and LOVES traditional red, green, gold, may be even some green/red polka dot just to spice it up a little (I say that…it’s really one of my tricks too).

    Thanks! And, thanks to AKT too!

  67. They are gorgeous! Guess I love traditional red and green. Thanks for the opportunity!

  68. I love using classic, bright red with lime green and silver!

  69. Becky Sager says:

    Love me some Alison and all her glory! She is one of my favorite people along with her most awesome family! I like FUN…HAPPY…anything unexpected in holiday decor! My favorite colors are the colors of the ocean with a little bit of sunshine! I will share on my facebook so she gets her fair share of publicity! alison knows where i stay!

  70. So pretty! Would love to win.

  71. Rhonda Glass says:

    I would love to win this for my mom and she would probably like the metallics. She likes Shiney & Glittery & Pinks

  72. Love them all! I am a traditionalist and you know I need lots of help with a wedding coming up in Jan. House in B’ham needs help!!! Love your Blog!

  73. I love them all! But my tree is mainly in the browns and metallics.

  74. I am a red and green traditionalist! I am in Trussville so very much within the radius. I would love something for my mailbox!

  75. Lee Osborn says:

    Red, green & gold are my favorites. Another traditionalist to the core. I live in Mobile, If I should win I will give this to my mother who lives in the Birmingham area.

  76. Traditional colors but maybe a little brighter!

    My Mama in Birmingham would LOVE one of these! Too Cute!

  77. Stephanie Walsh says:

    Alison is already coming to do my mailbox on Saturday, YAY, but if I won, I would give it to a dear friend of mine who is going through a very hard time right now, who came to mind when I read this. She loves the traditional colors, but also throws in a beautiful royal blue! I hope she wins! She is so dear to me, as are all the Kynerds :)

  78. Ha. I live in the great badger state too. Love love love your blog

  79. Love-Love -Love it….and I DO live within these borders….Guess I’m one of the 7! :)

  80. Sheila from Ohio says:

    I also don’t live in the Birmingham area but I have a cousin who lives in Alabaster and I know that she would love to have one of these gorgeous Holiday Decorations.

    I usually decorate for Christmas using Burgundy, Hunter Green with a touch of gold.

    I have been following your blog for the past 2 or 3 years.

  81. Traditional Christmas colors here. Lots of red, green and a little lime green just for fun.

  82. I’m a gold and burgundy kind of gal. I made gold and burgundy bows using my Bowdazzler for my Christmas tree. Because I’m 90. :)

  83. Jennifer Tucker says:

    I usually like traditional colors…but for a few years I have enoyed lime green and red. And I have seen a brown and turquoise tree this year an display that was amazing. Love your BLOG so much!

  84. Well. Up until June of 2010, I had lived in Wisconsin ALL MY LIFE, but now I am in Houston. Still too far to travel? ;) I know. I know.

    I just wanted to nose in and say that even though I am unable to win, I absolutely LOVE these! They are GORGEOUS! She has fantabulous talent!

  85. I shop and eat in Oxford all of the time (The Classic on Noble is to die for!) so I’d love to be entered.

    My colors are metalic, icy, blue to match an accent wall in my living room. I mix a lot of gold in and then there’s my favorite element — an unexpected pop of metalic red. (I don’t think it sounds as pretty as it actually is…)

    I use metallics because I am allergic to glitter. I think it’s so pretty, but I swear that my throat closes up whenever I come in contact with it. I can’t even open a card with glitter on it! (I think I may need some kind of professional help, but then I would probably have to admit to having a raging dislike of condensation as well.) As you can imagine, the Hob Lob, Michaels and even certain aisles of Tarjay are difficult for me navigate this time of year. It’s not easy being me!

  86. Kimberleigh says:

    Deep, Deep Red …… and lots of silver: )

  87. I love Alison’s work…My favorite colors for Christmas are traditional red and green!

  88. Wow those are beautiful. If I won it would be a tops up between my best friend and cousin who live in the ‘ham. I am pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas decor, but spice it up by using lime green vs the more traditional evergreen with my reds, whites and metalics.

  89. I am weeping over my bare sad little mailbox in Huntsville.

  90. I love crimson ( roll tide!!), gold, and green!!

  91. I don’t live there, but I have a friend. ;) She’d love something funky!

  92. I live just a few miles from your part of town! I love those arrangements…so pretty! I wrap all my presents in matching stuff with greens usually, but lately there has been a lot of silver in my Christmas decorating. Although I did find some red leopard ribbon and THAT is SO what is going on my wreaths this time!

  93. Nina Henderson says:

    Hi Boomama! I’m writing to you from Australia. I’m an Alabama girl, born and raised. Though I’m not football crazy, I sure do love RED. Christmas, motorcycles, clothes, smiles. It’s the main color I use in Christmas decorating. My momma lives in Gardendale and would LOVE to have one of these LOVELY decorations. I’m sending my 19 year old son home to Alabama from Sydney for Christmas. I’ll look forward to getting floral designs from your friend in the future. I’ve kept her details. Thanks, Becky, for sharing your friends’ post! Merry Christmas everyone.

  94. I live in Huntsville but would be happy to meet her halfway if I win! I love red and lime green!

  95. stephanie says:

    I like to mix it up… always red and some shade of green (this year: lemongrass)… a little blue (robin’s egg) and a hint of silver. Oh, and lots of pearls.

  96. Although my mailbox and I would LOVE to win a beautiful arrangement, I’m in Louisiana and don’t see travelling to pick it up. It would be totally worth it, I’m sure. But you know, gas and time. I do, however, have a friend in the ‘ham area. In fact, last time I traveled through that area to Georgia which was this past January {because you need those details}, she pouted because I didn’t tell her so that we could stop and see her.

    I would LOVE for her to win one of these arrangements.

    So. In answer to your question, we stick with traditional for the most part. But my oldest passed some lovely bright blue and green decor to me that I’ve managed to add in. I’m a lover of all things ocean-y as well as blues and greens. So there. PICK me. Or my friend.

  97. Julie Reynolds says:

    Wow Sophie, what a great Christmas present!! I’ve never thought of myself as a glamour girl(metallics) or avante garde(lime green/turquoise) but I guess I am not really a traditionalist either because although I love the red/green combination I love to throw in some royal purple and a little gold for flash! Hope your Christmas is full of delight and wonder!

  98. My favorite Christmas colors are traditional…red and green. We’ve gone retro this year with multi-colored big lights on our tree. It was my husband’s idea and really, it turned out pretty nice. I live in VA, but my pastor and family from Michigan now lives in Tuscaloosa (is that confusing enough?), so I would love to win this for them.

  99. I love to decorate with metallic! I live within the area. I would love it!!

  100. I love to use royal purple, brown and red! Such a pretty combo!