Thursday, December 6, 2018

christmas in comfy house

The past few years it's been the same thing: Brian drags up the containers of Christmas decor, I dig through the contents, and end up with Christmas explosion all over the coffee table and floor. I wander back and forth between our small living room and kitchen, trying to decide where to put each item. And because space is lacking and I have too much Christmas crap (I did start a donation bag), I get frustrated and crabby. Yes, that is a pile of lemon thins and biscotti with two cups of tea on the coffee table amongst the mess. Mr. and Mrs. Claus needed a break.  

I don't do a lot of Christmas decorating; it's mainly just the living room and kitchen. The older I get, the less I want to do. In fact, I may have muttered, "I don't know why I bother" when I was in the midst of my frustration. But once it's done, I do enjoy it.


I have a fondness for vintage Christmas items...I saw this little Santa Claus tube in a shop and wondered what it was. I opened the top and - surprise! - there were matches in it. So cute amongst my Christmas candles.

It's been cloudy and gloomy for days, so the photo quality isn't the best in this post, but if I waited for the sun, I wouldn't be posting until who-knows-when.

See the yellow Pyrex bowl on the bottom of the cart with the wood beads in it?

It's a garland ~ another recent vintage find. I thought I'd be using this garland on the fireplace mantle, but it didn't happen. No matter, they look pretty just plopped in a bowl.

I've had these Debbie Mumm snowman plates for over 20 years. 

Not much going on in the china cabinet. The Meow bowl on top belonged to Zippo. đŸ’”

Both the wooden pointing hand and the wooden Santa bells are also recent purchases from two different antique stores.

Moving on to the living room. Please overlook my paint-stripe-window on the buffet...I was experimenting with chalk paint and didn't finish...

The silver snowflake stocking holders were 75% off at Bed, Bath and Beyond after last Christmas. I put them on the mantle this year and realized I needed something for height in back of the snowflakes. I immediately thought of tall silver candlesticks. I looked in my candle box and didn't have any, so I stopped into Goodwill one day when I was out. I didn't want to pay full price for candlesticks that I was only going to use for Christmas. (Side note: I haven't been in Goodwill in ages. I rarely shop there anymore for several reasons: the store near me is now mostly junk; I don't go in there unless there's something specific I'm looking for since I'm working on clearing stuff out, not dragging so much in; and I can't stand the smell in there. There's some kind of funky odor that all the Goodwill stores have and it permeates everything. And the chemical air freshener that they pump through the store makes me feel sick. I can't buy clothes there anymore, as these odors are so embedded in the fabric, that no matter how much I soak the clothes, wash them and air them out, I can't get the smell out.)

Anywho! I found just the tall silver candlesticks I was looking for. And only 99 cents each.

I had to leave the candlesticks outside all day to air out that funky Goodwill smell, but they're all good now and gracing my mantle.

A vintage sleigh with ornaments and a bottle brush tree for the side table...

White and silver for the ladder bookcase this year...

The metal folding houses on top are from the Target Dollar Spot. The twin bird pottery vase on the middle shelf is my newest McCoy find.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen my new bench from Joss and Main. We don't have a foyer in our home; when you walk in the front door, you're right in the living room. There used to be a console table in this space, and while it looked nice, I always wished for a bench where guests could sit down to take their shoes or boots off and put them back on. It was hard to find a bench that we truly liked and that had space underneath for a shoe/boot tray. This is not a sponsored post, just my honest opinion. We're very happy with this bench. The quality is wonderful and the bench is very sturdy.

As for Christmas decor in the bedrooms, I left the master bedroom alone, but put a few things on top of the dresser in the spare bedroom. A collection of Christmas mice...

and a child figurine reading A Christmas Story, as well as the book in miniature.

The hallway bath got a couple of bottle brush trees and mini ornaments in the tub.

Our front porch and deck that were under construction are now finished, so all I need to pick up is a Christmas welcome mat and a pine wreath for the front door. How about you ~ are you done with your Christmas decorating?


  1. Your home is so damn cozy. You have a real knack. You should write a book too. :)

  2. You gave me a laugh with your initial frustration about decorating. I understand. I always feel a little overwhelmed when we first get everything out. I love what you did with everything in your house, though. It looks really nice. That's interesting about Goodwill; I haven't been in one in a long time myself. I stopped because they began stocking the clothes by color, as opposed to gender or size, which is totally ridiculous. What I mean is that every single red shirt in the store, for example, is on one rack together. It doesn't matter if it's a newborn onesie or a man's 3xl, they're just all crammed together. I think that's a pointless way to stock a store and I gave up trying to find anything to buy. I don't usually shop looking for a specific color, I'm more into like, all the ladies' shirts here, grouped by size, like a normal way to shop!

