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Home for Christmas: The Boys’ Bedroom

There is a story behind the decorating of the boys’ bedroom for Christmas this year…well perhaps even two stories…  Let’s begin with the first one.

Our middle child, Jonathan, has always had a “thing” for bicycles.  He gets it honestly from his mom.  I love bicycles and even have an entire Pinterest board devoted to them….not because I ride them.  I just think the ones I am most drawn to are wonderful works of nostalgic art. Jonathan actually rides them. 🙂

When he was 8 years old we were shopping in a bike store.  We were looking around at all the various bicycles they had when we both suddenly stopped and stared.  There on display were several newly reissued Schwinn Stingrays. Do you remember the Stingray with its banana seat?  In that shop was a purple Grape Krate, an Orange Krate, and a red Apple Krate.  They were all things of beauty to both of us, and I bet you can guess which one came home with us for Jonathan’s birthday present.  Yes, that red Apple Krate.

Although it didn’t have the “shifter” like the original ones did, he still proudly rode it all over our driveway here and up and down my parents’ loooong driveway as well. We have kept that bicycle all these years, and when Jonathan finishes law school and has a place of his own he will move it to his own home…and perhaps have someone to pass it down to one day.  Until then, we are happy to house it here. 🙂

Keep that bicycle in mind as I tell you Story #2…

The same year of the Apple Krate bicycle puchase, I ran across a book that was perfect for any boy age 8 to 11 – which at the time included both of our sons. (Girls might enjoy the book as well.)

Red Ranger Came Calling

(My Amazon Affiliate link)

Written by Berkeley Breathed, (with his typical outlandish artwork) Red Ranger Came Calling is a story based on one the author’s father told him every Christmas Eve.  It is the tale of a young boy, Red (short for his hero Red Ranger from Mars) who wants a Buck Tweed red bicycle for Christmas, but Red does not believe in Santa.  Nevertheless, he goes to visit a hermit on the island where he lives – a hermit that has been rumored to be the retired Santa Claus.  I won’t spoil the ending and tell you more than that, but it is a sweet sweet story of believing in something and finding strength within yourself, and it all revolves around an unlikely friendship and a red bicycle.  Both of our sons thoroughly loved the book as well as all my 3rd grade students to whom I read it aloud. And let me just say, the ending will make you gasp. 🙂

Now that you know both stories I had in mind, let’s move on to the decorating.  When I decorate for Christmas, I want to have a nativity to reflect the true meaning of the holiday, and that is usually the decor for our screened porch. I also want other spaces to give a wink and a nod to whimsy and the nostalgia of the season, and that is precisely what I wanted to do with our sons’ bedroom this year.  With the Red Ranger book and the Apple Krate bicycle, I decided to use red bicycles in every space I could in there.

The desk area not only has the Red Ranger book, but it also has gifts adorned with red bicycles (from Hobby Lobby).

Above the bed is a wreath with a bicycle carefully wired on. (The bike was found by my mom and spray painted Rustoleum’s Sunrise Red by me.)

Now the real fun was the little Christmas tree. 🙂

I already owned several red bicycle ornaments, so those quickly were hung on it, and I made several copies of the cover of the book on cardstock.  I cut out the “newspaper article” that was pictured and placed the copies around the tree.

A few more model bicycles were found at Hobby Lobby.  They weren’t ornaments, but I put them on the tree anyway.  They looked so much like Jonathan’s Apple Krate, I couldn’t resist!

Finally, over 20 years ago in our previous home I had a Santa tree full of a variety of Santa ornaments.  One year, I decided to get rid of many of them, and I gave most of them to my mother. (I did keep one for our tree here.)  As I was looking at the Red Ranger book, I thought the wooden Santa on the cover looked a lot like some of the ornaments that I had years ago. My mother’s recent Christmas trees have been decorated with mostly white and silver ornaments, but I asked her to see if she had any of those old wooden ones left in her boxes of Christmas things.  Sure enough, the other day we found 5 of them packed away! So I brought them back home with me and added them to the boys’ tree.  (Sorry, I took the photos for today’s post before adding those 5 additional ones.) See if you don’t think my wooden Santa looks a lot like the one on the cover. 🙂

And that completes the Christmas decorating in the boys’ bedroom… and in all of the bedrooms.

Next up we will move into the foyer and the family room…
complete with our big family Christmas tree. 🙂

I hope you have a fun weekend in store.  There are quite a few Christmas home tours around our state this weekend, and I hope we get to attend at least one of them.  I have spent today working in front of our fireplace.  Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you stay warm!

