Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

BooMamaChristmasTour


For several years now I've wanted to make a small scrapbook with photos of all of the Christmas ornaments I've collected over the years. I started (sorta) last year with a series of ornament posts. I still need to finish the actual scrapbook, but because my mind seems to work more quickly than the rest of me, I had the grand idea this year to just make one big scrapbook about all of my sentimental Christmas decorations and the story behind them. So...I've been taking pictures of some of those things today. I guess technically, this isn't a tour of my home, but it is a visual tour of some of my favorite things.


One of our four nativity sets. I bought shortly after John and I were married (deeply discounted) at Hobby Lobby. It reminds me of the brightly colored nativity set that belonged to my grandmother. My kids each have their own set that they keep in their rooms.

I bought this Advent calendar when Will was a baby. It is a well-loved decoration and one of the first things we pull out each year. My kids have a system figured out for which of them gets to hang the ornament on each day. They *always* remember when it's their turn too. I had it personalized with our family name at the bottom, but I cropped that part out. (smile)

Our Christmas tree. It's not fancy, but it's special to us and each ornament hanging on it's branches has a story to tell. I posted some of those stories here, here, and and here. We have hundreds of ornaments and they're each so unique and sentimental.

This trio of snowmen look so perfect on top of my fridge. I bought this set one year in Camden, AR at the Tate Barn Sale. I LOVE them, and usually keep them out until February.

Chocolate Advent calendars are one of my kids' favorite things each year! I found these at Trader Joe's when I was in St. Louis and they were only ninety-nine cents!!! (I am just sick that there are no Trader Joe's in Colorado. It's such a cool store!)

This squirrel cracks me up. It was a gift to my husband from his good friend, Rich. There's a funny story behind it. Years ago when Will and Sarah were in preschool, John volunteered to go read to their classes. They went to a fabulous preschool that was on a college campus and all of the education majors did a practicum there. Anyway, one of the teachers chose a book for John to read that autumn day and it was about Mr. Squirrel and his lost nuts. The refrain on every single page was "Mr. Squirrel has lost his nuts...oh where do you think they could be"? All the college girls were cracking up while he was reading, and my pastor-husband turned about 500 shades of red. He endured to the end of the story, but he never volunteered to read to the class again.
John shared that story with Rich a couple of summers ago in Santa Fe, and now Rich sends us all kinds of squirrel stuff. I don't know where he found this Santa squirrel holding a giant nut but it is priceless!

This is my Christmas stocking that was hand-knit for me by my Nana. I'm 38 years old, and so is this stocking. I don't know exactly how many stockings my Nana made, but that side of my family is very large, and most all of us have one. However, very few of us have one with a Christmas tree on it. Lucky me. My mom knitted one for John after we were married, and one for Will too...but when the girls came along we switched to some beautiful needlepoint ones that we use instead. When I was in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago, my aunt had her stocking hung up on her mantle. It made me nostalgic for mine so I pulled it out when I got home.

As a child, I was always fascinated with the beads that were sewn on as ornaments. It always made me sad that my name was so long it had to wrap around the back. My mom, sister, and brother have long names too so at least I wasn't the oddball. :)

We have a great collection of Christmas books that we pull out this time of year. This is the traditional The Night Before Christmas and it's the version I grew up reading. It isn't the same exact book I grew up with, but is a newer edition that my sister gave to my kids many years ago. We always read it on Christmas Eve night.

This cloth nativity was a gift from John's mom. I think it is so beautiful. Sarah sees it and says that it's "just all wrong" because Mary and Joseph weren't dressed that fancy when Jesus was born. She's probably right.

Our Advent wreath. We lit the third candle at dinner last night. Now...I know that our candles aren't the traditional purple and pink, and I know you're not supposed to light the middle candle (Christmas candle) until Christmas Day, but that's just how we roll around here. Besides, these colors go with my kitchen a little better than pink and purple, and that white one in the middle is a yummy sugar cookie scented Yankee candle.

That's all for now...but I'm already thinking of Favorite Christmas Decorations, Part II. Be sure to visit Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes for more beautiful Christmas favorites.

45 comments:

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Meredith - I am absolutely in love with your decor. I can tell it is all very sentimental and has such memories attached to all of it...exactly how I want my house to be remembered when my daughter is older. Love the advent calendar, and the story of the squirrel made me laugh out loud. Poor John! I think my favorite of all is the stocking that your Grandma made for you...you can't put a price on something like that.

jennwa said...

I love your tree, the ones that tell stories and hold memories are the best.

I love the chocolate advent calendar too. I need to get one for myself and maybe share with the kids.

I hope you and your family have a great Christmas!!!!

Michele said...

I love all of your special Christmas things and the memories that each represents. I loved especially the 1st nativity set (i have one very similar) and I love what Sarah said about the 2nd nativity set (about they weren't dressed that fancy). The story about the squirrel made me smile - how funny! Your tree is beautiful. To me the most beautiful trees are not the "Southern Living" trees, but the ones that hold ornaments that are near and dear to our hearts. Thank you for sharing.

JenB said...

I love your sweet stocking! We have needlepoint ones made by my Mimi and mom (after Mimi died). So special!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

That story about John and the preschoolers is hilarious.

What did you do to your blog?!!! :)

Fran said...

I love it all Meredith!! Looks beautiful. Merry Christmas friend!

Megan L Hutchings said...

I love your idea of making a scrapbook of traditions. I think it would be fun to keep one of all traditions ;).

Gretchen said...

I think we were separated at birth. I have a stocking, hand-knitted for me, too. It says "Greta" on it because Gretchen was "too long". :) Also, sometimes she and my mom called me that. Lurve your tree...all those memories...beautiful.

I'm guessing that at the end of the story, the squirrel regained his virility...Phew.

xxxooo

Lina said...

Beautiful! My kids are now grown but I'm going to find their old Christmas books! Thanks for the idea!

Patty said...

Your tree is beautiful and I laughed so hard at the squirrel story!
Merry Christmas!
Patty

leigh said...

What a great idea! All of my ornaments have a story to tell and I'm the only one who knwos them. I'll have to do the scrapbook idea...in all my free time.hahaha.

It never dawned on me that I didn't know your last name until you cropped the picture. too funny.

Tiffani said...

OH I LOVED THIS!!!!

I want to have time to do this!! All of these decorations are so beautiful and I loved the stories to go with them...

I too have a special stocking my Great Grandmother crocheted me..I no longer use it but it is a treasure!!

Coming from an education background and knowing those great children's stories the "nut" one had me rolling!!! What a funny guy your friend is!!

can't wait to see more!

Karen said...

Love the tree!

Lindsay said...

Hi Mer...

Love your decorations especially your cloth nativity set though I'd have to agree that things were much more rustic.

Wendy said...

Beautiful decorations, and I love that Advent calendar where you decorate the tree. We have some Christmas books that I lay out on the end table when I decorate, too. Merry Christmas!

meg @ spicy magnolia said...

What special decorations tied with fond memories...I love it! I especially love how your ornaments tell a story...that would be one of my most favorite things about visiting your home at Christmas; I bet I could stare at it for hours! Thank you for the tour and Merry Christmas!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Can I come celebrate Christmas at your house? Love the tree and all the other little touches.

Christi said...

We have that exact same book, and I LOVE it! I also grew up reading it, but the original isn't around anymore, so when I saw it in a bookstore a few years ago, I made a running leap to grab it and bring it home for my kids to enjoy! I love the old fashioned looking pictures!!! :)

Lauren said...

Your home is beautiful... so "homey"! I love all the memories your tree holds... and I love the advent calendar! Thanks for letting us in!

*carrie* said...

Fun post, Mer. Can I ask where you got your Advent wreath? I like that you use a scented jar candle in the middle, and it looks like the wreath has pinecones on it, which is a nice touch.

Dena @ Green Acres said...

How sweet that your grandmother made those stockings. What a fun memory to always have of her. I love all your decorations and it was fun reading the stories behind them.

Ameratis said...

The chocolate calendars were always a tradition in my house and we started it this year with my young nephews. Thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

What a great tour! Enjoyed your stories and pictures (especially the squirrel one!). Thanks for sharing with us!

Barb said...

The thing that grabbed my heart is the stocking your Nana knit for you, Mer. What a precious keepsake that is. I can only hope my grandchildren treasure the stockings I've made for them as much as you treasure yours.

And although your daughter is probably right, that cloth nativity is beautiful.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Thank you for sharing your favorites. They are beautiful!

I laughed out loud at the squirrel!!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

One more thing--a scrapbook of favorite ornaments is brilliant!!! I am SO going to do that. Right now I just have a spreadsheet that lists each ornament, the year we got it, where it came from, special memories about it, etc. I've been told that's kinda freaky. I think the scrapbook might be less weird and yet something to hand down to my grandchildren so they know the stories behind everything.

Amber said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!

love you decorations....so fun!

my favorite...your stocking.

Kelly said...

Of course I love all of your decorations and all of your Christmas traditions.
And the squirrel story cracked me up!

It's All Good! said...

That was a fun tour, Mer. The story was hilarious. I really like your snowmen. so cute.
Brenda :)

Paige said...

Love the trio of snowmen! Thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas!

Ashley said...

I love all of your decorations! And I'm going to throw it out there that maybe Mary and Joseph were fashion-forward and had lots of fabric to play with. :o)

Come visit me at my house (blog)!

Becca said...

The stocking your Nana knit is so beautiful. Each story you told was either sweet and touching or really funny, the squirrel and nut story was hilarious!

becky said...

Pretty Christmas decorating -- makes me miss Colorado!

Happy Holidays!

Charlene said...

We'll be spending Christmas in Valemount, B.C. this year. I love the mountains. Colorado is beautiful, and thanks for sharing your Christmas tour pictures! I especially love the retro front cover of 'The Night Before Christmas' book. Merry Christmas!

Keetha said...

Love it all - - - especially the wooden snowmen trio and the "Night Before Christmas." Pretty sure my childhood copy looked a lot like that - - - - only more "used."

Merry Christmas!

kate said...

I love your stocking!
Mine at my mother's is the most basic grocery store stocking in the world. We lost our home in a fire when I was itty bitty and that first christmas after the fire - things were minimal. THirty one years later - its the same stockings. Mom begged us to get new ones - and my sister and i thought she was crazy. its the memories that matter! Loved yours! k8

Anne said...

The trio of snowmen are too cute and the squirrel cracked me up! Thanks for sharing... Merry Christmas!

Adventures of Laura said...

Your trio of snowmen is darling and I love the tradition of an advent wreath.

A blessed Christmas to you and your family!

Leigh Ann said...

I LOVE your nativity set and your tree. It's all SO pretty. How wonderful that you still have the stocking your grandmother made for you. That is so sweet!

Kellie said...

OK, your home is beautiful and the decorations lovely, but the story of John squirrel stole this post.

And am still laughing about it!

Callie said...

yeah! I love that you love the name Callie! I actually hated it as a kid...everyone called me Cowie or Cow, but I love it now! Your house look beautiful! I'm completely jealous that you are going to have a white Christmas and we'll probably be wearing shorts that day - boo!!

His Doorkeeper said...

I'm still plodding along going house to house...it may take me till the new year to finish!

I just love the things you showed, Meredith, because you love them!

The stocking your Nana made you is soooo special! Hope your kids will keep it forever!

Have a Merry Christmas! Are ya'll coming to AR for a visit again soon?

Carrie from SpringsHomeBlog.com said...

Loved reading your ornament stories! I did a linkup of home tours from Colorado bloggers today and included yours!

Phillips Phamily Mama said...

What a great tour! Thanks for sharing.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Jenn said...

So fun seeing your christmas home tour! I love that we share a love for our tree and ornaments.

Questions - where do you display all your Christmas cards?

Aren't Yankee Candles the best. I burned my Sugar cookie one this week. Yum.