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The Week Before Christmas…

toy car with tree for ChristmasTwas the Monday before Christmas
When all through the house
I was scurrying around like a quick little mouse.

A shower was scheduled at my home that night
With presents and sweets for a bride’s fun delight.

bridal shower cheesecake

 The house was all ready with greens, lights, and bows.
The guests came and partied and for pictures did pose.
They opened the gifts and nibbled on sweets.
Then all went their way with a bag full of treats.

shower favor bag

(Except for the few who stayed overnight
To catch up on friendships til the day’s morning light.)


Then Walt in his t-shirt and I in my gown
Had just gone to sleep when I heard a loud sound.
Out in the field there arose such a crash.
Away to the window I flew in a flash.

A thunderstorm rumbled and raindrops were pouring
While lightning was flashing, but Walt kept on snoring.
So I went back to bed and then sound to sleep
Until the alarm clock went off with a beep.

That Tuesday our son arrived on a plane.
We drove to Atlanta in the thunderstorm rain.
Ponce City Market was our place to explore.

We dined on fried chicken and checked out the stores.

Hops Chicken

Peppermint, furniture, gingerbread, plaid.

Williams Sonoma peppermint

Williams Sonoma furniture

Williams Sonoma gingerbread

Williams Sonoma plaidShopping with Jonathan made my heart glad.:)

On Wednesday the rain continued the same
And our oldest child also came home on a plane.
Again to Atlanta we drove in the car
To pick up our son who had traveled so far.

We met up at Leon’s for burgers and fries.
(Their sauces are loved by the girls and the guys!)


After dinner we drove back home in the night.
(The holiday traffic and storms were a fright!:()

Christmas Eve came that Thursday.  We had lots to do.
Like set up a party and puppy-sit too!


The food and the gifts at our party were fun.
Puppy went with Santa, and our work was almost done.

Friday was Christmas! The kids slept til 10!
A very simple breakfast was set up in the den.

Christmas breakfastChristmas donuts

 The presents sat and waited on the sofa for them all.
Santa had been kind leaving gifts that weren’t too small.

Christmas morningA camera for our daughter who will use it in her work.

camera for ChristmasBooks for our student who wants to be a clerk.

booksA camp stove for the oldest and a cheesecake for him too.
(Red Velvet is his favorite, but he’ll share it with our crew.:))
camp stove and cheesecake

Christmas morning gifts

The children weren’t the only ones with gifts on Christmas Day.
I got a television and a player for blu ray.

But my most surprising gift was a book and map for sure.
My son met Miss Jan Karon when she traveled on her tour!:)

Mitford book and map

After all the gifts were opened, and our breakfast had been done
We went upstairs to play a game – a new gift to our son.


He beat us all. (He always does.) He’s a big time Monopoly winner.
Then after that we all went over to the in-law’s Christmas dinner.

Our Christmas Day came to a close with one last fun event.
We headed to the theater and to a movie went.

The scenery was gorgeous.  The story very sweet.
It was a super fun way to end our Christmas week.
But I have to exclaim, as this comes to a wrap
Happy Christmas to all, and I need a loooong nap!

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Melissa - December 29, 2015 - 7:38 am

Thank you for sharing your special Christmas with us! Everything was so beautiful, and it was wonderful to see your children. Christmas is all about family! May God bless you! Happy New Year!
You are so welcome Melissa. Thank you for the compliments on the decorating. Yes, Christmas is all about spending time with family, and this year’s holiday was even more special with ALL of our children home. :)
Happy New Year to you!

Tricia - December 29, 2015 - 8:08 am

Kelly, Kelly, are you awake?
A quick little comment I want to make.
So happy you spent such a glorious time
And shared your Family with this Christmas rhyme.
Just want you know before off you drift,
Talk of the House is such a gift.

Sweet dreams…
Oh Tricia you’re clever! In rhyme you did write!
It takes extra effort. (You must be quite bright!)
Thank you for reading the blog all this year,
And leaving your comments that I hold so dear. :)


Debbie from MountainMama - December 29, 2015 - 8:42 am

Kelly, you are so clever with this amazing post!! I am always just amazed at the brilliant ladies I find out in blogland that have these incredible gifts – you are surely one of them! What a lovely Christmas you had with your family – may 2016 bring you much joy as well!
Gosh thanks Debbie! I just reverted back to my “elementary school teacher” mode for this. :)
It was a lovely Christmas, and I hate to see it come to an end tomorrow. (sniff, sniff.)
Best wishes for your 2016 as well!

Louvina - December 29, 2015 - 9:16 am

What a delightful post Christmas share! Enjoyed it so much! Wonderful to see the family/friends in your home. Know that everyone had a great visit!! It was almost like being there— loved the picture of the cute/delicious donuts! Two trips to ATL airport– oh my!! And what a sweet Christmas puppy! My belated and much looked forward to laundry room ( washer/dryer just arrived!) is almost finished! Which will be my workroom and fun project place. I really need a “consult” session with you for ideas!! :) Cool down is arriving here this weekend–just in time for NewYears and hopefully will get to have a relaxing fire in fire pit on the beach! Looking forward to a better 2016 for everyone!! CHEERS!

