Christmas Home Tour

Nester is hosting an It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to be Beautiful Christmas Tour of Homes and I’ve decided to play along.

Christmas Home Tour at CreatingThisLife.com

But first let me ask: Have you ever felt like you needed to plan a party at your house so it would motivate you to clean and straighten and finish a lot of projects that you’ve been putting off? If your answer is yes, then you’ll understand when I say that participating in a blogger tour of homes is the online equivalent of that whole phenomenon.

You’re cursing yourself for deciding to do it while all the cleaning and project finishing is going on, but it feels so good to have it all done afterwards.

So with all that said, I guess every home tour stars in the entryway, right?

I didn’t make many changes here for Christmas, but I loved this variety of poinsettia that my grocery store had this year. It’s called a Jingle Bell Poinsettia. I love, love, love when you can do your decorating at the grocery store.

Christmas entryway

I paired the poinsettia with a couple of my favorite Christmas pictures of the kids when they were little.

Christmas photos

And since we’re here, I’ll tell you that this candle – Slatkin & Co.’s Fresh Balsam by Bath & Body Words – is amazing. To die for.

A friend of mine was burning it at book club last year at this time and I ran right out and bought a couple. Which is saying something because they aren’t sold at the grocery store.

fresh balsam candle

Off to the left of the entryway is the living room and this year I decided that the garland in here needed a makeover.

This is what the fireplace has looked like the last couple of years.

Christmas Living Room Before

There was nothing really wrong with it, and I loved it at the time, but I wanted the colors to be more neutral, and the look to be little more full and sparkly.

My makeover started with a single strand of lighted garland.

Fireplace garland before

After texting my friend Kathleen for some ideas and inspiration, I gathered a few things to try and dress it up a bit.

Christmas garland supplies

I used my dining room table as an operating table to combine the two types of garland and add some ribbon.

Christmas garland after

And after it was up I added the ornaments and other decorations, and – because it still didn’t seem full enough – I clipped a bunch of boxwood from the yard to add in too.

Christmas garland after

I really, really like the result. I think I’m now addicted to garland fluffing.

Christmas garland with holy family

It wouldn’t surprise me if I didn’t drag some more stuff in from the yard to add to it before the holiday is over. Hopefully I’ll stop before the whole thing comes crashing down.

Christmas garland with ornament

The piano room is just off the living room, and it always gets the “pretty” tree, complete with a bunched up tablecloth as tree skirt.

Piano Room TreeThis tree is full of silver and gold ornaments and lots of angel ornaments that my mom has given my kids.

angel ornament

The dining room is on the other side of the living room from the piano room and it got just a few touches.

dining room living room piano room

Like my childhood Christmas stocking hung on the hutch.

dining room hutch with stocking

And white ornaments and more boxwood from the yard on a glass platter from my mother-in-law.

boxwood and ornaments centerpiece

Before this weekend my dining room table was still a jumble of Thanksgiving dishes that needed to be put away and Christmas decorating castoffs that needed to be shown the door. So that’s what a home tour – even an online one – can do for your motivation. This clean table alone was worth it.

I didn’t do a ton of decorating in the kitchen. The boxwood wreath that’s on the window year-round works for Christmas too.

kitchen wreath

And because these ornaments play nicely with the neutral kitchen colors, I hung them from the cabinet knobs.

Bird Ornament

Joy Ornament

I added some greenery to the light fixture and a few Santa ornaments to the hot chocolate tray.

Christmas Hot Chocolate Bar

The family room is the most traditional Christmas room, starting with these stockings that my mother-in-law has made for each of her nine children and their spouses and children, and then their spouses and children, and she’s still going.

Christmas fireplace family roomMany of the things she’s done inspire and amaze me but maybe none more so than making all these stockings. Except possibly sewing her daughters’ wedding dresses. Oh, and raising the nine kids of course. That’s right up there.

Vintage Christmas StockingThe estate sale oil painting above the fireplace works well with traditional Christmas colors, so I kept it in here. And in the corner by the fireplace are three small trees that my daughter and I bought on a whim a number of years ago.

Christmas family roomAfter getting them home, I realized that they would be perfect for the three types of keepsake ornaments that we have.

Family Room Christmas

The largest tree gets all the family ornaments. like those made by my kids, or bought for my kids, or bought at craft shows back when craft shows were a thing.

Family Christmas TreeThe middle tree is the travel tree and has all the ornaments we’ve picked up on trips and vacations over the years.

Christmas travel treeAnd the smallest is our KU tree, for our alma mater, which is also where our daughter goes. It looks like my son may be picking a different college so we’ll need to make some changes next year.

KU Christmas TreeThe other side of the room has the nativity, with the sheet music Christmas star above it. I realized as I was putting this post together how appropriate it is to have a big star hanging above the nativity, so I’m thinking these will have to always stay together this way.

Family Room NativityThis year I decided I wanted straw for the nativity and a Hobby Lobby sales clerk sent me to the cowboy section of the kids’ party aisle to look for some. All they had there were straw bales, not loose straw, but I spotted a grass skirt in the luau area and brought it home and cut it up.

Now aren’t you glad you read this far? You won’t find that tip on just any blog.

Family Room Chair and Nativity

Another addition this year is this grain sack style pillow that I bought at The French Maker Vintage Boutique in Overland Park. She has fun mix of new and vintage things and she’s also a reader of this blog, which I appreciate.

Grain sack Christmas pillow

Earlier this year I hung a mirror behind the couch and while we’ve just generally enjoyed having the reflection in the room, the trees and stockings and fire being reflected in the mirror are the best.

Family Room Mirror at ChristmasAnd that circles us back around to the entryway, where we started.

Entryway sideview

Thanks for coming along on this little tour and thanks to Nester for motivating me to get all the Christmas decorating finished so I can now enjoy all the other good things that Christmas brings.

I hope your holiday season is full of good things too.

This post is part of Metamorphosis Monday and The Scoop.

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  1. Wonderful job! I enjoyed seeing your mantels, trees and dining tables. The piano room is beautiful! The stockings your mother in law made are all so nice and I love the sentiment. She’s a very ambitious woman! I’m exhausted at the thought of having 9 kids!! It’s fun to play with the mantels and come up with something new each year. You are right about motivation because of something you are doing with your blog. It keeps me moving right along! Good tip on the straw! Great idea and less mess! I like that wreath you made with the sheet music Christmas star- and what a great spot for it above the nativity! I have a glass platter from my mom’s that has those same glass beads along the edge. I know there’s a proper name for that but I don’t remember it. I think it’s probably from the 40’s or very early 50’s. Thanks for the tour!

    1. Wow, Liz! You read that post like you are going to be tested on it. I’m impressed. Thanks for the nice comments. I know what you’re saying about that glass pattern. I don’t know the name either but I have seen them before.

  2. Susan Murphy says:

    Truly stunning! I absolutely love your style.

    1. Thank you very much, Susan. Such a nice thing to say.

  3. Beautiful home! Your music room tree is beautiful but I’m curious about the rocking horse. Love it! Also, the formal mantel garland is so elegant. You’ve given me some inspiration. Now I have to see if we have some old sheet music that my daughter won’t miss:).

    1. Good eye, Rebecca. That horse is called a Wonder Horse and my husband rescued it from his parents’ house when they were downsizing. It was in pieces and he had someone put the horse back together. The youngest addition to our large family “rode” that horse on Thanksgiving. 🙂

  4. Julie, you truly are an inspiration to me. I was going to quickly rip through my trash emails tonight and DELETE all the unwanted junk, when to my horror your Christmas Tour blog was hiding amogst said junk. Well, let me just say,my dear,that you made the cut and are properly filed away, along with directions for the sheet music star, for next year’s decorating extravaganza! Tomorrow my own decorations will come down and I too shall miss the lights. But memories of a wonderful holiday season with family and friends shall glow in my heart for the new year. Best wishes to you & yours for a healthy,happy and decorative 2015.

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