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Do you have a LEAST favorite Christmas song? One that brings out that small, usually well-sequestered Grinch-y side of you? When the first few notes of that detested ditty spew from your car radio on a blustery, frigid and for all practical purposes already miserable morning, do the corners of your mouth start to curl up into that sinister, grinch-y grimace?
If your home is anything like ours, there is Christmas music playing pretty much 24-7. I dream in carols. Instead of visions of sugarplums dancing in heads, around here it’s sounds of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams crooning in heads. So we consider ourselves Christmas music connoisseurs, if you will.
And being the completely unqualified, non-classically-(or otherwise) trained musical connoisseur that I am, I most definitely have a LEAST favorite song. Forgive me in advance, because my least fave is actually quite popular. It may, in fact, be your favorite holiday tune. Be that as it may, when I hear Mariah Carey sing “All I want for Christmas is you,” my stomach turns.
Why that reaction? I guess I’m not completely sure. But I think it has something to do with what to me feels like the OVER-production of the whole thing. It’s just over-the-top in every way. Too much. And that spandex Santa suit she’s wearing on the cover of the album is also problematic. Santa and spandex should NOT be remotely related in any way. Period.
The over-production piece thing is really an over-arching issue with A LOT of the happenings around the holidays. It’s all just too much. Too many gifts to buy, presents to wrap, too many cookies to make, too much small-talk at too many parties (well, not really for us…we’re just not that popular)…you get the gist. I’m guessing you may feel the same in some respects.
What about decorating for Christmas in your home? Do you feel the Pinterest-pressure? Scroll after scroll of SO MANY fabulous homes decked for the holidays and dripping in over the top who-zits and what-zits. I say who needs-zits? All these “zits” are making me feel like an overly-self-conscious teenager again. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to just hide in a vat of Clearasil and avoid all the zits and holiday hub-bub entirely.
For the past two years, I have toned-down my Christmas home decor ten-fold. Last year, I didn’t even open at least 5 boxes of holiday glitz and glam gunk. This year, those same boxes were either donated, or sold via Facebook yard sales (which if you haven’t tried, you SHOULD). With all that stuff unloaded, we are starting off the holiday season feeling a little lighter. And we are keeping our Christmas home decor simple again.
So welcome to the first of our holiday home tours this season. I’m thrilled to be doing this today as part of Mohawk Home’s Holiday Home Tour. There are some wonderful homes to be seen on this tour from Lesley at Chaotically Creative, Sara at Twelve on Main, Laura of Duke Manor Farm, Tammy from Our Burlap Bungalow, and Aileen of At Home in Love.
Expect some awesomeness from those other tours. Just don’t expect too much from this one. In fact, expect the opposite. Expect very little.
Let’s get to (a little bit) of Christmas home decor, shall we?
Truth: we haven’t had snow yet. That pic was shot several years back. But doesn’t snow help you get in that non-grinchy, Christmas mood? Not there yet? Here’s some more snow…
Are you feeling the fa-la-la yet? If not, first stop for you inside will be at the bar. We spike our hot cocoa here.
Here we are, just inside our front door. Welcome to our holiday home, all!
That rug is from Mohawk’s heirloom collection. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a flatwoven-style rug, so it looks great layered with another rug. I paired ours with something unexpected. A faux cowhide rug with gold flecks in it. Gives the heirloom rug a bit of a modern nod.
The only Christmas decor we have in our entry is our artificial flocked tree, which I LOVE. It was one of the most inexpensive flocked trees we could find. So it’s not gorgeous straight outta the box, but we have a super sly, and totally FREE hack to make it absolutely beautiful each year.
I have a touch of a glue gun compulsion this season. I’ve been crafting like MAD with pom poms this year doing some fun Christmas projects. I’m even using them for my gift wrapping! More on that in a future post.
Just off the entryway is our formal dining room. So formal that it’s rarely ever used, to be honest. Mostly, it just collects dust. Which is sad, because it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. It gets so much great natural light. One of my 2018 new year’s resolutions is to eat in this room more. Or at least once a year. Maybe that will be doable.
But probably not.
There’s nothing Christmas-specific in this space, either. I simply gathered some pine clippings from trees in my yard (and possibly my neighbor’s…shhhh) and “spruced” up the table and buffet with greenery, lanterns and candles. Easy breezy. The napkins are tied with twine and sprigs of rosemary. Inexpensive, simple, and seasonal.
There’s one bathroom in our home that really looks great at Christmas, and that’s the little one we like to call “Napoleon’s throne room“.
There’s something about that french country toile and the black and white smack up against my $5 red thrift store chair. Just makes my heart skip a beat. I wish it was easier to get pictures of the room. It’s in our basement, so the natural light is hard to come by, and taking pics with the lights on makes everything look lemony yellow, which isn’t the best look.
Let’s venture into the heart of our home, the family room.
I always put out our nativity in the family room. It’s a beautiful set. Usually my parents give me a new piece to add to the scene as a Christmas gift. And would you believe, IT’S PLASTIC?! Yep. So this set is PERFECT for a family with kids. They can play with it, move pieces around, drop them on the floor, and they are no worse for the wear.
In this room, we’ve dressed the mantel with a vintage pair of snowshoes, some (free) greenery again (thanks neighbor!), and our old standby battery-operated candles (I like the ones with timers).
I again tried to go with a “less is more” look in this room. It’s always been easy for me to go off the deep end with my holiday decorating, so toning it down has not come easily, but the more I try it, the more I like the look of less.
Being mindful that my Christmas home decor goal is minimalistic has saved me from a lot of impulse buys while out shopping at this time of year.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the merry merry mania when you walk into almost any store and it looks like an explosion of happy holidays.
But now, I keep in mind all the boxes that I have to pack and unpack every Christmas. And the less I buy, the less I have to pack. And that’s a happy thought.
That wraps up our first holiday tour of the season. Hope that our low intensity Christmas decorating style was still pretty enough to get your heart rate up a bit and in the mood for decorating (but just a little decorating) in your own home this holiday. Whether you are a Mariah-loving Christmas maximalist, an Andy Williams traditionalist, a Michael Buble modernist, or a unique blend of all these or none, we hope you have the happiest of Christmases. And I’m wishing for you many car rides filled with ONLY your favorite Christmas tunes this holiday season. Cheers, friend!