Christmas Tour of Homes 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

So this year I decided that I was only decorating for Christmas with stuff that I really, really love. And I certainly don’t mean to imply that in the past I’ve decorated with all sorts of stuff that I, you know, hate, because what in the world would be the fun of that, MY WORD. But I think you probably know what I mean. Which is why I’m going to fight the urge to overexplain WITH EVERYTHING IN ME and show you some pictures now.

All righty, here’s our tree.

This year we decided to go CRAZY and use colored lights instead of white lights. WE’RE OUT OF CONTROL!

We actually had to replace the lights on our tree because all the original lights (our tree was pre-lit) were BROKE DOWN when we (and by “we,” I mean the other person in my marriage who is not me) set up the tree and plugged in everything. My husband actually spent the better part of a day taking the old lights off of the tree – apparently they were welded to the branches with some combination of screws and super glue and molten metal – and the fact that our marriage actually survived Light Removal Day is proof that God is still in the business of miracles, my friends.

Once David put on the new lights, I started decorating the tree – and I think I subconsciously tried to turn our Light Removal Day frown upside down by only using our very favorite ornaments.

Like these fun Christmas balls that my mama gave me last year.

And these cute Starbucks ornaments. Because Starbucks is a deeply meaningful part of our lives. PLEASE DON’T PITY US.

I kept the living room pretty simple, too – just some wreaths, a couple of my favorite Christmas items and a rosemary tree that MAKES ME SO HAPPY WITH ITS YUMMY SMELLINESS.

I know. I didn’t even pick up for y’all. I should be so ashamed. In fact, my mama may not even be able to show her face at church next Sunday because SHE’LL NEVER GET OVER THAT WRINKLED THROW ON THE COUCH. EVER.

Nonetheless, here are a few of the things that make me smile in the living room.

I was four. My friend Laura was three. AND APPARENTLY SANTA FORGOT HIS MUSTACHE.

In the kitchen I made a quick little centerpiece with Christmas balls in my favorite colors.

Our Christmas card tree is in the office that’s right off of our breakfast area, and it keeps that part of the house feeling pretty festive.

Especially a couple of days before Christmas when it looks like this.

The Christmas card tree has become one of my very favorite traditions in our house. I LOVE IT. And when Mama and Daddy get to our house Christmas Eve, the first thing Mama will do is pull up a chair right next to the card tree and STUDY those cards. Then she’ll ask me 800 questions about how everybody on the tree is doing.

At least, that’s what she’ll do if she’s recovered from the horrible My-Daughter-Didn’t-Pick-Up-Her-Living-Room-Before-She-Put-A-Picture-Of-It-On-The-Internet ordeal.

Y’all might want to keep Mama in your prayers.

My dining room looks pretty much like it always does.

But a few days before Christmas, it’ll look like this.

And every single time my little boy and his friends stomp through that part of the house, I will cringe and wait to hear the sound of something breaking. It’s a very special tradition as you can imagine.

Speaking of the boy, he has a new tree in his room, mainly because the old aluminum tree – which was SO fun and vintage and sparkly – was not going to survive another year in a little boy’s room. So this year we went with something a little more, um, STURDY.

And as always, a few of the little man’s crafts made their way into the decor – I think these are my most favoritest decorations of all.

So there you have it. I’m tempted to say that we’ve really scaled back with the decorations this year, but then I remember that we have three Christmas trees, so I think I’ll just offer you a cookie and wave bye-bye.

(Here is where I should insert a picture of me waving bye-bye, only wait, I DON’T HAVE ONE.)

Merry Christmas, everybody – and don’t forget to check out all the other homes on Nester’s Tour!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:10-14

Quick Update

Hey internets –

I know that my presence here is sort of inconsequential right now (which has worked out beautifully this week, what with all the not writing I’ve been doing), but I wanted to tell you three things.

No, four.

1) I have been astonished by your response to Ye Olde Christmas Tour. And y’all totally get the credit for the number of people who participated, because you are the ones who got the word out. You posted the button and told your readers and mentioned the tour on Twitter and who knows what else. Then you showed up and linked to your beautiful pictures and shared all your wonderful ideas. Thank you. I cannot say it enough.

2) Friday morning I’m going to close Mr. Linky to any new links. The list is huge, and once that post rolls over to a new page, it won’t be so easy to check and make sure the links are legitimate. So the current links will remain active, but you won’t be able to add a new link after about 10 AM central time tomorrow.

3) Also, I’m doing a random drawing from the comments on the tour post, and one of the commenters will win a personalized engraved tile from Engraved Euniques. I’ll post the winner sometime after lunch tomorrow.

4) After our unfortunate post-Thanksgiving run-in with Stomach Virus ’08 (I haven’t blogged about it because quite frankly I don’t want to think about it EVER AGAIN IN MY WHOLE LIFE), I’ve decided that there is absolutely no way I can cook cornbread dressing or sweet potato casserole for Christmas dinner. There’s really no good reason to share the specific details that led me to this decision, but suffice it to say that I HAVE MY REASONS.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to make homemade pizzas for Christmas dinner (it’ll be different! it’ll be fun! it won’t be anything like cornbread dressing!), then use the leftover marinara sauce to cook chicken parmesan the day after Christmas when my sister and her hubby come to town.