Until next time…

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Barbara - December 10, 2016 - 9:16 am

Hi, Kelly, What a beautiful room and so festive, too! Bet it feels like home to your boys.

One question about their room – the black and white checked boxspring cover, did you make that or purchase it? I’d like to find something like that for one of our beds.

Thank you and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Gina - December 10, 2016 - 9:07 am

Oh, I think this is my favorite so far Kelly!! I love the nostalgia behind it. And all those bikes…they are so cute!! How cool that you still have your son’s bike. 🙂 We have this book too. My husband’s niece (a teacher too, well, now a principal) gave it to everyone years ago. And I have that very Santa on the cover! Ha, how funny I had never noticed it was the same. My Santa is packed away, but maybe I’ll decorate like this someday! Thanks for the inspiration…as always!!

Barbara (WA) - December 10, 2016 - 8:45 am

I love this!! What special background stories plus red is my favorite color. And I raised two boys. ❤️❤️

Rosemary - December 10, 2016 - 5:30 am

Loving the way you’ve decorated your boys room for Christmas but I especially enjoyed the stories that inspired it. It’s often the little things that make something special like the Santas that look like the one on the book and the bicycles on the tree that are like your son’s. Just perfect! I’m sure they’ll love it and no doubt reflect on memories of other Christmas’s … Good times 🙂
Have a lovely weekend Kelly.

julia walker - December 10, 2016 - 12:01 am

Kelly, You’ve inspired me once again! Now I’m going to surprise our daughter and decorate her room before she gets home for Xmas. Thank you! Julia

Vicki - December 9, 2016 - 10:50 pm

My grandfather was known as “the bicycle man” in our rural community. He would buy old bicycles and repair and restore them and then sell them for reasonable prices so that anyone could afford a bicycle. He often had a long row of bicycles, small and large, in his front lawn facing the county highway and many times our visits included other neighbors coming by to tryout and buy a bicycle. He enjoyed the social interaction and the smiles on little ones’ faces. I was looking through a box of old photographs at his home one day and there was one of a small child with a bicycle- turns out it was him. I guess he had a lifelong love of bicycles. I always think of him when I see bicycles like the ones you have used as ornaments. Thank you for sharing your home with us! I love it!

nancy - December 9, 2016 - 10:49 pm

I love the stories that went along with this post. It reminded me of when our son was in the 3rd grade and we had gotten him and his sister each a Schwinn bicycle with those awesome banana seats for Christmas. They were used and we had redone them. We were hiding them in the laundry room since neither one ever went in there. Or so we thought. 😉 One evening our son came into the living room crying and said “I (sniff sniff) saw 2 bikes (sniff sniff) in the laundry room (sniff sniff sniff). (All out bawling now) Whose are theeeyyyy??????” He could never lie or hide anything without his conscience giving him fits so he just had to tell what he had seen. He’s now almost 40 and that memory brought tears to my eyes remembering how sweet he was as a child. Thank you. Oh, and the room is perfect. I looove red. And bicycles. (although I don’t ride either.) 🙂

Marianne in Mo. - December 9, 2016 - 10:48 pm

I love the bicycle theme, and the stories on your process for selecting a theme. And your wooden Santa resembles the one on the book for sure! I’ll have to investigate the book for my grandkids.

It’s been frigid here in mid-Missouri! Thankfully, my calf length coat I had ordered arrived the day before the temps plummeted! It’s not the most attractive thing on me (it isn’t supposed to fit that long!) but I’m short and stout, so finding a proper fit is impossible! But it’s warm, so function will lead over form in this case.
Have a lovely weekend, and stay warm!

Martha - December 9, 2016 - 9:17 pm

I am a retired elementary librarian, I loved reading Red Ranger Came Calling to my students! The ending is such fun and provoked some good discussions. I love all the red bicycle decorations.

I have 2 sons and a daughter too. Did you also decorate their rooms when they were young?? My daughter was neat and would have a little tree in her room, but my sons’ room (they shared too) was a battle zone. I would never have entertained the idea of decorating it. I think one year they hung colored lights all over, but that was the extent of decorating.

I can’t wait to see what you do once you have grandchildren. Believe it or not, it is even MORE fun to do things for them. I guess it is because the grandchild enjoys it and then your child appreciates what you are doing….two for the price of one!
I look forward to the next post!!

