Well friends, I’m going to keep it real! Before Thanksgiving, I planned for this post to be all about my Christmas decor. I envisioned a tour of my house all decked out for the holidays with beautiful pics like the home tours you see on Pinterest.
I started writing and something totally different began to evolve. I decided to stop writing and start taking those Pinterest worthy photos with my new fancy camera. Turns out my daughter did not inherit her photography skills from me. I have played with the camera a little and watched several tutorials but I’m clueless!
My holiday home tour has become something totally different than I planned it to be, but it’s a true reflection of who I am and where I am in my life right now.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday! Growing up, I absolutely loved decorating the house and baking cookies with my mom. When I was a little girl, my mom would wake up many December mornings and find me sleeping under the tree.
Of course, I enjoyed getting presents as a kid but for me, the real joy was family traditions and giving to others. That hasn’t changed one bit. I credit my amazing parents for setting such a great example.
The Kid Tree
One of my favorite family traditions with my kids is decorating “The Kid Tree”. (I’m one of those people who have multiple trees.) On kid tree decorating day, we go to World Market and buy all of the treats we loved during the holidays when we lived in Germany 20 years ago. When we get home, my guys bring down the tree and all of the ornaments while my daughter and I get the spread ready in the kitchen.
Twenty-six years ago when I had my daughter, I came up with this brilliant idea that I would get her and any other children I might have a special ornament or two every year. My thought was that when they grew up and moved out they would have a whole box of ornaments for their trees.
Now we have boxes and boxes of ornaments that consist of the special ornaments I bought each of the kids, a few from my childhood tree, several that we received as gifts, and all of the homemade ornaments the kids made at school. Pulling each ornament out fills my heart with so much joy. As we take out each treasure, they get handed to their rightful owner to hang on the tree. Every year we listen to Christmas music and eat our treats while we decorate our beautiful kid tree.
Every year that is until this year. My big kids were not able to come for Thanksgiving and will not be here until the 23rd. My 17-year-old is not about the family tradition without his siblings. He especially is not about taking it all down without them. (I have a thing about putting all of the ornaments back into their original boxes.) So it is the year without “The Kid Tree“.
The Circle of Life
At first, the thought of not having our beloved kid tree made me incredibly sad. I thought about not decorating at all. If you know me, you know that’s a crazy thought and it didn’t last long!
I remember how upset my mom was the first time she had to decorate without her kids. I remember telling her that even though I was so far away I would be doing all of the things she taught me with my little family. Ah, the circle of life!
I realize things are changing and my kids are going to do exactly what I did. They are going to take some of our traditions and pass them on to their families, and they will create some of their own new traditions. They will also love coming home to their momma’s where some of the traditions will continue year after year and most of the decorations will remain the same and always remind them of their childhood!
And I’m sure “The Kid Tree” will come back too! (Maybe when I have some grandbabies to help me decorate it.) Oh, and those boxes and boxes of ornaments will still be here because it turns out that my grown-up kids are not about decorating their trees with Disney ornaments and Hallmark ornaments that say son/daughter on them. I’m sure they will come picking through my boxes when they have kids.
Our Holiday Home
I polled my family and asked them about their favorite decorations. So for this holiday home tour you won’t be getting a Pinterest worthy home tour. That will have to wait until next year as I just enrolled in a photography class that starts in January. Instead, I will share some pics of what makes this Our Holiday Home!
I LOVE pillows and throws. Our house is very open and has a lot of light that comes in from all directions. The pillows and throws make it feel a little more cozy!
I use traditional Christmas colors in my family room and neutral tones in my formal living room.
The mantle is my daughter’s favorite part of our decor. (I’m going to have to have her take a pic of it when she comes home for Christmas.) We have had these stockings since my youngest son was born. Before I started decorating, I thought about replacing them this year with something a little more neutral. My boys had a fit! They couldn’t believe I was even considering such a thing. After I hung them, I couldn’t believe I was considering such a thing!
My oldest son’s favorite thing is our little Christmas village and my youngest son loves our hot cocoa bar. This year we came up with a recipe for hot cocoa that doesn’t use refined sugar. Get my tips for setting up a hot cocoa bar and free hot cocoa bar printables here.
My husband’s favorite decoration is our Christmas Nativity Pyramid that we purchased when we lived in Germany. It reminds him of something similar that his family had when he was growing up.
I can’t leave out my tablescapes. I will be one happy momma when everyone is home and we can all sit and have our meals together.
I really can’t say that I have any one favorite thing. I love it all and I especially love that every family member picked something different. It makes my heart happy knowing that we are a family that cherishes our traditions and time together.