Thursday, December 15, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Today, I'm linking up to Kelly Stamps' holiday home tour, giving a virtual tour of houses all decorated for Christmas! So, "Welcome!" whether you're a regular reader or just visiting from Kelly's Korner. 

We just bought this house in May, so I had the fun and challenge of decorating a new space—deciding where the old decorations should go, and figuring out new things unique to this house now.

Like the long banister up the staircase in our foyer. It would be fun to add sparkly doo-dads to this garland and ribbon in the future, but for now, I figured that would just be begging for Kate to mess with it! 

Straight ahead from the foyer is the living room. I was really excited that our tree this year would be where we would actually see it a lot and enjoy it in our daily lives (mine especially, since I'm on maternity leave and home most days right now). In our old house, we had the whole formal living room in front, casual family room in back thing, and the tree fit best in the front room, which left us trying to be intentional about hanging out in a room we didn't often hang out in, just so we could enjoy the tree. This is so nice, and since this room just has a half-wall separating it from the kitchen, the tree is visible from the kitchen too.

I love the fancy trees people do with a color scheme and the elaborate tulle-type stuff all around it, but what would we do, then, with all the sentimental ornaments we have, commemorating childhood hobbies and trips, milestones like graduations, our wedding, and the kids' first Christmases? Some people call it hodge-podge, but we like our meaningful tree! (Last year, I did a series of posts called "A Life in Ornaments," showing the story told by our collections of ornaments.)

I have nothing against putting kids' crafty glue-and-glitter ornaments on the "main tree," (I forced my own mother to keep my oversized felt thing from kindergarten on her tree years after she went the fancy route) but since we have this little 4-foot fake tree, it seemed fun to let Kate put her creations on it.

On the mantle, I have our cool metal nativity set (an epiphany scene, really, since it has magi, not shepherds), along with garland and berries.

For the coffee table, I needed something Kate couldn't destroy (at least not easily), and I had this wreath that used to hang on our front door until I got a nicer hand-me-down one from my mom. I was going to put a big pillar candle or something in the middle, until I realized it would be a great place to put Christmas cards as we receive them!

These three glass hurricanes were a wedding gift, and I've used them for candles, mantle decor, etc. in the past, but in the new house, I've got them on the dining room table and plan to switch out the contents for the seasons. In the fall, I had pine cones and autumnal potpourri, and in the spring I could put flower petals or something around pillar candles. For Christmas, though, I've got a sparkly mix of ornaments and gold beads.

Close up on the candle- and garland-laden buffet behind the table.

On the kitchen table is our Advent wreath and wooden Advent calendar, and the church's Advent devotional. We light the candles when we pray before dinner, and sometimes read and discuss the day's devotional. (Yes, I know the candles should be purple, but I couldn't find purple this year, or even burgundy, which is usually my compromise.)

On our kitchen counter right now is the gingerbread house Kate and I decorated and the light-up Santa figurine I got in our Sunday school Christmas party's white elephant exchange. (I'll be moving the Santa up to Kate's room soon!)

Already in Kate's room is a ceramic Christmas tree and wooden Santa (both passed on to me by a friend who doesn't "do" holiday decorations and who is probably quite amused by this whole post!) Also, we have the stack of Christmas books I pack away with the decorations and only get out at this time of year. Actual Baby Jesus stories stay out year round, but these fun seasonal books include The Little Drummer Boy, Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming (LOVE this book!), Merry Christmas Curious George, and the Mary Englebreit-illustrated The Night Before Christmas.

And Claire has a music box that my family had from my childhood, as well as a few Christmas bibs, of course!

I love decorating for Christmas. How about you?


Emily P. said...

visiting from Kelly's Korner...your girls are precious!

Alana Karl said...

would have never thought about putting a wreath on anything but a door or your idea! plus a great place to put cards!

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

Everything looks great! I love decorating for Christmas, too! The house always feels so sparse afterwards!

Summer said...

I love how you incorporated the reason for the season throughout your decor! We also did the same! We have numerous nativity scenes! I love your blog so super cute! Your girls are precious and I just love the garland on your banister! Very festive!

Maria said...

Kate's room is my favorite! I'm so glad you were able to use those decorations. I enjoyed the post from my blissfully undecorated living room. xox

Amber said...

Looks great! What a fantastic foyer you have!

Katie Bug said...

I don't think I've really seen pictures of your new house before. It is beautiful!

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

I'm having so much fun visiting the Christmas homes from Kelly's Korner. Your home looks so beautiful!
Merry Christmas!

Miss Charming said...

Such pretty decor. Everything looks so beautiful and festive. (We've always had a kids tree, too and they love to decorate it each year.)

Miss Charming said...

Beautiful decor. I love the nativity on your mantel.

Dicksie said...
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