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A Merry Christmas Tour with a BIG part 3!

Merry Christmas to you!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day with family and friends.  We had a fun Christmas Eve with my parents, a leisurely day here with just our family, and dinner with my husband’s family to finish off the celebration of the birthday of the Christ child. 

Even Gabbie had a fun day with lots of new toys to chew on.
(and all of them are red!

 I knew I should not have saved soooo much for this last part of the Christmas tour.  These are my favorite spaces to photograph in our home, and there are enough pictures here for 3 entire posts!  So grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and let’s take one last look around the house before Christmas 2017 is only a memory…

The subject of our pastor’s sermon on Sunday was joy.  He spoke about how some people embrace Christmas…  soaking in each part of it with joy. They are excited for Christmas! 🙂

But other people dread it. He told of a woman whom he overheard in conversation telling how Christmas was just too much work…all the cleaning…the decorating…the shopping…the gift wrapping…the cooking, and then… more cleaning. This particular woman said, “I just don’t know if Christmas is worth it.

Hold that thought….I’ll get back to it in a minute.

At 1:00 a.m. on Christmas Day (the night before Christmas) I was running the water for my bath before bed.  All the gifts were wrapped and under the tree.  All the stockings were filled and waiting in the family room.  The house was totally decorated and clean (except for vacuuming the room upstairs, but that was okay.)

We had prepared and enjoyed a breakfast-for-dinner with my parents and exchanged gifts with them.  And I had just finished making a peppermint ice cream pie to take to my husband’s family celebration on Christmas night.  We also had to take chili, but that could wait to be made (and the ingredients had all been purchased.) Everyone in the house had already gone to bed.

I was checking the last few Christmas Eve posts on Instagram when I came across one that the wise Becky Thompson had just posted…

What powerful words to read after the full to overflowing weeks of nonstop preparation for Christmas Day.

Becky went on to write that it did not really matter what was under the tree, (or not) what was cooked for the meals, how things were decorated or wrapped. No matter what. Good job.

For all the cleaning and decorating and shopping and gift wrapping and cooking…good job.

Why do we do all that cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking that makes its way onto our to-do lists during the Christmas season?

Because, as Becky says,
“We care so much about how everyone else experiences Christmas.”

We want to make sure that everyone we love has their best Christmas, and we do everything in our power to help make that happen.

And most importantly…

At the end of the day, at the end of Christmas Day,
we want everyone we care about to feel loved.

That’s why we do it all.

And that…that act of making others feel loved and cared about brings me joy.
Doesn’t it for you as well?

So back to the woman in our pastor’s sermon who wondered if Christmas was “worth it.”  My answer is “Most definitely yes, it is absolutely worth it!

(And even when he said it during church, I was thinking, yes it is so worth it!)

Of course, my pastor’s sermon went in a different direction from what Becky and I were thinking…

His point was if all of the cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking do not bring you joy, then get away from all of that.

And think about the miracle of the Christ child’s birth.  

Think about how much God loves us…enough to humble himself and arrive here on our planet as a little baby to show us how to live and love. That should more than bring us joy!

But I am really thinking that our pastor’s sermon and Becky Thompson’s words actually go together.

We should have joy because God loves us so unconditionally that He came to live among us…and we should have joy in loving others…
which, after all, is what He came here to teach us how to do. 🙂I hope your Christmas season was one filled with joy and lots of love. 🙂

It’s late, and I think I will just let you enjoy the rest of the photos of the porch in peace and quiet. 🙂

Merry Christmas dear friends.
Joy to the World!
Good job.

You might enjoy these posts:

Lori Lucas - December 31, 2017 - 2:12 am

Not only have you surely brought joy to your family, but also to those of us that get to peek inside your beautiful home. Truly the warmest home in Blogland.
Lori, that HAS to be one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received about our home! Thank you so much. Many wishes to you for a wonderful new year!

Linda - December 30, 2017 - 6:18 am

Amen and very well said. Happy New Year! The house is just lovely inside and the outside shows y’all hard work this past year.
Thank you Linda! You can certainly see some of the exterior painting, but I am afraid there is more to go. Here’s to finishing all the house projects in 2018! Happy New Year to you! 🙂

Judy - December 29, 2017 - 5:34 pm

I love, love, love your blog, and always can’t wait until the next one. God gave you a wonderful gift of creativity and we the readers so appreciate you and your talent! I pore over every picture and word. Everything is beautiful, as always. I also appreciate the recipes, one now being a family staple!
Judy I am so happy that you find inspiration here on the blog. Your comment put a big smile on my face! Thank you. I hope you have a very blessed 2018. Happy New Year!

Janice Boucher - December 28, 2017 - 9:46 pm

Your house looks absolutely beautiful!
Everything is done with such simplicity.
Could you tell us how you make those lovely red bows that hang from your wreaths?
Thank you for the compliments Janice! I wish I could explain how to do the bows…I take a roll of ribbon, leave about a foot hanging down, pinch it at the top, make a loop left, pinch it with the other part, make a loop right, pinch it with the other part, and continue left and right until I have a bow that is as full as I want, then leave another foot hanging down. Use a small piece of wire to hold it all together in the middle, and cover that with a short strip of ribbon. That is how I would “tell” you to do it, but it is really something you would need to see. 🙁
Happy New Year to you!

Terri - December 28, 2017 - 4:23 pm

How beautiful ….. I have read … and “re-read” this post several times now ….. The statements that this lady said are so very true… “Why do I do all that I do”… Because I so want those around me that I love to have the very best Christmas possible… The real Joy of Christmas …. The Love of family & Friends… but most of all .. of course .. the Love of a Savior who was laid in a manger….. Your post is such a great reminder of all these things…. and oh how I love alllll that Christmas red!!! My Favorite … traditional Christmas Red and White…. Thank you so much for sharing….. and Happy Blessed New Year!!!
That is indeed the real joy of Christmas as you said, Terri. 🙂 I hope your Christmas was joyful and that your 2018 will be filled with many blessings! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Nancy Rodrigues - December 28, 2017 - 2:34 pm


You never cease to amaze me! What a wonderful post. I have looked at it repeatedly so I catch every detail. Thank you for sharing.

Good Job! And all the joy in the world to you….since you bring so much to all of us!
What kind words! Thank you so much Nancy! I hope 2018 brings you a year filled with blessings. 🙂
Happy New Year!

Cindy - December 28, 2017 - 1:29 pm

Hi Kelly:
What a lovely post. When I view your posts, I feel a sense of calm in your pictures. You create a welcoming environment that shows lots of love. It shows that you find joy in making your home special for family and I hope that I convey that in our homes. I wish you and your family a healthy, happy new year.
Thank you so much for your compliments here Cindy, and I am glad that I am able to convey all that to you through the words and photos. I hope you have a very happy new year!

bev tippett - December 28, 2017 - 9:40 am

Beautiful and inspiring. Love the quote. I am always so stressed at the last minute…every year. I don’t learn the lessons. I need to learn it’s all okay.
It IS okay, and I need to learn that lesson as well, Bev. Hopefully I am slowly letting it sink in. Our Christmas cards never made it out this year, and I really didn’t stress over it. We just can’t do it all, can we? Here’s to a less stressful 2018! Many blessings to you!

Nan, Odessa,, DE - December 27, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Just beautiful and inviting!
Did all your children get home for the holiday?

My all time favorite is the nativity sets on the porch.
Please, please tell me about each of them. Details!
Where can I purchase?

Also, are your red plates red, red? Brand? Where to purchase.

Happy holidays to you and yours!
PS Check out Nora Murphy Country House blog IF you haven’t already. I think you would enjoy reading it!
Thanks so much Nan! Our boys made it home, but our daughter spent Christmas with her future in-laws.
The nativity pieces are from Willow Tree. I believe they carry all of them on Amazon, although I bought ours at various Christian bookstores over a period of a few years.
The plates ARE truly red, and I bought them many many years ago from Pier 1. I believe Dillards carries a line of dinnerware labeled “Noble Excellence” that are a good red, but I am not positive.
Yes, Nora’s home and blog are right up my alley! Although her tastes run a little “older” than mine…I like to include photographs and a bit more whimsy than she does in our decor, but I still enjoy seeing all that she does. Hope your holidays were good ones. Have a wonderfully happy new year!

Debbie - MountainMama - December 27, 2017 - 4:00 pm

As always, your home is just beautifully decorated, I don’t know how you find the time but I’m sure glad you do – good job!! May you have the happiest and healthiest New Year, Kelly!
Thank you so very much Debbie! I wish the very same to you for the coming year!

paula - December 27, 2017 - 1:48 pm

Thank you, Kelly.

Your house looks so merry and bright; I hope you have a lovely (rest of the) Christmas season!
Thank you Paula! Merry and bright are good things to be for Christmas! 🙂
Hope you have a blessed 2018!

kathy - December 27, 2017 - 8:24 am

Yes, Kelly, it is a lot of work but it IS so worth it! I didn’t cry until I read Debra’s 4:07 comments. Your blog always inspires me with your words as well as your decorating. When we arrived at my parents’ home on Christmas night, there was my 84 year old mom cooking. (We told her NOT to cook. We were bringing food!) The exhaustion was showing on her face but I know she was doing it to try to show her love. I am not so sure she was feeling the joy though. Lol. Kelly, if you have not read The Fred Factor, you should read it. You are a Fred. (Right, DiAnne?!) Thank you for sharing your joy with us, Kelly! Happy 2018!
I am so glad Debra shared her story in the comments. I feel like we are all family here, and her words fit beautifully with what I was trying to say in the post. And thank you for sharing about your mother. Such a perfect example of how we “do” to share our love (whether joyous or not! LOL)
The Fred Factor was shared with our faculty several years ago at one of those inservice meetings (when we would have all rather been working in our classrooms so that we would not be soooo far behind!) It WAS a wonderful story, and I consider it a beautiful compliment that you think I am a Fred. Thank you sweet friend! I hope 2018 is a relaxing year for you filled with many blessings!!
p.s. As you can see, I am ignoring your email from earlier in the day today. 🙂

Vicki - December 27, 2017 - 6:04 am

Is the little village in the cabinet your Mitford village? I enjoyed all. Yes, it is a lot of work, a lot of stress for me, but when it is over i am so glad i did it. Your home is lovely. Great use of the green napkins on the porch from Joanna Gaines’ line. I liked those too but could not see where i could use them, but when you use them, gave me all kinds of ideas! lol! Happy New Year soon!
Yes it IS the Mitford village, Vicki! You have a great eye! I have had those pieces for many years and could never figure out a good place to display them at Christmas. It finally hit me this year that they would fit perfectly behind the glass door of that big piece of furniture in the family room. Viola! It worked!
Glad you found inspiration in the table linens. When I saw they had “peace” on them, I had to use them. 🙂
Here’s to a wonderful and happy new year for you!

jae - December 26, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Thank you. Wishing you joy.appreciate your taking the time to post and share your lovely home, and life, with us!
Thank YOU for taking the time to visit here on the blog, Jae. Many wishes for a happy new year for you in 2018.
Happy New Year!

Liz J - December 26, 2017 - 10:04 pm

Kelly, Your home is just gorgeous and full of warmth and JOY. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your home!
You are more than welcome, and thank you for the sweet compliments Liz. I hope 2018 is full of many happy blessings for you!

