This year I am participating in the fourth annual Holiday Homes Tour, hosted by my friend JenontheEdge. When you get through our house, go on over to her site to see her home all decked out for the holidays and then check out the other sites on the tour (links are on her page).
I’m so excited, so let’s get started . . .
My family’s Christmas decorating philosophy can be summed up by the phrase “if it doesn’t move, put a decoration on it”. 🙂 We tend to go for color, fun, and whimsy.
As you enter our front door, you’ll be right in front of the stairway. The railing is wrapped in garland, adorned with red bows. Just in front of you hangs a kissing ball instead of the traditional mistletoe. We love it. It fits well with our whimsical side.
In front of you to the left of the stairs, is a hall table. Several years ago, I designated this table as Emerald’s to decorate as she saw fit. At the time, she was quite little and her style was to put all the figurines she liked on the table in a big clump. This usually consisted of all of the angels, a Santa or two, and maybe a reindeer. As she has gotten older, she has become quite artistic and likes to arrange things in patterns. This is her design this year:
The elf on Santa’s lap has moved on to other perches. The football Santa is one she found at Wal-Mart and just had to have.
Since Emerald has had her table to decorate for several years now, I gave Sapphire her choice of shelves on the Baker’s rack in the kitchen. She chose the middle shelf, as it is the perfect height for her. She picked out all of her favorite decorations and arranged them just the way she wanted. She selected the Hawaiian Santa while Christmas shopping with me this year. Like Emerald’s football Santa, it was her “must have” decoration of the year.
I decorated the other two shelves of the Baker’s rack with the “leftover” figurines. Sapphire made the cotton ball snowman last year and like the other handmade decorations in our home (some on the tree, others peppered throughout the house), it is among my favorites.
Other kitchen decorations include the centerpiece of the table, made by Emerald when she was in preschool (another personal favorite), and a paper chain the girls and I made a couple of years ago, which is hung around the “windows” between the kitchen and the living room.
In the dining room, we put a festive tablecloth on the table and made a fun centerpiece with colorful ornaments of different sizes in a crystal bowl. You’ll notice that the dining room also becomes the room of pictures during the holiday season (there are two more tables also piled with pictures), as the pictures from the mantle and the hall table are displaced to make room for festive figurines. The dining room table is also where the girls’ wooden Advent calendars reside from December 1st until the 24th. They have been moved for the taking of this picture so you could see the centerpiece.
As we move into the living room, we’ll start with the pièce de résistance, the Christmas tree. When it comes to trimming the tree each year, Jim puts the lights on the tree (as many small colorful lights as he can get on there) and the girls and I put the ornaments on. We love, love, love ornaments in our household. That’s a good thing, because we have a lot of them. About 15 years ago or so, Jim’s mom divvied up her ornament collection between Jim and myself and his sister and her husband. Some of these ornaments were made by Jim’s grandmother. Others were collected by their family through the years, so not only do we have a lot of ornaments, but many are sentimental to all of us. We have also added to them each year.
For the last couple of years, we have alternated between putting an angel and a star at the top of the tree. Emerald has a sentimental attachment to the angel that had been on the tree since before her birth. Sapphire prefers the star, which she herself picked out two years ago when she decided that every Christmas tree had to have a star on top.
We all think this may be our prettiest tree EVER. Of course, we probably say that every year.
Moving on to the mantle. This is probably the most traditional part of our holiday decor. We hang our stockings here and this year, it is also the place for the Jim Shore statues my mother-in-law gave us last year (and we all dearly love), as well as a nutcracker and a few other things.
When you turn around to look at the coffee table, you’ll see we have a mix of the traditional with more whimsy. Sapphire loves this Playmobil Nativity Scene. We also have quite a few musical plush toys in our holiday decoration collection.
There are more plushies on this end table.
Remember that I said that our approach was to put decorations on anything that doesn’t move? Well, I need to amend that. Sometimes we decorate things that move, too:
That’ll about do it for our decorations, with the exception of a small Christmas tree in each girl’s room, a small gold tree on the hall table upstairs (which you might be able to catch a glimpse of in the stairway picture), a few lights on trees and bushes outside, and of course, the traditional wreath on the front door.
I hope you have enjoyed our segment of the Holiday Homes Tour. If you’re interested in seeing more, go right this way to continue on the tour.
Happy Holidays from our home to yours!