It seems that whenever I get really busy, my blog entries drop off precipitously. I just haven’t learned how to balance doing and sharing about doing. This holiday season was one of those times when I just seemed to never get around to photographing, editing, and writing about what I’ve been up to. Anyway, before the holidays are completely history, I thought I’d at least create one entry to document the fact that we did celebrate the Christmas season here at Our MT Nest!
My philosophy for holiday decor was K.I.S.S. (keep it super simple). We’ll soon be leaving town for our winter sojourn in St. Augustine, so I will need to de-Christmas the house later this week. With that in mind, my goal was to create a holiday home that could be easily restored to a non-holiday state.
When we lived in South Florida, I had a total of 13 bins of Christmas decor which meant that the fully decorated house was a Christmas wonderland. These days, I am keeping the holiday decor much more simple. I am enhancing seasonless decor items like lanterns and baskets with touches of holiday greenery, berries, pine cones, and ribbon. Along with those enhancements, I add a few overtly Christmasy items. The end result is that the house feels festive, but it won’t be an overwhelming task to remove the traces of the holiday.
Although all the rooms in the house have a few holiday touches, the kitchen/dining room/great room area is the most thoroughly decorated.
The photos above of the living and dining rooms were taken from the second floor landing on Christmas Eve morning. This year I reprised last year’s Christmas tree decor…white lights, red cardinals, red berries, red bows, natural pine cones, and a wide burlap ribbon garland that’s embroidered with cardinals and pine.
One of the first things I did when transitioning from fall to Christmas decor, was to change out the throw pillow covers, from rusty orange to red chenille herringbone pattern. These pillow covers were originally filled with polyfill. I opened a seam, removed the loose filling material (oh what a mess) and added invisible zippers so they can be used with my down pillow inserts. For the holidays I left the Pottery Barn willow paisley covers on the other pillows that were used throughout the fall. I like the way they work with the “pop of red” textured pillows.
I added a faux pine garland with plaid bows and fairy lights to the stairs. It looks so lovely lit up at night.
My snowflake placemat pillow covers from last year made another appearance this year.
Throughout December, the dining table was simply dressed with a table runner that I made from a holiday script printed fabric that was purchased at the end of last year’s holiday season. Atop the table runner was a lantern flanked by two faux mini-pine trees.
Not only do we eat all our meals here, but it is also where I set up my sewing machine and work on other crafts and projects. So, I frequently remove the centerpiece to make room for project work. Having a simple centerpiece is the most practical. But once the projects for December were done, I changed out the centerpiece for a more elegant one, a collection of DIY mercury glass hurricanes, some candlesticks, and a faux pine garland with the same table runner. Strands of fairy lights in the hurricanes give them additional sparkle.
The switch out of the centerpiece set in motion a domino of rearranging holiday decor. The hurricanes were previously on the buffet. The lantern and pine trees moved to the top of a small chest that we call the music chest because when it belonged to my mother-in-law she kept her sheet music in it. To make room for the lantern and pine trees, an arrangement of red roses and two porcelain deer were bounced from the music chest over to the buffet.
In keeping with my K.I.S.S. philosophy, this simple vignette on the buffet and the silvery one below in the guest bathroom demonstrate how a little bit of holiday decor can go a long way. A reindeer and some faux snow, two silver pinecones, and a dollar store silver glittery snowflake, a quick and simple vignette. Just a small collection of beautiful objects.
This rustic vignette tops the hutch over the buffet. The lantern and vase remained from the fall vignette. I switched out boughs of fall leaves for pine and berries. Then I added some rustic Christmas trees, wooden stars, and my newest holiday decor item, the “Joy” sign.
I enjoy using my holiday set of daily use dishes, Farberware Holiday Snowmen, throughout the holiday season each year. Some of the mugs are part of the Hot Chocolate “bar” shown below that sits on the bar between the kitchen and dining room.
And we use our hand-painted snowmen wine glasses which were a gift from a friend some years ago every year as well. Here they surround a cheerful felt Santa. The basket on the left holds holiday printed cloth napkins and paper plates, conveniently located for easy accessibility. I use this basket year round, switching out the table linens seasonally.
Red carnations and white pom pom mums fill a Santa Clause pitcher. And the cute little Santa gnome below which is a favorite of my eldest granddaughter, stands guard by small dishes of peppermint candies and chocolate kisses.
Our kitchen chalkboard carries a holiday message.
But amid all the Santas, reindeer, and trees, by far our most important Christmas decoration is our nativity. It is prominently placed near the center of our home, a continuous reminder of the Reason for the Season. This nativity was purchased in Germany by Mr. MT Nest’s parents about 50 years ago. The wood from which it was carved, came from the Black Forest. I fell in love with this beautifully handcrafted nativity the first time I saw it and am so pleased that it was handed down to us so we now include it in our holiday decor every year.
Okay, that concludes our holiday home tour…and in a day or two it’ll be time to start taking everything down and putting it away. That makes me feel a tiny bit sad. I think the house is so cozy and beautiful decorated for Christmas. But it always feels so clean and new when I put everything away, too. So there’s that to look forward to. How do you feel when you take down Christmas?