Debbie Brown - December 26, 2017 - 9:58 pm

Kelly, Your house is beyond gorgeous! I loved every single picture and enjoyed the blog too. This was the first post I have seen but will definitely go back and look at the others too! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much Debbie. I am so glad you found your way to the blog! Our Christmas was a good one. I hope yours was as well and that 2018 will be full of many good things for you and your family. 🙂
Happy New Year!

Cindy Lou Hoo - December 26, 2017 - 9:33 pm

Beautiful home and beautiful post !!!!
Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Happy New Year!

Linda Ishmael - December 26, 2017 - 8:33 pm

Beautiful!! Good Job!!! I love every nook and cranny. I wish you’d decorated and shared in November so I could have stolen some of your cute ideas. Lol!!! Glad you had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a blessed 2018. Hope to hear from you again soon.
Aw thank you Linda! I wish I could have gotten it all done in November as well, and then I could have spent the month of December just watching Christmas movies and eating desserts! LOL 🙂 Many blessings to you for the coming year. Happy New Year!

Paula - December 26, 2017 - 8:28 pm

I was looking forward to seeing the rest of your home and you certainly didn’t disappoint. Great job Kelly. Beautiful!
I am glad you enjoyed the post Paula. Thank you for visiting the blog during the busy Christmas season, and thank you for your compliments!
Happy New Year!

Jeanne Bell - December 26, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Very well said….I try so hard to make everything perfect for my family and their joy is my gift.
Thank you Jeanne! YES, “their joy is my gift” is the perfect way to express this.
Many wishes for a happy new year!

Sherrie Oldham - December 26, 2017 - 7:14 pm

Good Job- can’t be said too many times. Your house is a home and so welcoming .
Where did you get the red & white buffalo plaid fabric for the panels ? I have been looking forever. Thank you
Blessings for the New Year
Thanks Sherrie! The fabric is the 4 inch red check that I ordered from Forsyth Fabrics in Atlanta. Hope 2018 is full of good things for you!
Happy New Year!

Sandy - December 26, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Wonderful post and everything is just beautiful!
Thank you Sandy! And happy new year!

Debbie S. - December 26, 2017 - 6:04 pm

Beautifully said, thank you so much! And thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us!

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy 2018!
I’m so glad you liked the post Debbie. Thank you for reading! Blessings to you for the coming year!

Lee - December 26, 2017 - 3:44 pm

Well said Kelly!! The peppermint Oreo ice cream pie was wonderful. So much that I had 2 servings. And yall just thought I was cleaning up!
Thank you! Glad you liked the pie, and yes, we just thought you were cleaning up. 🙂 That pie vanished rather quickly!
Happy New Year!

Valerie - December 26, 2017 - 2:27 pm

So enjoyed this post. It is so worth it! Good job indeed!
Aw thanks Valerie! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Dawn - December 26, 2017 - 2:00 pm


I love your home, stories and sharing. You are an amazing woman and I appreciate your insight and out look on life. I could not agree more with how much Joy this season brings. I am enjoying the tour of your home and was super happy to see Gabby and my favorite green room included in this post. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy new year! Take care.
Thank you so much Dawn! I had to include the playroom (now Gabbie’s room 🙂 ) just for you. LOL
Lots of wishes for a blessing filled year for you and your family in 2018.
Happy New Year!

Cindy B. - December 26, 2017 - 12:45 pm

Just~ Sniff! Sniff! Thank you!💐🎄
Here’s a Kleenex Cindy. 🙂
Happy New Year to you!

Lynn - December 26, 2017 - 12:24 pm

Amen! Kelly, you and your blog bring so many people JOY! I know it does for me. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and 2018 brings you and your family much JOY!
Goodness thank you Lynn! Our Christmas was a good one. I hope your 2018 is full of many good things! Happy New Year!

Barbara (WA) - December 26, 2017 - 12:10 pm


cindy hattersley - December 26, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Your home is the most festive I have ever seen. My personal favorite is your porch. I could move right in!!
I’m so glad you like the porch Cindy. It is normally not quite as cold as it is today. Otherwise you could move right in!
Wishing you a very happy new year!

Amanda - December 26, 2017 - 11:08 am

Your post is absolutely beautiful! Truly enjoyed reading your message and browsing your pictures. Thank you for sharing and look forward to your future posts.
I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post Amanda. Thank you for sharing your kind words here!
I hope 2018 brings many good things your way. Happiest of new years to you! 🙂

Shannan - December 26, 2017 - 11:06 am

THANK YOU Kelly! That was amazing in every way!
You are awesome and I hope you have some relaxing days filled with more joy in the coming week!

Just like the joy you bring to me when I see your photos, home, creativity and adventures!

Happy New Year!
Thank you for such a sweet comment Shannan. I appreciate you for taking the time to read the post and leave your words here.
Happy New Year to you!

Linda Blakely - December 26, 2017 - 11:00 am

Kelly, Thank you! Your posts are always a JOY to peruse. Such a special treat to see this time of hear, especially. But all year long, really.

You are too kind Linda! Thank you for your comment. I am so glad the posts bring you joy. May 2018 be filled with many joys for you and your family!

Gina - December 26, 2017 - 10:57 am

Love every little detail Kelly, but most of all the sentiment. Yes, yes, yes, it is all worth it!! I love to serve others!! 😀 It brings me much joy. Haha, this was my “easier” Christmas though because our daughter was with her husband’s family. But next year it will be crazy fun with out little twin granddaughters running around. 😉 So happy your children were all home!
Crazy fun with twin granddaughters!! Wow! That WILL be fun! I know you can’t wait.
Thank you so much for reading and writing your sweet compliments here Gina. I hope 2018 is your best year yet!
Happy New Year!

