12.12.2011

Welcome To Our Home {Christmas 2011}

I don't know about you, but I love being (virtually) invited into someones home to sneak around their Christmas-y nooks and crannies, and the blogs that host these tours are just delightful. If you're interested in seeing how I changed things up this year, you can check out my 2009 Home Tour, as well and the 2010 special. I've added a few things, removed a few things, and generally continue to tweak as the season progresses, but that's what turning a house into a home is all about, isn't it? So, come on in and welcome to our Christmas home 2011!

Photobucket
A new addition to the traditional greenery this year are the two (FREE) Charlie Brown trees that we picked up at the Christmas tree farm this year. They always have a stack of them for people to take, so I came home with two and the view of sticking one on either side of the door. I love the way they turned out!

Photobucket

Photobucket
Once you make your way into the house, this is what greets you. You might notice a few changes, including a new wall color and couch, as well as simplified wall art - all part of my quest to embrace simplicity.

Photobucket
New candle holders on the coffee table this year and less clutter overall - I'm loving it!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
I simplified our ornament collection this year, choosing to keep only the ornaments that truly meant something to us, instead of every ornament ever received or purchased. I can honestly stand in front of our tree now and tell you a story about each and every ornament - and let me tell you, that's a lot of fun!

Photobucket          Photobucket
{LEFT} This ornament belonged to my great grandmother {RIGHT} Starting with the Swedish Chef and moving clockwise - a lifelong love of The Muppet Show, a plate of Indonesian "food", a Peruvian alpaca, a buoy from Rockport, MA, sea turtle from Kakaban Island, Indonesia, carved giraffe from Tanzania, hand-worked leather from Rakops, Botswana, and finally - Koala bears from the San Diego Zoo. The tree is filled with memories from all of our many travels, and we love it!

Photobucket
Looking from the living room into the dining room, which brings me straight to my Jim Shore Nativity set...

Photobucket
I was {this close} to not unpacking my Jim Shore Nativity. I had set out the special coconut Nativity from Indonesia, and the childhood remembrance set, but I thought that anything more than two this year might just put me over the edge. However, at the last minute I relented and stuck the J.S. set on top of my hutch (where the candles were last year). What made me change my mind? I saw that there was a perfect spot to put two of my Ikea mini-trees which gave it a whole new feel.

Photobucket
Looking into the library from the dining room...the only thing different this year is that there are fewer Christmas decorations and a Pinterest-inspired centerpiece.

Photobucket

Photobucket
This post is getting a bit long, need to powder your nose or wash your hands? No tour would be complete without showing you the bit of Christmas color in our guest bathroom. Now on to the master bedroom!

Photobucket
In darkness...except for the new garlands over the windows - even bedrooms need some Christmas cheer!

Photobucket
And let there be light...and Christmas quilts!

Photobucket
The quilt on the back of the couch (you might recognize it as the one that used to be in our living room before the Ektorp took over) was the quilt that I grew up using at Christmas. It's really beautiful, but sadly, it's only a twin. The quilt on our bed was acquired last year after my mother made it for she and my dad, only to decide that she didn't want it. Too bad - but we love it!

Photobucket
The photo of the Biltmore was taken by my brother, who, in addition to taking amazing photographs of the Blue Ridge Parkway, is also the official photographer for Biltmore House. This particular print shows the house illuminated for Christmas. It's beautiful anytime, but with the lights, it's even more festive.

Photobucket

Photobucket
We'll end here - on the Nativity set from my childhood - about 25 years old now (I think Mom gave it to me when I was about 5). The center of the Nativity - Christ Jesus - is, after all, The Reason for the Season. Let us never forget that, nor what He came to Earth to do - die on a cross and take our sins upon Him so that we might have the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven with him. Truly the greatest Gift of all.

Merry Christmas and thanks for visiting!

Linking up to:
 

AND



18 comments:

  1. Your home is beautiful... very festive and homey.

    I have to tell you that I also got one of those little plants (on the right) from IKEA for Jacob to have in his dorm room... we call it Wilson.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love it! Simple yet beautiful! I love Christmas decorations and the warm homey glow it gives a house! Very well done!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your decorations look great! Very festive, yet clean and simple. I'm liking the streamlined look.... Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! (Oh, and btw, I had no idea Scott was the photographer for Biltmore! Very cool....)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful! I love the seasonal pillows in the living room and I have to admit I have major library envy! What a fantastic room! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your home looks great! So festive! Your Charlie Brown trees turned out so well :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the decor!

    And I have the same Jim Shore nativity - so I'm biased, and very happy that you put it up! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything is beautiful. I love your home. It is so warm and inviting. What did we ever do before ideas on Pinterest? ;)I love your Nativities too! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jani - I love that Jacob's tree has a name!

    Katie - Thanks, you're so sweet!

    Beth - Thanks! I'm still trying to figure out the whole less-is-more thing. Yep, I keep trying to get Scott to use me as his "assistant" - he gets to go everywhere in the house!

    Virginia - I admit, I LOVE my library!

    Erika - I know, I'm so pleased with the FREE trees!

    Drama Queen and Gina - thanks so much for visiting! And Gina - I have no idea what we did before Pinterest. Collected old magazine pages I guess! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really like that you have special quilts for Christmas & it all looks pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful holiday decor, it looks so warm and cozy in your house!

    The nativity scene I have was purchased here and there is a story behind it, http://thebeautifullife.stores.yahoo.net/reagthyehaaf.html

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like seeing your Christmas traditions--especially the nativities.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm like you and have been having a great time looking at everyone's Christmas homes! Your home looks so happy and festive-you have done a wonderful job with your Holiday decorating!

    If you have 5 minutes to spare please pop by and visit me at my Christmas blog! I am also hosting a Christmas linky and would be thrilled if you could join in!

    Best Christmas wishes,
    Natasha.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your home looks so cozy and inviting! I love your Jim Shores nativity, too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the interweb ;)

    Your home is absolutely beautiful. I love your classic style -- I'm going to have to read through your blog for more inspiration!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    -- Vanessa

    ReplyDelete
  15. LOVE all your decor!! Your aim toward simplicity continues to inspire me!! Thanks for sharing the photos! Oh, and I especially loved the insight to a few of the ornaments on your tree -- LOVE when there are stories behind them!! =D I didn't know that about your brother being the official photographer for Biltmore -- how COOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love all of your lights and your Charlie Brown trees!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well done Carrie! I love how your house looks so cozy and inviting. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love how you have the lights over the windows like that. Looks so festive! :)

    ReplyDelete

There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails