Saturday, December 22, 2018

Cozy Christmas House

I decided to do something a little bit different this year. I put together a video of our home all wrapped up for Christmas. So grab yourself something warm and yummy to drink. Come back... I'll wait for you.

When I took these little videos I didn't clean up my house and I just noticed little piles her, a phone cord charger there, even a ladder propped up to the gutters that Scott had just worked on the weekend before.  Real life, ha! But snow was fluttering down when I was walking around my house taking these shots.

So here is the place we love to call home on Christmastime.

(simply turn up your sound, and click to enlarge)

I do love decorating for Christmas and doing all of this while teaching full time with 23 kiddos and a pile of teacher planning, correcting, meetings, and boy howdy all those emails can take it's tole on my in the merry month of December. But I'm determined to make my home a festive, welcome, beautiful place for the 4 of us... so here are a few tips I can recommend to those busy mamas out there:

1.  Start Early - although it feels weird to pull out the Christmas things reallllllly early it's better that way. I actually start the day after Halloween. Bit by bit. I like to think of it as scene by scene. I love how it was just beginning to be Christmasy in our home on Thanksgiving. The dining room was still all fall while the rest of the house was just beginning to show signs of Christmas.


2. Make a Decorating Plan - This year I actually typed out some new ideas I had for vignettes that I wanted to create. I made a plan. I had access to it on my phone so starting November 1st whenever I was out shopping here or there I could take a look at what I still needed. One of the little vignettes I wanted to create was in the corner of my kitchen counter. I love baking. L O V E it! And I thought how lovely it would be to have baking jars all set to bake for my girls and to give as gifts. So one early November weekend (way before Thanksgiving I make a bunch of these cookie jars) I love how cherry they looked in my kitchen. Made me F E E L like I was still that mama at home allllll day with lots of baking time on my hands... and let me tell you it worked!  Just feeling like it relaxed me, brought peace to my heart, and reminded me that I D O have time to do all things (just not all at the same time)

For example I knew I wanted to tie wreaths around these little lambs and it was actually typed up in my plan. Yes, something as small as that I didn't leave to chance.

living room 14

And then there was our new porch. Oh how I couldn't wait to decorate that room. Even though we'd have to enjoy it from inside our house {since it's cold here} I wanted it to be all dressed up for Christmas.

porch 3

3. Don't Compare Myself to Anyone Out There -{in blog world or insatagram} We all know how that can feel... you've finished decorating and one day you sit down to enjoy someones blog and all of a sudden you see a house that bigger, prettier, newer, has just the furniture you wished you had but don't... and before you know it the little touches of Christmas you've put around you house feels icky, not enough and it's almost like you can't enjoy it. Well, gosh by golly, I was not having A N Y of that!  I put up "Christmas in the forest" every year because it reminds me of the Christmases when my girls were even just a few years younger and they were enchanted by the forest. I'll put it out every single year. And while others are going alllll W H I T E {I love all of that on instagram} I still have lost of red and green. And that's okay. We can all still admire and enjoy others decorating while doing what we like in our homes.

Childhood felt house and new picture books aren't all the rage out there on istagram but I love it. So that's what I did!

family room 2

family room 1

4. Remember the R E A S O N Why we Decorate - Well we all know the reason for the season is Jesus born to us; to fill our hearts with love. Well, I like to remind myself the reason for decorating because sometimes I don't want to finish. And sometimes my little ol mind wonders 'why am I doing allllll this? It's all just coming down January 1st."  For goodness sake, kick that voice outta my head. It's Christmas after all!  It's the merriest, best time of year. Now, get busy, create, and bring joy to the hearts of those you love. And if I have to I say out loud, "you're doing all this because you love to"{my Dad always taught me to say this when I was stressed out} and sometimes I even put myself in my home on Christmas morning and think 'what do I want it look like, feel like, taste like, smell like' and then I'm motivated.