Patsy - December 26, 2017 - 10:57 am

Good morning my sweet friend! And thank you! Reading through tears! Happy tears! I could not agree more with every singe word! Thank you so much for sharing and here to making the ones we feel loved and cared! And your home looks picture perfect….a Christmas wonderland that I know makes the ones you love feel so special!❤️❤️❤️
Just now finding the time to respond to everyone’s sweet comments. Patsy, thank you so much for hopping over and reading the post. I appreciate that AND your very kind words! I hope that everyone is finally well in your house and that 2018 brings you and your family much happiness and good health!
Happy New Year to you!! 🙂
p.s. Christmas isn’t coming down here until Jan. 13th!

Karen B. - December 26, 2017 - 10:48 am


The areas of your home you shared today (or rather yesterday?) are my favorites of your home as well.
I love the holiday and always feel a little sorry for those who dread it due to the “work”. I find my joy comes from just what you mentioned, making my home and the holiday comfortable and welcoming comes from love and I believe my family appreciates it. There are ways for those who feel overwhelmed to scale back and cut a few corners by buying some pre-made treats, etc.
Good points Karen! I hope you and your family enjoyed Christmas, and I hope 2018 is a great year for you in your new home. Enjoy!

Rachel - December 26, 2017 - 10:47 am

Beautiful story and your home is beautiful.
Thank you Rachel. 🙂

bev tippett - December 26, 2017 - 10:47 am

Lovely post. It’s always worth it.
thanks for sharing.
Thank you Bev. Yes it IS always worth it. 🙂
Thank you for reading!

H - December 26, 2017 - 10:41 am

Thanks for continuing to blog and sharing your lovely home with all your fans! I always enjoy your posts!
So glad you enjoy it! Thank you for reading!

Joan - December 26, 2017 - 10:26 am

Thank you, Kelly. And thank you, Katrina for sharing your cake story. It never does seem to all “get done”, but helping others to have joy is special.
Wasn’t Katrina’s story just perfect?! 🙂 You are right about things not always getting done. So glad we all still find joy in doing it though. 🙂
Hope you have a joyous and happy new year Joan!

Katrina - December 26, 2017 - 10:00 am

I just love you Kelly!!! Your house is as pretty as you are!
This post reminded me of a sermon I heard many years ago and still think of.
My pastor told us of a sweet dear very elderly lady at a previous church who was homebound and needed assistance with various daily living tasks. This sweet lady knew what a sweet tooth Pastor Paul had and many times when he visited her she had made his favorite cake from scratch. This cake took lots of time and effort and Pastor Paul worried about the effort she had taken each time she presented him with this cake. He finally just told her one day that while he loved her cake, he knew it involved too much time and effort for her and that she truly didn’t have to go to all that “trouble”. Pastor Paul said she sat quietly after he told her this and then after a few moments she said,”Pastor Paul, please do not take the joy away from me that I get from making this cake for you.”
Needless to say, he never asked her again to curtail her baking efforts for him!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2018 sweet Kelly. Thank you for all your efforts that bring joy to me!
Gosh thank you so much! And thank you for the super sweet story of Pastor Paul and the cake. It is SO true about the joy that is brought by going to “trouble” over others. I know you had this kind of joy over Christmas. I hope that your 2018 is filled with many joyous times with people you love. Happiest of new years to you Katrina!

Marianne in Mo. - December 26, 2017 - 9:57 am

As I read your wonderful post today, all I kept saying to myself was “yes, it’s worth it,” even though as I’m getting older, it gets harder. So I taper back on the decorations, let my husband do the gift shopping, (mostly!), and take the volunteers from family to bring a dish. The important thing, I have found, is being together in whatever way possible. We will “do” Christmas all over again on this coming Saturday – after our daughter and her family arrive for a late Christmas visit. Yes, it’s exhausting, but I hope that they all know and remember after I’m gone, that no matter how we shifted traditions around, I just wanted to do a good job for them! Happy Holidays everyone!
Oh my Marianne. Thank you for writing your comments on the post. Loved them! (And good job. 🙂 ) Our daughter came late for a “second Christmas” with our family this year too. So I know exactly what you mean. I hope your 2018 is a fabulous new year!

Mary Beth Bryan - December 26, 2017 - 9:46 am

Absolutely beautiful!
Thank you Mary Beth. 🙂

Jackie - December 26, 2017 - 9:40 am

What beautiful words and thoughts. Thanks for sharing. This is one of my favorite posts of yours – it ranks right up there with your tribute to your father-in-law. Thank you!
Wow! Thank you so much Jackie! I am happy you enjoyed the post.
Many wishes for a happy new year for you and your family in 2018!

Tricia - December 26, 2017 - 9:37 am

Thank you, Kelly, for your beautiful message. May your posts continue to bring us joy and inspiration, spiritually and otherwise, for years to come. Wishing you much joy, good health and happiness in 2018.
What a super sweet comment Tricia! I so appreciate it!
I wish many blessings for you in the coming year. 🙂

Dianne - December 26, 2017 - 9:27 am

Best post about Christmas-ever! It’s all true!
Your house looks so beautiful and I could go on and and on about all of the little details I like, so I am sure your family in the midst of it loves it too. You did a good job. I wish you joy and much happiness in the coming year.
Oh my goodness thank you Dianne! I hope my family enjoys it, but you never know with these guys! LOL
I hope 2018 brings you many blessings. Happy New Year!

