Because I Don’t Want To Miss The Fun

Nester and Kelly are each hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes right now, and even though I wasn’t planning to participate because I didn’t think I’d have time to pull a post together, yesterday I thought, Hey! I like Christmas! I like decorations! – and even though my decorations are nothing spectacular, they feel like home to our little family. So I thought I’d share.

This is the tree in our little boy’s room. I can take absolutely no credit for it because my mama decorated it when I was in Ecuador last month. But the little man is crazy about it, and I love walking down the hall and getting a glimpse of those lights.

Our tree looks a lot like it always does. For the last couple of years we’ve had colored lights instead of white lights, and I am a fan. I think white lights are so elegant, but Mama used to put colored lights on our tree when I was a little girl, so I have continued that tradition. Of course, Mama uses white lights on her tree now, but I’m going to stick with the colored lights. It’s A MATTER OF CHRISTMASTIME PRINCIPLE, PEOPLE.

Also, I should probably point out that Mama also decorated our main tree while I was in Ecuador. It makes me feel just the tiniest bit like a slacker, but more than anything it makes me resolved to plan a mid-November trip EVERY SINGLE YEAR FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

All I’m sayin’ is that it was delightful to walk in the house after a week away and find two beautifully decorated trees. THANKS, MAMA!

(Mama doesn’t actually read my blog.)

(She’s fond of saying that she certainly can’t get on the Internet considering that she’s not even sure how to “turn on the email.”)

I don’t know if this plant actually falls into the Christmas category or not, but I saw it at a local nursery a couple of weeks ago and decided that it needed to live with us. It was in the middle of all the poinsettias and miniature Christmas trees and rosemary shrubs and whathaveyou, so I told myself that it’s a Christmas plant and brought it home and the end.

We don’t have a mantel over our fireplace (note to self: after five years in this house, it might be time to remedy that situation), so I hang our stockings on the circa-1974 bar that sits in a corner of our living room. It’s one of those unique-to-this-house traditions that makes me smile, mainly because it’s not really the most typical place to put some stockings (“Their stockings were hung by the wet bar with care / In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there but resist the temptation to rifle through the cabinets and fix himself a hot toddy”).

We don’t actually have any alcohol in or around the wet bar, mind you, but still: I am tickled by the notion of stockings hanging on a bar. WACKY BAPTIST, I AM.

Last year Alex’s teacher asked us to send in 350 strips of fabric, and after I finished breathing into my favorite paper bag that I keep on hand specifically for craft-related meltdowns, I went to the fabric store and waved the instruction sheet in the general direction of a couple of sales clerks while I tried not to panic in the presence of all those notions and needles and specialty scissors. After I bought the fabric, my sister had mercy on me and cut every single one of those fabric strips in approximately seven minutes.

You may be picking up on the fact that my family members tend to stand in the gap for me where Things Crafty are concerned. They understand that, if I’m left to my own devices, any task requiring scissors and/or thread is going to turn real ugly real fast.

ANYWAY (WAS THERE EVEN A POINT TO THIS STORY?), I think the fabric wreath is as cute as it can be, and I hung it on our back door as a reminder that the Lord always sends people to walk with us through difficult craft-related times.


I hung some ornaments on the chandelier in our dining room, and this is a picture of that and also sort of a picture of one of my feather trees. And I don’t really know what else to say about that.


And listen. This is what you call DECORATIONS GONE AWRY. I found that orange bird at a flea market in my hometown, and I wanted to put it in the center of the main wreath in our dining room. But then I realized that attaching the bird to the wreath would require some sort of wire or fishing line or whatever, and I was all, NO THANK YOU, MA’AM, I BELIEVE THE BIRD WOULD JUST LIKE TO REST ON THE WINDOW SILL.

Really, I’m just here to inspire you to reach for the decorative stars. I feel that it’s my mission and purpose in life. Go big or, well, just give up and fix yourself a Diet Coke and watch that Selling Spelling Manor show on HGTV because she has ONE HUNDRED FIFTY NINE toy soldiers that she bought at Los Angeles-area Costcos.


This is one of our Nativity sets. Normally it’s spread out a little bit more, but Alex set it up and I just left it alone. I can’t decide if the cow and the donkey are feeling anti-social or if they’re standing guard over baby Jesus, but either way: DELIGHTFUL.

I have a child who enjoys a Christmas countdown, so we have several different countdown items in our breakfast room. One is the chalkboard – a gift from A.’s sweet kindergarten teacher.

I found this countdown placemat at Target right after Thanksgiving, and it’s been a huge hit what with the spinny wheel that you use to change the date and all.

This Advent wreath makes my heart melt a little every time I look at it. I ordered it from Ann’s son Caleb, and all the profits go to Compassion International. We’ve been using one candle throughout Advent, but on Christmas Eve, we’re going to light ‘er up with 24. For me this wreath has been a great visual reminder that with every day of Advent we inch a little bit closer to the birth of Jesus; with every day of Advent we move a little bit closer to the manger.

Somebody really needs to sing “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” right now.

Seriously. I’ll start. Y’all chime in with some harmony.

Finally (FINALLY!), this is our Christmas card tree. I started putting a Christmas card tree in our playroom about five years ago when we got a free tree from Home Depot (it was a Thanksgiving sale promotion). This year the Christmas card tree looks a little sad because we haven’t gotten a whole lot of cards yet, but I’m holding out hope that the tree will be filled to overflowing by the end of next week. Since most of our friends have kids who are 10 and up, the cards don’t roll in quite as fast as furious as they did when everybody had toddlers and couldn’t wait to share a picture of their young’uns wearing various and sundry smocked clothing items on the beach.

Those were good Christmas card times.

So. There you have it. My (endless) (non-crafty) Christmas tour. I hope I didn’t put you to sleep, but if I did, I certainly hope you enjoy your nap.

Be Merry, y’all.

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  1. This post made my morning. I was laughing, especially at these two parts:
    “It’s one of those unique-to-this-house traditions that makes me smile, mainly because it’s not really the most typical place to put some stockings (“Their stockings were hung by the wet bar with care / In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there but resist the temptation to rifle through the cabinets and fix himself a hot toddy”).

    We don’t actually have any alcohol in or around the wet bar, mind you, but still: I am tickled by the notion of stockings hanging on a bar. WACKY BAPTIST, I AM.”


    “just give up and fix yourself a diet Coke and watch that Selling Spelling Manor show on HGTV because she has ONE HUNDRED FIFTY NINE toy soldiers that she bought at Los Angeles-area Costcos.


    Thank you for the laugh =)


  2. Oh my word, Sophie, you make me laugh so hard! You make looking at Christmas decorations so fun. Your house looks great! I say every year that I’m going to do your Christmas card tree. I’ve really got to do it next year. I just love that idea!

  3. I LOVED your tour. Thanks for keeping it real!

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Thanks for the laugh! :)

    Ok, inbox me your address on FB and I’ll send you a Christmas card for your tree! My picture is of my children at the beach!! But they are not on the sand, and they do not have on smocked outfits! (But of course I have sent those in the past!!) In fact, they do not even have on matching outfits! Gasp! It was a spontaneous picture, and I liked it so much when we got home that I just used it for the card.

    Your mama sounds like mine….with the email/internet and all! Ha!

  5. Samma Michelle says:

    Can I just say you totally cracked me up! I love reading your fascinating stories….no seriously I never skip a blog post of yours because you crack me up! I love your Christmas tour and maybe just maybe I’ll do one too now! Right after I go see if I can find any on demand episodes of Selling Spelling Manor because I just saw my first last night and OHMYGOODNESSHEAVENS sake! For the record my mama can’t turn on the email either ;0)

  6. I borrowed your idea for the Christmas Card tree a few years ago and realized that I needed a bigger tree! Not that we get TONS of cards…quite the opposite…but a 3 foot tree + cards that take up more space than I realized = no room on the tree after about 8 cards. ha! :)

  7. Crack me up! This post totally brightened my day…seriously! You are my kind of decorating girl :)

  8. I’ve always wanted your curtains!

  9. Love this post! Hilarious! I especially love the whole “paper bag for craft meltdowns.” It’s nice to know there are other women out there who aren’t crafty (that sounds weird but you know what I mean.) :)

  10. Hey girl! Loved this! I started to take part in the tour but I realized it required …. well, decorating something. I did put up my tree (yesterday) and I have color lights! (YES on colored lights!). That’s really all little grand boy Ben cares about so that may be it for us!

  11. Loved your decorations! And, thanks for the laughs in between!

  12. I have the same little manger scene and I watched that HGTV special on the Spelling House. Wowzers! Thanks for opening your home for us.

    I am wondering if people are not sending out cards as much as they used to. We have not gotten nearly as many in the last couple of years.

  13. My favorite part of this post was the part about your mom not being able to “turn on the email”. My mom turned 83 this week and she recently bought herself a laptop computer. But she can never get it to work like her old email machine. I keep reminding her that it isn’t the same thing as an email machine. So your little reference cracked me up!

  14. I needed to end my horrible day I cannot quite laughing, you are a hoot!!

  15. Hilarious!
    Thank you for always making us laugh.

  16. Julie Reynolds says:

    Thank you so much Sophie!! You made me laugh and I appreciate your decorating style because it is very similar to mine-whatever works!! I love your house and your decorating, especially the orange bird on the wreath, my kind of crafting!! Merry Christmas!

  17. Love the advent wreath!!

  18. Sophie, how do you attach the cards to the card tree?

    And the Nativity Alex arranged? Love it when kids fix the manger scene like that.Everyone is huddled in really close to Jesus…just the way we should be, at Christmas and everyday!

  19. I think I first discovered you through a Christmas Home Tour…. so glad you are still taking part (or maybe I didn’t!)

    Love the wooden advent wreath with all the different holes for the candles – I can sense the anticipation building til there is a holy (as opposed to un-holy!) inferno on Christmas Eve.

    Not a fan of feathers – they freak me out – but I can admire yours from the safe distance of the other side of the Atlantic.

    Here we are strictly WHITE LIGHT people, as I had coloured lights as a kid, and always wanted white. My kids of course crave coloured ones, but I tell them they will have to leave home to get them … along with the puppy, flashing outside lights and anything else I am depriving them of!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours from Ireland.

  20. Love your festive house so much! :-) I’m particularly fond of the bird on the window . . .

  21. i feel much better now. thanks! merry christmas!

  22. Thanks for sharing your home with us! I love that it isn’t one of the Good Housekeeping magazine covers because that’s what us mommies with little’uns do! I would join you on your trip every November, but I would come back to a pile of ashes, notsomuch a decorated house. :)

  23. Melanie M says:

    The most delightful house on the tour! Love it!

  24. love all the things that feel like “home”! Also, LOVE the card from the Dyes…we have one of theirs too! Love how you can be where you are and I can be where I am and we both know the same peeps who live in your hometown!! can we be more southern?

  25. I’d like to be in YOUR house this time of year. Looks like “home,” and that’s really what we all want, right!?
    You always make me laugh…thanks!

  26. I love the Advent candles. We have it, too. Sadly, Mary was placed in a safe spot after Christmas last year and I forgot where it was. So, we just have a little candle moving from spot to spot. But I can’t find candles that are the right size to fit in those holes! Which ones do you use?

  27. I had completely forgotten about the fabric strip craftastrophe of last year. It surely did yield an absolutely ADORABLE little wreath, though! I am going to have to make one myself!

    I am in love with the feather tree. I want like ten of those. But I also know my felines will mistake them for real birds and I will have the pretty feather tree for approximately one night.

    I am from Wisconsin originally. Stockings hanging from a bar is pretty regular up there. ;-)

  28. LOVE that feather tree-where’d you get that? And the mirror-ball ornament too. But I have to say I shuddered just a little when I read hot toddy. That’s too close to hoddy toddy for my maroon blood:)

  29. Boo Mama, I love you! Thanks for making me laugh! :)

  30. Love the stockings on the bar. I have missed your blog so much! (I have been inundated at work, and blog reading took a back seat to collapsing when I got home and not moving) My life seems to be a bit less hectic these days, and I’m so looking forward to reading on a more regular basis once again! Merry Christmas to you!

  31. I’ve never seen an advent wreath like that before. Love it.

  32. Somehow I stumbled across your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is now bookmarked, and I will continue to check in regularly. Love your sense of humor. I was raised a Baptist, too, but I don’t admit it much anymore. Rather than a religion, I’m glad I have a relationship with Jesus.