Donnamae - December 29, 2015 - 9:49 am

Kelly…your poetry is really impressive! Looks like a happy Christmas was had by all! Wishing you and your family many more celebrations in the New Year! 😉

Bonnie - December 29, 2015 - 10:03 am

What a special post…poetry, busy times, special places and events, all of your children with you, and a Jan Karon surprise for you…how full your days have been! Thank you, again, for sharing in words and pictures.

Dawn - December 29, 2015 - 10:29 am


I just adore your creativity and how you share your talents with us. Your Christmas looks like it was just divine. Thank you for sharing with us. Take care.


Vicki - December 29, 2015 - 10:34 am

Love this! And how did your son manage to get a map? I want one! Merry Christmas, and thank you for sharing your charming life with us!
Thank you Vicki! Our son went to Jan Karon’s book tour stop in Bellevue, Washington where he lives. They were giving them away the maps with a book purchase. It was a 9 minute walk from his apartment to the library where she was speaking. I had asked our son to go for me since there were no stops near us on this tour. He told me he couldn’t do it that night since he had a “card game” scheduled. He totally fooled me!

mari1017 - December 29, 2015 - 11:21 am

Kelly, you saved the best til last! Isn’t the Christmas season wonderful in so many ways? Thanks for such a fun post. As a former elementary school teacher, I totally understand going into the mode LOL – and I love it!!! XOXO
p.s. If I wasn’t taking the decorations down today (on a rainy and foggy day!) I would have attempted a rhyming reply ha! mari

Donnie - December 29, 2015 - 11:21 am

Oh Kelly – what a delightful post – I must admit I am very envious of the map!! Have loved Jan Karon for many years.
Hope you New Year is full of all good things, can’t wait to hear how you start us off!

Gina - December 29, 2015 - 11:46 am

Oh my goodness, this is so cute!! You are very talented. I think it would take me forever to come up with something this clever. 😉 I love your son’s gift to you. How special. He knows you well! Enjoy resting and recuperating from the holiday!! :)

Ruth - December 29, 2015 - 11:57 am

A fantastic post! You really outdid yourself! The thing that possibly impressed me the most, though, was the thoughtfulness of your son in planning ahead so in order to get the most perfect gift for you! What a doll! And he obviously loves his mom!

Now go take that well-deserved nap. I expect you’ll need it in preparation for some fabulous New Year’s “do” you’re cooking up! :-)

Thanks for another delightful morning’s reading — indeed, for the year’s worth of beautiful, inspiring “escapes”! Wishing you all the best for 2016!

Karen Green - December 29, 2015 - 1:17 pm

I adore Jan Karon and her books! What an awesome present. I am new to your site and sure enjoy it! Karen Palmer Lake, COlorado

Jill Culbertson - December 29, 2015 - 3:20 pm

Sounds like a wonderful Christmas. Glad you all got to be together! My daughter got the National Parks Monopoly too. We haven’t played yet though. We received so many games. We’re still wading through them all!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 29, 2015 - 3:47 pm

Perfect gift for you and such an enjoyable post! Happy New Year to you!

Cindy - December 29, 2015 - 6:59 pm

What a wonderful way to tell your story,it was precious. Isn’t it wonderful to have our children home for Christmas! Absolutely love all your decorating ideas, even though Christmas is over my daughter and I are working on the gingerbread house to put in my huge jar!! Love your ideas!!😊

Marianne in Mo. - December 29, 2015 - 8:43 pm

I loved the rhyming post. Knew you would be in the best spirits with having all the kids home, I know the feeling very well! My daughter and her boys joined us from Texas (her hubby is deployed and was not with us this year) Daughter brought a life-sized cut out of her hubby so he could join in with us in spirit…what a kick that was! Had a great Christmas, then the rains came, and now our area is having flood issues. We are all high and dry, daughter made it home to Texas today safely, so all is good.
Here’s hoping you and yours have a blessed New Year! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Garden, Home and Party - December 29, 2015 - 10:37 pm

What a clever poem and a very fun Christmas you had!
I’m relaxing and unwinding after a fun but busy Christmas.
Happy 2016 to you.

Mary Anne - December 30, 2015 - 2:23 am

Thank you Kelly! I so enjoyed seeing your posts this Christmas season and you provided me with much inspiration. You are a delight to so many of us viewers! Glad you had such a blessed holiday with your family!
Happy New Year!

Rosemary - December 30, 2015 - 3:50 am

Such a cheery post Kelly …loved the rhyme … It made me smile! You truly are a lady of many talents. It’s a beautiful picture of your daughter and a friends. I guess you both had such fun hosting the Bridal Shower.
Your family Christmas looks as though it was a very happy one …. merry and bright! My family love to play board games too!

Sandy - December 30, 2015 - 5:11 am

A+ on your rhyme connected to Christmas time,
May you enjoy a blessed New Year full of happiness and cheer.
A+ on your rhyme too! Thank you for reading the post and taking the time to leave your VERY clever reply. :)

Angela - December 30, 2015 - 11:20 am

I am sooo happy I found your blog!

When you have time could you tell me what font you used on the It was sweet of you to come and Cookies for Santa tags. You also use it on you chalk boards sometimes. It’s a slant to the left and to the right and the letters are also not on a straight line. I love it and would love to use it sometimes.