Kristy - December 26, 2017 - 9:27 am

Thank you Kelly. For sharing Becky’s post. Thank you Debra, Sandy, and all for the lovely posts you’ve replied to Kelly thus far this morning…and those who will reply yet today. Yes, it is a lot of work, and we do it because of the people we love, and want to show them we love them. My mother was in the hospital all week, and came home on Friday; her doctor was insistent she would be home for Christmas, I’m sure I know why; She is frail,(will be 90 in early March). But she was able to regale us with memories, and directions to the kitchen help — as my sister & I prepared a traditional, full meal for our family, (Mom wouldn’t have it any other way). Kelly, your message was beautiful. I love traditions, and sometimes we have to take a look at those time honored traditions, and if they still fit in our lives. A nurse I worked with many years ago, said to an elderly home bound patients, who balked at changing a family traditions, “traditions are meant to be changed.” I keep that tucked away in the back of my mind, because I see it, as my children now grown & may be living in other parts of the country, our traditions will change. Merry Christmas All. God Bless you, as your messages touch many of us out there by the blogs we follow. (Sorry this is so long) Oh – Kelly, what are those little red cards on your table? Are they conversation starters?
Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment Kristy. Yes, traditions are meant to be changed…certainly as our lives change. Our Christmas Eve tradition changed this year…maybe for the better! 🙂 I am so glad your mother was home for Christmas. I hope that she gains strength in the coming year and will once again give you directions in the kitchen for yet more holidays to come.
The red cards on the table were holiday trivia questions in a set from Target. Lots of fun to ask questions about Christmas traditions, music, and movies around the table. My father started making up his own questions, and that was hilarious!
Happy New Year to you and your family! May 2018 be full of joy for you. 🙂

Leigh - December 26, 2017 - 9:22 am

Beautiful decor and beautifully said. Joy to the World, the Lord has come! May 2018 be filled with joy for you and your family. Looking forward to more “Talk of the House” in the new year!
Leigh, thank you so much! I hope your Christmas was a good one and that your 2018 is your best year yet.
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly - December 26, 2017 - 9:21 am

How wonderful to see your beautiful post today and what a special and meaningful message you gave to us!! My decorations do not compare to yours and others I have seen on the blogs, but your message tells me that what I do for Christmas is also “well done!” Thank you for that and for sharing yourself, your beautiful home and your lovely words with all of us who love, appreciate and always feel joy in our hearts when we see a new post from you!! Have a blessed and wonderful 2018, Kelly!!
Yes what you do for Christmas is indeed well done! You did it so that others can experience the joy of Christmas and that is what counts. 🙂
I hope you have a wonderful 2018. Happy New Year to you Debbie!

Marsha - December 26, 2017 - 8:55 am


Thank you for your uplifting spirit! Sharing your love and photos are so inspiring! Have a Happy New 2018!
Thank you for your compliments Marsha! I hope you have a wonderful 2018. 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!

Patty in Michigan - December 26, 2017 - 8:34 am

Yes! Yes! Yes! It is all worth it. I heard a saying this year early in December that Christmas is an opportunity to make someone else’s life better. So I heard that in my heart all thru December and tried to live it out. And in working on that, my life was actually better for it. Jesus said that he did not come to be served, but to serve others. Christmas is great way to serve others. I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. This post was beautiful Kelly! Thank you!
Love that saying! Thank you for sharing this Patty. 🙂 I hope that 2018 is full of many blessings for you and your family.
Happy New Year to you!

Sandy - December 26, 2017 - 8:21 am

Joy is definitely the spirit of Christmas. Listening to Perry Como singing Christmas songs while baking my family’s favorite cookies, seeing the faces of young and old at our annual Christmas Eve party, kneeling and praying at the sight of the beautiful nativity in our church,and visiting and watching my ninety-seven year old father enjoy every bite of each Christmas cookie.
Your home with all its red was a joy to view this morning. I do hope to see your blog posts more often.
What a wonderful picture of Christmas you painted here with your words Sandy! Thank you so much for doing so.
I hope your 2018 is a great year. Happy New Year to you and your family!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 26, 2017 - 8:02 am

As I sit here this morning with a house that looks like a hurricane hit it, I agree with you that yes, it is worth it!! As exhausting the preparations are, I want my family to feel loved and know that I did my very best to make Christmas memorable for them! Your post was beautiful, both visually and in the message. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Thank you for taking the time to leave your kind words here Shelley. I so appreciate it! Enjoy that hurricane! It means that some folks had a good time! LOL I hope that 2018 is filled with many blessings for you and your family. Much love and happiness for the new year!

Joanne - December 26, 2017 - 6:54 am

Amen! What a blessing your post was to me this morning. I got up early to have a little quiet time, and reached for my IPad, while telling myself I shouldn’t. I was glad, and surprised, to see a blog from you pop up. While the pictures of your home are so beautiful, your message was even more so and spoke straight to my heart. It brought to my attention the truth as to why we mothers do so much for our families during Christmas. I have never heard a Christmas message put our efforts into perspective like yours … We do this because we want others to feel loved. Thank you for your heartfelt words to all of us mothers. I will be reading this blog many times during the upcoming year. Merry Christmas to you and your dear family!
You know what is funny? I worked on the post until 2:30 a.m. Something made me feel like I just needed to get it out before morning, and from so many comments (of early risers) it seems that I truly did NEED to get it out before then. It is amazing to me how God can just “reach out and touch” people in the strangest of ways. I am so glad the post blessed you. Everyone’s comments have blessed me! I hope that your 2018 is full of MANY blessings!
Happy New Year to you Joanne!

