My First Christmas Open House

A woman came to the store a few weeks after I had posted signs about my Christmas Open House to support the store.  I thought of selling tickets for ten dollars to tour my home and then use the tickets for a ten dollar discount on any item or purchase in the store.  The woman looked at the ticket and asked my daughter- in - law, "Is her home worthy of a tour?"
What house isn't worthy of a Christmas tour?  Don't we all love to be inspired and learn new ideas?  Who cares if it's a small trailer or a grand mansion, I love to see how people decorate for the holidays.  Well needless to say her negative comment empowered me.  I decided I would go all out because if we allow ourselves to loose what christmas spirit we have, whether our spiritual flame is doused by a negative anti- holiday comment or by the devastating news minute after minute on the news alongside the negative bombardment of terrorism threats, then what do we have left?  Nothing.  No hope, no joy.
With much respect and constant prayer for those suffering and in fear, I pressed on.  The only way I knew how to take my mind off of the news.  I decorated and primped and embellished and adorned.  I wrote down my favorite tips and who I learned them from and had a pile of handouts for all those who came to the tour.
I prepared hot cider and coffee, holiday punch and many delightful confections.  I was determined to fill my house with the Christmas spirit in hopes of passing it along to all those attending.

Here are some photos.
My Foyer (It's tiny but I manage to fit two tables a bench and a chair.  I was inspired by Mary Carol Garrity's Aitchison Kansas home.  For those of you who have gone you will see immediately how I tried on a very smalls scale. 
Below my little table with paperwhites and Amaryllis.  (Which have bloomed completely at the moment.)  I was inspired by my friend Catherine from In The Fields also known as A Country Farmhouse.

Again, channeling MCG.  Her infamous tree up high on an urn stole my heart a few years ago when I visited her home in Kansas.    Rudy loves to photo bomb all my shots.

Silver Trays everywhere.  Again MCG.

Bringing the outside in, Garden Statuary indoors and decorated. MCG.
This is the base of the urn.  I bought some fantastic green satin and wrapped it around the urn.  

The Study
This tree is a frontgate tree I bought many years ago.  It comes with it's own stand that looks like an urn.  It did not photograph as well.  It is much prettier in person.  The white ornaments are standing out in the photo where in person the lights and glitter of other ornaments balance it out.
If you zoom into the tree you can see the plaid ribbons I tied into it that match the curtains.  The ribbons were from Ballard Designs.
Below I hung the balls in the window.  Idea inspired from my friend Susan Taylor.

The Dinning Room
The JLO of trees.  For years I had a very inexpensive white tinsel tree in the dinning room.  I had purchased from JoAnnes Fabrics years ago for under thirty dollars.  This year I bought a flocked tree. The tree seemed massive.  It took me two days to complete it.  It is loaded.  It is the only tree in the house that is overloaded with ornaments and crystals.  We call her the Diva!
Not only was this tree the most time consuming but it was the most difficult to prepare.  I cried for hours thinking of my mom.  She always helped me do this tree and she would string the crystals I had accumulated over the years and hand them to me for the tree.  This was my first year with out my mom.  I miss her so.

Decided to add this Magnolia garland above the hutch.
My theme for the table was very Downton Abbey.  Added the fresh cumquats, cranberries and small apples and clementines with the leaves still on them on a bed of cypress.

The Sunroom
This was the simplest of trees.  I just used pinecones from my yard and the very large ones were purchased from Black Eyed Susan's store.

The Screening Room
This cherub was the inspiration for the tree and it's color combination.
Our Family Room
This room has our real Christmas Tree.  (notice Rudy in the photo)

I like this room to be simple but magical with it's lights.  Our tree holds all our family ornaments.  Many were made by my boys.
Master Bedroom
Adorned my mirror.  Learned this trick from Susan Taylor. 
Master bathroom.

Upstairs hall.
Guest Room.

My oldest son's room (now a guest room)

Downstairs half bathroom.

 Upstairs hall.

 Front Porch.  Inspired by MCG.

These lovely women gave up their time to help me.  Dawn, Tracy and Karen.  Love them all.
Hope you enjoyed my little tour and may you be inspired to fill your home with the Spirit of Christmas.


Brenda said...

How beautiful! You really put your heart, soul, and talents into your home. I wish I could have taken the tour. Merry Christmas! Now, sit back and enjoy your lovely Christmas home.

Wendy A said...

It looks absolutely beautiful! Your dining room tree is magnificent and the tribute to your mom so sweet. You may have cried, but I'm the memories warmed you as you decorated.

You know, when you mentioned the woman who asked if your home was worthy of a tour, my first instinct was to think, what a witch! But then I realized she must have a very difficult life to be so negative. She has my pity. I'm glad you pressed on with the open house!

Carol Cottrell said...

Thank you for sharing, especially for those of us who don't live near.
It is beautiful andI am going to use some of your ideas.

Marilyn said...

Your home is wonderful! Charming, cozy and so inviting. I'd pay to tour it any time of the year.

You've given me some decorating ideas, and I'm grateful that you took the time to share your lovely home with us.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Mary said...

Lee, thank you for free tour...I would have paid $20.00 and gone through twice! Happy holidays, I know the first Holiday after a loved one leaves us is difficult. All you can is stand back and say " Mom would have loved this" and smile.

Robin McNeeley said...

Lee, thank you for the Christmas tour. I loved every room, so beautiful! You have inspired me to keep decorating and put a touch of Christmas in every room of my home.

Dana L said...

Wow- would have paid in a heartbeat to see such a beautifully magical home. I usually hang a wreath on the door and decorate the tree. You have definitely inspired me to add much more in a thoughtful loving way. Thanks!

Pat Howe said...

absolutely lovely every room is perfect thank for sharing your beautiful home with us. Merry Christmas and hugs

Regina said...

Your house is lovely, and I love to see spaces decorated for Christmas. I love the pine cone garland on the foot of one of the beds.
In years past our parish school held a Holly Tour, where homeowners and businesses would open their homes. It was such an inspiration, and so much fun to work on. Your virtual house tour was like visiting one of those homes.
Thanks for sharing.

Alice said...

Your home looks so spectacular! I love everything. You put so much love and energy into your decorating, you are truly an inspiration! You are so creative and it was a joy to share in your lovely home and your Christmas décor!

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