Louvina - December 9, 2016 - 9:12 pm

Finally, after 15 minutes trying to get your post to load — it was so worth the wait!! What a great idea for your boy’s room! When they see it they will be taken back to a great time in their lives and a book they both loved! I remember seeing a small bike on the top of the cabinets in your classroom and know your students had to love it! Really enjoying your kid’s rooms– they look so comfy and shows their personalities with just the right touch of whimsy for the season! Enjoy the days building up to Christmas and your decorating– was thinking of you today as I was putting up my Willow Tree nativity on the mantel. Legs still mending — and feeling better every day! 💕🌲⛄️️

Lynne - December 9, 2016 - 8:07 pm

Yes, it is amazing how much that bike ornament looks like your son’s old bike. He will love it! When I was about 11 I asked for and got a metallic blue bike with a banana seat and a steering wheel instead of handle bars. I loved it and rode it all the time when my little brother wasn’t riding it ☺

Home for Christmas: Our Daughter’s Bedroom

christmas-decorating-girls-bedroomWelcome back again!  I know you are busy with your to-do list, so this will be another short post for you today…and let me warn you.  It is a major overdose on red!


We are going to take a peek in our daughter’s bedroom.  She was here for her Christmas visit last week since she has to work on Christmas Day itself, so I had to have it ready for sure when she arrived!

Walk in the door, and this is what you see…


For the last 10 years or so, we have always decorated her room with “snow” related items, but this year I decided it was time to change it up some.  Her only request was that we have the garland of lights above the window (so she can leave them on at night. 🙂 )  So the garland and bows are always the first thing to be put up in there.


I wanted to go with a “Letters to Santa” idea.  Children’s letters frequently begin with Dear Santa, I have been a good girl/boy this year which means that hopefully they are on Santa’s “Nice List.”  So I thought a pillow that reverses from nice to naughty (from Homegoods) would be perfect.  (And I told our daughter that it had better stay on the nice side! 🙂 )


Over on the dresser the mailbox, letter opener set, and postage bag are being recycled from last year’s mantel, and I had a stack of cards that were on the buffet in the foyer a couple of years ago.  (Why buy all new, when you can just reuse things in different places, right?)


There is a lot of red going on in her desk area!


Instead of filling the jar on the shelf there with snowballs, I just used a Valentine’s Day mailbox and a Christmas tree to continue the Letters to Santa idea.


Obviously, the desk is the appropriate place for an actual letter to Santa
(or at least the start of one. 🙂 )

santa-letterThe open book is this sweet one (also from last year) with letters to Santa from 1870-1920:

Dear Santa book

Dear Santa: Children’s Christmas Letters and Wish Lists, 1870 – 1920

Then over in the corner is the chair you have sit in when you have been “naughty.”
(If that is the punishment, I will happily get on Santa’s list of naughty children. 🙂 )


This red mug from Target was the final touch of Letters to Santa for the room.

Hope you survived the major overdose of red here today!  Coming up next will be even more of that holiday color, and I think I am going to go a little overboard in that room with an idea.  Here is a hint of things to come in there.

christmas-ornamentsThank you so much for stopping by today!  If you have left a question in a comment or an email recently, I hope to get to all of those at the end of the week.  I am doing a little “elf work” elsewhere (and here) but I will get to them.  A few of you have asked about the green paint on the wicker in the bathroom from the last post.  I have a sprayer, so I had a paint mixed at Lowes and just put it in the sprayer.  It is an Olympic Paint called Moss Point Green.  Hope that helps!

Until next time…

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Debbie - Mountain Mama - December 8, 2016 - 3:11 pm

Oh my gosh, the cuteness factor is just over the top in here!! Love it – I hope your daughter appreciates all you do to make her room festive for when she comes home!!

Nan, Odessa, De - December 8, 2016 - 2:44 pm

Kelly, Kelly
Read me!
I just pulled out some lovely magazines from years past and found CHRISTMAS IDEAS by Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication of December 2015. I saved it because your family and home are featured! You should be proud, lady!
Hope readers read this and check out the issue.

Rosemary - December 8, 2016 - 5:50 am

Your daughters room is just perfection! I, like her would definitely leave the lights twinkling overnight 🙂 curling up in the chair …yes, the Naughty one! 🙂 with a mug of hot chocolate, Christmas music playing …and hopefully snow falling gently outside would be a great way to spend an afternoon.
I hope you both had a wonderful “Christmas week” together.

Lynne - December 7, 2016 - 9:24 pm

Kelly, I am wondering how your daughter has liked her bunk beds and if she would choose them again. I have 2 granddaughters with limited space and this might be the answer when they get a little older. Also, can you tell me pro and cons to having bunk beds? I would worry about them falling off the top if they were both up there playing. I am sure the beds are hard to make up but anything else we need to know? Thanks much!

Tricia - December 6, 2016 - 8:24 pm

How lovely!