Denise - December 26, 2017 - 6:40 am

Well I’m up early too this day after Christmas even though I said I was going to rest and sleep in after going like a maniac for weeks now. Your post was wonderful. And the comment from Debra helped because it’s somehow comforting to know that others are adjusting to life changes too. My mom has been in a nursing home for the past 2 years and I’ve been determined to keep our traditions going as much as possible. It’s been hard but so worth it. Thank you, Kelly, for your post. You are a blessing to me! God bless you in the new year.
God bless you Denise as you strive to keep traditions going. It is a way of honoring others when you do that. “Going like a maniac” is a good way to put some of the things we do to prepare for the holidays! Loved that! I pray that 2018 is a wonderful year for you. Many blessings to you!

Linda - December 26, 2017 - 5:35 am

Best Christmas post, ever. Loved all the decorating ideas for next year, but loved your message also. Good job.
Thank you Linda. How sweet of you to say that. 🙂
Many blessings to you for the coming year!

Louvina - December 26, 2017 - 5:08 am

I woke up at exactly at 4 am – cold! And wondering when the heat was going to come on? It was 44 degrees and I am totally in charge of everything (due to my husband’s health). And what to my complete surprise did I find? But your Christmas part 3 blog!! What a blessing! And what a wonderful message!! It truly uplifted my sagging spirits—this being the very first Christmas we were not able to do all we traditionally do since I was a child and then as a wife and mother! I said it would be “ok” and it was— but in my heart there was a deep feeling of missing it all and because I, like you and other wives and mothers do what we do because of the love and joy we want for our families. So once again —you sharing your love of family and your home has gone much further than you’ll ever know, dear Kelly! I was pleased to see the red sleigh once again made an appearance!! And seeing old decorations plus some new ones and areas I hadn’t seen before in your home (little village tucked away in the bookcase)-all this and much more —has me saying “Well Done my Special Blogland Friend!” Well Done! And I am feeling the love and my heart feels the warmth you spread from your home to mine and all the others!! Happy Boxing Day! And Happy New Year 2018 ahead! 💕🎄💕🎁💕⛄️💕❄️💕🙏
I am so sorry this Christmas was a hard one for you Louvina. The year I had pneumonia was much like that for me. Sometimes these human bodies just don’t cooperate with us, do they?
Of course that red sleigh appeared again in my holiday decorations! I couldn’t leave it out! The little village is my Mitford village that I FINALLY figured out a place for. (Took me waaaaay too many years to think of that! 🙁 )
Here is to a healthier and happier 2018 for you my friend. Happy New Year!

Debra - December 26, 2017 - 4:07 am

Have been awake since midnight. I know they say you should “unplug” from the internet and truly give your body rest. I reached for my iPhone like a bad girl and how strange I wasn’t even scrolling through my email alerts and your post popped up. Strange. Your post was what I needed. This Christmas was hard, as I just had lost my mother on December 2nd. Joy was a struggle. Yes, I went through the motions, baking, decorating (more minimally), shopping (only for my grandbabies), cleaning and Christmas eve and Day dinners. I was feeling it would have been easier to pack a small bag and be on a beach somewhere but I needed to accept that this was life, and one must carry on, (especially a mom) and that my family needed the normalcy. It wasn’t easy but I did it. Moments of joy were found in the cookie tray I made that everyone enjoyed (that was tradition, as my mother would always bring one), or was it the happy smiles of my grandbabies faces as they opened their gifts from Nonni and Papa as my children did, or maybe it was the pretty table I set just like my mom would do and maybe it was the contentment on my husband’s face yesterday when it was all done and he sat in his easy chair with our pup. Yes, through it all, I still never wanted to lose focus of the real reason for the season. God did bless us all and keep us in his care. #mary#amotherslove#thesegiftswebring#angelsrejoicing Joyous Tidings to you and your family Kelly.
I am glad you were a “bad girl” Debra, because your comments touched the hearts of so many readers of the post. Thank you for your words here. Even with the joy of Christmas, many still have a hard time with the holiday…especially when they have experienced the loss of a loved one. I am glad you could find moments of joy in the season. That is what counts…those small moments. And the fact that you did not lose focus on the real reason for the season speaks volumes about you! 🙂 I pray that you continue to find joy as you enter 2018. May it be a year filled with many blessings.
Happiest of new years to you. 🙂

A Merry Christmas Tour – part 2

Welcome back for another part of our Christmas tour!  When we ended part 1 Gabbie and I were in the hall outside our daughter’s bedroom.  So today that is where we are going to begin.  Come on in!

As a blogger, I know I am supposed to change things around and come up with new ideas for my readers each season, but this year I’m afraid that is not really happening, and it’s for a couple of reasons.

First, to me Christmas is about traditions.  I think we come to expect certain things to be the same each year…the same menu for the family get-together, the same ornaments on the tree, the same little village set up in the cabinet, the same Nativity set placed carefully in its same special location.  It becomes ingrained in our expectations of the season…our children even expect it as part of their holiday traditions. This has always been a struggle for me as a blogger at Christmas.

Secondly, we hosted a party last weekend for some of our dearest friends from college (some even from childhood!)  Oddly enough, as many times as we have partied and traveled with them, we had never been able to get them all together at Christmas. So with this year being the first time we have been able to do that, I decided to decorate with all my favorites from all the past decorating ideas around here.  So I’m afraid you are going to see “repeats” from the past…beginning with all the “snow” decor in our daughter’s bedroom.

And our sons’ bedroom is decorated yet again with bicycles….

on the small tree on the dresser…

on the wreath hanging over the bed…

and tied on the package on the desk….

all to go along with the fun Christmas book, Red Ranger Came Calling.

The children’s bathroom gets its little green chalkboard…

and a few Christmas accessories for a touch of the season.

That finishes up all the holiday decorating in the bedroom wing, so let’s take a minute to check out the workroom in its holiday style.

If you have been reading here for a few years, you will recognize the small tree with the quote cards there on the cabinet…

and the little vw beetle with its tree. 🙂

The cute vintage looking Santa mugs are back, but I found another thermos this year that works perfectly with them.

And of course, my advent calendar is hung on the garland draping the window by my desk again.

The last thing to see in this room is the wrapping table overflowing with Christmas gift wrap and ribbons.  I think I am addicted to paper! (And it’s so sad that this is the last year Target will be carrying the Sugar Paper line. 🙁 It has been my favorite.)

Alright now we are going to leave my workroom,
walk past the kids’ Christmas stockings…
(The labels say, “Santa stop here.” 🙂 )

 And go out the door there by the bench with the Santa sack on it.

The next time we are together, we are going to look around outside and then come in the “real” front door for part 3. Fingers crossed I get to share it with you before Christmas!  I have a MAJOR amount of shopping to get done today and then a lot of wrapping to do after that.  I hope you are at the end of your Christmas to-do list (or better yet… finished!)

Until next time….

p.s.  Oh I almost forgot! Thank you for all your input on having a striped rug in our master bedroom!  It was an overwhelming “no” to the idea.  (I think my husband told all of you to say that! LOL 😉 )

You might enjoy these posts:

Nikki Makonnen - January 10, 2018 - 9:37 pm

I LOVE the decor…Its cozy, nostalgic, and cute right down to the littlest detail…Happy New Year…Cant wait to see what in store to come..Warm Wishes, Nikki

Peggy Z - December 26, 2017 - 11:22 am

Your home wears red so beautifully. I never tire of looking at your ingenious use of it. I’m a very traditional person. My children, who are now 40 and 37, expect the tree to have our family ornaments, gifts to them through the years from grandparents and aunts. We tried to change things up when we moved to the farm, but no. And now our grandson comes to help decorate and those ornaments are becoming part of his story.
Merry Christmas, Kelly! I hope your family was all home to share the joys of Christmas.
Thanks Peggy! You KNOW I love red! (It is such a happy color! 🙂 ) Love how your traditions are passing from one generation to the next. Our sons were home for Christmas, but our daughter spent the holiday with her future in-laws. (Totally understandable. 🙂 )
Many blessings to you for 2018. Happy New Year!

Donnamae - December 24, 2017 - 12:44 pm

Everything looks in readiness…and so wonderful. I don’t really change my Christmas decor too much from year to year. The tree always looks basically the same…and my Santa and snowmen collection are out in full force. My 3 harshest critics, my children now adults, see to that! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!! 😉

Cindy - December 23, 2017 - 5:02 pm

Hello, Kelly:
Again, you do not disappoint with your posts! I love tradition; every year I pull out the Christmas pillow case that my maternal grandmother made me (now it goes in the spare bedroom and not used). I have made pillow cases for my husband and I, along with ones for family. Our trees have ornaments that have meaning to us; we add a new one every year from a place that we have traveled. Our family also gets an ornament that has meaning to us. Your blog is a favorite of mine, as you share your home with us…a home that is so welcoming.
Merry Christmas, Cindy

julia walker - December 23, 2017 - 12:21 pm

Just beautiful Kelly! I love the bicycle them in your sons’ room. Have a wonderful Christmas and take care of yourself. Love, Julia

Robyn - December 23, 2017 - 11:23 am

Christmas traditions are a huge part of our Christmas. My boys come home and look for specific tree ornaments and little things we have had for years. I do the same at my parents house. To me that is what Christmas is all about!!! Everything is beautiful!!!

Cindy Lou Hoo - December 23, 2017 - 1:26 am

Spectacular and creative ! lOVE the black and red combo ! Please tell me where you got the black message ornaments ! Wonder if you could make them! Anyway! Great job ! I enjoyed it ! Merry Christmas !!
Thank you so much! The black message ornaments aren’t ornaments at all. They are quote cards that come in a box in Target. I just used a hole punch to put a hole in the top, and then I tied a short piece of red ribbon through them to hang on the tree. Hope you had a merry Christmas!
Many blessings for the new year!

Sherry M - December 22, 2017 - 11:39 pm

I have been following your blog for quite a few years now. Never tiring of your traditions in decorating, I look forward to each and every inspirational idea. I could curl up with a book in the corner of the bottom bunk in your daughter’s room, or I would feel quite cozy seated in the chair in your bedroom (without the rug,) enjoying that pretty red ribbon clad tree. That’s what your lovingly decorated home does for your readers. It captures and draws us in. It compels us to linger and look. And especially at this wonderful season, I, for one, want to say thank you for taking your precious time to share the traditions that your family has come to love and expect. I love it too.

Kathy - December 22, 2017 - 10:20 pm

Kelly, I love your traditions! I am still looking for a VW beetle to tie a little bottle brush tree on. I buy every little bottle brush tree I find. I was in a grocery store in Beaufort, SC that had some little cars but not one red VW bug. I could go for a lime green VW beetle like the first car we bought our daughter but that red one is SO cute! So many of the things in your home have inspired me. I now have a collection of the Santa mugs…the first being one my grandmother gave me as a child, then I bought the Pottery Barn Outlet ones like yours, and have continued to buy them. That desk in your son’s room has spoken to me since the first time I saw it. I love the blogs with the different looks this year but I have to come back to the family traditions with all of the red and green. Merry Christmas, Sweet Lady!!!!!!

DiAnne - December 22, 2017 - 9:51 pm

Your house looks beautiful! I love the sparkle and shine message on the green chalkboard in the bathroom. It is the season to sparkle and shine.

Janice - December 22, 2017 - 9:20 pm

Your home is beautiful and equally beautifully decorated.

Tricia - December 22, 2017 - 5:53 pm

Kelly, I love visiting your traditionally decorated Christmas. Please don’t change a thing! My favourite room has always been Hayley’s. Thank you!

