Dec 16, 2011

My Christmas Open House, Virtually Speaking

Thanks for all the encouraging comments from family and friends as I plowed through the holiday decorating and baking. Several of you have asked for pics of all my Christmas projects I've been gushing about, so I thought I'd share them today, even though when this post goes live, I'll be somewhere in Atlanta's airport changing planes.  (I'll think of all of you as we soak up some Florida sun (we hope we get sunshine, anyway!)

First stop is the front entry - I keep it pretty simple, but I have always loved seeing nutcrackers nestled on stairs in other people's homes, so I was happy to be able to try it out in my own home this year:

Next up is the dining room.  I was so excited, I posted pictures of it earlier, but here's how it looked for the dinner party we held a few nights ago:

And here's my putz-y village scene:

Through the doorway is the kitchen, where my Fiesta Christmas tree takes center stage:

And here's the table as it looked last Saturday night:

On the counter is the towering stack of Christmas tins filled with sweet treats.  As much as I love these tins, I am thinking that I may need to switch to rectangular-shaped modular plastic bins to maximize the freezer space.  Or make fewer treats.  What?  No way!  We'll just need to clear out two shelves in the freezer next year.
When I snapped these pictures, I was also in the middle of filling Christmas boxes for Mr. Official's staff and my third grade Sunday Schoolers bags (they get their own Christmas mug, hot cocoa, homemade marshmallows, and some treats.) There's never a dull (or totally clean and organized) moment around here this time of year.

In the den is the "big" tree (see the wrapped packages?  Yay me!)  

I tucked the rest of my nutcracker collection in the bookshelves:

If the mantel looks a lot like last year's, well, it should. I spent three days trying to perfect that mantel in 2010, so I used most of the same pieces and had this year's mantel up in about 20 minutes.  Next year I may be back to the drawing board for something different.  I did use an idea I found on Pinterest for the stockings - a curtain rod is suspended by three stocking holders.  The true test will come Christmas Eve when we'll see if it holds up when the stockings are full.

Here's the view from above.  The time I saved on the mantel was spent getting this simple decoration in place.  Pre-lit garland is much easier, but I wanted to use what I already had:  nice thick garlands and lots of strings of white lights.  Five strings later, I finally had two that would stay lit when they hooked together and wrapped around the garland. Gah.
The sunroom got wreathed, which was a nice way to use some plain wreaths I already had from years past.

And finally, the bonus room has the UT tree. Which Mr. Official says we should cover with a black shroud this year, to mourn that horrific football season we endured.  I say buck up and carry on.  There's always next year, boys.

So there you have it - a quick virtual tour of our house as it looks for the season.  Friends nearby have a standing invite to pop in for a real tour.  Wherever you are, I hope your days are merry and bright, too!

Happy Christmas decorating,

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