Christmas 2014 Home Tour

Let me warn you: You may not get any great ideas here…I don’t really do all that much decorating for Christmas.  What you may learn is that a little bit of red goes a long way.  It’s not that I don’t love Christmas decorations, it’s just that I’ve found I don’t need much to make it feel like Christmas time around here.  I try to fill our home with things that have special memories, the sounds of Christmas (music or movies), and the smells of holiday baking.  To me a Christmas tree, some candles, and family traditions are what make it feel like Christmas.

Please look around.  I hope you find inspiration in your own home.

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This is our first year with a fake tree.  I have to say…I’m sold!  It was so easy, and finding a real one that fits as perfectly as this one would have been impossible.  I found ours at the new At Home store in Plano (used to be Garden Ridge).  Ours is decorated using family ornaments that we’ve collected since our own childhoods’, and in our 13 years of marriage.  We also tucked in some pinecones that we picked up out of my grandmother’s yard in East Texas several years ago.

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The piano holds some fresh greenery from Trader Joe’s, candles, and the nutcrackers that Avery and I have been collecting.

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My mom’s green crystal candle holder–I love it at night.  The book it’s sitting on holds our Christmas memories each year.  I’ll be honest, I’ve missed a year or two, but it’s wonderful looking back throughout the years to see how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same.

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Conner got in on the action this year using one of his vintage trucks and some old bottle brush trees.  I found the star at 540 Mercantile downtown.

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My dining room table is currently being used for sewing projects–Avery has been working on stockings for all of the animals.  She’s done it completely by herself and I can’t wait to show them off when she’s finished.  So for now, I’ve added some red and green to the buffet.  We will have dinner in here on Christmas Eve, but I have no idea how I’ll set the table.  I’m not that big into fancy table settings.  It’ll just happen.

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I keep thinking someday I’ll get new  Christmas decorations, but when you just stick with the classic red and green, you can’t go wrong.  Adding to it is easy, and you also have the flexibility of always being able to move things around.  I never know where I’ll use what I’ve got until I pull it out each year.

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Our living room has small touches throughout. Red throws and a new plaid pillow (that I made from $1.99 fabric) add just enough to make it look like Christmas.

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Conner also helped by decorating this little tree, using some of the kids’ favorite ornaments.

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I can remember cracking nuts out of this bowl at my grandmother’s house at Christmas.  My kids are making similar memories here.

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Christmas morning will be spent here.  It’s my favorite room in the house.

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I got the small wreaths at Trader Joe’s and attached them using ribbon and Command velcro strips.

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My kitchen is a workhorse this time of year, so I can’t do much decorating.  My Christmas cookie jar is about all I have room for.  The counters are usually piled up with baking supplies and gift tins.  The kids and I will start our annual gingerbread house this week, so right now the baking area is full of candies and pretzels.

As I said, I don’t do much, but I’m glad it’s done.  I’m ready for the kids to be out of school so we can spend time together enjoying the traditions our family has created.  Here’s to wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous holiday.

Peace,

C

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Christmas: My Home

I finally got through most of my Christmas decorating.  I use the word “finally”, but it’s only Dec. 10th.  That’s not that far behind, right?  We have a “thing” against decorating before Thanksgiving.  But, Thanksgiving was so early this year, that we decided we had to wait until Dec. 1st to start decorating.  I have been piddling around so far, but this weekend we got our tree(s) up and it’s now starting to feel like Christmas.

036This is our first year to have two trees.  It all sort of started when we were standing in our front yard trying to figure out our plans for the outside of the house.  We decided that a tree would look pretty from the outside of the house (it does!)  if we put one in the playroom window.  Once the kids got wind of that, they weren’t going to let us get away without one.  So, out we went to Lowe’s and a day later, it’s my favorite thing in our house.  They used all of our special ornaments, first ornaments and handmade ornaments.  They worked so hard on it together, and they even strung their own lights!

116I remember when I was a kid, my parents put up a “kid tree” in our playroom and we loved it.  I’m thinking we may get an artificial tree for the coming years so we can easily continue this tradition.

Downstairs, I went for simple decorating.  I wanted to use what we had, which includes old family pieces like this skating rink from my grandmother.  Avery and Finn got to work immediately setting it up only to find out it no longer works.  We all agreed it would stay out just as decoration, though.

008090Have you ever considered how much you spend on gift wrap?  I have, and it’s a LOT.  This year, I decided to go with classic brown paper ($1 for 5 yards at Dollar Tree) and just use leftover ribbons, and inexpensive trinkets and bows for decorations.  The end result is so simple that it’s beautiful.

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075Ted is sporting a bow, and he and sleeping Santa (another of my kids’ favorite hand-me-down Christmas goodies from Grandmother) are holding fort by the fireplace, where I spotted the first Christmas letter.

074Our fireplace is simple, with the nutcracker that Avery and I got from the show this year, and all of our stockings none of which match.  Who cares?  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect.

098And things as simple as a bowl of red apples on the table.  Though year-round for us, they do take on a special Christmas-y feel with the backdrop of lights.

106086My kitchen doesn’t get overdone at the holidays, because I just don’t have the space due to all of the baking and candy-making that I like to do.  We are starting on our gingerbread house today which means my house is getting ready to smell like Christmas too.  I’m starting to get very jolly.  (I’ll post photos and recipes this week).

020Coming up:  I’m working on our gingerbread house/village, which will sit on the piano, beneath this urn-stick-tree thing (lovely term, huh?) that I’ve been working on.  And, I’ll be working on our place settings for Christmas dinner using these wonderful glasses that I scored for $3 (set of 6) at the ACO a couple of weeks ago.  Don’t they just scream Christmas?

111Until next time, stay merry and bright.  I’ll be back in a few days with some gingerbread baking photos and a (hopefully) completed place setting to share.

Peace,

C

Boo Y’all

We had our fourth annual Halloween party over the weekend, which means I spent last week cleaning and decorating.  At first I wasn’t sure I was up for all of the work this year, but as always, once party time rolled around I was super pumped.  And, it was so worth it.  Plus, it forced me to really clean my house and backyard.  I think I’ve decided everyone should host a big bash at least once a year in order to motivate us to clean up.

Generally, when I decorate for holidays, instead of spreading it all around the house, I try to focus on just one or two areas and go “all out”.  This year, I did the buffet in the breakfast room and the piano in the dining room (which is where we set up the food buffet).

Dollar store spiders, skulls, mini pumpkins and some lights (for a cool nighttime effect) draped in spider webs is all it takes.

I used some books with Halloween-ish titles to add height.

Yep, those are cardstock bats that I cut out one by one myself.  I got the idea last year from pinterest, and reused them this year.  They are one of the kids’ favorite decorations.  I just switch up where I use them.

In the dining room, I pretty much did the same thing.  Spiders, webs, birds and skulls.  I have to admit, at night it’s much cooler looking.  But, I’m bad about snapping pictures during parties.  By the time it has started, I’m usually just ready to let loose.Have you gotten your Halloween stuff out this year?  Now that mine is out, I’m already looking forward to taking it down.  The kids love it, but I’m ready for more of a fall-theme with acorns, pumpkins, and the like.  Stay tuned.
Peace,

C

I think I’ll link up…

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