5.  Don't Do It All - Yes, you heard me. There are some things I didn't get to this year. {and that's okay} This year we didn't put up our tree in our bedroom where I hang all of the girls ornaments they've made when they were preschoolers. I adore that tree filled with literally hand prints and fingerprints of their littleness. But I just didn't get to it. Could I do that today, December 23rd? Sure, but I don't feel like it. So I'll do it next year. Maybe I'll even S T A R T with that in 2019 decorating so I make sure it happens. And guess what? I'll enjoy those handmade ornaments even more next year because I didn't see them this year. Honestly if I asked Scott to go into the attic and get another tree he would do it for me because he loves me... but is that really fair? This season is about enjoying our home and now that we are all home for some time I want my hardworking, principal amazing husband to relax and enjoy his home. One more tree might make us all grouchy and so next year will be perfectly fine.

This year because I had some new Ideas I spent what time I had on those and felt it was okay to not get to everything else. I reallllly wanted to decorate my childhood dollhouse for Christmas. I wanted to make it a farmhouse Christmas and I L O V E the way it turned out. It makes me so happy to walk up the stairs each night and see it at the top. It's a reminder of my Childhood Christmases and my heart feels full.

dollhouse 5

In my plan I had typed up 'farmhouse dollhouse' so everywhere I went I kept my eye open for things to make it magical. Abigail helped me find the horses at an antique store!

dollhouse 8

6. Think About This - Something Scott will like, Something Anna will like, Something Abigail will like, Something I will like {in that order} Sometimes I get carried away with decorating ... for goodness sake I start on November 1st... and it can quickly become all about me... what do I like... But really this year I tried to think of my sweet family too. And as I decorated I thought, "oh Anna would love this just like this; Scott would enjoy this and I would make is life easier this Christmas; Abigail would adore this" So I went about my decorating a bit more for others this year. Guess what?  It made it so much more fun and such a blessing to make T H E I R Christmas house just for them.

One thing I loved this year was creating a non-pinterest coffee tea area on my counter. Although I have always had a tea table around the corner in my kitchen I wanted to have out a way to quickly make coffee for anyone that visits. I decided to buy an old fashioned percolator - I love the way it makes my house smell and how cute it is when it bubbles up to the glass lid.

kitchen 4

My something for Anna was a cherry mudroom to walk into each day after school. Anna is the first one home and it is important to me to welcome her just like I used to when I was at the door each day. Since I can't be there until after she is home I filled the mudroom with touches of love.

porch 13

I knew Abigail would love this paper (right outta golden books) garland above her bed. When she was really little she adored Little Golden Books. So this reminds her to younger childhood Christmases.

bedroom 9

For Scott, an orderly family calendar for a quick glance makes it easier for him. I love the Susan Branch blotter calendar. Yes, this family still uses paper and pencil. We love that way it gives us that 'big picture' look at a month that I just don't feel like I can get from a phone screen.

mud room 4

7.  Start with What I Love and Let the Rest Fall Into Place- When I start with my children's books the rest just kind of just happens. I love to pull out certain things and make them the 'stars' of each room. And then everything else just falls around it.

living room 8

family room 20

One Last Thought - I'm not expert at decorating but I do know that when I put my mind to it I can do anything - I can be that homemaker I still want to be; I can {try} to be that teacher I so desire to be; I can make Christmas magical in our home... I just need to remember that I can do it all - just not all at the same time.

Enjoy slice of Heaven this Christmas season and enjoy making your home all you want it to be. Merry Christmas!


  1. Beautiful! Have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. I love your lovely Christmas home! We are in the middle of moving so my only decorations this year are my Christmas cards from friends, hung up on my front door. I also enjoyed your last post about the adoption of your daughter. What a wonderful story! Merry Christmas to you and family!

  3. Your Christmas home is lovely! Truly a gift to your sweet family! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Lovely post!! Lovely home and inspiration! Merry Christmas :)