seasons of home | christmas kitchen

by | Nov 7, 2017 | All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday | 46 comments

Soooo…in blog land, it’s time to decorate for Christmas and, I must admit, I’m just not there, yet.

I am usually anxiously awaiting the time when I can turn on the Christmas music, bring out the bins of decor, and start baking gingerbread.

But, we just moved here late this summer and haven’t hit our rhythm and I honestly don’t feel ready for Christmas!  Decorating for Christmas feels like a finishing touch on a readied foundation and, while we’ve gotten a lot done, it’s not where I want it to be.

On top of that, I shared on my Instagram Stories that I injured my shoulder last week.  It has been improving, but I learned that I have a partial labral tear, calcific tendonitis, an inflamed bursa, and advanced arthritis! I don’t have to have surgery, thankfully, but I do have to take it easy, which I’m not good at doing.  I’ll have a procedure done in about a month, followed by some physical therapy.

Sooo, that puts me where I’m sure most of you are…thinking about decorating for Christmas.

I’ll share my plans and let’s dream a bit together.  Here’s my not-quite-finished kitchen, not yet decked out for the holidays…

The first thing that I’m going to do is make some gingerbread!  I have made it for the past couple of years and it’s become my favorite Christmas decoration, especially for the kitchen.

I’m planning to make a heart garland to swag across the window over the sink.

And, of course, I’ll make some little 3D houses…

…as well as some flat cookies.

If you’d like to make gingerbread yourself, HERE’S a post I wrote with a bunch of tips last year.

And I ordered a couple of bay wreaths.  I might hang one over the range, if it’s not too big for the space, but one will definitely be going on the studio door and then I’ll figure out the second one.

I ordered them from Mc Fadden Farm’s Etsy shop last year and they were so beautiful.  At under $30, it’s also less expensive than a lot of other live bay wreaths.  They do dry after a few weeks, but they looked pretty even when dried.

And I’m also going to make another advent wreath out of my antique ironstone ring mold.

Aside from that, I just don’t know, yet, but that will be a part of the fun…figuring out how this house looks best during the Christmas season.  My decorating will start this week, so I’ll have more to share, soon!

If you need some holiday decorating ideas (as I do), here are a bunch of beautiful Christmas kitchens to inspire…


Ella Claire | French Country Cottage | Miss Mustard Seed | Shades of Blue Interiors

Craftberry Bush | Rooms for Rent | Dear Lillie | Julie Blanner

Jennifer Rizzo | Kindred Vintage | Love Grows Wild | Jeanne Oliver

Nesting with Grace | and our featured guest, A Burst of Beautiful


  1. Marsha Kern

    I am so sorry about your shoulder, I have had bursitis in my left hip for a while now. My orthopedic doc has given me 3 cortisone injections in it and a sheet on exercises to do , it was a slow process but it is so much better now. Hoping the same for you, pain is not fun…

  2. Miss Kitty

    ohhhh….so sorry to hear about your injury! Thanks for being real about not ready for Christmas decorating. I love seeing your kitchen “as is”….just beautiful. I missed your gingerbread post from last year so it is “new to me”! It sounds like a lovely tradition that delights the eyes and nose.

  3. Cindy Coghill

    I’m so sorry to hear of your injuries. Please take care of yourself and get better. I feel your pain when life forces you to slow down. It is a very hard thing to do. I always marvel at how much you get done.

  4. Brenda

    I too, am sorry for your injuries! You will find a way to make things happen, that need to happen. ( Delegate!) On that note, enjoy the role you’re forced to play. Enjoy the slower pace ( and the time to reflect on the holidays), that the injuries have forced upon you. This too, shall pass!

  5. Liz

    Sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you are well soon.

    I think I am the only person in the world who feels that the beginning of November is too early to start decorating. Everything is so fresh and enticing in the stores, the music is festive, the blogs pretty, the ads incessant, and by the time Christmas rolls around I am so sick of it.

    I confine my decorating to December and with the shorter lead up I can enjoy the actual Christmas season.

    • Jane

      I couldn’t agree more! I love the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving when we can still enjoy autumn and the slower pace of life. I like to decorate for Christmas about two weeks before. Once I decorated so early that by Christmas day the ornaments on the tree were dusty!
      But retail is forced to start early to grab every buck they can.

      And Marian, I winced when I read about your shoulder. Rest it as best you can. I’ve been following your blog for many years and I love, love, love how you’re making your new home so you! You truly have a gift; many gifts. Thank you for sharing them with us.

      • Monica

        I agree as well! To me, November is autumn, and I like to enjoy it for that. I don’t start decorating for Christmas until Dec. 1st.

        • Monica

          But I don’t mind getting some ideas ahead of time. 🙂 Thanks Marian for sharing. I love these ideas. Beautiful simplicity. And I hope your shoulder heals up quickly! Blessings!

  6. Karen L.

    So sorry to hear that you’re injured and in pain, Marian. Will be praying for you. Thanks for sharing these links, too, for when I’m ready to think of decorating for Christmas. We’re hosting Thanksgiving which is a time for it’s own special decorating and giving thanks to God for so many blessings. Later, we’ll decorate simply for Christmas and enjoy it so much then!

  7. Victoria

    I think fabric bunting or pompom garland would look lovely in your studio. I have some great Christmas tree shaped bunting that I love. Just have to be careful how you hang it so it doesn’t look like “sloth” in Seven (for those of you who like horror/thriller movies!)
    I hope you feel able to rest your shoulder. I am useless at resting and pacing and accepting that my disability has an impact on me and allowing that to be ok. Resting and pacing now will make a difference and allow you to heal quicker. Call it an investment in the future! Although sooo much easier to give you that advice than take it myself! I’m sat here beating myself up because I haven’t made a felt garland, Christmas cushions and two handbags.

  8. Linda

    Slow down. Period. You have moved mountains in a very short while. It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. Let your injury get better then move on. I don’t know about you, but I hate the ‘hurry up’ to ‘hurry up’. God will see that everything happens in its. time. BTW, love the new house.

  9. Patricia

    I’m so sorry about your shoulder. When my husband separated his we found a shoulder cold pack that was made for his arm to slip in and go over the shoulder. It helped with pain quite a bit.
    Is there such as thing as clicking on your Instagram from your blog so we can read it from there?

  10. Anna

    Ouch! I know about shoulder injuries 🙁 So sad to hear of yours right before this upcoming busy season.

    Best advice: Take time to let it heal. Don’t overdo it. In the long run, it’s the right choice. 😉

    Christmas will come whether or not the house is completely done or decorated “like usual”. Focus on the real meaning of Christmas and whatever decor you actually do, will be just fine….even if it’s a simple tree decorated with ornaments that have special family meaning.

    One of my happiest Christmases was with my husband and our two sons while the oldest was stationed in Hawaii in the Marine Corps. We were in hotel rooms, no family decorations, no family ‘traditional’ meals or treats. What we DID have was each other and ya know what? Christmas came there too on December 25th 🙂

  11. Mary

    Dear Marian, I just finished reading your entire blog. I love you so much. Want to be sisters (I’ve always wanted a sister). Or best friends. Whatever works for you. 😉 First I want to say that I’ve never been SO inspired in all of my years (which are right many). Also I say that your decor style and artistic ability blow me away, I love everything single thing you do. Also I say that I love your writing style, I can never wait to read the next post and “hear from you.” You may as well know that I’ve started collecting ironstone (yes, just that soon) and I’m already fanatical about it. I’ll drive anywhere to look for it, yesterday I drove from Richmond to Williamsburg, but I still plan a trip to Lucksetts and Leesburg (and all the places you told us about in the area that make great shopping). Marian, I do have to say that I miss your parents and I’m very sad they are still in PA – can we talk them into moving to MN? They’d be close to you and way closer to your brother. Well, tell them I was asking about it and see if they’d do it, okay? 😉 Your kids are precious and so stinking cute, your hubby is a champ with all his cutting and building skills. And mostly I also love y’all because I’m a Christian and so are y’all, and that just blesses my socks off (as we say in the south).

    Love forever,

    • Kim

      Thank you Mary – we also are sad not to be living near Marian and family. and of course our son and his wife, but we did have 5 great years with them for which we are very grateful. We love the Gettysburg area and MN is too cold for us. We also love our church family and our neighborhood and feel very settled here. We have considered relocating but are afraid it would be something we regret. Gettysburg is special. For now God has us staying here and we are content with that. We have already been up to visit and will go again Mid Jan or so – and in Sept I hope to travel to Italy with Marian. Yahoo. And of course we talk often. The boys are learning Latin in school and Marian’s Dad is great with languages so he is their homework coach. He has the curriculum of both boys and it is so fun to hear them talk to Opa about their homework and quiz him too while he quizzes them. So we are still involved – it is just different. If God tells us we should move we will but for now He has us here.

      • Mary

        Thank you, Kim (Mama), I’m glad you’re where the Lord wants you and that you are settled and content there. I’m also thrilled about your upcoming trip to Italy with Marian, and could you please hide me in your suitcase and let me go along, I’m not too much trouble 😉 Love you, will miss seeing you on the blog.

    • Teresa

      I live south of Richmond (Chester) and started collecting Ironstone some years back. I have found Ironstone at different antique and vintage shops around Richmond but I must tell you that my biggest and best finds when it comes to Ironstone has always been in PA.

      I think it would be worth a trip to PA for you sometime if you really love Ironstone. That’s where Marian found the majority of her stash!

