Christmas decorating favorites from the past

by | Dec 21, 2022 | All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 27 comments

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Well, I played hooky from writing on the blog yesterday.  I felt lazy, tired, and really ready for my own Christmas break to start (the boys are already on break from school.)  So, I took a slow morning to cuddle with the kitties and rewatch some of Portrait Artist of the Year.  I gave myself a little bit of space with an unstructured morning.  And, an interesting thing happened…  I started to get an energy to create.  I completed two paintings, flitted around the dining room hanging plates and antlers, did some pen and ink sketches, and even started an art class.  It was just what I needed.  So, I have decided to quit fighting the urge to start my Christmas break and I’m going to start it.  For my final blog post before Christmas and New Year’s, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Christmas decorating “moments” from the past.

The idea for this post came from my own struggle in decorating for Christmas this year and I realized I felt that in the early years of living in both of our previous homes.  I felt it less when we moved into our PA house because I wasn’t sharing it on a blog.  I put up our $50 clearance Christmas tree and it was just for us.  But when I did start sharing our house on the blog, I felt that tension of trying to decorate something that didn’t feel fully like “me” and didn’t feel finished.  When I started decorating the MN house our first Christmas there, I was definitely going through the motions.  But, in both homes, my style and the house eventually came together and Christmas decorating bubbled easily out of that.  Once the bones and foundation feel right, adding seasonal and holiday accessories feels fun.

All of this is to say, looking at my favorite Christmas decorations in our past two houses has been encouraging to me and I hope it is to you as well.  It’s all a process and a journey.

I loved decorating the butler’s pantry in our MN house once I took the leap and painted it a custom-mixed boxwood green.  (You can read about the butler’s pantry makeover HERE.)  That rich green was just the perfect backdrop for seasonal greens, the glow of candles, and the shine of brass bells.  I also loved decorating the little tree in front of the back stairs with candles and dried orange slices.  Last year, I hung this antique trapper basket on the shelf and it took it over the top.

Christmas decorating | dark green cabinets | miss mustard seed

I also loved last year’s Christmas mantel. I changed out the artwork on a bit of whim and I loved how this antique print of Jenny Lind looked surrounded by faux antlers, a cypress garland, and velvet ribbons.  I also can’t wait to plant some hydrangea bushes so I will have blooms to dry in the fall and use in my Christmas decor.

Christmas mantel decorating | miss mustard seed

In the later years in our PA house, my favorite room to decorate for Christmas was the living room.  It was bright, featured some gorgeous antiques, and came alive when I added live greens and a chubby tree.

blue and white antique Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

And, finally one of my favorite Christmas moments was a snapshot I took one Christmas morning in our PA house when the table was set for brunch.  This was the first year I made the ring mold advent wreath and, when I lit the final candle in the morning light, it was so pretty I just had to take a picture of it.  I didn’t even get my tripod.  I just learned on the table and took the picture and it’s now one of my favorite Christmas decor photos.  I am looking forward to having a dining room table and the chandelier up so I can start playing with photos in our new dining room.

ironstone cake stand | ring mold advent wreath | miss mustard seed

I know it’s just a matter of time before I’ll have new favorite Christmas decorating moments in our new house.  I can already see some of those moments in my mind’s eye…

If you’re like me and are feeling that pull into the Christmas break, I hope you can give yourself that time.  Maybe you can take an extra vacation day or two or just give yourself a break from taking on too many things.  I am going to take art classes, spend unhurried time at the easel, strip some wallpaper, read books, watch movies, and just enjoy some slow days through the end of the year.  I will still share some here and there on Instagram if you want to follow along.

In the new year, we’ll be diving into a kitchen renovation, we’ll start work on the dining room built-ins, and there will be lots of paint going on the walls!  I hope you’ll follow along.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & yours.

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    1. beverlee

      Merry Christmas to your family!

    2. Kim

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, and may God continue to richly bless you! I thank you for the gift you give to all of us sharing your life with us via the blog and everything else you do. Enjoy your time off and play and indulge in all your creative pursuits! I’ll be doing the same!

    3. Laura F

      Have a Merry Christmas & Wonderful and Blessed New Year!

    4. Betsy

      My husband built me a step back cabinet and pained it in your Boxwood milk paint. It’s a piece I’ll treasure forever. Enjoy your holiday season and may 2023 be a blessed year for us all.

