Welcome to a little Christmas at our house. It's up close and very personal.
It's been mild for December and, quite frankly, I'm very happy about it because last winter was brutal.
Say hello to "Chaos". She turns snow into art. It's an instant reminder of home and many old memories. Her owner, a friend photographer from up north, was generous and kindly gave me this photo. What a beautiful Christmas gift. I can't wait to frame it!
So let's go on to my interpretation of home Christmas away from home.
A lot of nature was thrown into the mix. I gathered cuttings right off our property to make a door greeting. A little sage and rosemary also add a bit of aroma to the evergreens.
A weathered vintage sled and wheel sit at the side of the entrance.
Although no snow is predicted for Christmas, I'm really okay with all of this green. I think the rabbits are too.
Now that you're here...
Come on in! Grab a cup of coffee and check out our thrift shop, Craigslist, handcrafted, dollar store-budget saving home.
The foyer off the kitchen takes us to a chest of drawers I fell in love with. It's a yard sale find. You can expect its restoration to be posted.
Endless and flame-less candles are displayed as we enter the dining room.
The dining room is a pass through to the living room.
It's a room that I have a love/hate relationship with. Love what we've done to the floor and all of our gatherings here, but hate the ceiling. I'm anxious to rip it off and expose the beams.
Ignoring those thoughts, it's Christmas. The big ol' farm table and vintage chairs with a tree snuggled in makes Christmas dinner quite cozy.
The table runner is layered with burlap and a plaid tapestry runner over the top.
Lanterns and deer elements give a woodlands feel to the centerpieces. I'm lucky to find this vintage nut bowl at a thrift shop. It's a nostalgic piece and our birds love nuts.
Oh, and here they are. They will to talk with you. Britta, 22, sings opera. She has a lovely Spanish accent and Molly, 4, sounds British. I giggle when hearing her say "hallo/helˈəʊ".
The table lanterns contain bulbs and LED lights. Another mix of old and new.
Seating for ten (and more in the kitchen) usually finds about 20-26 people laughing and eating all throughout the house. Gatherings are my favorite part of Christmas. We have two of them. One up north with my parents and the other here at our home. It's fun to have a two day event that makes the holiday last longer. To me, it's all about presence; not presents. I love seeing everyone.
A wee bit of modern is always fun. This giant 3 foot nutcracker is new. My youngest son loves it.
I swagged the windows with natural pine garland, spray painted leaf stems and sage cuttings. Very pre-1900's looking, but I like it.
Added with red ornaments dangling in the windows gives a splash of color. I didn't intend for the intricate lace on the valances to appear as falling snowflakes... it just happened that way.
The hutch and buffet have lit up greenery.
Berries are my favorite holiday accents.
Vintage skis and a sled are set up on the side. Another nostalgic winter touch.
The brass chandelier redo looks festive with some pine and berries resting on it.
Stockings of fur and plaids are hung at the fireplace.
This little elf is a mantel favorite of mine each year.
So is this snowshoe Santa.
I kept the vintage silver pieces set up because I love the engraving. It reminds me of leather tooling. And, it looks like an antique Christmas tray.
Passing by the dining room fireplace, the stocking Santa stands guard. (It's an official title I gave him.)
I didn't plan on two trees. It just happened to come together with a story to share. The old fat tree is in the dining room. It's actually a thrift shop find. Remember "Chaos" above? Her owner does this magical beautiful thing every year. He donates Christmas trees to people who don't have one. He investigates and then buys trees to secretly leave them at their houses. He's a "Tree Santa".
Two years ago, a family with young children needed one in my area. So working through him, I gave my old artificial tree to that family along with decorations. The very next day while I was at a thrift shop, this fat one came in. I decided to snag it up to fulfill our own Christmas tree dilemma. So it's now become our "magical Christmas tree." A reminder that giving works in spiritual ways.
I trimmed it with gold snowflakes and red bulbs to blend in with the berry and greenery theme.
With limited space in the living room, I dreaded putting the fat one in. But we always have the tree in the living room and couldn't change that fact. So I bought a new... very tall and skinny tree this year; strictly for rustic woodland ornaments. It's not elaborate or expensive but it can be located anywhere in the room. It's perfect. So we have two trees and the family likes the new set up.
Not a ladder person, but this 10 foot tree forced my height skills to a whole new level. (haha... just had to say that)
While I was up there, the natural pine garland is touched up with swags in the corners of the archway. I put them together with odds and ends my mom gave me from her craft stash. She's another reason to be grateful. Not just for being mom. This year, for fighting off cancer. Although still going through some aftermath; she's winning the battle.
Oh, boy... I'm so excited to share these beautiful bird ornaments! When I was at the nursery for pine cuttings, these feathered ornaments were only $2.99 each! I just had to get a bunch for our new woodland Christmas tree.
They are my new favorites. The feathers are beautiful. (I won't mention that to Britta and Molly. They are the jealous type.)
As for the rest of the living room... it's always "lived in". Always... untidy. I'm embarrassed to take photos of it. Blankets get tossed about the furniture and doggy toys are stepped on. Games, laptops, magazines, snack evidence, and other proof of laziness exists. It's heavily indicated that we are a family that spends a lot of time together here... including our pets.
But the room does show signs of Christmas besides the tree.
Our little old man, Max, knows the holiday is near... Santa brings him treats and more toys to leave on the floor. He rarely leaves the living room.
Simple greenery added to pieces is all I did to make the room festive. I have a couple of antique horse collars hanging on the stone wall by the pellet stove. An antique hand made ladder makes a great blanket holder. (But the blankets are tossed on the couch and chairs.) The horse blanket stays on the ladder.
And this Santa was from the dollar store a few years back. It's adorable with its brushed yarn texture.
This antique trunk isn't decorated or filled with anything. The embossed tin is rusty and the trunk needs repairing, but I adore it. The worn wood will remain as it is too. It's just an antique that I love looking at.
Evidently my passion for equine, farming, rustic Adirondacks, and selective antiques shows here. You can bet "Chaos" will be hanging in this room when I frame her.
Numerous pillows get tossed around the furniture too. I actually tidied up just a little bit for pictures.
The fire adds a lot of comfort on it's own. But, by laying this bear skin on our gigantic coffee table, it brings out so much more coziness to the room. It's my dad's from his hunting days and he was very generous giving it to me. It's a treasure.
Well, I'm off to clean the kitchen and go through the cabinets. I have to drag out recipes and start the grocery list for Christmas.
Feeling very stressed with a few days left, it's time to put together gifts and get ready for family gatherings. So I'll end the tour here.
Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world during the most wonderful time of the year!
From our home to yours, wishing you a very merry Christmas with many blessings and peace.
Mr. R, Mrs. R.,
the Aceman, Mr. Max, Miss Britta and Miss Molly
Mr. R, Mrs. R.,
the Aceman, Mr. Max, Miss Britta and Miss Molly