Today begins the 12 days of Christmas, right? So we have until Epiphany on Jan 6 to enjoy our holiday decor. Yes! I truly love how our home feels during the Holidays. It just feels special — all decked out, joyful and inviting. And I’ve been meaning to post this since the beginning of December.
But I won’t lie it is always a little stressful Decking the Halls, my kids enjoy helping for about five minutes- so I am very grateful to know so many amazing decorator friends. The talented Susan Prespare helped me last year and again this year. She’s for hire and worth every penny so keep that in mind and I can hook you up.
Here’s a little glimpse into our December through January 6 sanctuary:
Believe. Because Yes, Virginia there IS a Santa Claus! This wreath was purchased about 14 years ago at the Nashville flea market, but has been updated since with additional swag. The vintage Christmas prints came from last years A Vintage Affair. Sadly, I missed this year. It’s a great event.
This little vintage santa is guarding our front door and introducing a more sophisticated collection in our entryway.
Our home office is to the left upon entering our home. I spend a lot of time here, so I was thrilled to have my own decorated space. (Jim’s office is at RE/MAX Choice Properties). Susan’s ‘Santaland’ sure made working in December much more fun. The tree is decorated with only Santa ornaments, and check out the Santa tree skirt.
And on our credenza — another vintage Santa (workshop, circa 1983). It works — scored at Goodwill. This old red frame was sitting around waiting for a purpose. We cut out some old Christmas cards, added wire, voila! And topping our office tree is Jim’s epitome. SOLD!
Above was the view from my desk most days. Elliott, our Poo-Shi or Shih-Poo rescue, loves a good winter nap! And so does Truffles, our Maltipoo, also a rescue.
Mercury glass, ruby glass, rarely used china, all flanking my dining room table–merrymaking at its best!
This repurposed table was rescued from garage, glass top added (thank you Susan) and ta-da… instant cocktail station. I love my reindeer head wine topper too! And guess what we did with our American Girl doll ice skates? Have you visited our new Nashville store yet? My niece is having her birthday party there next week and I can’t wait!
I think hubby might have moved these around a bit which I didn’t realize until after the shot– oh well. My collection of angels–some atop candlesticks– with a Nativity of sorts (Mary, Joseph, Jesus in center), complete with reindeer. Why not? (I shall keep watch out for a sheep or gold donkey though in sticking with tradition).
Our mantle- simple with flocked greenery– and our downstairs tree. Sit a spell and enjoy the fireplace, notice the homemade JOY pillow (which I should have karate chopped for photo, oops!). And our rustic coffee table topped with an elegant mirror and sparkly Christmas tree candles. I love the mix of materials that don’t seem to really belong together.
Found these amazing Christmas coffee table books at ThriftSmart. Hardback books are great for decorating!
Beside our eat-in area we feature our gingerbread houses and our Jesse Tree – I do hope you recognize some Bible stories in our clay ornaments.
Someday I may have a tree for our master bedroom, but for now Santa carrying a tree will suffice. My favorite holiday candle also resides here- Thymes Frasier Fir. Smells like Christmas. Also, added some ‘baubles’ to our master bath.
Our upstairs built-ins house a few more vintage finds… love this jolly old fellow! And these carolers are still belting out Christmas tunes.
Our nutcracker collection and JOY on the treadmill… Because of the pure ‘joy’ I feel when I’m finished running!
Our woodland themed front porch features a Partridge in a Pear Tree, a lucky garden gnome elf, and other woodsy decor.
Curious what you think about the outside Christmas tree ornaments on bare trees? I like them ‘in moderation’ and I think this is the just right amount. We even repurposed a broken disco ball for one of them!
If you are still with me, and do I hope you are — I saved the best for last. This is my favorite ornament, made in memory of my Granny – Vida Jane Washburn (Dad’s mom). Always center spot in our Christmas tree. I loved to hear her recite this very long poem by heart. It’s truly one of my favorite Christmas memories. For your enjoyment:
St. Peter at the Gate
By Joseph Bert Smiley (1864–1903)
ST. PETER stood guard at the golden gate,
With solemn mien and air sedate,
When up to the top of the golden stair,
A man and a woman ascending there,
Applied for admission. They came and stood
Before St. Peter, so great and good,
In hopes the City of Peace to win,
And asked St. Peter to let them in.
The woman was tall, and lank, and thin,
With a scraggy beardlet upon her chin.
