It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and yes, it is my absolute favorite time of the year. If you’ve been here before, you know that I love Christmas and love the cozy feelings that a decorated home invokes. If you’re visiting from for the first time as part of Just a Girl‘s Christmas Home Tour and came over from Thrifty Decor Chick, welcome!
I’m so glad to have you here visiting today and I’m so excited to share our home with you at Christmas .
Christmas in our house is full of traditions and memories. I love tradition and I’m a classic and low key kind of girl. We use the same ornaments and decorations year after year and each one has a story to tell. I love to mix our decorations and ornaments with real Fraser Fir trees, wreaths and cuttings. Our front doors are always adorned with Fraser Fir wreaths and this year the front door has our gold monogram attached. I found the linen checked ribbon for the wreaths a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, fell in love with it and couldn’t help but snap it up. It’s the first year I haven’t used red on the exterior of the house during the holidays. At first it felt a bit strange, but I have to admit that I love the quietly festive look that the combination of the gold, linen and gingham give to the front of the house.
As much as I love real greenery, inside the house, I’ve had to compromise. I can’t imagine not having a real tree each year, but I’ve found that it’s best to use artificial wreaths and garlands inside because the real thing tends to dry out quickly with our heating system. Weaving greenery into the artificial wreaths and garlands helps them look more “real”, gives me that magical scent of Christmas through the house and allows me to easily refresh the cuttings with more greenery as needed.
I love using quieter and more muted colors in our living and dining rooms during the holidays. They are, after all, the quieter rooms in our home… and provide a peaceful place to escape all the hustle and bustle in the rest of the house.
The table top tree in a basket is a new addition this year (read more about it here). I’ve always wanted a tree in the living room and this year I finally took the plunge! It’s decorated with ornaments I’ve collected here and there as well as a few I bought for my first real tree in my first condo 15 years ago. It’s small enough not to take over the room, but big enough to give the room a little sparkle and glow. I borrowed a basket from the playroom… it was the perfect size and scale to hold my tree. Fortunately, I don’t think the boys have even noticed that their dress up basket is missing… or that it’s now in the living room with a small Christmas tree sitting inside it!
Decorations in the living room are simple and subdued. One of my favorite pieces is a thrifted tray that sits on our coffee table. It was mod-podged with a vintage Christmas print that my grandmother used in her years of teaching in the 50′s and 60′s. I love the sweet print and the memory that it invokes of someone so beloved in our family’s history. A trio of vintage bottlebrush trees, a porcelain angel and small pinecones in a glass pitcher sit atop my walnut desk.
I love children’s books… especially Christmas children’s classics. We’ve amassed quite a collection over the years and some of my favorites are on my living room desk ready and waiting to be read.
The dining room decorations are incredibly simple but some of my favorites. I filled the ever-present antique dough bowl with Fraser Fir cuttings and muted glass balls that I bought years ago when we purchased our first “grown up” house. Simple crystal candle sticks that once belonged to my great aunt hold my favorite Root candles.
Each year, I have my own tradition to kick off Christmas decorating in our home… the first thing I do, every year, is to switch out my china in the corner cabinet for my Christmas china that Mike and I received when we got married. Some might see it as silly, but to me, it’s a symbolic start to holiday season… and I make the change as soon as Thanksgiving has passed.
Leaving the living and dining rooms, you enter the kitchen and family rooms… truly the heart of our home. There, Christmas is fun, bright and playful and full of reminders that the 2 little boys living here adore this time of year. There’s a lot of red and green and Christmas cheer.
The kitchen window is one of my favorite areas to decorate. A simple wreath made from a coat hanger, rosemary clippings from the backyard and grosgrain ribbon adorns the window. The little glass bottles on the sill are often filled with “flowers” Jack brings me from the backyard… and I’ve filled them with berries from our holly tree for the holidays.
The centerpiece on our breakfast nook table is just a pewter footed bowl filled once again with Fraser Fir cuttings and ornament balls. The red ornament balls once adorned the tree that Mike and his mom put up in his childhood.
In the family room , I think there’s a reminder of Christmas everywhere you look. This room holds our big tree, full of ornaments that have stories… mementos from our travels, preschool art made by the boys, gifts from friends. One of my favorite rituals each Christmas is the night we decorate our family tree. I sit on the floor and unwrap the ornaments one by one… the boys and Mike place them on the tree as we retell the story of that ornament. The boys can now tell us some of the ornaments’ stories. These are stories that I hope my boys will tell their own children one day as they hang ornaments on their tree… and these stories are a ritual that I hope becomes a precious memory for James and Jack as they grow up.
On the console behind the couch, a hurricane glass that I’ve had for years is filled with bottlebrush trees and flanked by another one of my grandmother’s old teaching prints.
The nativity lives in a corner of the room… it’s a Fontanini set that my mom gave me my first few years out of college. I love the rich colors and details and love that it’s not breakable and can be left accessible for the kids. I love that they are free to touch and ask questions and remember the story of Jesus’ birth through it.
Our side foyer is our “friends and family” entry… it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house and I love decorating the antique dresser that sits in there through each of the seasons. For Christmas, I added several bottlebrush trees and snow to the inside of the glass lamp and added a Santa that was given to my family by special family friends in my childhood. An artificial wreath spruced up with some red berries and real greenery hangs in the window between the foyer and screened porch.
I added a bow to the base of the back stairs and used a ribbon that matches what’s on the tree. I love that the bright red plaid ribbon greets visitors cheerfully as soon as they walk through the side door and bids them goodbye on their way out.
Well, friends, that is it… almost! I have another part of our home that I’d love to share with you, but I’m afraid I’ve kept you long enough today. Come back tomorrow (updated: Visit our porch and back patio at Christmas here) and we’ll head out to the porch and back patio… two of our favorite places to spend time during Christmas in the South!
If you’re making your way through the tour, refill your tea or coffee and head off to Decorchick, the next house on today’s tour.
If you missed any of the other homes on tour today, here is the full lineup:
And finally… if you want to follow all of the inspiration in one spot, find us on Pinterest!
Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you and your family enjoy the happiest of holidays this year!