Holiday Home Tour 2020

We’re officially ONE WEEK away from Christmas! I’ve been feeling extra festive all week, so today I’m going to give a little tour of my home decorated for the holidays.

But first, a disclaimer: we have a three-year-old and a one-year-old running around, so all decorations within their reach (and I’m constantly surprised by what all they can reach haha!) need to be toddler friendly. On top of that, we’re not hosting any Christmas parties or having any people over right now, so no one outside our family is even seeing our house. All that to say, my decorating this year was more minimal than normal. I kept things simple by focusing on a few areas throughout the house that we use the most frequently.

It’s easy to feel discouraged by my efforts when I see all the gorgeously decorated homes circulating social media these days. It seems like every holiday tour features a showstopper house! But the reality is, our family life is not conducive to a picture-perfect home at this point in time. And someday when I’m able to go all out and decorate my house the way I want to, I know I’ll miss the simple little Christmases when my kids were little. The sticky fingers baking Christmas cookies, the sweet little holiday crafts, the wonder in their eyes as they look at the lights on the tree or delight in an ornament with their picture on it, their little bodies curled up next to mine as we watch a Christmas movie together. These little people years are magical too, so I am going to proudly document our home as it looks for this stage in our family’s life.

I snapped this photo the other day when I was working in the office and they were drawing. I love how it looks like they’re both writing letters to Santa ha! I love my sweet little Christmas-pajama wearing elves.

Ok – on to the tour! Our living room is the main area we hang out in as a family, and with the large bay window, it makes for an obvious choice for our Christmas tree. My favorite is at night when the lights from the tree reflect on all the windows – it feels truly magical!

I’ve said it before, but every year my favorite ornaments are the ones that show our “first” years. First year married, and then first year for both our kids. Since LJ was born around Thanksgiving, his got to be extra festive 😉

Since our house does not have a fireplace, we use our stair railing instead. I string garland down the railing and then hang all six of our stockings (two adults, two kids, two dogs!) on the living room side of the railing. I love using monogram ornaments to mark everyone’s stocking.

We learned pretty quickly with toddlers that we can’t keep anything on our end tables without getting knocked off, so this kid-friendly wooden nativity set is a perfect option! The barn was made from an older man at my church who became a kind of surrogate grandfather for me over the years and it is very special to me. His granddaughter made all the people out of dowel rods, scrap cloth, and pipe cleaner – this could easily be a family craft project if you want an inexpensive nativity for kids to play with! My kids love it!

Christmas pillows are another easy, kid-friendly way to add a festive feel.

Macie approves of my Christmas blanket. 😉

I used the large cased opening from the living room to the playroom to hang our mistletoe. I love that this view also shows the reindeer sign and nativity on the shelf – just a few little sprinkles of Christmas in a room that needs to stay functional for playtime.

I also keep a little basket on the shelf for all our holiday books!

Once the office was completed, I moved all my things out of the little desk area in our kitchen and that space became a little craft zone for LJ. It’s where we store all his stickers, crayons, coloring books, etc and right now it holds a few toddler-friendly Christmas items too.

LJ also made a little Christmas tree decoration that he chose to hang on the door to his secret nook which I think is just about the most precious thing ever!

Our dining room was kept very minimal this year with just a simple runner and centerpiece. We let the winter wonderland outside be the star!

My office is the one area that I decorated just for me. The rest of the house is minimal and toddler-friendly, but this is the one room I decorated the way I wish I could decorate the entire house. Needless to say, I love it!

Even if toddler-reach wasn’t a concern, right now we don’t really have a lot of surfaces throughout the house where I can put Christmas decor. The new built-in shelves basically quadrupled (or more!) the amount of surface space I had to put decorations. Truthfully, I still don’t have a ton to fill the shelves but it’s more in here than in any other room and I love how the little decor swaps make it seem so festive!

I wish I could include this scent over the blog – it’s just the perfect subtle Christmas-y blend!

It might sound silly, but my absolute favorite part of my holiday house is this little ornament. It makes me so happy! I love my little Charlie Brown olive tree.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is holiday-home-5.jpg

Not Christmas-y, but I am loving the contrasts between holiday red and vintage gold, and I feel like this gorgeous book cover just brings them together beautifully.

That wraps up this year’s decorations! I like to layer in new things over the years, so it really is fun to document what our house Christmas looks like right now since it’s probably the only year it will exactly like this.

Thanks for joining the tour!

Simple, Inexpensive Christmas Decorations

Christmas is in full swing at my house! Whoo hoo!

Today I want to share two simple Christmas decorating ideas. Both are so easy and take no more than 10 minutes each. And both are for common areas in your house — kitchen and bathroom! (Although you could really put them anywhere.)

I shared in an earlier post about my Halloween decoration using candy corn, candles, mason jars, and ribbons. To change this to a Christmas decoration, I dumped out the candy corn and took off the ribbon. I kept the cream candles inside the mason jars since they all had plenty of life left in them. I took some of my $2 garland (thrift store!!) and wrapped it around the jars.

20131127_142702I wanted to add cranberries (real or fake) but I ended up buying a couple bags of Cherry Sours at Kroger. They were $1 a bag — way cheaper option and they are super similar in appearance!

I dumped a handful of sours in each jar and made sure they all looked equal. I also added two pine cones for extra festivity.

20131201_185401While I was pleased with the way it looked on my bathroom counter, something still felt missing. I also didn’t like that there was an outlet right behind the jars. I got out my little chalkboard from another fall decoration and searched Pinterest until I found a cute, simple chalkboard saying that inspired me.20131201_192046Ta-Da! Quick and easy but oh so festive. Just the way I like it!

The other decoration was a simple kitchen centerpiece. I have a store-bought, large centerpiece for holiday gatherings, but I wanted a simpler one for everyday use. I got our trifle bowl out and emptied another bag of Cherry Sours into it. I put another cream candle in the middle and surrounded it with pine cones.  The candle looked a bit too short for this, so I decided to heighten it. Rather than buy a new candle, I set three wine corks on end in the center of the bowl.


This gave the candle a lot more height and I didn’t have to spend money on a new, taller candle! The pine cones and sours hid the wine corks well. I set the candle on top, set the whole bowl on top of a simple green placemat and voila!


A very simple and festive centerpiece! I like that it is small so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on my table. Success!

I love that both of these took less than 10 minutes and it was super inexpensive since I had most of the items already.

Happy Hump Day! One day closer to Christmas! 🙂


I was in such a Christmas-y mood that I chose a holiday-inspired outfit for school today.

Cardigan: Express

Button-Down: Express

Pin-striped pants: Express

Pumps: Maurices

Necklace: Maurices