    5. Judy Johnson

      I’m really enjoying following along on your new home journey. I wanted to ask if you’d mind sharing where you get a lot of your antlers. I know you linked a place where you got some on your James Farmer inspired wall but I didn’t see anything there that looked like the big center antler. Anyway, just wanted to see if you had some recommendations.

      Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!

    6. Babs

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family! Enjoy some down time and make some Christmas memories…

      Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Your encouragement has been invaluable. You will never know how many lives you have touched in so many ways.

    7. Deb Toldo

      Merry Christmas to you and yours as welll!?

    8. Judith A Karlson

      Marion…you have such a lovely voice! I hope you will take time to sing for us as you did last year!

      Merry Christmas!

    9. Suzette

      Merry Christmas!!!?
      See you in the new year!

    10. Ellen Shook

      I don’t think I have ever told you this before, but I would like to echo the sentiments of Babs. I really admire you and all you have been able to accomplish since we all became aware of you on the blogs. You are an impressive young woman, and I think you have truly hit your stride. You inspire so many with your creativity and boundless energy. I wish you continued success and happiness for the rest of your life. Merry Christmas!

      • Jodie from Oregon

        Amen to that!

    11. Suzanne Reiersen

      Merry Christmas to you and your family and a very blessed New Year.

    12. Mary

      Merry Christmas Marian, I love (and covet) your ring mold advent wreath!!! I’ve tried to emulate but as of yet have not found an antique ring mold that I can afford. I did make one for my dining room table with a small oblong dough bowl. Enjoy your holiday, get some rest because “it” will all still be there when the new year is here. Peace and Joy to you and yours!

    13. Eileen Azzinaro

      Merry Christmas to you and your family. I love the idea that you are closer to your parents. So special to have that. I have learned to take everything apart every year and tuck it all away. That way, each Christmas season is start from scratch and I use all my treasures in a new way. It gives me a new perspective on my decorating and each year is just a little different.

    14. Sandy

      Hope y’all have a wonderful Christmas. Bless you dear lady for all the blessings you share with us here on IG.

    15. Kristine

      Marian – This is our first, full and real Christmas in our new home in the midwest. (We moved here from Southern California.) Last Christmas we had been in our home 4 weeks, and my tubs of Christmas decor will still packed away. So, please know how much I understand your thoughts about not yet being able to allow your Christmas decorating just develop naturally. I can so relate to your thoughts about how it is a process that must go at its own pace. I’m happy with how our Christmas home has turned out, but I know in the years to come there will be new ideas, revelations and surprises! I think I have followed your for around 10 years; I don’t comment a lot, but like many of the comments above, I have a high regard for your creativity, but more importantly, your steadfastness in your style, colors and aesthetic. My best regards and wishes to you and your family for a happy and joyful Christmas. I so look forward to the new year, and all the creativity you will lavish on us!

    16. Roberta O Cordell

      May you and your precious family have a blessed Christmas! See you in the new year

    17. Ramona J

      I’m so excited to see how you’re going to continue to transform this house to make it yours!
      Merry Christmas and blessings to you and your family.

    18. Bea

      I agree with your thoughts on enjoying the quiet time between Christmas and New Year and relax, enjoy favorite activities and recharge. I plan to slow down and enjoy my quiet time. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    19. Linda Scott

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and enjoy your much deserved break!! Moving is stressful enough and decorating for Christmas on top of that, crazy! I know bc I did the same thing in 1998 in my Maryland home! All your homes are beautiful, thank you for the inspiration!! Looking forward to more!

    20. Helen

      Have a blessed holiday season enjoying your family and friends! I have looked forward to each blog post to see your style on various rooms of your home. Rest, relax and enjoy your days away. Look out 2023 and all your creativity to come through your blog.

    21. Lorie Pirtle

      My Christmas break starts tomorrow and happens to coincide with a major dip in temperatures for our ( and most everyone else’s) area. So I intend to cuddle with my dog, start a new book from the library and stay inside where it’s warm. Later in the day I will start doing some cooking for Christmas eve and Christmas day. Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your break!

    22. Addie

      Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!!… you and all your extended family!!!! Thank you for all your wonderful inspiring posts. Enjoy your time off….I know you will use it wisely!!!

    23. Ruth

      Merry Christmas to you and family Marion. Blessing for the new year!

    24. Miche Ortega

      Marian, I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season and New Year. Thank you for all of your brilliant inspiration in 2022, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for you in 2023.

    25. Sonam Sharma

      Your tagline should be – bringing life to the home.

    26. Roshni Khanna

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


    Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

    I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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