Friday, December 16, 2011

Home for the Holidays

I'm going to pass on Friday's photo challenge since the prompt is 'hippo' and I haven't a clue. It's also time for the annual Holiday Blog Tour of Homes hosted by Kelly's Korner and Nesting Place so I thought I'd join in there today instead. I love to see all the different ways people decorate their homes for Christmas. Grab a cuppa and come on in...

We had the idea that we might hire one of those lighting companies to do the outdoor lights this year since hubs back has been giving him fits. Ha- when he saw the quote it was his heart that nearly gave out. I'm not sure you'd believe me if I told you the estimate but it was ka-razy!

We don't do a lot of outdoor lighting plus we have a rather large gap in our landscaping thanks to losing a huge tree during that insane October snowstorm. fyi-If you've never visited my blog before you should know that I have trouble posting pictures without a lot of words to go with. ahem.

I posted this picture of my front staircase the other day-

Here's my Colonial Soldier all decked out for the holidays standing guard in the foyer. Ordinarily he's quite serious and doesn't wear a big red bow. He's one of my most favorite keepsakes from our years spent living in England-

My house has high ceilings and a somewhat open plan which makes taking pictures a little bit challenging. Or it might just be my lousy photography skills but whatever, it's hard to find an angle that isn't awkward.

This little snowman sits on a half wall between my foyer and family room...he says Willkommen. Allow me to translate-that means Welcome in German. My talent for languages is impressive, yes? A tea light sits in his back but I couldn't capture him lit. I bought him at a Christmas market in the old walled city of Nuremberg.

Our main tree is in the family room. I'm still tweaking my mantle but so far I like it-

I bought new brass stocking hangers this year and also new stockings from Pottery Barn-

They refuse to hang with their toes aligned which only bothers me a little bit. I'm thinking if I put something in them they'll straighten up. As much as I'd like to obsess about this I just don't have the time.

I like to take a picture of my family room from the upstairs bridge looking down. It's not really a bridge but I don't know what word to's the piece of hallway that connects our Master bedroom to the rest of the house. This portion of the hallway is open on both sides so you can look down into my family room or the main foyer.

If you look really closely you'll see my pup curled up in 'her' chair.

We have a second tree in our sunroom and because this is the front of the house you can see it from outside. I took this picture thru the glass doors looking in from the living room.

Our living room is not actually all that lived in but the sunroom is maybe my favorite room in the house.

I changed things up a little bit this year with my Snow Village. In the past I've had it on top of my kitchen cabinets but a. it's a pain to get it up there and b. hubs thinks it might be a small fire hazard with the way the chords are put together and c. you cannot see every adorable little detail in the buildings at that distance. Look at these little skis that sit in the ski rest at the Smokey Mountain Resort-

Normally I put my nativity set on the side table but since that's home now to my Snow Village I moved the nativity to the coffee table. I actually really like it here-front and center.

We've had this nativity set since our first married Christmas-1984. It has only suffered one casualty in all that time and that's Joseph. The original broke somehow and I found a replacement that kind of fits. Hubs says this Joseph has a bit of a pituitary problem but I don't think it's too noticeable.

Moving on (told you I like words)...I have three glass jars on my kitchen island year round and I like to change out the contents with the seasons. Right now I have red, green, and gold jingle bells and small ornaments in the two smaller jars and a candle surrounded by cinnamon scented pine cones in the bigger jar. I always have a lot of candles around here. I don't think a house can ever have too many candles, case in point, my kitchen table-

and one of my favorites in my family room-

I bought this basket filled with pine cones, gold beads, and blue fairy lights at our women's club auction one year-

My dining room is navy blue and white so it sits on my server beside my German pyramid. I know some people think a dining room is wasted space but I'm not one of them.

Thanks for stopping by today...since this post is kinda long I think I'll wrap it up with one of my favorite nativity scenes-

Wishing you a Christmas filled with JOY!


  1. Thanks for opening your home up to me. It's beautiful and cozy. I love all the decorations and I don't mind the wordiness one bit. It adds all the more charm to your post. =D

  2. Beautiful. I'd love to have outdoor lights installed, but the estimate was outrageous (and our house is just one story and smaller than yours).

    I *love* that JOY nativity!

  3. Your home is gorgeous and so festive! What a warm and welcoming place to come home to! Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Great decorations in your lovely home. Indoor pictures are difficult to take, regardless of your photography skills. Thanks for sharing. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings, SusanD

  5. Your home is so gorgeous! And you have it decorated very nicely! Don't think to much about the stockings not lining up. They never do! haha. I don't write a lot on my blog and use pictures to do the talking… so I really enjoy reading your blog. You have a wonderful way with words.

  6. Thanks for taking us on the holiday tour of your beautiful home. I love it!

  7. It is all so beautiful! I love the candelabra especially. :-)

  8. Lovely decorations. I have the same snowman that you have next to the glass jars in your kitchen. But I never get to put a tea light in it because it sits in a bookcase.

  9. Your home is festive and welcoming. It is nice that you have decorations from around the world. It must bring back a lot of memories when you see them.

  10. Joyce, it is all so beautiful. Looks like you are all set to have a Merry Christmas. I normally join in the Tour but I'm just not ready this year.

  11. Absolutely gorgeous Joyce and I love how so many of your pieces come with stories. :)

  12. I have village pieces too and since moving into this house have not found the right place for them to go. But this year I put most houses across the back of the piano, and 3 houses and the village tree (all from the Charles Dickens set) on my family room mantle. It looks nice and no cords are showing. Yeah! I always like your pics. Thanks.

  13. I love your house and your decorations. Makes me really feel the Christmas spirit.
    But I disagree with you when you say "We don't do a lot of outdoor lighting". That´s a LOT by my standards! Good job your hubby did!!

  14. I am cracking up because we thought the same thing when we bought this house. Putting the lights up along the roof line is HIGH! So the next year we got a quote! LOL! Needless to say all we do now is whatever is low! Plus being at the end of the culdesac in a gated community - not a whole heck of a lot of people see our house anyway. Kinda sad.
    I've been thinking of you, since my niece is now living in London and will not make it home for Christmas. They are gong to go over to Paris, which made me think of you again. You must've had beautiful Christmas's over there.
    Well your house looks fabulous.
    That chimney looks like it is just waiting for Santa...
    Have a great weekend.

  15. I love the front of your grand! Your mantle looks finished to me... ;)

  16. Your home is beautiful! I love the candleabra in front of the mirror on your mantle. Stunning! If it happens to disappear you might have to look me up in Illinois to get it back. :)

  17. Beautiful and oh so homey! Love hub's comment about the pituitary problem w/ Joseph! The JOY nativity is beyond clever. Thanks for the tour.

  18. Beautiful home - and you have such a knack for decorating. Love that some of the pieces have memories attached.

  19. Beautiful, Joyce! Thanks for the tour. We have the same PB stockings, and since I include the spouses of our married kids, and the grandkids, we have 13 this year! Ours hang straight because they are too crowded to move! Lol. Yours look lovely. I especially like your soldier with the bow. So festive!

  20. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to see it all in person. We have the same stocking holders and I love them. I put beans in a ziploc bag in the toe of our stockings to keep them hanging straight. Drives me crazy too!

    See you tomorrow for HPW!

  21. You have a beautiful home and beautiful decorations!

  22. Joyce, what pretty things in your Christmas decor. You have the deco knack - love it! I love the photo looking down into your living room. My favorite!

  23. Such a beautiful home. I love the pretty lights in your landscaping. My favorite is your German pyramid.