The man was short, and thick, and stout,
His stomach was built so it rounded out;
His face was pleasant, and all the while
He wore a kindly and pleasant smile.
The choirs in the distance the echoes awoke,
And the man kept still while the woman spoke.
‘O thou who guards the gate,’ said she,
‘We two came hither, beseeching thee
To let us enter the heavenly land
And play our harps with the angel band.
Of me, St. Peter, there is no doubt.
There is nothing from heaven to bar me out;
I’ve been to meeting three times a week,
And almost always I’d rise and speak.
‘I’ve told the sinners about the day
When they repent of their evil way;
I’ve told my neighbors-I’ve told ’em all-
‘Bout Adam and Eve and the Primal Fall;
I’ve shown them what they’d have to do
If they’d pass in with the chosen few;
I’ve marked their path of duty clear-
Laid out the plan for their whole career.
‘I’ve talked and talked to ’em loud and long
For my lungs are good, and my voice is strong,
So good, St. Peter, you’ll clearly see
The gate of Heaven is open for me.
But my old man, I regret to say,
Hasn’t walked in exactly the narrow way-,
He smokes and he swears, and grave faults he’s got,
And I don’t know whether he’ll pass or not.
‘He never would pray with an earnest vim,
Or go to revival, or join in a hymn,
So I had to leave him in sorrow there
While I, with the chosen, united in prayer,
He ate what the pantry chanced to afford,
While I, in my purity, sang to the Lord.
‘And if cucumbers were all he got
It’s a chance if he merited them or not.
But, 0 St. Peter, I love him so.
To the pleasures of heaven, please let him go.
I’ve done enough, a saint I’ve been,
Won’t that atone? Can’t you let him in?
By my grim gospel I know ’tis so
That the unrepentant must fry below.
But isn’t there some way you can see
That he may enter, who’s dear to me?
‘It’s narrow gospel by which I pray,
But the chosen expect to find some way
Of coaxing, or fooling, or bribing you
So that their relations can amble through,
And say, St. Peter, it seems to me
This gate isn’t kept as it ought to be.
You ought to stand by the opening there,
And never sit down in that easy chair.
‘And say, St. Peter, my sight is dimmed,
But I don’t like the way your whiskers are trimmed;
They’re cut too wide and outward toss;
They’d look better narrow, cut straight across.
Well, we must be going, our crowns to win,
So open, St. Peter, and we’ll pass in.”
St. Peter sat quiet and stroked his staff,
But, in spite of his office, he had to laugh,
Then said with a fiery gleam in his eye,
‘Who’s tending this gateway, you or I?’
And then he arose in his stature tall,
And pressed a button upon the wall,
And said to an imp, who came all aglow,
“Escort this woman to the regions below.’
The man stood still as a piece of stone-
Stood sadly, gloomily, there alone.
A lifelong settled idea he had
That his wife was good and he was bad;
He thought if the woman went down below
That he would certainly have to go;
That if she went to the regions dim
There wasn’t a ghost of a chance for him.
Slowly he turned, by habit bent,
To follow wherever the woman went.
St. Peter, standing on duty there,
Observed that the top of his head was bare.
He called the gentleman back and said:
Friend, how long have you been wed?’
‘Thirty years’ (with a heavy sigh),
And then he thoughtfully added, ‘Why?’
St. Peter was silent. With head bent down,
He raised his hand and scratched his crown.
Then, seeming a different thought to take,
Slowly, half to himself, he spake:
‘Thirty years with that woman there?
No wonder the man hasn’t any hair.
Swearing is wicked; smoking’s not good;
He smoked and swore-I should think he would.
‘Thirty years with that tongue so sharp?
0 Angel Gabriel, give him a harp,
A jeweled harp with a golden string.
Good sir, pass in where the angels sing;
Gabriel, give him a seat alone-
One with a cushion-up near the throne.
Call up some angels to play their best;
Let him enjoy the music-and rest.
‘See that on the finest ambrosia he feeds;
He’s had about all the hell he needs;
It isn’t just hardly the thing to do-
To roast him on Earth and the future, too.”
They gave him a harp with golden strings,
A glittering robe and a pair of wings,
And he said as he entered the Realms of Day:
‘Well, this beats cucumbers, anyway.
And so the Scriptures had come to pass-
‘The last shall be first and the first shall be last.’
Wishing you and your loved ones the wonderful magic and memories that Christmas brings. Merry Christmas!