“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!” ~
Welcome, dear friends, welcome! I’m so thrilled to be opening my home for a Christmas tour to you today as part of the annual Jennifer Rizzo Holiday Housewalk! You will want to start at the very beginning to soak up all of the beautiful inspiration so head over to her place and sit back and take it all in.
If you are arriving here from my friend Traci’s beautiful home, I’m so glad that you decided to continue on with the tour and I hope you feel very welcomed.
Last year, while I was packing away the Christmas decorations, my daughter came over to help me and happily chatted away as I placed item after item into their designated plastic tub. I admit to only half listening until one comment caught my attention.
“Mommy, can we have more color on our family room tree next year? And can it be more fun?”
Apparently she wasn’t a big fan of that year’s more neutral decor.
So, right then and there I vowed to my sweet girl that we would indeed have more color on that tree and that SHE would get to have the biggest input in what decorations we used. This was a safe thing to say because her 15 year old brother could care less. He just wants to know if there’s going to be food involved during any given activity.
And, as I began making my plans for this year’s Christmas decorating, I realized that my daughter was reflecting a sentiment which I, myself, was also feeling.
I think that somewhere along the line, my fear of not ‘fitting in’ with all of the incredibly talented bloggers you’ll encounter this season was impacting my choices.
Was my Christmas decor going to be unique enough, grand enough, magazine-worthy enough, looks-like-it-came-out-of-a-catalog enough?
So, one night, as I found myself sitting on the couch flipping through the stack of old Christmas magazines I hoard, I came across an issue I had completely forgotten about.
You see, many years ago, my neighbor dropped by and offered me a stack of magazines. But not just any magazines. These were ‘English Country Home’ magazines. She had been subscribing for years and had amassed quite a collection and, knowing my love for all things home-related, she generously offered some to me.
Right on top was a Christmas issue and as I flipped through its pages, I couldn’t help but think for about the millionth time that I probably should have been born in a little village in England instead of a town in Ohio.
And, similarly to what I experienced watching the Rick Steve’s European Christmas Special, I realized that what really spoke to my soul were the simple touches of Christmas I saw spread through the homes featured.
My heart was craving less trendy and more traditional.
I was done feeling like if we hung our same old stockings on the fireplace and used our same old ornaments on the tree (most of which have been lovingly given to me by my parents over the years) and if I didn’t decorate in a specific theme or if I didn’t have a fresh new look for you each year that it wouldn’t fit in.
And, more importantly, I was done killing myself by spending days and days and days decorating.
So, guess what happened?
This year, more than any other year, I had so much fun decking our halls.
I didn’t overthink things or worry about how my house would measure up to the others you’ll see on this tour.
I made quick work of the mantels and the banister, of tabletops and countertops.
And this gave me so much extra time to keep my promise to my daughter.
We hit up some big box stores and some little vintage stores and pulled out all of the ‘fun’ ornaments from the attic.
And my girl placed every, single one of them on this tree herself. I didn’t even rearrange them after she went to bed like I would when the kids were little.
Because, at 11 years old, she would notice.
And, more than ever, I’m aware of how much she is paying attention to the way I do things.
How much energy (emotional and physical) am I putting into things? How much value am I placing on them?
How much time are they taking up and how much room in my heart and mind do they occupy?
How much do they distract me from focusing on the real reason we do all of this in the first place?
Do you see that ‘hot cocoa’ banner in the photo below? Can you spot the sweet little drawing on one of the pennants?
My girl wanted to put her own stamp on our hot cocoa station this year. It wasn’t enough for her to simply help me place all of the items on the table. She wanted to get creative.
And, how could I say no to that?
I couldn’t. So I didn’t.
It might not be what you see on Pinterest and it might not look like it comes straight out of a catalog.
But, to me, it’s the most beautiful decoration in our home this year.
And our reality is pretty wonderful.
Is it always perfect? Nope, not even close.
But it’s ours. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
Thank you so much for joining me today! Be sure to head over to the next stop and visit Cami at Tidbits.
AND, if you are looking to give a truly special gift this year, I have the perfect thing for you! My book, ‘Life in Season: Celebrate the Moments that Fill Your Heart and Home’ is filled with beautiful ideas for your home and encouraging inspiration for your heart.
Here’s a peek inside!