Audrey C. - December 22, 2017 - 4:11 pm

Kelly, I’ve been delighted every time you post a new blog, and have enjoyed “visiting” yours for the last four years! Traditions are wonderful for children and adults–it gives a feeling of joy and secure anticipation that will always be cherished. Love your Christmas trees and all the red! Thank you for encouraging us with your blog–have a lovely Christmas and a blessed 2018…Audrey

Mary Beth Bryan - December 22, 2017 - 2:57 pm

Your home is beautiful!

Gina - December 22, 2017 - 1:03 pm

I like reading your blog because you ARE different than other bloggers. 😉 I always think your decorations are festive and inspiring. 🙂 Hope you finish all your shopping and we are lucky enough to see Part 3. I’m just doing a little more baking today. 😀

jae - December 22, 2017 - 12:17 pm

I love seeing your decor, even if it is the same. I think use of traditional, loved pieces is what gives Christmas decorating a warm, glad to be home feeling. Please dont change. Merry Christmas!

Sandy - December 22, 2017 - 11:28 am

Don’t you kind of hate it when the hubby is right?! 🙂 I love seeing your traditional stuff each year. It doesn’t get old, and you are so right, it is what we all expect and it gives a warm fuzzy feeling each year. I actually didn’t do a Christmas tour last year, because I didn’t do much different, but after seeing yours, I know we still love seeing it all again. I love your workroom. My little room looks like a bomb went off in it from wrapping. I am headed there to tidy up and finish wrapping presents.

Susan - December 22, 2017 - 11:17 am

You have such a gift for warm and meaningful holiday decor her! Did I miss somewhere the source/download possibility? For the lovely black quote cards? I must have them! And I too am a big fan of sugar paper from our favorite target…thank you so much, and merry Christmas!

N from VA - December 22, 2017 - 11:02 am

When its this good–repeat it again and again! Love your holiday cheer. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas, N from Va

Sandy - December 22, 2017 - 10:52 am

There’s not much to write that hasn’t been said in the dozen previous comments. I was so excited to see a post from you and then realize you wrote on the 20th too. I have been baking up a storm with my darling ten yr old granddaughter and haven’t had time for iPad or computer. Your Christmasy home is darling. I believe in tradition and I love the red! A blessed Christmas to you and your family from our home in Ohio.

Carol Ann - December 22, 2017 - 10:45 am

Kelly….if I had to use one word to describe the way your blog and decorating makes me feel is FUN! I love your colors, stories and themes…..just FUN and always inspirational. Never heard of the book Red Ranger Comes Calling but looking forward to ordering a copy and reading it. Children’s books are the best…for all ages. Merry Christmas and looking forward to post #3. 🌲🎅🏻😊

At Rivercrest Cottage - December 22, 2017 - 10:34 am

Oh Dear! I’ve not been told we couldn’t decorate the same each year. I come drop by your place to see the Christmas decorations I love so much. I would truly be disappointed if you change things up too much! Mainly I love that wonderful porch and the way you do it up. The rest of the house is just gravy on the biscuits! Until someone pays me to change my Christmas decor, I’m afraid I’ll be a bad blogger and just keep putting up my favorite decorations and I hope you will too. Merry Christmas, love. your home.

Patty in Michigan - December 22, 2017 - 10:26 am

Love your home at Christmas! It wears Christmas beautifully! Wishing you and your family a very blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Kristy - December 22, 2017 - 10:23 am

Your Christmas décor is traditional & lovely. I still love the bicycles in the boys room.
I hope you have a glorious day for last minute shopping. As we all do, I’m sure you have many things to do between now and Christmas day.

Renee Cook - December 22, 2017 - 10:17 am

Merry Christmas, Kelly! Your home is absolutely beautiful, festive and inspiring! Even if you did repeat some of your decorating ideas from previous years, it always feels fresh and new. I agree, tradition is important, especially at Christmas. Thank you for all your hard work throughout the year producing your beautiful blog and sharing your life with us. I hope your whole family will be able to be together for the holidays. Wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas!!

Anne from Atlanta - December 22, 2017 - 10:17 am

Love your Christmas posts! I love tradition, too, so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your home again at Christmas. So many special touches you bring out at Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

Marianne in Mo. - December 22, 2017 - 10:08 am

It doesn’t matter to me if you use the same things each year, I just love to see your home! And don’t you think it’s so much easier if you repeat traditions? You never have to worry if something will work, because it’s been proven! This year I wanted to find ’50’s ornaments to add to the collection. I brought home three beauties I found in an antiques store. Well, they don’t “go” with anything, so I am at a loss on what to do with them. So, traditions are much less stressful in a hectic season! And my favorite of yours so far is your daughters’ bedroom.

Dawn - December 22, 2017 - 10:07 am


Thanks for sharing! It all looks so cozy and inviting. Good luck with your shopping! Take care!

Susie - December 22, 2017 - 10:02 am

Kelly- I look forward to seeing your decorations and holiday RED. Traditions make wonderful things and your family are blessed to have you and your talents.

Dawn E Brown - December 22, 2017 - 9:57 am

Where did you get those sweet Santa mugs. Your pictures are beautiful.Blessings, Dawn E. Brown

Leigh - December 22, 2017 - 9:45 am

I look forward to all your posts, but Christmas is my favorite! What a comfortable and festive feel your home has. I have used some of your ideas in my own home and really like the look. Merry Christmas to you and your family and happy shopping 🎁

Lanita Anderson - December 22, 2017 - 9:43 am

I always so enjoy seeing your decorating posts for the holidays! It’s always so beautiful, as well as festive and fun!! Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration – hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Blessings to you….

Bonnie - December 22, 2017 - 8:46 am


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