Marianne in Mo. - December 6, 2016 - 6:29 pm

Loving the red and white, reminding me of Candy Canes! Don’t think it’s too much at all! What I like about it is that it’s a bright, cherry red, instead of the usual “old world” red you see in so much of the Christmas decor.
I’m on a winter white kick this year, with white ornaments on the tree, snow covered white houses/churches and trees on the mantle, with crystal snowflakes and icicles and silver beaded garland to finish out the theme. I have tons of red from years past, but was getting tired of it all.
I hope your visit with your daughter was all you meant it to be, and that everyone enjoyed their time together.
Enjoy your “Elf-ing”!

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 6, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Red is the best. Never, ever too much.
Thanks for sharing.

Guess you better add to your TO DO list type of sprayer and tutorial. Every woman will add the sprayer to thrir WISH list.
Proves, one more time how talented and special YOU àre.

Terry Cross - December 6, 2016 - 3:49 pm

Oh what a scrumptious space! Loving the red makes me want to go look for some cherry Wintery red accessories and Christmas Decor!

Dee M - December 6, 2016 - 3:48 pm

Thank you again Kelly. I have been waiting for all of your holiday posts. My head is spinning with new ideas for my home. You have triggered so many thoughts in my brain that I want to use so I’ve started making notes for future years as there is no way to use them all in just one year! I love what you do, always. Happy Holidays

Gabrielle - December 6, 2016 - 3:12 pm

Just beautiful Kelly. Your daughter must love it and everythkng you do

Pippa Griffin - December 6, 2016 - 2:53 pm

Absolutely LOVE everything! Of course, I had to run out and get the mug and ordered the Letters to Santa book because it is so cute I can hardly stand it. LOVE that you have themes for various spaces/rooms! Makes it all so special and also helps you focus on one main idea.

There is NO such thing as too much red at Christmas! And you do red with the best balance I’ve ever seen!

Thank you for yet again inspiring and making the holidays so very special for not only your family, but also for your readers who love everything you do to the nth degree!!! It’s simply a complete joy to see your blog post show up in my inbox! You are the best!

Hugs from the Rockies, Pippa

Dawn - December 6, 2016 - 2:23 pm


The letter writing theme in your daughter’s red, Christmas room is just perfect! Thanks for sharing!


Donna - December 6, 2016 - 1:11 pm

Kelly I just love all of your rooms. They look so staged and I don’t see the usual things scattered around your daughter’s room. I love how every little thing matches. I enjoy each and every post.

Mechelle S - December 6, 2016 - 12:36 pm

Wow, you’ve done it again! I’d come home to this room and never leave.
I would love to know where you got the calendar blotter on the desk. It is adorable.
And I think I’ll be doing more garland with lights. Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration.

Marlene - December 6, 2016 - 12:29 pm

What daughter coming home for Christmas (even early this year) wouldn’t love walking into her room and seeing it decorated so beautifully. You have a way of making things so special with all of your touches.

Joy D - December 6, 2016 - 12:20 pm

Where did you get the comforter and fabric basket liners from? Love them

Laura Park - December 6, 2016 - 12:19 pm

What a lucky daughter to have a mom who does such wonderful things for her! You are creating special memories for your family.👪

Donnamae - December 6, 2016 - 12:09 pm

It’s perfect! Love that lighted garland…I’m sure your daughter enjoyed all the special touches too! 😉

Peggy - December 6, 2016 - 12:06 pm

You can NEVER have too much red! I would love to stay in that room!

Garden, Home and Party - December 6, 2016 - 12:02 pm

I love your daughter’s room, especially with the touches you’ve added this year. The lit garland is wonderful.

H - December 6, 2016 - 11:58 am

I want to be your daughter !🎄🎄😀
Love everything’s about this room!

Kay - December 6, 2016 - 11:57 am

Please. There is no way the words “overdose” + “red” belong in the same sentence! I love her room!

Linda P. - December 6, 2016 - 11:53 am

I enjoyed seeing your daughter’s room decorated for Christmas when she returns. I love the idea! Everything is so cute but that mug from Target is adorable!

Cheri - December 6, 2016 - 11:39 am


You always put just enough decorations to keep things classy and yet holiday with out going over the top. Nicely done.

Marty Oravetz - December 6, 2016 - 11:32 am

Oh I love your Letters To Santa theme, so perfect and the room is decorated so beautifully.

Gina - December 6, 2016 - 11:26 am

I’m sure she loved it and enjoyed her Christmas visit! I bet the room looks magical at night with those lights on. I’m still puttering around adding final touches. 🙂 I always love your Christmas tours.

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