Diary
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Christmas Tour

It’s that time again, can you believe it?  There are parties all over the blogosphere this week.  I’m never one to miss a party, so please, won’t you come in!

This is what the outside of my house looked like last year, and it would look that way this year except a big bad wind came through and blew my wreath right off my garage.  That was a week ago, but do you think we’ve taken the time to drag out the extension ladder and hang it back up?  (And by we I do mean my husband.)  So anyway, here is last year’s picture for you.

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This year I have done the bare minimum with holiday decorating, so there’s not as much to see as there has been in years past.  For instance, I didn’t bother delving into the millionty-two boxes of Department 56 village houses that reside in my attic.  We are traveling to my parents’ home in Virginia for the holidays, and I’m not hosting any holiday events this year (with the notable exception of this VIP bloggy Tour of Homes of course) so we did the cost/benefit analysis and decided against the lighted villages this year.

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I rather miss them, but I did not miss the angst of setting them all up.  And I surely won’t miss the chore of taking them all down.  But we do have one very gorgeous and very large tree and some other decorative touches here and there.  So without further ado, let’s start the tour!

Behold… the front door complete with a live wreath.  I love this wreath.  So fresh and pretty, and I love how they assembled the greens so that it’s not perfectly proportioned.  It’s just so natural and homey.

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When you enter my foyer you will be greeted by this lighted garland on my staircase.   This is the first year I’ve done this, and for $21 at Target, it’s a lot of bang for the buck.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to make the leap.  It does give me a bit of angst that the greens aren’t real, but a friend warned me that using live greens can leave sap on the railing, so I went with the faux version.  It works.

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Turn to the right, and that’s our living room.  I love the vaulted ceiling in our living room, and we set out to get a tree that does it justice.  It’s still not as tall as I’d have liked, but since the room itself isn’t very large, we were afraid if we went any bigger, there would be no room for anyone or anything BUT the tree.

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Our tree doesn’t really have a theme.  It’s basically a potpourri of ornaments — some are handmade by my husband’s father (he makes ornaments every year for every family member — so cool!), some were passed down from my childhood, some are gifts we’ve bought for our children through the years, some are souvenirs from vacations, and some are collectibles I’ve picked up as I’ve seen them.  Some years we do two trees, and then I separate the colorful painted ornaments from the fancy ones.  But this year, in our efforts to keep things simple, we combined everything on one tree.  The cranberry garland is a fixture on our family tree.  I’ve used it since our very first Christmas, and I just keep buying more as our tree has grown over the years.  And I picked up that tree skirt on an after-Christmas sale last year at Crate and Barrel.  LOVE the tree skirt.

Moving into the family room, I put a festive garland on the mantle.  I had great plans of making a fancy-schmancy garland but unfortunately that never came to fruition.  The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, as you can see — one for each of our three children.

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And on the wall to the right of the mantle, I put some of our Christmassy tchotchkes that we’ve been given over the years.

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For more Christmas home tours, visit Boomama and link up!  And be sure to leave me a comment so I know you stopped by.

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46 thoughts on “Christmas Tour

  1. Hi Jo-Lynne. Love all your holiday decor. Wow that wreath outside your house IS huge! I especially love your Christmas village and the stockings beneath the portraits of each of your children. And what could be more special than your father-in-law making so many of your ornaments? They will always be such treasures.

    Merry, Merry Christmas to your and your lovely family!
    ~Arleen

  2. Everything looks lovely, as usual! : ) I really love your tree and I am going to have to look into making that secret cookie recipe! Merry Christmas! : )

  3. Beautiful, so simple yet effective, I love it. I still love the dinner service you use from Thanksgiving to New Year, really need to get myself something like that one year.
    My home should be up and running on the tour sometime in the next few hours, look forward to sharing back with you.

    Merry Christmas

  4. SO beautiful! Your house looks very nice too (and clean!!) FUnny thing is I have some Dept. 56 pieices that sat on my dining room table for 2 weeks in their boxes and just went back to the basement, in their boxes, this weekend. I just couldn’t go there this year!

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Love your village.

    I have so far resisted starting to buy them, as I am a stranger to restraint and would end up with an entire city!

    I have learnt something knew today – never knew where the dcr came from.

    Hope you get a chance to visit my Northern Ireland blog.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  6. I did bare minimum decorations this year, too. We’ll be in Florida after Christmas visiting family, so I chose to be a little lazy so that I wouldn’t have to take as much down when we return.

    Your garland on the staircase looks great. That was a huge deal for only $21!

    Really, even bare minimum, it looks beautiful. Thanks for showing me around the place! 🙂

  7. Love all of your decorations. I love the greenery around the garage door.. have been trying to figure out what to do to spruce ours up a bit. I might just have to copy that idea next year 🙂

  8. So beautiful and festive. Oh and you’ll be happy you listened to your friend about using faux greens. I wish someone had warned me about that before I learned the hard way. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your home!

  9. Ooooo beautiful! I love it.

    (and I feel like I know you better too… when you say suburbs, you mean it!) 😀 Enjoy your holidays!

  10. Your tree is real, right? So beautiful! And I love your stockings on the fireplace – are they placed under the corresponding child’s picture? Love it. Thanks for sharing!!

    Also, by the way, I really like the look of your blog – clean and simple, but still engaging. Good stuff!

  11. i have always wanted to order a real wreath! i think i will do it next year! thanks for sharing! everything looks great.

  12. Love all the great touches. I especially like your village (even though it didn’t go up this year). I understand since I have the D56 North Pole Village but didn’t get mine out this year since we won’t be here over the holidays and we were keeping our decorations to a minimum this year! Thanks for inviting us in! Come on over and visit my home tour!

  13. Thanks for all of the comments! I hope to get around to everyone soon.

    Stephanie – Oh no! Those are their 18 month portraits. They were very pricey. 🙂 I do get photos done regularly, but I only pay for a big fancy one like that at 18 mos and 5 years. The 5-year ones you can see in the living room beside the Christmas tree. I only have two of those, of course. 🙂

  14. All of your decorations look great! I decorated with a lighter touch too- I am 8 months pregnant and decided to pick my battles with the toddler!

  15. I love lots of things about your home/pictures. My FAVORITE is the white mantle around the fireplace which really makes it pop against that earth tone wall.

    The exterior of our homes are a bit similar, so of course I think yours is really gorgeous!! 😉

    Merry Christmas!

  16. I loved the words “millionty-two boxes “…. too funny! I’ll just have to come back next year to view the village:). Merry Christmas!

  17. Your home is beautiful!! and the cookies were divine. Merry Christmas Jo-Lynne, I enjoyed the tour!! =)

  18. That’s a very pretty tree! I love Christmas Villages. It’s always fun to put out the decorations and not so much fun to put them away!

    Manuela

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