Happy New Year Kelly!!!
The font on the cookie tag was printed using Bombshell Pro. It is the closest font to my personal lettering – which is what the “cookies for Santa” was. (It was hand lettered not printed from a computer.)
Thank you for following the blog!
Happy New Year to you too! :)

Julia - December 30, 2015 - 2:56 pm

I loved reading about your Christmas week! How fun to have all your babies home with you. Blessing to you Kelly and your family in the New Year! - December 30, 2015 - 6:37 pm

Awesome poem!! What a clever way to share your fun Christmas events! Loved it.

Sherry Myers - December 30, 2015 - 10:38 pm

This is a delightful post. Such a creative way to share your wonderful Christmas with us. It is like an extra Christmas gift for your readers! Thank you! Just wish I could have grabbed one of those special favors from the shower. I am happy for you. It is definitely obvious great memories were made. I am looking forward to 2016 Talk of the House!

A Stocking Letter DIY and the Last of the Christmas Decorating

Christmas stocking initialsI hope your Christmas Day was filled to the brim with special time spent with all the special people in your life. We had a very good day with all the children here and visits with both sets of grandparents.  I will tell you more about it next week, but first, I want to share a few photos with you… that were supposed to be in posts earlier in the week to show you the last of our Christmas decorating.  I’m afraid I simply ran out of time for it before Friday.

Let’s start with the stockings hanging on the wall with care…

Christmas entryI added the children’s initials to them this year.

Christmas stockingsThey were super easy to make using these chipboard letters painted with antique gold Rub ‘n Buff.

stocking letters diyJust add screw eyes to the top of each letter and run a small piece of ribbon through each to tie them to the stocking loop.

Christmas stockings in hallIn that same small hallway, wrapped gift boxes sit on a chair with boots below.

Christmas chairAnd beside the hallway, the playroom has a Grinch theme going on this year.

Welcome Christmas chalkboardSanta got cookies and hot coffee for his trip.:)

cookies for Santa and GrinchDon’t you just love this message from the book?:)


Grinch chalkboardOn the other side of the playroom, the foyer has its sleigh full of greenery and a jar full of goodies. I’ll also tell you more about the treats in the jar next week. 

foyer with Christmas vignetteFrom the foyer, take a look around the family room.

Christmas family room treeOur tree is dressed a little more simply this year…no ribbon garland and no assortment of red ribbon bows….just lights, tinsel, and ornaments tied on with ribbon.

Christmas tree

 Of course there is a jar with sugar “snow” and a glittered reindeer.

reindeer jarThe mantel has a Letters to Santa theme this Christmas.


Christmas mantelOur old red mailbox from Pottery Barn fits in beautifully there, along with a magnifying glass and letter opener set from Hobby Lobby.

Christmas mantel with mailboxThis book was the inspiration for all of it.
The old letters to Santa in it are precious.:)

Dear Santa book

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

Christmas mantel with letters to SantaBack in the bedrooms, the boys have a tree for their dresser.

boys bedroomI turned off the tree lights so that you can see all the letters on it.

Christmas tree with lettersTheir desk has wrapped gifts with more of the chipboard letters and a toy van with a bottle brush tree tied on.

Christmas vignette boys deskEarlier in the month, I mentioned that I was helping my mother decorate her dining room for Christmas.  Several of you asked if I would show it to you here on the blog.  So before this holiday season is gone, let me do just that.:) First, I want you to see that my parents have the same Willow Tree nativity figures that we collect.  They display theirs in the foyer by the front door.  (My mother did the painting of Jean-Honore Fragonard’s A Young Girl Reading.)

nativityMy parents dining room is much more formal than the dining area in our house.

Christmas dining roomMy mother and I mixed their Macy’s Holly Christmas china with Lenox Maywood salad plates for their Christmas table.

Christmas tablescapeThe centerpiece is a large pot of poinsettias with maidenhair fern sitting inside a berry wreath.

Christmas poinsettia and berry centerpieceMy mother has a collection of ivory angels and nativity figures displayed in the china cabinet.

dining room hutch

dining room cabinet

 On the opposite wall is an old dresser below another piece of artwork painted by my mother…

Christmas tablescape with poinsettiaand another arrangement of poinsettias and maidenhair fern.

dining room cabinet for ChristmasYou can see my parents’ Christmas tree sits in the foyer right outside their dining room.

Christmas place settingAnd that brings us to the end of all the Christmas decorating for this year…but I am not ready to jump on New Year’s Day things quite yet.  I have a party and our Christmas Day to share with you.  So if you are still interested in a little more Christmas, please be sure to visit here again next week. We are going to continue celebrating right up to New Year’s Eve.:)

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

Until next time…


Louvina - December 27, 2015 - 1:32 am

Sitting on my screened porch listening to the raindrops quietly falling on our green tin roof–jumped over to your site and what a blessing I received– a post Christmas suprise! Not only some more of your sweet decorations but a most beautiful calm and serene decorations of your mama’s home! Just took my breath away!! Thank you for sharing with us and all I can say ” the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” What a wonderfully talented mother you have and she taught you well in homemaking and making each detail so important! All IS calm– all is bright!! Sweet Dreams and looking forward to a peaceful New Year! ❤️ Lou

Margaret - December 27, 2015 - 5:42 am

Hi Kelly what a lovely homes both you and your mom have. I see the gingham curtains in the dinning room !!! Your’s was the first blog that I ever signed up for and it is such a treat to read your posts. Best wishes for 2016 to you and your family from sunny and hot South Africa. Wouldn’t mind some snow!!

Anne Boykin - December 27, 2015 - 5:54 am

Hi Kelly, Yes, more Christmas please! Thanks for sharing your Mom’s dining room – it’s beautiful. I noticed the gingham curtains too. Always enjoy your posts!

Sandy - December 27, 2015 - 5:55 am

Morning Kelly, Louvina may have had raindrops quietly falling at her house earlier today,but unfortunately I was awaken by the pounding of raindrops on our roof. Glad to receive today’s post from you and loving your mother’s dining room and her beautiful artwork. We had a wonderful family Christmas Eve celebration at my sister’s home, and Christmas day the family spent at our house. Yesterday, I sat and read a book, watched a Hallmark movie, ate leftovers, and nibbled on cookies. Christmas 2015, and so far all 27 days in December, without snow in my part of Ohio. I know I’m not the only one loving this.

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 27, 2015 - 6:53 am

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Been waiting for this post. Please send more.
Everything is lovely as usu
Thanks to your parents for allowing our visit.
I see lots of Kelly in this home too.
All the the lovely art work and writing is visible at your parents’ home as well. The art is beautiful! I also notice the check drapes. Both homes show us a family that loves and is caring! Thanks!

Sandy in FWB - December 27, 2015 - 9:17 am

I never tire of seeing your Christmas decorations. The tree is gorgeous as always and I love the Grinch chalkboard. Your mother is very talented. The paintings are very pretty as is her dining room. Thanks for sharing in this very busy time of the year!

Garden, Home and Party - December 27, 2015 - 9:42 am

As we were touring the final touches of Christmas at your house it reminds me of James Farmer’s house you shared with us some Christmases ago. You do such special touches to each room you style. Your mom’s house looks lovey. Such a pretty post.
I’ll look forward to reading your next one! :-)

Katrina - December 27, 2015 - 10:20 am

Merry Christmas Kelly! I just love this post! Your Christmas house is such an inspiration! I love how you always have a theme that is continued through each room! I want to read the Santa Letter book. Your tree is so big and gorgeous and of course I always like that you use fresh greenery and a real tree!🎄
Wow.. Your mom is so talented and now I see where you get your talent from! Lucky you! Her dining room is so pretty all dressed for Christmas. I always look for that pretty fern y’all used and I can never find it in western NC.
Like you, we have had a great holiday with family and friends. Emery (5) and Tripp (15 months) made everything magical for all of us. The week before the 25th Emery could hardly contain herself!
I am already looking forward to 2016 and more great posts from Kelly.

Dawn - December 27, 2015 - 10:33 am


Thank you for sharing more of your Christmas decorations with us. It all looks so nice. My favorite is the playroom of course. I love all of the green in there and the saying you wrote on the chalk board is my favorite one from the French movie. My daughter and I had to watch them both this year again ( the original cartoon and the newer Jim Carey one).

We have been enjoying the time off and hanging out with family. Take care.


Ellen - December 27, 2015 - 10:47 am

Your mother is quite an artist! I think her home is beautiful.

As always, you take a theme and run with it. I am not so good at that, but you do it wonderfully.

Happy Christmas!

Donnamae - December 27, 2015 - 10:51 am

Oh…thanks for the pics of your parents dining room. Lovely…..but then I would expect nothing less! Your mom is a great artist! Must be where you get your talent from! I’m not done with Christmas yet either….so I look forward to another post or two! 😉

kathy - December 27, 2015 - 11:25 am

What a treat to see a peek of your mom’s home! What a talented artist she is! I had remembered that you said she was an artist and that you helped her decorate her dining room, so I was very excited to see this post! Her paintings are beautiful! Has she painted portraits of your children? I always get so many ideas from your posts. I just watched a movie on Netflix called Dear Santa. Then I saw this post. My husband always writes a letter to each of our children from Santa. I have saved all of them so I think this is a sign to put the letters into a book for each of them. I guess it would have to be called From Santa though. Nevertheless, inspired! I also love your Grinch chalkboard. That is one of my favorite book quotes as well. I am looking forward to your 2016 posts and more inspiration. Thank you, Kelly!

Sherry Myers - December 27, 2015 - 11:28 am

Everything is always so busy before Christmas, it seems I love the actual day and the week following so much. This post is a treat. Your home embellishes a Christmas welcome without a doubt. What child young or old would not feel special receiving those beautiful stockings? I love the addition of the initials. Your tree is gorgeous, the theme of the playroom is just right, and the lettering is perfect, of course! Your fireplace mantle theme grabs the spirit of childhood wishes so well. Love the book! Thank you for sharing your mom’s home. I know wonderful memories are made there. I can tell you have her heart for home and family. Thank you, Kelly, for once again making my Christmas season merry and bright!