So. If you happen to have some good homemade pizza recipes and / or pizza ideas, would you let me know in the comments?


Or gratzi.

And, you know, thanks.

Christmas Tour Of Homes 2008


Hey, internets – welcome to the 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes!

I’ll go ahead and confess to y’all that I panicked a little bit last week when I realized that this tour-o-homes business was on the horizon and, HELLO, MY HOUSE LOOKS JUST LIKE IT ALWAYS DOES AT CHRISTMAS, OH SWEET MERCY THE PRESSURE.

But then I remembered that there are a few little traditions that I’ve never shared with you, and as you can imagine my relief was palpable.

First, though, let’s look at all the stuff that looks just like last year!



And with lights!


Oh, we are very fancy. And once again I can take absolutely no credit at all for my tree, because Mama decorated every single bit of it. Thankfully she didn’t take any tree-related tumbles this year, though the decorating was briefly interrupted by a pesky stomach virus. Obviously she rebounded and finished the task at hand remarkably well.

As always I decorated the bar in our living room. For those of you who aren’t familiar with why there’s a bar in our living room, here’s the gist: our house was built in 1974, and apparently early-70s homeowners felt it was imperative that beverage service be located within ten feet of the television. For whatever reason I get a kick out of the fact that the wet bar now boasts garland, lights, Christmas stockings, and a one-armed monkey stocking hanger.



See? That’s our one-armed monkey stocking hanger. The monkey used to have two arms, but then he tied up with a certain two year-old a few years ago, and the two year-old won. The monkey still does an absolutely beautiful job holding a stocking, though, and I smile every single time I walk past him.

(He’s also completely broken in two at the waist, so it stands to reason that he could use some encouragement.)

Our Christmas card tree – which is a 6 1/2 foot tree that we got for free and now use to display Christmas cards in the playroom – is one of my favorite traditions. It brings me untold delight, especially around December 24th when it’s chock-full-o-cards.


And, as always, I LURVE me a festive table.


For the last several years I’ve put my parents’ aluminum Christmas tree (from way back in ye olden 60s) in our little boy’s room. He loves it because it’s shiny (it’s also very lean-y) and because we put Mickey Mouse lights on it. All the ornaments on this tree are from my childhood – my brother’s elves, my sister’s carolers, my handmade stuff from Sunday School and kindergarten – and it’s so much fun to see how much the little man enjoys it.


And another fun thing in his room? This giant stocking hanging from a curtain rod.


In the past I’ve always done garland and lights outside our front door, but this year I wanted to do something a little more simple because, well, I just wanted to do something a little more simple, AS IS MY PREROGATIVE AS A FEMALE, OH THANK YOU. So I found this cool iron container at TJ Maxx for $9.99, and I filled it with some pieces of a shrub that’s in our backyard.


And just to clarify for all you gardener people, I believe that the Latin name of the greenery I used is shrubae in our backyardae.

Be sure to look for it in your favorite horticulture journals.

The container tends to clang against the front door when people walk in or leave, so it also works as a bell. Who knew my $9.99 would provide me with a container for greenery and an entry notification system? I’m completely undeserving of such good fortune.

Finally, when we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law last weekend, I was totally captivated by the Nativity scene they have in their foyer – and I took a picture of it just for y’all. Because I love how every single creature in the stable is looking at the manger and anticipating the arrival of Jesus.


May the same be true of us, sweet friends.

Thanks so much for joining in the fun today – I hope you have a great time touring and commenting and visiting and whathaveyou. Remember, as I’ve said before, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so PACE YOURSELVES, PEOPLE. Drink lots of water, eat lots of protein, and please, as always, no wagering.

Oh, I kid. But y’all make this so much fun, and I am grateful.

Four quick things before I go:

– It would be great if you’d leave a comment when you visit the blogs that are participating in the Tour. Even a short comment can encourage someone so much!

– Here’s a refresher on Christmas Tour guidelines.

– Everyone who leaves a comment is eligible to win a very special door prize from Engraved Euniques. I’ll draw for the prize this Friday, December 19.

Please make sure to leave a link for YOUR POST’S SPECIFIC URL, NOT THE GENERAL URL OF YOUR BLOG.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Tour Of Homes Permalink

I know that some of you are busy decking your halls – or uploading pictures of halls that are already decked – but in case you want to have your post ready to go before you hit the hay, here’s the URL for tomorrow’s post (you can change it in your button code if you want so that when people click on the tour button it takes them straight to the tour post, and OH MY WORD I’M RAMBLING, SOMEBODY MAKE ME STOP).

Christmas Tour Of Homes 2008




And barring technical difficulties, I’m planning to put up the tour post a little after midnight central time. But you can join in tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, next Thursday, whenever.

See y’all soon!

Edited to add: the permalink won’t work until my post is up. But as soon as I post after midnight, the permalink will be alive and kickin’.