“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!
So damn frustrating to constantly hit non functioning links- don’t any of you test them out!
At The Picket Fence says
Hi Sara, I’m so very sorry that the link wasn’t working for you. I was having issues with the actual linking program on my site but it all seemed to be working last night when I previewed it. It should all be fixed now. We work really hard on these posts and do our best to make it as easy for all of you as possible but we aren’t perfect, our websites aren’t perfect and sometimes there are problems. I hope you are able to still enjoy seeing the beautiful homes on the tour and may you have a lovely Christmas season. ~ Vanessa
ellen clairmont says
Your home is beautiful. I read a lot of blogs and after a while, they all look alike. My favorite homes are the ones when the homeowners personality shines through! I love that your daughter is helping you to decorate. She did a wonderful job on the Christmas tree. God has blessed you with these memories for you both. Merry Christmas!
Amen……I’ve grown so tired of perfectly styled homes that have no true personality…….or gigantic McMansions…not everyone wants to run out and buy all new hobby lobby/ home goods/ or wherever is the latest hot decor store. I love see the classics presented in a modern current way. Now, if I could only find a blog that does a great tree with old fashioned tinsel!! Lol. I think you have made your daughter happy!
Your home is truly lovely and has heart. I love the story even more than the decor which is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing and always remember that our children are children for such a short time and we never get the chance for a redo with them. Have a blessed Christmas.
Sharon Ganne says
Your warmth and the warmth of your beautifully, traditionally decorated home really comes through your message. I pray that God blesses you with many more moments to treasure with your family. I especially love your daughter’s beautifully-made pennant at your hot cocoa table – the homemade treasures – those made from the heart – seem to be the ones I value the most. Even though our daughter’s wreath that she made in kindergarten looks a bit worn (she’s going to be 42 in January!), I proudly display it every single year. It brings back the sweetest memories of when she and her brother were much younger. I’d go back to those days in a heartbeat.
My 7-year old granddaughter decorated my dining room tree this year and I moved 1 ornament. The next morning, she noticed it right away and promptly moved it back to where she had it!!! Now, i don’t care if it’s in the “perfect” place or not!! It’s where she wants it and that’s all that matters!!! Love your home decorations.
Everything is beautiful, but I’m particularly fond of that door wreath, so I pinned it!
Hi Vanessa! I love everything you represent…your love for God, your family, your home and people. I love your willingness to show imperfections and the realities of life. You are a “gem” and I love your home. Thank you for sharing your life with us!
I think you might find others wanting a beautiful drawing on their banner too! Our children inspire in so many ways. Everything is stunning!
Absolutely gives you a warm feeling without some of the stress. Everything is beautiful! Would you share where you found the gold frame mirror hanging over the mantel that has the white chairs in front?
At The Picket Fence says
Thank you so much for your kind words Dinah! That mirror was actually left in our house from the previous owners. Score for us right?! I wish I knew where it was from as I know it is hard to find ones like it. I have seen similar ones over the years at second-hand stores though. Hope you have a blessed Christmas season!
Rose Lefebvre says
Lovely! I am more of a colorful decoration person like it was when I was a child. My home never looks like one from a magazine!
Such a beautiful home and wonderful inspiration!! The front door wreath is fabulous and I love your hot cocoa station. We never know if we’ll be drinking hot cocoa or ice tea during the holidays here in Texas!
Kristin salazar says
Everything in your home is gorgeous, you can tell how much love you have put into decorating it with your daughter. Isn’t it amazing how enjoyable and easy it is to decorate when we put aside what others might think. Always love visiting you and I wish you and your beautiful family a wonderful and blessed Christmas! xo
Suzanne Carrier says
Very nice but I can’t seem to get any photos….just text. Was really looking forward to seeing them. Love what you said.
At The Picket Fence says
Oh I’m so sorry you’re having trouble seeing the photos Suzanne! I haven’t had anyone else mention that and they are working fine for me but maybe it was just a little glitch. Hopefully you can get to see them! Thanks so much for coming by!
Carol Reddin says
Thank you for sharing your home all dressed up for Christmas. Since we can’t be together, it’s fun to see everything. We especially love our girl’s addition to the cocoa station banner and the family room Christmas tree. I think I recognize some of the ornaments which brings back good memories of Christmases past. Love you, Mom
laura janning says
Yes and Yes! I thank you for sharing your heart and so does your daughter,,,,,,for letting her share her’s. My 10 year old twins are the exact same way and this year I let them have at it and place the decorations where ever they wanted. I never looked back to make any adjustments.. enjoy the holiday season…and the cocoa
Your home looks so pretty. I love that you listened to your daughter.! Such a breath of fresh air to hear your say that you were feeling the pressure of fitting in. We can all relate to that feeling.
Well done! Enough of the ‘smoke and mirrors’ decorating that all the blogs offer. Does the average person have a budget to reproduce a magazine envy home, especially for Christmas? I think not!
Our children are with us for a such a short time – as children…lets enjoy what binds our hearts together as a family and less on what looks good or what is in fashion or the latest trend to gain followers or likes.
Your home always looks so beautiful and inviting to me and your Christmas decor this year is no different to me. It’s beautiful! And I love your daughter’s sweet touches too!! Most of all I love your sweet heart that shines through all you do and say. Keep it up!!
I love the story you shared of your daughter asking for more color. So special and I love that you took this to heart. Oh my goodness, I love all those British magazines and love their decor. Traditional, classic and timeless. Your home looks amazing. Thank you for the beautiful tour.
Mary Caliendo says
It’s just beautiful! I’m streamlining my decor this year as well! I’m looking for peaceful and subtle. Thank you for sharing and P.S. Super Magazine worthy!
Love it all…..and the story!
Simple, elegant and meaningful. I could not love this more! Happy Christmas!!!
Love your post. Where did you get the bells that you are in your wreath.
At The Picket Fence says
Hi Carolyn! They’re from Amazon. 🙂
Doris Raab says
Well, your house is stunning, the tree is perfect, the memories even more so. Tears as I read this reminiscing of my kids when younger. I have my grands for sleepover on the 8th of Dec and they will be decorating my tree for me.. they are almost 9 and just 7. Lol yes might change some but hey it’s the memories not the perfection! Merry Christmas!
Love your Christmas decor, bc it adds little touches to your year round treasures. Everything is lovely, tasteful, homey.
So beautiful, I need to stop my madness with Christmas decor. I love what you did.
Deb V says
I think that this is so beautiful and I know the feeling of getting wrapped up in wanting everything to be the best and forgetting the reason for it all in the first place. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and story!
Mindy Black says
I have been feeling this way for a couple of years now. Trying to be “current” , loving the simplistic white decorating you see in magazines but always feeling that something was not right. Your post opened my eyes. Will be doing more traditional but still a bit simpler. My son always asks where is the color? 😊
Could you please tell me where the bells on your front door were purchased? They’re so unusual!
At The Picket Fence says
Hi Kay! I found them on Amazon. Here’s a link to them https://amzn.to/38DRtv5
Have a great weekend!
Where are the bells on that gorgeous wreath from? Thanks!
At The Picket Fence says
Hi there! I found them on Amazon. They’re called Harmony Bells. 🙂
Hi there! Your front door wreath is beautiful. I know many have asked about the bells but I’m wondering about the satin ribbon. Do you happen to know the brand and colors? I have ordered so much ribbon online only to have the color not look like I expected. 🙁
At The Picket Fence says
Hi Dana! I get all my satin ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I find it in the fabric section instead of in the Christmas sections. I hope that helps! 🙂