Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Home Tour 2011

At Christmas, all roads lead home. ~Marjorie Holmes

Hey friends!

I hope in the hustle and bustle of this cheerful holiday season you are finding joy and a little relaxation.

Where we live, we're lucky to see one good snow for the whole winter. But already this year we have woken up twice to a somewhat surprising blanket of white...One before it was even December!

Our backyard winter wonderland!

Although we were "home" for last year's Christmas, we had just moved in 2 months before, so unpacking boxes of dishes and moving couches to have a place to sit took priority over hanging Christmas lights for the holidays. I said back then "Promise me will have Christmas lights on the house next year." And we followed through!

It's beautiful...but SO COLD! So shake the snow from your boots...

And step into our warm entryway...

I just bought the little snowman sled for $2.75 from a local thrift store...My favorite choice for buying Christmas decor.

Ornaments strung on picture hanging wire and tied with ribbon dress up the stair case.

Hobby Lobby had the olive green peacock ribbon half off and it goes perfectly with the brown, blue, and green ornaments I used last year.

Last year I went with rustic and natural. This year's tree was all about color!

We still have our Christmas train set circling the tree.

I filled clear ornaments with red, yellow, and turquoise paint, keeping with the color scheme we already have in our living room. I strung both white and color lights, so we could plug whichever one we wanted in at any time. I can never decide, so doing both was perfect! Alot of work, but still...

My babies snuggle up warm by the glow of the tree.

Lighted garland was strung over the entertainment center with the nativity scene.

Santa can find his milk and cookies on a table right in front of the fireplace. I really hope he decides to come down the chimney with my new camera!

The mantle was simple to put together this year. It's all about Santa Claus with the Santa dogs, The Night Before Christmas (the recordable book; a gift from one of my kids) and Santa figurines.

The artwork is easier than you could imagine...I found a roll of wrapping paper I couldn't pass up...Lots of Santa pups in bows and santa hats! I wrapped a scrap canvas and placed it on the mantle.

It's so easy and cheap to do with any wrapping paper you like. I think it might be my new Christmas decorating obession!

I gave this hammered brass dish a dose of silver rub-n-buff and a glossy seal to add to the mantle to hold red and silver ornaments.

Last year at Christmas, we didn't have dining room chairs, so our Christmas village had plenty of space to spread across the table. This year, I wanted to leave the table open and set up for dinner so I displayed Meemaw's Christmas village on long hallway shelves in the living room.

The carolers sing outside the hometown church...

The North Pole, a wine shop, and villagers shopping...

It's my favorite thing to set up every year and will probably change each time. I have no idea where or how I'll set it up next year.

More and more each year, I learn to enjoy the chilly weather while we're out and about, because nothing is more comforting than stepping into a warm, glowing home to defrost. You can't even feel the warmth unless you've felt the cold, right?

Now that I'm working each school day with kids in a district where many are less fortunate, I cover up in my warm bed on the harsh cold nights and see each of their faces as I fall asleep... wondering if the bed they are falling asleep in is warm like mine.

You may not have specific faces to envision or names to put with them, but remember to feel grateful for the simplest of comforts;
warmth and safety in a loving home.

Sometimes I question why I go to the trouble of dressing up the house for Christmas like I do. In a few weeks, I'll be undoing all the work, so what was it for? And Christmas is going to take place just the same whether or not I have sprinkled the house with glitter and sparkle that I'll later be sweeping up for days. These thoughts usually come to me as I'm carrying 50 pound boxes up and down stairs and climbing up and down a stool 30 times to string lights on a 9 foot tree.

But the warmth and coziness it all evokes is an invaluable feeling that not everyone gets a chance to feel over the holidays. Decorating for Christmas is the deepest of traditions, and following through with tradition gives us all a sense of security. Christmas memories of my family are more vivid than any other. Pulling down that same red cardboard box of familiar ornaments let us know that we're all still together; we're still the same family.

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." ~W.T. Ellis

I hope that despite the stress and hectic schedule, you find the energy to create a warm and joyful atmosphere for your family...or just for yourself. We all deserve that at Christmas.

Warmth and Blessings,
The Grays


  1. Wow! Your house looks so beautiful in the snow. We haven't gotten anything except occasional flurries so far, but I'm still holding out hope for a little white at Christmas! :)

  2. Oh Aren't we all?! I'll send hopes your way for a white Christmas and you can send them mine! I loved so many of the links everyone submitted. I've loved your blog for so long. I'm sure you could tell by the looks of my house, but it was The Notebook post that got me "hooked" :). Thank you for the sweet comment.

  3. gorgeous! i love love love the blue paint color at you stairway!


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