      • Mary

        Hi Teresa thanks for writing. My dad’s people are in NE Penna (Pocono Mountains) so I go up yearly – I drove right past Luckette’s store going and coming home this past summer, but we were on such a time schedule I just couldn’t stop. Now all I do is talk about going up to Leesburg for a weekend (a three-day weekend sounds even better!). I can’t wait to shop the area and see what I find. Friend me on Facebook if you’d like to share ironstone stories. Mary Roberts Clark

  12. Tammy

    Sorry about your shoulder!!! I’ve been following you for years and rarely comment although I always read out loud and oooh and ahhh when I read your posts. My husband just comments…. ‘ what’s Miss Mustard doing now that we are going to have to do’… Ha Ha ( true though )!
    I was wondering if you’d share your gingerbread recipe with your readers? I am excited to try making garlands and ornaments this year. Are they edible?
    Thanks for making my work day enjoyable !!!

  13. Shoham

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder, take care. I have ordered several bay wreaths from McFadden Farms (probably on your recommendation last yeat). After having them look so good- I continue to use them all year. Always add to soups, and mainly I burn them for cleansing the house (like sage), and living in the desert in NV we place them strategically to keep as many critters away as we can. Doesn’t seem to work as well with ants! Sending one for a friends birthday this much. Quality is excellent. Did not like the raffia ribbon at all- already told them. Just cut it off, Christmas tume will be when I put some color on it. Out here they dry VERY quickly and still look good. Their garlic braid is nice, too

  14. Ellen Shook

    Unfortunately worn out joints happen a lot to those of us who are always doing things. Hope you don’t have to get a joint replaced just yet. Shots of hyaluronic acid into the joint help a lot.

    It is too early to decorate for Christmas. I really don’t know what the all-fired rush is every year for people to get on it by Halloween. I never have, and it was one of the things that drove me insane about blogging. Now I just don’t read those posts anymore. Of course, by Christmas, some of the girls are decorating for Easter…

    Hope your course of therapy is helpful.

  15. Patricia

    In all fairness, Marion said in the Blog world it is time to talk Christmas – not the everyday world . But if you’re mailing gifts to family and they are handmade, that takes time to accomplish . And all can fit in without any slight to my husbands favorite holiday – Thanksgiving .🦃

  16. Laurel

    Have you thought about hanging one of the wreaths in your window above the sink and putting the heart cookies on the wreath? The cookies would look cute on the wreaths.

  17. monique

    As you know I am sorry re your shoulder woes too having just been through xrays MRIS..etc..

    Take care..I love Christmas and the decorating..but I like to wait a bit more..have to be feeling Christmas:)
    I did star the Christmas caes though..they have to sit and macerate:)

  18. mary

    I slipped on some wet pine needles that covered a little pot hole a few years ago. I fractured my left arm. Fortunately being left handed in a right handed world I have always compensated and it came in handy during the duration of heeling.
    I would say that since you can’t slow down just pace yourself. Know when to take time out.

    Please take care. Mary

  19. Carole

    Oh…I’m so sorry about your injury. Last year, I had a “frozen shoulder” and the only relief I had was a cortisone shot (think 4 inch needle) and rest. Hope you recover soon so you can enjoy the upcoming holidays with your family.
    I love the idea of little gingerbread houses. I recently picked up the Country Sampler Christmas Decorating magazine and saw the mini house under a cloche along with the string of gingerbread hearts. What “sweet treats”! I plan to make both with my twelve-year-old granddaughter next month.
    Like other readers I wanted to thank you for sharing your artistic vision through this blog. I mentioned at Lucketts Fair in May that my decorating style has evolved since I started following along. Recently I purchased a painted dresser
    on Etsy. I had to smile while reading the paperwork which accompanied the delivery. The chalk paint used was from Miss Mustard Seed line!

  20. Norma Rolader

    So sorry you were injured prayers sent lifting you up for healing …. Thank you for sharing your gingerbread and all the decor tips… God bless

  21. Diane Ruebel

    May you experience the Peace of Christ as you rest and heal. hugs

  22. Karen K from Buffalo

    I know exactly how you feel, ’cause I’m in the same boat. I will gingerly start Christmas decorating early as I’m having surgery on my left shoulder December 12th. I went through cortisone shots, two rounds of Medrol dosepaks, & 6 weeks of physical therapy. Nothing has helped. Luckily Hubby will help, but we will just have a few touches of Christmas. I wish I could make gingerbread cookies, but Pillsbury make have to do! Hope you heal fast & I’m off to rest with my icebag.

  23. Rebecca Neustel

    So sorry to hear about your shoulder. As someone who’s had rotator cuff problems for years (had my first of three open repairs in 1996), I definitely sympathize. My last tear was inoperable along with severe arthritis, so I had to have a reverse replacement. That’s the only replacement available to people with rotator cuff problems. If you had to have a replacement, hopefully you could have a conventional one. Also hopefully, that’s way in the future! I encourage you to care for your shoulder and do all the physical therapist says. I’m ashamed to say I pushed my recovery with the first two surgeries, anxious to get back to work and working out and probably made a difference in my healing.

