Christmas in the family room & a paper manger

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Family Room, Holiday, My House

I shared how our family room is looking these days a few posts ago and I thought I would share some of the details of my Christmas decorations.  As I’ve said repeatedly, I really keep things pretty simple when it comes to Christmas decorating.  It does still take a lot of time, but I have grown to love the look of fresh green garlands, wreaths and swags, and just adding a few key decorations to each room.

In the family room, I added some fresh greens to the top of the antique pie safe by the side door…


Again, I don’t do anything fancy, but simply tuck greenery where it fits and looks good, creating a sort of swag effect around the antique splint basket.


There is an antique tote on the sofa table behind the sectional that is usually filled with a few faux sage plants from Ikea.  I just tucked in some juniper and pinecones to make it look more Christmasy.  It’s hard to get a really great picture of it, but I love how it looks.


On the other side of the room is our big Christmas tree.  It is such a gorgeous one this year, although I must admit that I jumped the gun and got it a little too soon!  It’s already really dry and the branches are sagging a bit.  I have been watering it and I keep talking to it, encouraging it to hang on for twelve more days!  It’s not dropping a ton of needles or turning brown, so hopefully it will make it, but I need to learn this lesson for next year!

It reminded me of what my Oma used to do.  She didn’t want to wait to pick out a tree, because she wanted to get the “best”.  She would buy it early and then keep it in a bucket of water outside until she could bring it in to decorate.  Smart lady.

As it is, this tree will have to come down the day after Christmas, which is a little sad.  Few things beat the glow of Christmas tree lights at night.


The tree isn’t fully decorated in the picture above, but this is where I hung the little metal houses from Michaels.  We also hung ornaments we’ve been using for years…glass birds with feather tails, glass glittered ornaments I made, snowflakes, and my very favorite silver Wallace sleigh bells.   I’m not into “collectibles”, but I get one every year for Christmas and I have one for each of our birth years and a few from my Oma’s collection.


On the top of the corner hutch, I tucked more fresh greens and pinecones.  I opened the hutch doors and hung stockings I made from an old cutter quilt from small nails.  In the absence of a mantle (and an abundance of wall space), it’s always a challenge figuring out where to hang our family stockings.  This year, they just might be brought out on Christmas eve.

Inside the hutch, I put the paper nativity my youngest son, Calvin, and I made together.  It was the sweetest thing.  He apparently made one with a friend at school and there was a dispute about who would get to keep it, so they decided to give it to their teacher.  He wanted to make one with me to keep at our house, though.

If that doesn’t melt a mom’s heart…

So, he gave me directions of what he wanted me to draw and we figured out how to engineer a semi-stable structure out of paper and glue-stick.  He wanted to put it in front of the Christmas tree, but I was afraid it would get smashed, so I put it in the hutch.


I mean, this shepherd…


…and the baby Jesus in a manger?  I didn’t have any hay, which is what Calvin requested, but he resigned that moss would be okay.


It was one of those moments as a boy mom – between the wrestling, rough-housing, potty humor, and Lego battles – that I got to glimpse the sweet little men my boys are becoming.

I’ll just soak that in until the next time I get mooned or a ball goes hurling across my living room…

Christmas in the family room & a paper manger

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