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Home for Christmas

Merry Christmas sweet friends!  Home for Christmas has been in the title of my home posts for the last few weeks.  During that time it really referred to Our Home for Christmas, and this evening we are going to conclude the season by looking at the rest of the rooms around here that you have not already seen….like the kitchen.

It was a very busy room today as we prepared Christmas dinner for my side of the family.  Every single year that I can remember we have had a Christmas Eve celebration together with a lot of delicious finger foods, but with everyone’s schedules this year, that was not possible.

So a real-deal sit down dinner with baked ham, sweet potato souffle, ambrosia, two cakes, and more was on tap for the evening, and it all turned out very well.

There was a peppermint theme going on in the kitchen and dining area this year.  A very kind reader sent me the Peppermint Bark tray and a tin of candy a few years ago, and they worked beautifully in the desk cabinet this holiday season.

The naughty and nice tags returned to the coffee jars.
(I think I might have needed a lot of that naughty kind today rather than my usual nice decaf!)

I hope 2017 brings a replaced sink countertop.
That one section has seen waaay too much use and abuse.

 I said that Home for Christmas has meant Our Home for Christmas thus far this season, but on this special day I wanted to take a minute to talk about home and what it means.  You and I both know that a home is so much more than just pretty rooms.  It is a place where you feel safe and loved.

It is a place where you can be yourself…and you are accepted and loved for it.

It is a place where laughter and joy are shared along with sorrows and grief.

Home is important, and that is why I share what I do here with you because I know that you feel the same way about it as I do.

The old cliche is so true.  It’s the people that you share it with that make a house into a home.  So today Home for Christmas is not only about our home, but also about our children getting home for Christmas.

Our middle child had a Delta flight scheduled home to Georgia last Saturday.  He attends Yale, and you may remember New England had a big snow storm last Saturday.  He kept watching his flight information on his laptop throughout the day…delayed…delayed…delayed.  He finally decided to start his train ride to the airport when it looked like his 7:35 flight was going to leave at 10:40. So he left New Haven around 4:00.

There are 2 trains to get to JFK, and both of them were delayed, but eventually he made it there and got through security, and finally to the gate.  We texted back and forth through all of this.  The shuttle from the Atlanta airport to here stops running at 1:00 a.m. so we knew we were going to have to make the hour and half drive to pick him up at this point.

His flight was delayed again, and again, and again.  They finally boarded around 1:00 a.m….began taxiing, and then… stopped.  The plane turned around, and they went back to the gate.  They told them they could not take off because of “crew problems.”  Finally around 2:00 a.m. (I think) they delayed it until 11:35 on Sunday morning.  After the group of passengers complained and complained, the airline put them all up in a hotel for the night.

Sunday morning arrived, and they were all shuttled to the airport.  The flight got delayed again…12 something, 1 something, and then…..flight cancelled.  They eventually re-booked them all for a flight home on Monday morning at 9:05…they would fly to New Orleans with a long layover, and then arrive in Atlanta at 5:00 that evening.  (Now remember this was supposed to be a Saturday evening flight..a nonstop-less-than-3-hour-flight.)

They put them all up in a hotel for yet another night.  Oh I forgot something…final exams at Yale are online.  My son still had one exam left to take on Tuesday.  He joked that it looked like he would have to take his exam in the airport!

Somehow all of their luggage went to Atlanta on Saturday night without them…so all of those passengers had to make do with only their carry-on bags.  Guess where our son’s book was that he was supposed to be studying from….in his checked baggage in the Atlanta airport. 🙁

Miraculously, Delta found him a seat on a direct flight for 6:05 Monday morning with an 8:45 arrival in Atlanta.  So he took the shuttle from the hotel at 4:00 a.m.  He got to security, and they told him it would be faster if he went to Security Gate 2.  He went there and….it wasn’t going to be open for another hour. 🙁

Back to Security Gate 4 he went…

He got through security, waited at the gate, boarded the plane.  The passengers were all ready to go.  My son texted me saying, “Amazingly we are on the plane, we will see if amazingly we take off.”

His next texts said…
Guess what.”

We are all on the wrong plane!”


Unbelievable!  They all had to get off and get on a different plane.  But they did actually take off, and our son finally made it home for Christmas on Monday morning around 9:00…and his luggage was there for him in Atlanta. 🙂  Hallelujah!  (And after contacting the administration at Yale, he was allowed to take his final exam a day late.)

So one child made it home.

Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, our oldest son was getting ready for his flight from Seattle to Atlanta.  At 5:00 a.m. he went downstairs in his apartment building to take out the trash….forgetting his apartment key…the key that unlocks the doors of the building and the elevator to get back to his floor.

He had to wait outside in his hall for an hour and a half until he saw someone that could unlock the hall door…and because of that he missed the carpool to the airport with his friends. 🙁

He then called for another ride, made it to the airport, got through security, and went to an airport restaurant to order breakfast.  It took 20 minutes just for them to wait on him….

 But he made it to his gate in time to board, and his flight took off on time. 🙂
(It even landed 5 minutes early on Christmas Eve!)

So a second child made it home for Christmas. 🙂

Then yesterday afternoon our Disney daughter (who was supposed to be working on Christmas Eve) pulled into our driveway around 4:00.  What a wonderful surprise! 🙂  She somehow managed to get a couple of days off during the peak crowd level at Disney World.  So on this day, when we originally thought only one of our children would be here, all three of our children made it home for Christmas. 🙂

It has been a full day filled with laughter and joy, feasting and fun.

We have been so very blessed.  It has been a day to celebrate the birth of God’s son who made His home here on our planet for a short while…a time when he taught us to love as He loves us.

The other day I was reading this Instagram post by Lindsay from Lindsay Letters.  She wrote that it is only 330 miles from Aleppo, Syria to Bethlehem.  Think of that….the place we celebrate as the birth of Christmas is only a few hundred miles from the place where everyone – young and old, weak and strong, no matter what, are fleeing from their home.

As I sit in my decorated home with my family all in tact, there are families with children sleeping in the desert.
The crisis is real.

 I love what Lindsay wrote:

But Jesus did not come so that I could feel peace, and then snuggle back in. He came so that He could teach us how to love. To love the broken and the hurting and the people that are different from us… to stand up for injustice, to listen to the people that no one else is listening to. 

We are called to action.  When problems seem so large and overwhelming like this crisis in Syria, it is often difficult to know what we can actually do that will make a difference.

Here is an article that can help you find that “something you can do” to help the refugees if you would like.

We normally purchase and decorate a fresh cut Christmas tree for our porch each year.

However, this year, we did not do that.  Instead, we decided a better use of our money would be a donation to help with the Aleppo crisis.  So I took Lindsay’s recommendation and donated to Preemptive Love Coalition, a group working to provide emergency relief to victims of war.I believe it will help more people than a decorated Christmas tree could ever possibly do. 🙂

But that does not mean I believe we should give up everything that is pretty and creative in our homes.  No.  Our lives should radiate joy, and our homes should be a place of comfort and joy for our friends and families, and we should help others as often as we can.Thank you for giving me joy with all your comments.  I so appreciate all of you who sent your Merry Christmas wishes my way this holiday season.  As Christmas Day draws to a close, I simply wanted to thank you and let you know that I am taking the next week off from blog posts to enjoy time with my children. I do hope to work on emails, but there will be no new posts this week.

I hope your home has been filled with wonderful people and all sorts of fun and festive things this Christmas season.


See you back here soon!
Merry Christmas.

You might enjoy these posts:

vickie white - January 1, 2017 - 10:55 pm

I was so happy to read that all of your children made it home to spend Christmas with the family!!

Happy New Year!!

Design Chic - January 1, 2017 - 8:40 pm

Christmas perfection at your house, Kelly. We hope your Christmas was wonderful and wishing you all the best in 2017!

Emily - December 31, 2016 - 8:29 pm

I was so moved by your Christmas post. How wonderful it is to have family home for Christmas! That makes Christmas perfect! So often we get wrapped up in our own little world that we lose sight of the problems of others in the world. Thanks for reminding us that many are not as blessed as we are. You really put Christ back into Christmas! Thank you for sharing your heart and your home. Happy New Year!!

Laura - December 31, 2016 - 3:50 pm

This post was very tender and touching. It is so sweet of you to share your Christmas Adventure or should I say your son’s Christmas Adventure! And all of it wrapped around lovely pictures of your home at Christmas. It was very meaningful and so worthwhile! You truly exemplify the Christmas spirit in this post. I hope your family enjoyed their holiday together.

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 31, 2016 - 3:23 pm

So enjoy your nativity scenes on the porch. Please share some details or story of when/where they were purchased.
Also, the green chairs that are look like they are made of sticks, what is the materials? Where would one go to buy them? I like the airy look and the cushion. Please share your chalk instrument for writing on chalk boards and HOW you clean the chalk off the boards.

Thanks for inspiring me!

Happy New Years
Hi Nan! Nativity…made by Willow Tree. I purchased the starter set years ago at a little home décor shop about 30 miles from our home. It has long since closed, but the Willow Tree figures are available in many places online…even Amazon. I have added a few pieces each year, and I think I have all of them now.
Green chairs made of sticks…not sure which ones you are referring to. I think you mean the wicker…most of the chairs came from Ballard Designs Outlet in Atlanta, and I have spray painted them all.
Chalk instruments – Bistro chalk pens. Cleaning – wipe down with wet paper towels then scrub with a Magic Eraser.
Hope that answers everything! 🙂

Leigh - December 31, 2016 - 1:02 am

Wonderful! It sounds like you had a very joyful Christmas with your family. Me, too. The true meaning of the great love Jesus showed is reflected in your beautiful post. We love because He first loved us. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Thank you for your very sweet comment Leigh. We did have a very joyful Christmas! Hope you did as well. Many wishes for a very blessed 2017 for you!

Nell Hughes - December 30, 2016 - 9:50 am

Love all of it. Think I may have found my check-mate. Love checks, polka dots. Plaids and stripes. Happy to have found you. Keep up the good work.
Thank you Nell! Check-mate it is! (Love that. 🙂 ) So glad you found the blog, and I hope you will continue to read it.
Happy New Year to you!

Sherry - December 29, 2016 - 9:46 pm

Beautiful! It is so very difficult for me to pick a favorite room in your home. Everything is perfect. So warm, so cozy, inviting, festively welcoming. I do love your table decor inside and out. I love the window decor in your office. I am totally in love with your peppermint accents. Would you share the source of the peppermint trees? Your love of red certainly shines best and bright at Christmas. This post was a sweet Christmas story. Thank you for sharing with us. I am so glad your entire family was able to be together this year. What a blessing and the best gift of all. May you have many of the same kind in the upcoming year, Kelly. Thank you for the gift of this blog. It is a joy!
Thank you Sherry. The large peppermint trees came from Michaels (on sale 🙂 ) and the small ones are ornaments from Walmart (less than $2 each.) It was so very nice to have everyone here for Christmas. I hope you had a joy filled holiday too. Thank you for reading and for always leaving such thoughtful comments.
Happy New Year wishes to you!

Debbie - Mountain Mama - December 29, 2016 - 4:22 pm

Oh, I just love your home and your posts – and I’m so delighted all your children finally made their way ‘home for Christmas!’ Happy new year to you and your family! xo
Happy new year to you too Debbie! Thank you for your sweet words here. We were very delighted all the children made it home as well (but awful hard to say goodbye to them…sniff sniff.)

margaret - December 28, 2016 - 10:37 am

Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year!
And the same to you too, Margaret! 🙂

Rosemary - December 28, 2016 - 5:55 am

Such a beautifully written and heartfelt post Kelly. Your house looks even more amazing than usual …you’re such an inspiration. I find myself looking at rooms and thinking “what would Kelly do in here?” Thanks for all the great posts throughout the year ..they’re very much appreciated.
Your son certainly had a complicated and overly long journey home for Christmas! Especially considering he had exams to take. .so glad it all worked out in the end and how wonderful that your daughter made it home as well. I too, was a lucky mum and had all my children and their partners at home for Christmas. Something I’m very grateful for.
Thank you for your always sweet words here Rosemary. I am thankful for readers like you who always take the time to read the posts and leave your comments. So glad you were able to share Christmas with all of your family too. Happy New Year!