  24. Teresa

    While blog-land does get a early jump on the Christmas decorating season, I do love seeing all the house tours to get inspiration and ideas for my own decorating. I did pick up a few Christmas décor items at HomeGoods last week but only because it will be gone if you don’t buy it while you see it. I always mix some vintage with a few new things but I am a person who likes a clean, uncluttered look so I don’t like too much over-done Christmas décor.

    However, I do try and re-strain myself from actual Christmas decorating until after the Thanksgiving holidays are over. I have found that if I start too early I get tired of it by Christmas! Rest that shoulder and hope you get good results with the physical therapy.

  25. Judy Kulmaczeski

    Sorry to hear about your injury. Do everything you can to get well. Christmas decorating can wait. Enjoy your blog very much.

  26. Stacey

    Oh Marion, I sympathize, I broke a bone in my foot in early October. I have broken down in tears a couple of times from frustration in things just being harder to do and I have been klutzier than usual too. Slowing down is hard! Your “not finished” kitchen is gorgeous already and I’m sure I’m not the only reader who would give her eyeteeth to have such a large and lovely space. Thank you for your inspiration and be well.

  27. Terri

    So very sorry about your shoulder injury. I’m also wondering how we read your instagram stories. (Yes! I’m one of those nontechnical people.)

  28. Nancy

    Take care of your shoulder and don’t bite off more than you can chew on Craigslist (many times I find myself answering an ad for an item that should have 13 big burly dudes picking it up instead of me my hubby and the minivan). You have already made the house yards more mustard seedy than when you came- take some time and enjoy the season without pressure.

  29. Kimberly Bruhn

    After reading the comments, it sure seems like a lot of us DIYers think we are longshoremen and just overdo…and yes, I’m in the same boat (and only able to paddle with one arm). I am (ahem) a bit older than you, Marian, and waaaay back in the 80s I bucked hay for a couple summers in my late teens to pay for university. A “few” years later and pow…frozen shoulder and goodness knows what’s wrong with my shoulder now…I’m awaiting scans and to see the specialists. I concur with the other comment…the “ice blanket” thing the physical therapist would put on my shoulder/upper body made, at least that day, tolerable. I guess it’s imperative to get the inflammation down and icing does the best job after doing the exercises. Good luck with your treatment and keep us updated on the shoulder progress!

  30. Lisa

    Marian, I am praying for you! Please remember that how you care for yourself now will reap GREAT benefits later…
    Oh, I am feeling anxious about all this Christmas decor stuff….I so just want to enjoy Thanksgiving, and am amazed at how so many bloggers seem to be pushing past it. Maybe it is just me, but I want to take in each day and season and holiday as it comes…oh, can’t we all slow down and savor this season? I’m ok now… 😉
    Be blessed, lady! You are loved and adored by me and so many!!!

  31. Julie Blanner

    Sorry to hear about your shoulder. I am absolutely amazed at the changes you have made in your kitchen in such a short time. Incredible!

  32. Susan Skilton

    Marian, as with everything you do, your gingerbread is delightful! Since most of us are not as artistically gifted as you are, is there anyway you would make some templates for your hearts and your tiny gingerbread houses and your flat ginger bread house ornaments to share with your loyal loyal readers? !

  33. Krista

    Your kitchen looks absolutely beautiful! You have accomplished so much in such a short time! So sorry about your injury. I personally know about how injuries can keep us from doing all that we love. Take care of yourself. You’re in my prayers for healing.

  34. Sarah

    Sad to hear you have injured your shoulder. Take care of yourself and don’t take chances. Give yourself permission to do less for now. 😋 Your gingerbread ideas are inspiring me as well. I love to bake gingerbread! Loving the idea of the little houses. I may try that this year and do something fun on my buffet. Take care and enjoy the season.

  35. PJ

    Wishing you healing…Be gentle and patient with yourself please. There will be plenty of time for house projects in the future when you are feeling better.

  36. Jeanne Oliver

    I hope you feel better soon! I sure love seeing this new space that you are making home.

  37. Frances

    The wreaths are gorgeous! Thanks for the link.
    I’m in the same boat this year for decorating. We still have Halloween up on our mantle because I struggling to make enough inventory for a holiday art market. Good luck with your projects and take it easy on that shoulder.
    I look forward to seeing your posts.

  38. Amy

    Can you share the recipe you use for your gingerbread dough and icing? Also, where did you find the little Christmas trees you used to decorate the gingerbread cloche with?

    Can’t wait to see what you have in store for your Christmas decor this year!


  39. Lisa Offrs

    These are fantastic kitchen decor! I love every one of them! Wonderful job!



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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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