Jeanne Bell - December 27, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Your home is precious. Thank you for sharing your Mom’s home. I can see where you get your talent from. I am a
wannabe artist but your Mom does a beautiful job.
Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

Cindy - December 27, 2015 - 2:56 pm

I absolutely can not wait for new posts and this one was great! Loved seeing your Mom’s home and art work, I too am a wannabe but your Mom has great talent!

Jayne - December 27, 2015 - 4:51 pm

Your home is beautiful as always! Pinning loads of ideas for next year! Your mother’s home is beautiful, too! Hope you have a wonderful New Year and may the Lord bless you richly in all kinds of ways! Happy New Year!

Cynthia - December 27, 2015 - 7:06 pm

Kelly everything is so beautiful for Christmas! I loved getting to sneak a peek at your mom’s house. Wow, I knew she was talented, too! I did not know she painted. Her work is amazing!

Lynne - December 27, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Beautiful as always. Gosh you are good! You and your themes and how well they work without being obnoxious, are something I envy! I just love your creativity! Can you believe it’s all over now? We keep our tree up until New Year’s Day, but it always makes me sad to see it go! May you have a blessed New Year!

Vicki - December 27, 2015 - 7:25 pm

Your mom’s home is lovely – and she is a wonderful artist! Amazing! So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

julia walker in Cincy - December 27, 2015 - 7:45 pm

Kelly, Your mother’s paintings are so beautiful! I see where you got your artistic/creative eye. Remember to get some rest now. Your friend, Julia

Brenda Kula-Pruitt - December 27, 2015 - 8:26 pm

I love your sense of style, and especially your use of colors!

Marijean Jenson - December 27, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Everything is so pretty. I so love the Dr.Seuss quote. On another note, your Mother is extremely talented. Talent runs in the family I guess. Happy Holidays to you.

Design Chic - December 27, 2015 - 11:10 pm

It’s all so beautiful, Kelly – warm, inviting and festive. Your attention to detail never ceases to amaze me, and your mother’s dining room is lovely – adore the centerpiece. Hope your Christmas was wonderful and wishing you all the best in the new year!

Ruth - December 28, 2015 - 2:13 am

Checked curtains run in the gene pool!!! And I love that Fragonard painting, too… keep a refrigerator magnet of it on my fridge. All of the DR greenery looks beautiful!

Claire @A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - December 28, 2015 - 4:37 am

So beautiful, as usual! Love the idea of the stockings waiting for your children to come back home :-) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas together!

Arlene@Nanaland - December 28, 2015 - 9:34 am

Can I come and spend Christmas with you next year Kelly? Everything is so pretty. And I noticed your Coke Life cans in one glass container. We tried them this year but can’t say they are worth the price. Just give me plain old Coca Cola. I am beginning to put everything away today. Ready for the New Year and new projects.

Kathy P. - December 28, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Thanks for finishing showing us your decorations. Your Mom’s paintings are beautiful. What a talented lady.

DiAnne - December 28, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Oh Kelly! How I love this post! First of all your mother is soooo talented. What a treat to see her work and her beautiful dining room at Christmas. I love the small Christmas trees in galvanized buckets. The Grinch table and chalkboard are great. One thing I remember from your blog is you having a telephone in your closet so you could talk to your mother as you got ready for school. Soooo special and how special that you help her decorate for Christmas. This, I would say is a blessing for you both. I look forward to whatever you write about.

Gina - December 28, 2015 - 2:06 pm

I love taking in every little detail of your posts. I love the initials. I have been wanting to do this. I love how your’s turned out. Your chalk boards are always so cute and I love the trees in buckets. We cut a little cedar sampling, but I couldn’t find a small bucket stored upstairs. I’ll definitely find the bucket for next year since I love yours so much. :) The icicles on your tree are so pretty and nostalgic. And how lovely is your mom’s dining room. I see you may have influenced her curtain selection. 😉 What talent she has!! Her paintings are beautiful!

Debbie from MountainMama - December 29, 2015 - 8:57 am

Your home is so warm and welcoming and your Christmas decor is just perfect! By the way, I’m in love with your bookcases – little jealous, not gonna lie! :)
You are too sweet. The bookcases are really nice. My husband built them, and we were inspired by some at an inn we stayed at a year before building the house. If we ever move, all those books are going to be VERY heavy!

Paula B. - December 29, 2015 - 10:49 am

Love all the seasonal décor and you must have had fun expanding the decorating over to your mom’s. I am intrigued by the book of letters to Santa and just know I would love to read that. I see where some of my friends have already taken their tree or Christmas decorations down – I just don’t get that! Now, is the time when things have calmed down a little to sit back and enjoy it all. I am baking cookies (still) and staying warm indoors now that our spring like temps have been replaced with snow, sleet, and cold. Brrrr!

Rosemary - December 30, 2015 - 3:40 am

Your mum is such a talented artist Kelly and has a beautiful home! Her collection of ivory angels is stunning. I found myself wondering if you draw or paint? Other than your furniture, I mean :)
Thank her for sharing her home with us all. Your family room tree and the boys room as always look great …. bright cheery and welcoming. I think it stands out that as beautiful as your rooms always look, first and foremost it’s a home and not just a very stylish house.
I enjoy the time after Christmas Day to relax and enjoy all the decorations …and really appreciate them!

