Christmas is coming, and I'm so happy to welcome you to my home!
You'll have to forgive me for the black pickup truck in the photo of our house. I'm happy it's there, because it means that my 20-year-old son Preston is home from college.
Come on up to the porch. Last week, it was so warm that you could have lingered here!
But today it's cold, so come on in.
You'll find that our home this year is a celebration of all things traditional. This will be the first Christmas in 23 years that our oldest son, Will, is not with us at Christmastime. He's working in East Asia this year, so I'm feeling nostalgic for all things that remind me of Will at Christmastime.
This year the foyer is the spot for our Christmas village. It's a small collection of the Dickens village by Department 56. When my boys were small, I put the village under the Christmas tree with a Lionel train circling it. How the boys loved that train! The village is special now mostly because it brings back memories of those Christmases past.
The village is magical at night when it's all lit up. Of course, lighted houses means lots of electrical cords, so I massed poinsettias under the table to hide most of the mess.
Off the foyer is Jack's library, which this year holds just a few Christmas touches. My favorite thing here is the Christmas cactus. Isn't it lovely? Hard to beat the work of the Master Designer! The reading chair in the corner holds one of my super-easy DIY Christmas pillows.
The foyer also leads to a hallway connecting to the powder room and master bathroom. The powder room gets used a lot, so I like to add some Christmas cheer in this tiny room:
My favorite things in this room are the antique Santa mugs. My grandmother had a huge collection of these mugs. 20 years ago, my mom suggested that she give one mug to each of her great-grandchildren. My boys called my mom "Grandmother" and my grandmother "Great." My mom and my grandmother both died in 1999, so I really treasure the fact that my mom wrote the boys' names, the date, and "Great" on the bottom of the mugs.
On the other side of the foyer is the blue dining room, which is lovely at Christmastime. On the sideboard are three plates from Lenox's "Trees Around the World" series--one from each of the years my boys were born.
My centerpiece this year is a boxwood wreath around a silver bowl of ornaments. Simple but festive! The windows in this room are untreated, so it's fun to hang ornaments in them.
Both the dining room and the foyer connect to the living room. We re-did our living room this year, so this is the first Christmas with the new decor.
The far corner of the room is where we always put our big tree. On the other side of the room, I hung some illuminated sheet music that I framed myself.
On the chest beside the tree is one of our Nativity scenes. It's just an inexpensive porcelain set, but it's special to us because this is its 20th Christmas in our house.
Our tree is not fancy--it's a live North Carolina Frasier fir, and it holds ornaments we've collected over the years.
This is the fireplace where we'll gather on Christmas morning, so here's where our stockings are hung. I kept the mantel really simple this year, allowing the stockings to take center stage. Will's stocking is in the middle. His was the first one I bought, back in 1991. We'll have to Skype him in on Christmas morning!
The living room and dining room both lead to the kitchen, which is enjoying a Christmas look, too.
Every year I remove the DIY faux Roman shade from my kitchen window and put up a garland. I also hang my DIY "Noel" sign in the kitchen window. I see from this photo that my bow is a bit crooked!
The island holds a couple of fun antique store finds: a vintage wrapping paper roll from a general store and an antique scale. At Christmastime I put a bag of candy on the scale. Jack added a tin of his childhood favorite, King Leo peppermint sticks.
The wrapping paper cutter really works! It had Christmas wrapping paper in it when I found it an antique store.
Our eating table is 11 feet long, and it gets used daily for everything from eating to homework to Lego-building. A fancy centerpiece here would be in the way. I simply draped a buffalo plaid blanket across the table and created an arrangement of small Christmas trees on a tray. This is easy to scoot aside when necessary. Above the table, I wrapped garland around the chandelier for a woodsy Christmas touch.
The breakfast area leads out to the screened porch, which is great fun to decorate for Christmas:
This table holds the world's simplest table runner: three lengths of red ribbon. I just use my staple gun to attach the ribbon to the underside of the table. This year I added a bit of garland and a couple of red candles in glass hurricanes.
The seating area gets some Christmas cheer, too--just a few things that don't mind being outside.
Now all we need is some snow!
Thank you so much for visiting my Christmas home. I hope you'll agree with me that "traditional" doesn't have to mean "boring"!
How are the holiday decorations going at your house?
I'm joining the Colorful Christmas party at Inspired by Charm, Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and the Christmas home tour parties at Jennifer Rizzo, Kelly's Korner, and Nesting Place.
I'd love to connect with you--you can find me in these places: