Hello everyone! I am so thrilled to be on Pamela's Porch today talking about how I found my Christmas decorating style! I was pleased when she asked me to share my style way back in the summer, and I was doubly pleased when she asked me back for the Christmas edition of "How I Found My Style Sundays."
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself and our home.
My name is Jane and my husband and I live in a small country cottage in South Carolina. Our home is over 100 years old and it was built by my husband's grandfather. My husband grew up in this house so it's full of memories for him, many of those including Christmas. We moved here about 5 years ago, and it has been our goal to continue the Christmas family traditions and to provide a place for our large extended family to gather each Christmas Eve.
So I shall share a few of our Christmas decorations as I answer sweet Pamela's questions.
My Christmas decorating style is...
When you live in a country cottage, that has to be your style! We decorate the outside of our home in a very traditional way by putting red bows on the white fence that surrounds our property and hanging wreaths in all the windows.
Here the wreaths are all lit up at night by little lanterns hanging in them.
On the inside of our home, I love to use a lot of fresh greens and incorporate natural materials as a way of bringing the outdoors in. And I always use red and green in my Christmas decor. Since the walls of our living areas are white, our home wears red well.
I love to decorate with a theme, and this year's theme was a garden theme. In case you're new to our blog, I need to tell you that we have a large vegetable garden.
This is a photo of our garden from this past June. We only started gardening after we moved here, and it has become such a large and important part of our lives.
So our gardening themed decorations are an expression of our personalities and interests.
When I said that I like to bring the outside in, I wasn't kidding. Here are some cabbages from our garden underneath a gardening Santa!
And there's another huge cabbage displayed in an antique dough bowl on the sofa table.
Since our home is small, I use tabletop trees. This year's indoor tree carries out the theme with vintage seed catalog illustration ornaments, seed pods, miniature wheelbarrows, and gardening tools with a chicken wire garland. You see, I love to have fun with decorating. As a retired elementary school teacher, it gives me a creative outlet.
The tree topper was made from some vintage gardening tools and a raffia bow.
At the base of the tree is an antique wooden wheelbarrow that I recently acquired. So you can see that I like to incorporate the old with the new in my decorating to create a unique, country cottage style.
The gardening theme extends into the dining room where there is a Santa in a wheelbarrow. On the table are some vintage, etched glasses that belonged to my mother along with some dollar store wine glasses. I love to mix the old with the new and the low with the high!
I even found some napkins with a gardening Santa on them. Every time I see them, they bring such a smile to my face. Isn't that what Christmas decorating is all about-bringing us joy?
In a corner of the dining room is an old high chair where my husband's children sat along with their cousins on many Christmas Eves. This year the youngest member of our family will use it. I like to think of it as a bridge between the generations that have celebrated Christmas in this house.
The cupboard is all decorated for Christmas with a mix of milk glass, vintage Santa cups and deer figurines, and a few new things.
Each Santa cup has its own personality.
In the kitchen, I have a gingerbread theme going on. Since I don't have room for a tree in our small kitchen, I decorated an old, artificial wreath that I spray painted white. Part of my style is to take old things and rework them into something new.
For example, this is an old rolling pin but I turned it into a Christmas decoration by painting the handles red and attaching a gingerbread ornament and bow. I haven't quite finished decorating the kitchen yet because I'm trying to thoroughly clean it before all our company comes Christmas Eve!
There is a snowman theme on the front porch. On the wreath I've used some real cotton bolls that I've glitterized. We don't get much snow here so I just make some of my own!
I've put my snowman collection on display on an old wooden ladder next to a snowy, winter scene. I'm trying to create a magical, winter wonderland for all the children that will be here soon!
How did you find your Christmas decorating style?...
Well, I have always been intrigued by old things and have always collected things. I just use what I love in my decorating and don't pay much attention to current styles and trends. I've lived through quite a few different decorating trends, but I always keep coming back to the country style. It fits me and our home and the lifestyle that we have right now.
What is your most cherished Christmas decoration?...
My most cherished Christmas decoration is this white Santa. Each year I am delighted when I pull him out of the storage bin. He is actually a tree topper, and he has graced the top of many of our trees through the years. This year I've put him on display on a stand that includes a white village and a white Nativity scene. There is a story behind this Santa. Twenty-one years ago, Leo and I were celebrating our first Christmas together and were putting up a tree. It needed a topper and we spotted this Santa at the same time. So this Santa is a remembrance of that first Christmas that we shared together. He will always be a part of our decorations no matter how aged or faded he becomes.
What decorating tips do you have for creating a beautiful, stress-free holiday season?...
Oh gosh, Pam! That is a loaded question! I think most of us who read blogs and look at beautiful images on Pinterest suffer from the stress of trying to create beautiful, magazine worthy decorations because we are bombarded with that. And I am somewhat guilty of falling into that trap, too, because I'm a blogger. I try to always keep in mind that what I'm trying to accomplish with my Christmas decorating is to provide our grandchildren and the other children who will be here Christmas Eve a magical, whimsically decorated place to celebrate Christmas together. What I try to do is to finish one room at a time rather than decorate the whole house at once. I decided on my themes and wrote down my ideas in a notebook a few months ago. Then I made a to-do list and started projects early. Now that it's nearing Christmas, I'm finishing up but I'm also taking time to relish all the joys and meanings of Christmas. Leo and I are both participating in our church's pageant, and we also take part in community events. So right now, the decorating is not so important anymore and the enjoyment of the season is paramount. Knowing when to let go of the decorating is important to our well-being and to our family. Relaxing by the fire with a warm drink within the glow of the tree's lights is my happy place, and if I don't quite finish my projects to perfection, well, so be it. There's always next year!
Thank you again, Pam, for inviting me over to share my decorating style with your readers. I wish all of you a most wonderful holiday season filled with all the joys that the season has to offer. And I invite you to stop by our blog, Cottage at the Crossroads, to see if I get the rest of my decorating finished!