Gina - December 27, 2016 - 4:10 pm

Oh my, how stressful, but I am so glad for the happy ending!! What you have written is so very true. A house is just a house, but the people inside make the home. I am so happy all your children were home for Christmas. I know you have had a wonderful few days. It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of gifts and decor this time of year. We have to be intentional about focusing on why we celebrate Christmas and remember why Jesus came. Have a fabulous few days with your family and a Happy New Year!! 🙂
It was quite stressful, and we were so worried that our other son was going to have to endure the same kinds of problems when he flew home on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, his flight was MUCH better. (My advice to our law school son is to fly out of any airport other than JFK in the future.)
You are right about being intentional in our focus during the Christmas season. There are so many distractions at this time of year – which makes it difficult to do. Focus..focus…focus.
Thank you for your kind wishes for our family’s time together. Happy New Year to you too!

Melon Doris - December 27, 2016 - 2:23 pm

Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas…. this post especially was wonderful. It reminds us that our homes are places to nurture our souls, so design touches do nurture our souls….they are not just fluff and window dressing. But we are reminded that not everyone even has a ‘window’ so it is important to thank ‘HIM’ for all that we do have. Side issue, I love your script on items…do you do that all free hand or do you create it on a computer with a font and then copy it? Thanks!!!
Thank you so much! Gratitude is the key to happiness to me, and we certainly have a lot to be thankful for here! 🙂
My writing…kind of a hybrid of what you wrote. I will often do things free hand, and other times I type in a phrase or two in a particular font on to give me an idea of spacing, and then go from there. If I am not in a rush, I will actually write/sketch the entire thing out on notebook paper to make sure my spacing works…adding in freehand flourishes as I go. I’m not sure I answered your question exactly! LOL

Carolyn - December 27, 2016 - 1:00 pm

I’m glad your children made it home finally. Your son’s tale makes me not want to fly, especially at the holidays. So wonderful to have the family all together. We’re expecting our younger son tomorrow after visiting with our older son and grandchildren at Christmas and driving back yesterday. Thanks for bringing up Syria. I too wanted to do something and gave to the UNICEF fund for Syrian children. It doesn’t seem like much in the face of all the tragedy but at least they are not forgotten.
While one son had the flight from “you know where” the other had a perfect not all flights for the holidays are awful. Our law school child just happened to have the worst one we have ever heard of. If it could go wrong, it did!
Glad you get to visit with your children too. Thank you for your donation for the Syrian refugees. You are right that our donations pale in comparison to their plight, but at least we are trying to help in whatever way we can.
Thank you for reading and commenting on the post Carolyn. 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

linda - December 27, 2016 - 1:05 am

I enjoy your posts, seeing your beautiful home and hearing of your children. As a middle aged, divorced woman who was not blessed with children, it is a little sad to read about descriptions of homes that assume that we all were fortunate enough to have children and spouses with us at this time of year. For many good, caring people, this just hasn’t been our “story”. My reason for writing is to remind readers that we don’t all have/take or maybe desire the same paths and our homes and lifes’ mean just as much.
Yes, they do Linda.

Jean - December 26, 2016 - 9:36 pm

Kelly, what a wonderful blog post. A (late) Merry Christmas to you and your family. It’s so wonderful that everyone made it home. Just a shot in the dark re: your cookie cutters: S&H Green Stamps circa 1980? 😉
A belated Merry Christmas to you too, Jean! Those cookie cutters….I am not sure. They were given to me by my mother, and she did make very good use of the S&H Green stamps, but I don’t know about the date. I thought I remembered her using them when I was a child, but that would have been in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I was in college in the 80’s, so that would not have worked with the date. Either way, aren’t they cute? 🙂 I also have a set of the Halloween ones…a witch on a broom and a cat. Thanks for reading the post and asking your question. Best wishes for a happy new year!

angela - December 26, 2016 - 8:21 pm

I love the colors you have here and the creativity in putting things together! Wishing you a wonderful year on 2017!
Glad you like the colors because there sure is a lot of red here! LOL Best wishes for a happy 2017 to you too Angela!

Anita - December 26, 2016 - 6:49 pm

I’m so happy for you that all your children made it home for Christmas! That’s what it’s about family, good food, visiting and celebrating the birth of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ. As always your home is beautifully decorated! I’m always in awe!!
Thank you Anita. We were thrilled that they all made it here too! 🙂 Happy New Year!

Cheryl Johnson - December 26, 2016 - 6:41 pm

Kelly, thanks for your wonderful story of Christmas with your three kiddos. It is so typical of our family too…always a travel story!
Your home looks nice and cozy and I love that you are thinking of those who are struggling. I will make a donation to a charity that helps children. Thanks for the reminder & blessings to all in 2017.
You are welcome Cheryl. Thank you for your kind comments on the post and our home, and thank you for your donation to help those in need. I hope 2017 is full of blessings for you and your family. Happy New Year!

Sandy - December 26, 2016 - 4:49 pm

Your home is simply gorgeous. I am so glad your chickadees made it home. There is nothing better than that for a mama.
Beautiful reminder of what is important in life.
You are too sweet Sandy. Thank you for the compliment! We were very glad they all made it here too…not an easy thing to do to get everyone’s schedules to work together these days. I hope you have a happy new year in 2017!

Vicky Hunt - December 26, 2016 - 3:38 pm

Your home is stunning as always! I so enjoy seeing your decorations each season. Classically beautiful! I would love to know where you purchased the buffalo checked mugs with the gold handles and the plates too. I love them! Have a blessed and beautiful week with your family.
Thank you Vicky. I’m so glad you enjoyed the “tour.” The large check mugs with the gold handles came from TJMaxx. (I also got a couple of matching platters there as well.) The plates came from Home goods. I passed up the matching dinner plates they had and now regret it. Should have nabbed it all. 🙁

Lorraine - December 26, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Thank You Kelly for this wonderful post of your home and news of your families Christmas adventure. I just love your home it is so friendly looking and inviting. Happy New Years to you and God Bless.
Happy New Year to you too Lorraine! Thank you for taking the time to read the post and comment. I’m so glad you enjoy seeing the house here.

Lisa Mechelle - December 26, 2016 - 2:50 pm

Merry Christmas Kelly and family. Your home is spectacular. I’m saving the post to read later. Beautiful!!
Thank you for the compliments Lisa! Hope you found time to enjoy the post this holiday season.

Linda Rossi - December 26, 2016 - 2:39 pm

Dear Kelly, this was a beautiful post on many levels. Your decorating is wonderful, your story-telling is engaging and your compassion is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your holiday chronicle with us! Wishing you a safe and enjoyable week with your family.
Gosh what a super sweet comment Linda. Thank you so very much. 🙂 Happy New Year wishes for all good things for you in 2017!

Janie Foltz - December 26, 2016 - 12:49 pm

Kelly,I enjoyed this lovely post.I do hope you enjoy your time with family. Can you tell me where I might find the black and white buffalo print mugs? Thanks! Blessings to you and yours in 2017. Janie
I’m glad you enjoyed it Janie. The large black and white check mugs with the gold handles came from TJMaxx. They were made by a company called 8 Oak Lane. The smaller check ones on the porch table came from the “Pet owners’ table” in Michaels.
Happy New Year!

bev tippett - December 26, 2016 - 11:48 am

Wonderful post Kelly. I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading about your kids getting home. Nothing like being with your children- especially at Christmas.

Merry Christmas
You are so right that there is nothing like having all the family here for the holidays Bev. I hope 2017 is full of blessings for you. 🙂

Sally Saulmon - December 26, 2016 - 11:45 am

Thanks for sharing your beautiful post. May your children all have a safe journey back after the holidays. Sally
Thank you for reading the post Sally, and thank you for the well wishes for our children’s travels. One had to travel on Monday. We just left our oldest at the airport today, and one will be with us for another week.

Karen Cacich - December 26, 2016 - 11:41 am

Dear Kelly,

God bless you for your compassionate post. We can be the hands and feet of Christ today for those suffering. While I sit among the Christmas finery in my comfortable home, with all three of my own adult children back in the nest, you inspired me to assist the people of Aleppo. My monetary contribution pales in comparison to the life-risking rescue work of others…but it’s something…anything to make a small difference. Enjoy your precious family.

Merry Christmas!
Karen Cacich
Your words here were beautiful Karen. Thank you for making a contribution to help with the crisis. I would hope that every contribution helps, and I pray that this crisis ends soon. Here’s to a peaceful new year in 2017.

Ellen Shook - December 26, 2016 - 11:22 am

Lovely heartfelt post. You are a wonderful person. Enjoy your family time in your beautiful home.
Thank you Ellen. Happy 2017 to you!

Louvina - December 26, 2016 - 11:15 am

Joy to the World! And Oh what Fun! To look at the best part of your home tour!! Loved how you worked in the black, red and candy canes! My favorite was the cookie cutters in a jar and the red beetle bug with tree on top! Oh for the little things!! What a great surprise that all the kids made it home– no matter what it took!! Another “perfect” family gathering!! Wishing you another Happy New Year 2017 ahead and lots of adventures!! 🎶Yes, Joy to the World the Lord has Come! The King of Kings!! 🎶✝️💟🕎
Louvina, you have an eye for appreciating the little details. Thank you for that! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. Looking forward to whatever 2017 brings to us. Many blessings to you!

Donnie - December 26, 2016 - 10:04 am

Merry Christmad to you and yours, as well. I was wondering if all were going to be home at the same time. What a joy for you. Best wishes for the new year. Looking forward to hearing what you are up to in 2017.
Best wishes to you too for the new year, Donnie! It was a fun and busy time with everyone here, but it always ends too soon. I hope you had a happy holiday!

Peggy Bryant - December 26, 2016 - 9:41 am

Merry Christmas Kelly, Thank you for sharing your beautiful inspirations. Not only of your home, but of your heart. That always shows in your posts. I love reading and seeing your pictures in your posts. You inspire my creativity. You have blessed us all. Peggy
You are too sweet Peggy. Thank you for your very kind words, and I am so very glad your creativity finds some inspiration here. You all are a blessing to me!

Kayleigh O'Neal - December 26, 2016 - 9:07 am

Wow!!! What an adventure for the kids to get home. I’m so glad you get to spend time with them. Merry Christmas!
Yes it was! I hope the flights back are very uneventful for them! Hope you had a merry Christmas Kayleigh.
Happy new year to you and your husband!

Patty in Michigan - December 26, 2016 - 9:04 am

Merry Christmas to you and your family. What a blessing to have your family together for Christmas. Loved reading this. Glad it all worked out. It will be a Christmas to remember!!
Yes it will be Patty! I hope your Christmas was filled with fun. Happy New year!

monica - December 26, 2016 - 8:44 am

Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Your words, pictures, and blog show up in my inbox without my help… I just click over to your blog and I am transported to another part of the country. Through your blog, your travels, your photos and your stories I see so much beauty, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing them with the world. Wishing you a Happy 2017!
Happy 2017 to you too Monica! So glad you can be “transported away” through the posts. Thank you so much for reading them!

Jennifer Christenberry - December 26, 2016 - 8:44 am

I love your blog and I really enjoyed your post this morning. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the week spending time with your blessings
We have enjoyed our time together. I hope your Christmas was a good one Jennifer.
Happy New Year!