Pat Corcoran - December 30, 2015 - 2:12 pm

Your home is so lovely. I love all your attention to detail and
your thoughtful decorating. I love the room above the garage
for games and just visiting. How nice to have a getaway spot
as well decorated as that! Is your tree real? It is breathtaking.

Christmas Joy: The Porch for Christmas

porch seatingMerry Christmas!  I have a bit more “outdoor” Christmas decorating for you to see today…that is if you can actually call the back porch “outdoors.”:) It too was a nice place to be a week ago with the very mild Georgia fall  December weather we were having.  But it is now apparently monsoon season here with continuous rain.

basket of gifts for Christmas decorationIs everything calm and bright around your house?  With all our red, we’ve got the bright, and yesterday marked the beginning of the calm.  I have 4 gifts left to wrap, and I am calling my to-do list officially finished.  I have never ever in my entire life called myself ready early!  So this has to be my Christmas miracle (along with having all three of our children home for Christmas.:))

porch wicker

We had a fun bridal shower here Monday night, (post coming) so between that and the kids coming home, I have had major motivation to finish everything early. No total redesign on the porch.  In fact, it was a little simpler than years past – but tweaked to follow the red and black color scheme.

porch Christmas vignetteWe normally buy 3 Christmas trees at one time the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I thought it would be smart to just purchase them when I was ready to decorate them. That turned out to be not so smart. When it was time to get the porch tree, all the larger ones were gone from every single store around here.  So the porch tree is much smaller and scaled down in its decor. But I like it, so that may be the new direction for future Christmases.:)

porch Christmas tree with buffalo check garland

The green Thanksgiving plates were easily replaced by new red ones, and the magnolia arrangement was replaced by holly and cedar.

porch desk wall plate arrangement

The Willow Tree nativity is out on the buffet again, but I changed up the chalkboard to include an appropriate verse from the gospel of Luke.

porch buffet with Willow Tree nativityThe table has the other Willow Tree pieces for the centerpiece again.

Christmas nativity table and buffet

Those red salad plates are from Homegoods.  You know there will be multiple uses for them beyond the Christmas season.:)

Christmas nativity centerpieceThe napkins are tied up with black and red ribbon, and I had fun lettering different small tags for each place setting.

Christmas place settingsThe weary world rejoices was my favorite.  It is soooo easy to become weary at this time of year with our lists of things to do, things to buy, things to cook, and places to be.  It can take a tiring toll on you.  I know.  But do you know what? There are more rooms I could decorate today.  There are more treats I could prepare today, but I am stopping.  On this cozy rainy day, 2 days before Christmas, I am calling it done.

Christmas place Setting with nativity centerpieceOur daughter arrived home on Sunday.  We picked up our law school son in Atlanta last night, and our oldest arrives in Atlanta from Seattle later this afternoon.  We are going to enjoy this short time together without having to run errands or worry about any to-do list items. (But everyone’s laundry will still have to be done.:)LOL)  It is a time for joy.

In this often joy-starved weary world, we have to make time for the joy.

Willow Tree nativity and Christmas chalkboardI hope to have one more post for you before Friday because there are still some rooms and things I would love for you to see, but if I don’t get one out (because I will be busy playing Monopoly and watching Christmas movies with my kids) my wish for you is a wonderful Christmas filled with joy.

Merry Joyful Christmas!

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Terri - December 23, 2015 - 9:09 am

Just beautiful!!!! So exciting that your children will all be coming in for Christmas!!! Thank you for sharing all your pics… the decorating whirlwind is perfect!!!! lolol…. Here in Florida we should have decorated with sand buckets and sea shells… it will be 80 degrees here today… :) Merry Christmas!!!

Lynn - December 23, 2015 - 9:16 am

It is such a treat to receive notice in my inbox that Kelly has a new post! Love your style Kelly – in decorating as well as your writing. It always feels like a note from a girlfriend! Isn’t it the best having your whole family around you at Christmas! Nothing brings more joy! Merry Christmas!

Kristy - December 23, 2015 - 9:22 am

Simply lovely. Merry Christmas Kelly.

KellyinPA - December 23, 2015 - 9:23 am

What a joy it is to have all your children home for Christmas! I know from experience that as they grow and start their own lives being all together for a holiday is not taken for granted. The merriest of Christmases to you and your family!!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - December 23, 2015 - 9:27 am

So simple, classic and festive! I agree, I’m also “done” except for cooking a few things, which is actually relaxing at this point. Enjoy your family time, and Merry Christmas to you!

Donnamae - December 23, 2015 - 9:30 am

Love your porch…and you know I love the red! I’ve toned down the decor this year a bit…it’s freeing. Enjoy your family this Christmas…we had a full house last year, but not this year….we are two short. The good news is that he’s with his wife and her family…where he should be this year. And thank goodness for Skype! I really hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family! 😉

Anne from Atlanta - December 23, 2015 - 9:36 am

I love the smaller porch tree! So pretty! Everything is lovely.
I know you will have a Merry Christmas! Anne

Char - December 23, 2015 - 10:04 am

So beautiful and I love how you incorporated the nativity throughout! My willow tree nativity is one of my favorite things to put out for Christmas. I {heart} the tags on the napkins. :) I do agree..things become weary around Christmas with so much to do but we REJOICE in the birth of Jesus, Our Lord. He is the reason for the season. Praying many blessing upon your family, Kelly, as you gather together! Have fun playing those games, watching movies and spending time with your kids. Its the best! Merry CHRISTmas!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - December 23, 2015 - 10:12 am

Gorgeous. I love your nativity scenes both are stunning. Merry Christmas

Kathy P. - December 23, 2015 - 10:44 am

I love the “smaller” tree. Looks perfect on the porch. Your home is beautiful. Wishing you and your family a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Stephanie Robinson - December 23, 2015 - 11:02 am

So beautiful! Perfect as always Kelly. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. Merry Christmas!!

Ruth - December 23, 2015 - 11:14 am

I love the smaller tree and the serene, yet still cheerful, look you’ve given your porch this year. It feels like an oasis of calm in the midst of the seasonal whirlwind. Calm and cozy. (Whoops, I initially mis-typed that line as “It feels like an oasis of clam…” hahaha!)
When I feel world-weary, I can count on a session of Talk of the House to recharge my soul and brighten my mood. Many thanks for sharing your talent and your joyful soul with us all throughout the year! I doubt you can know the beneficial effect you have on so many of us.
Wishing you and your family a joyful holiday and the blessings of happiness, good health, and prosperity throughout the coming year! Merry Christmas!

Garden, Home and Party - December 23, 2015 - 11:21 am

The room looks wonderful. I love the black and white check ribbon on the tree. Everything looks wonderful and welcoming.
Best to you and your family this season.

Donnie - December 23, 2015 - 11:38 am

Good for you Kelly! I resolved a while back that I was going to enjoy the precious time I have with my children, their spouses and the grandchildren. I do all I can before the arrival and then enjoy every second we are together. I’ll have plenty of time to search out stray legos, toy cars and blocks when it’s just Ed and me! And I’ll smile thinking of those little ones playing and having fun.

Debbie from MountainMamaOnline - December 23, 2015 - 12:18 pm

Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family! Your porch is lovely, you are so blessed to have such a gorgeous place to call home.

Barbara - December 23, 2015 - 12:42 pm

The Christmas Miracle is that you are no longer working. I look forward to that miracle next year!

Julie in Asheville - December 23, 2015 - 1:39 pm

From outside to inside such a lovely and cozy home for the Christmas season. So Kelly, enjoy your family, the fun, the food during this blessed time. Have so enjoyed your posts this year, especially the travel posts, but your Christmas home is a real treat. Merry Christmas to you all.

Marianne in Mo. - December 23, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Dawn - December 23, 2015 - 2:57 pm


Thank you for sharing your porch and words of wisdom with us. Some times enough is enough and you just have to stop and slow down to enjoy it. Well said my friend. I wish you guys a very Merry Christmas too. (I’d love to see the tv room and how it is decorated if you have a spare moment to post but if not I understand.) 😉 Take care and have fun with the kids!


Nan, Odessa, DE - December 23, 2015 - 3:15 pm

Good for you to call a STOP to this and relax and enjoy your family. Porch is lovely, as is everything at Kelly’s home!
You are always special and inspiring, BUT the nativity is very special. It is very difficult to find small, nicely done nativity scenes in the market today. As each grandchild has married, I have tried to give them a nativity for the first Christmas. Happy holidays!

Gina - December 23, 2015 - 3:44 pm

How festive your porch is!! How nice to have a tree out there too. It is beautiful. I love the black and red together. Your hand lettering is always so beautiful. The tags are adorable. I love the way your nativity is displayed also. Your sentiment holds true…it is very easy to become weary this time of year. We have to choose whether to be Mary or Martha. I want to choose what is better. :) Merry Christmas to you Kelly and I hope you have a wonderful time with your family!!

Debra - December 23, 2015 - 4:02 pm

Everything looks wonderful Kelly. I like the smaller tree with black check adornment. Your smaller wicker settee works out just fine too. This weather is crazy. It was a bake a thon today and I had to open the kitchen window to help me cool down. :( We are at 60 degrees and very soggy from all the rain. I keep thinking it is easier for all the last minute errands not having snow to contend with, but it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without a little of the white stuff. :( Oh, spoken like a Midwesterner! :( I am just finishing wrapping tonight. Christmas eve will be peaceful. My place is already called “saved” on the sectional. Not having to host this year is great. It will be prime rib and heels up on Christmas day. :) Have a great holiday with your family Kelly, now don’t mind me while I go drool over the porch a little longer….

Wendy in KY - December 23, 2015 - 6:25 pm

I have been working hard to stay focused on Christ’s birth and NOT on the many things that are on my “yet-to-do” list. Taking a moment to raise hands to the sky to proclaim, “Glory to God in the Highest” is far more important than my penchant for making lists (and checking them more than twice.) Joyous Noel to you and your entire family and may your 2016 be filled with God’s richest Blessings.

Cindy - December 23, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Everything is lovely, Merry Christmas to you and your family! Your blog makes me happy!

DiAnne - December 23, 2015 - 8:30 pm

Merry Christmas, Kelly. Enjoy the kiddos. Your House looks beautiful.

Brenda Kula-Pruitt - December 23, 2015 - 8:37 pm

Your porch is gorgeous, and oh so colorful! You know I share your love of color. Have a wonderful time with your family and play lots of Monopoly!

Mary - December 23, 2015 - 8:54 pm

Everything looks beautiful, Kelly. I love all the little details.

Julia Walker - December 23, 2015 - 10:34 pm


Thank you for your inspiration!

Lovingly, Julia

Emily - December 23, 2015 - 10:43 pm

As always, I love it! Are those red plates Melamine? I found red Melamine ones at TJMaxx this year. I thought Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July for starters. Enjoy your family time. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

At Rivercrest Cottage - December 23, 2015 - 10:53 pm

Your beautiful home seems to be made especially for the Christmas colors. Lovely!

Linda - December 24, 2015 - 12:50 am

Lovely indeed, enjoy your family.

Merri Jo - December 24, 2015 - 1:58 am

You have a knack for using things in such wonderfully creative ways! I just love your centerpiece where you’ve incorporated pieces of your nativity. I also have the Willow Tree, but I’ve never thought of such a lovely way to display it…you continually inspire me!
Enjoy every moment surrounded by your loving family, Kelly! Merry Christmas !!

Rosemary - December 24, 2015 - 3:38 am

Your home is looking beautiful … as always. I love the “all is calm, all is bright ” cushion. You must have been reading my mind with regard to weary!!! I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as tired in the run upto Christmas as this year!! Still merry and bright though :)
Enjoy Christmas Eve with your family … Relax and enjoy the moments!

Anne from Newnan - December 24, 2015 - 6:48 am

Merry Christmas Kelly! Your home is lovely. Love the garden tool display with the plates. Enjoy your family!

Louvina - December 24, 2015 - 7:24 am

I quickly sneaked a peek at your post while at my dr appointment– so calming — so YOU — and just know you are having a wonderful time with your family all being together once again. I will be going back to review and take my time to see/read it all again. Just saw the weather forecast for your area today and praying for safety for you and yours and everyone in its path. This kind of weather makes me think of what the Bible says about the end times– that we won’t be able to recognize the seasons — the weather has been anything but seasonal. My best wishes dear one for a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and ALL the readers of TOTH!

Julia - December 24, 2015 - 10:26 am

Thank you for sharing your porch with us. It would be so nice to sit and enjoy a glass of iced tea before the festivities begin! And yes, iced tea, because here in Tampa Florida we are having a hot, hot Christmas! Merry Christmas Kelly!

Peggy - December 24, 2015 - 10:42 am

I hope you are knee deep in movies, hot chocolate, and laughter with your family. Thank you for the inspiration. Love the very simple tree. I think it is the most beautiful I have seen in blogland! The shepherds tending their flocks as the centerpiece though has my heart. Wishing you and yours a very blessed Merry Christmas.

Becky Smith - December 24, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Dear Kelly,, thank you for sharing your home and family with us all year, but especially at Christmas. I know you are terribly busy, and it means so much that you still take the time to post. Your nativity chalk board is my favorite. Wish it was a printable. (Hint, Hint). Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

Tricia - December 24, 2015 - 8:42 pm

Merry Christmas, Kelly! Your porch is lovely and I love how you’ve incorporated the Nativity in your own unique way. I look forward each Christmas to displaying my own Nativity set on the fireplace hearth but I love your idea of using it as the centrepiece. I may have to find my own Willow Tree Nativity. Enjoy every moment with your family!

Dawn FROM Pittsburgh - December 25, 2015 - 1:52 pm

Your blog brought me JOY, Kelly! I have had a weary year. We just relocated in November from PA to TX. I got the same pillow cover from Pottery Barn to remind me that “All is calm, all is bright!” I have opened so many boxes that I shudder at the idea of opening presents. I have been blessed with so much that I need NOTHING. We simplified Christmas in our new home by just decorating with fresh greens and bowls of oranges and pomegranates…with pops of our favorite red everywhere! I have needed the REST from the moving chaos and usual Christmas overload, so we have balanced hours of putting a home back together with walks through new neighborhoods in the twilight to enjoy the lights (and everyone else’s hard work). Judging by the tone and text of her note, I believe I am currently flying to my sister’s, “Wendy in KY,” to celebrate Christmas Day with family. Your blog is my escape on long flights and I always enjoy the peace and sense of balance in everything you do. Thank you for that! Have a blessed day and a wonderful New Year!
Dawn, I am sorry to hear that 2015 made you weary , but I am glad that the blog brought you joy. Moving really zaps anyone of energy because it involves a ton of labor, and it is mentally draining to have to start over in some place new. I hope the remainder of your Christmas provided some rest for you. It sounds like your neighborhood walks are wonderful! I hope your 2016 brings renewed strength and many fun times in your new home.
Happy 2016!

kathy - December 27, 2015 - 11:39 am

I just pinned all of those chalkboard ideas. Thank you! Louvina sounds just like my momma! She is saying that very same thing about the seasons. I am so enjoying this weather! I love the black and white thrown in with the red. I did that too this year…I bet you aren’t surprised. I know you have enjoyed having your three children home! Blessings to you, Kelly!

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