once you enter, you'll be greeted by these little decorative touches...
now you'll be entering the living room, a room we don't spend all that much time in, despite the name, but still a room we enjoy being in all the same. here you see a little decoration including an antique european mandolin, an old suitcase and on of my collages.
in the bay window looking out into the front yard shannon has her willow tree angel nativity scene proudly displayed. this is a beautiful nativity.
moving out of the living room and into the dining room, you will continue to find decorative touches everywhere. this is the work of my wife. she is so good at decorating and really enjoys it, so there are neat touches all over the house.
now that you've entered our 1950's themed kitchen, you'll find these little blasts from the past. the mr and mrs. claus salt and pepper shakers were something i always had growing up and really loved them for some reason. so they get displayed in our home every year, too.
we've collected all kinds of stuff from flea markets and yard sales over the years, and these little snowmen, i believe, are from one of those sales.
just more from our kitchen....
we actually bought this countdown to christmas tin at target a few years back. it hangs in our kitchen now. you just turn the little arm that is sticking out of the top right side and the number changes in the little window. its only 5 days now!
there are several other things i could show you upstairs, but we should start moving downstairs. first thing you'll notice is our tree. now, this is not the best picture of it, but it is a really nice white pine. we like live trees (its actually much better for the environment) and we like long needles (much easier to clean). our tree has white lights and lots of family ornaments. we don't hang garland or tinsel, and we don't really hang many 'generic' ornaments. almost all of our ornaments are ones that are from our childhood or that we've bought along the way.
like this one. this is one of my favorite ornaments that we bought when in vero beach florida for our honeymoon. i don't know why i love it so much, but it really holds a special place in my heart and i love hanging it each year. in fact, my favorite part of decorating for christmas is opening the box of ornaments and re-discovering all the different ones you have and remembering all the stories once again.
here is a picture of shannon's snowman collection. she made several of these and have had many given to her as gifts. it sits on top of our bookshelves in our family room.
here's another 50's snowman. this little couple actually game out of an old snowglobe that had broken.
still in our family room, you could just turn around and see our fireplace and our mantle, which is one of our favorite parts of the house. we love having a fire in the hearth. you will also see our stockings here. from left to right they are jack's, shannon's, max's, mine, and cade's. jack's and cade's are new this year handmade by a croatian woman.
our stockings will remain empty until christmas eve when jolly old st. nick will fill them with small gifts. santa also leaves a big gift for the children. when you wake up on christmas morning, you open your big gift first, then you stocking. then we move to the gifts under the tree. that's how we roll.
new this year was an advent tradition that shannon picked up from something on crafty p's blog. she got a bunch of socks and numbered them and hung them along our glass sliding doors in our family room. each day of advent jack got to countdown to christmas by opening a new sock. usually there was a slip of paper inside that told him what to do that day. like read a christmas story. or watch a christmas movie. or sing christmas songs in the bathtub. or make salt dough ornaments. or buy a present for a charity. or make snowflakes. we really used it as a took to not only build excitement about the coming of christ and christmas, but also to try and teach him that it is about more than just getting gifts. this was our first year, and i think it has been a real success.
and finally, here are just a couple more pictures from our family room. i hope you've enjoyed this little tour. we wish you could actually be with us during this season. share a meal and a cup of hot cocoa, or something warmer. sit around a toasty fire and talk about what it means when jesus says he gives us peace but not as the world gives. but since we can't do that, we just hope you know you are always welcome over at our place.
(to see some of the other bloggers who are 'sharing christmas,' head over here, to megan's blog).