Published on December 19th, 2014 | by Kristen Swain4
Our Christmas Home
As the holiday season is upon us, and I have taken all of three weeks to decorate, I wanted to share my holiday home with you.
I did a blog walk through some holiday homes. They were stunning and make me think that I have a lot of work to get there.
But even so, I do cherish our decor, and wanted to share this very personal view of our Christmas home with you.
Every year our decorations grow.
I have decorations from when the girls were small, stuff they made in Pre-K and Kindergarten.
It’s so delicate, I have them in our Christmas boxes, but don’t display them, I am eager to pass them down when they are old enough to have their own Christmas displays.
I have the personalized stocking my mother made for me, it’s almost disintegrated, but it’s in there as well. Perhaps my girls will want that too.
When it comes to Christmas, I think pretty much across the board, handmade is better than anything store bought.
Even if it’s a partially handmade item, it’s still more meaningful.
Yes, my hubby collects the Coca-Cola polar bears. We have a couple stuffed ones, and several on our Family Tree.
I as well, collect Santas and Nutcrackers.
But I see the kiddos take a much longer look at the items I have made. They stare at each piece of the ‘snow globe’ jars I created over the last few years.
They look at me, grab a handmade ornament, and exclaim that they remember making it, or helping to make it, or remember when it was created.
We also have a holiday tradition of buying them a personal ornament each year.
Somehow that has never equated to a handmade one, but I don’t mind spoiling them a bit with an ornament of a volleyball, or music notes, or sparkly pink ballerinas, or a beautiful mercury ornament with a stunning orange octopus. They get full access when we visit our Christmas farm stores, and it’s so interesting to see what is their most cherished idea of their personal favorites for the year.
It’s almost like an ornament scrapbook.
Every year I change up the decor. But this year, I’ve changed it more than ever.
I had to change where my tree was in our den.
Because we had more furniture, I put it against the wall.
It wasn’t easy, because we had to flatten the back of it so it didn’t stick out as much from the wall.
And I changed the mantle, which no longer holds my Santa collection. Now the colors are more prominent.
Deep reds, lime, silver, beige and some gold. My trio of white light trees is now in the corner where the tree used to sit. Since it’s away from the stove, it is much safer.
I also got the idea of creating a box to go over the ugly stand. I plan on making a big red bow for my ‘gift’. For now, it’s filled to the branches with gifts.
My Father in Law bought our first village piece. After several years, when the girls were old enough, we added a house or a scene to the collection.
Annalise and I created a little skating pond for the kids – using blue paint and elmer’s glue, on an old Oatmeal plastic lid. I sprinkled a little glitter so it has sparkle.
We use our family books to prop up the background, covering them with inexpensive ‘snow’ fiberfill. Alizabeth teases her sister, and moves a piece each night and waits to see if Annalise notices.
My girls are the ones responsible for setting this scene up every year.
I have never bought a finished wreath. I made this one from some floral stick pieces and a Santa ornament. I’m still looking for a plaid ribbon to match and finish it.
This large inset shelf is right by our front door. It gets the leftovers and unmatched pieces. I try to create sets and display all my extras. This year I have my Limoge Santa boxes with some other Santa pieces. I used to collect the sequin boxes, but no long can find them.
This lighted wreath used to be above the fireplace. Now it accents my nutcracker collection. Every year my hubby offers to buy me more, but I refuse. I want a larger one than I have, and no more. Two of the nutcrackers I created from unpainted wooden versions. One is crackled with white and maribou feathers, the other has touches of blue and black.
You can see how much I love my painted cake plates. I have used them since Halloween. I love the black painted version. There are so many uses for just one plate stand.
Last year, I created that pink tree from some garland and a large styrofoam cone. My hubby who could pretty much care less about our decor, cherishes that cream and gold old fashioned ceramic tree. It has real gold leafing and he loves to brag about how we got it for almost nothing because it was missing the lighted base.
I created the canvas many years ago for a scrapbooking company and just love it.
You will see the white decor piece soon in a post here on the blog. Can you believe all the ceramic Santas were dollar store buys over the years?
Our living room has our family tree, and I always light the valance with swagged garland and red bows.
Behind the couch, on a handmade table, we have most of my Santa decor, with a couple of lighted trees.
On the bottom of the table is more mixed & matched items, including the Coca-Cola stuffed bears, and two of my handmade paper mache boxes.
Our Kitty, Sugar, loves hanging out under the tree. What a blessing that she pretty much ignores the tree and just wants to be there with us under the warm lights.
Because I’ve gotten our gift shopping done early, she is hanging out beside the tree. These gifts displaced her from her favorite place.
Here are a couple of photos of my den tree. Over the years, I had themed trees. Two of them were a Santa tree and a gingerbread tree.
Some of the ornaments have moved onto this tree. I added anything with colors of red, white, lime, or silver.
From these photos, I can point out the pony bead candy canes that the girls and I made about 5 years ago.
I can see the red bead ornament I finished last year, and see the small snowball ornaments, that remind me of the large snowball ornaments I made several years ago.
Christmas time makes me so nostalgic, I can look back and see the years that have gone by.
I wish my kids were little again around this time of year, just because it was always so much fun and joy.
But I’ll take them as they are, picking out their teen ornaments – a trombone, and an glittered anchor.