  3. You actually did more than me this year, Melanie!! I brought in 4 of the 10? big rubber tubs of decorations and only used about 1 tub in total! The rest went back out to the garage. I'm holding on to stuff to give my daughter some day when she moves out, good thing I have the storage space. But I really find myself doing less and less each year. This year I focused on just a bunch of small lit trees and then my one main tree. I love all the twinkling lights!

    As for your bench, I adore it. I really, really wish I could do something similar by my kitchen door but there is NO ROOM. We use the kitchen door as our main entry and I have a boot tray on the floor that we trip on frequently, and a basket of slippers next to it. A bench would be amazing....but it's such a narrow space I'm not sure I can make it work. Sigh.

  4. I call it chaos at my house also. I have a big pile to donate this year and not sure I'm even done. Some things are in the maybe pile. I'm about done butt still have some things to put out. I've got way too much stuff even after the purge. I love your little touches and vintage items. I have my two vintage cubbies decorated and they make me happy. I need to take photos but no sunshine and so it might be flash photos after all. Hugs!

  5. I'm just waiting to see if I actually still have a Christmas tree by the end of the month. Ivy nearly knocked it over today when her cat tree fell over. She was so scared she retreated to her kitty carrier for the rest of the day. Love those matches! Everything looks great. Been thinking about you. Hope you are okay.

  6. I love your decorating style. Especially like entryway bench and twin birds. All uncluttered, meaningful, and interesting. Lots of new ideas for me.

  7. I'm with you on the decorating. I love it when its up but I just don't want to do it! Sometimes I think its because we deocrate for labor day, halloween, then thanksgiving and biggie Christmas. Also December was my daughters birthday so its a hard month for me. I like you decorations and I don't decorate the bathroom very often but maybe I should! I've got two big bags being picked up for Amvets tomorrow!!! So I am perching!

  8. I'm with you on the decorating. I love it when its up but I just don't want to do it! Sometimes I think its because we deocrate for labor day, halloween, then thanksgiving and biggie Christmas. Also December was my daughters birthday so its a hard month for me. I like you decorations and I don't decorate the bathroom very often but maybe I should! I've got two big bags being picked up for Amvets tomorrow!!! So I am perching!

  9. I hate hauling my stuff out too, but appreciate it when it's done. I donated a car trunkful last year to a good thrift store that supports struggling families in my area. This year I took a huge bagful of Christmas stuff to them. And I still have some decor I didn't display this year. I am so sorry about Zippo. He looked like my Alex who died of kidney disease at age 21, 10 years ago. I STILL miss him, though I have 4 kitties now. Your home always has interesting things in it: I enjoy your photos. It does look very cozy!! Merry Christmas!

  10. Every year I get rid of another bag of Christmas items and yet it still takes me hours to decorate and I don't even have a tree up yet. I am a big Grinch, I mean serious Grinch. I love what you have done, simple, beautiful and elegant.

  11. It's so pretty, Melanie. I feel the same way lately about the decor. I enjoy the simple look lately. It's more elegant, more festive and much more fun for me since there's a lot less work involved in the set up and clean up!! Enjoy your lovely home and stay warm!!

  12. I like how you have decorated your home. I am getting rid of stuff too. Too much stuff to go through so I mainly just put a lot back in the attic.
    Nice touches of Christmas in you bathroom and all over your home.

  13. There are so many fun touches I love here . . .

    the candy canes hanging on the empty frame
    the primitive hand- I collect hands and that's a fun one
    the vintage window on the cabinet -
    the beads in a bowl

    I liked your comment, "once I'm done enjoy it". Steve rolls his eyes when I bring down Christmas tubs, but now that I'm done he loves it.

  14. I’ve done our decorating and am downsizing so much. I like some decorations but I don’t want to deal with multiples tubs of stuff anymore.
    Your photos are so good! Do you use a camera or a phone or?

  15. It kind of overwhelmed me this year when I pulled everything out too, Melanie. But it is rewarding when it's done and you did a beautiful job with all your vignettes and Christmas touches around. That little Santa Claus tube with the matches is one of those little things that grabs my heart so I'm glad you took him home with you. If I were in your home I would want to wander around and look at each little thing as you have such a talent for arranging everything and mixing vintage with new to the best effect. And of course I always have to see what titles are on your books! Not a surprise to you, I'm sure. I'm so glad your porch is finished now, just in time for Christmas touches too. And you were afraid your light wasn't good, but your white walls show everything up so nice against them. Very cosy feeling in your Christmas home, Melanie!

  16. Oh boy, could I ever relate to your first paragraph :). Sounds like what has been taking place at our house for years. I think once the explosion is tamed things always look nice. I enjoyed touring your holiday home and seeing all of your special touches. I think the bench in your front entrance looks really nice and ideal place to sit and take off or put on shoes and boots. Your goodwill story made me smile. I must pay more attention to the scent of the place the next time I'm there.

  17. I like that you added little touches of Christmas everywhere without any room looking overdone.


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