Linda - December 26, 2016 - 8:21 am

Just lovely, Happy New Year!!
Thank you Linda. Happy new year to you too!

Vicki - December 26, 2016 - 8:07 am

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too Vicki!

Grand Pam - December 26, 2016 - 7:53 am

May God bless and keep you. Numbers 6:22. May wonder continue to fill your mind, happiness your heart, and good health your body. Love every post.May 2017 hold only sweet memories for you and yours.
Thank you thank you thank you Pam! Love your verse for me. May 2017 be filled with blessings for you! 🙂

Calypso in the Country - December 26, 2016 - 7:46 am

What a beautiful post – to read and to look at! So glad all your children made it there even though it wasn’t easy! Enjoy your time with them this holiday and best wishes for the new year! “It’s a wonderful life..”
Shelley, I am so happy you enjoyed the post. We are indeed enjoying our time together. Happy New Year to you!

Lee - December 26, 2016 - 7:32 am

Kelly, I heard some talk of airports as I passed through the living room yesterday but never dreamed it would be that crazy! So I’m glad all’s well that end’s well. Of course you still have to get them all back. But that’s another day and hopefully an uneventful story.
The plans for celebration at Momma’s started out being for about 10 and quickly grew to over 20! Happily the food ‘grew like those loaves and fishes’ and a feast with food left over kept this Christmas from being a sad one. It was a celebrated Christmas….just like what Daddy would’ve expected.
I think if it could go wrong, it did go wrong with those flights. Hopefully the flights back will be uneventful.Fingers crossed!
Yes, it was a very happy celebration, and your daddy would have been quite pleased…and burning the hotdogs on the grill for me like I like them. 🙂 I just wish Paige and Jonathan could have been there too.
Happy New Year!

Tricia - December 26, 2016 - 4:15 am

Oh the joy of having all your children home! You are indeed blessed. You and your husband have made a home filled with love, warmth, memories and beauty and nothing was preventing the children from spending Christmas with you.

Thank you for mentioning the crisis in Syria. We must remember those in need and help anyone we can, near and far, with prayer and aid.

God bless you.
Thank you for your comment here Tricia. It has been wonderful having all the children here – if only for a little while. We certainly need to remember the humanitarian crisis going on in the Middle East. Prayers are very much needed.
Happy New Year to you!

Donnamae - December 26, 2016 - 12:23 am

How fantastic that all three of your kids made it home! It is so important at this time of year, to look out for each other…even if those neighbor’s are thousands of miles away. We are all neighbor’s on this planet after all when you really stop and think about it. Thank you for the charity referral. Hoping you and your family enjoy this holiday week together…Merry Christmas! 😉
Yes we certainly are all neighbors on this planet. Thank you for reminding us all of that. I hope you had a very good Christmas Donnamae. Many blessings for you for the coming year!

Therese - December 26, 2016 - 12:23 am

How wonderful! Three happy and healthy children, all home safely for the holidays – The perfect Christmas gift for you Kelly.
From our home in Australia, as we barbecue prawns and fish, served with salads, bread and champagne by the pool, we wish your family peace, joy and God’s blessings throughout 2017.
Much indeed to be thankful for.
It was the perfect Christmas gift, and I truly did not need another thing under the tree. Thank you so much for reading the posts all the way on the other side of the world Therese! Your meal sounds fabulous there by the pool. 🙂 I hope 2017 is filled with many blessings for you and your family!

Marianne in Mo - December 26, 2016 - 12:14 am

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! So glad your children to come home!
We had half of ours, the others arrive Monday night after a 15 hour drive. Can’t wait to see them and for them to see the new house!
Have a great time with family, see you in the New Year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well, Marianne! Your Christmas got spread over 2 days…I sometimes wonder if that is not the better way to do it. Slow it down and enjoy it more. Hope your 2017 is a great one!

Peggy - December 25, 2016 - 11:53 pm

Merry Christmas! This is my favorite blog post of yours I’ve read! Thank you! So glad your children made it home safely and you have this time together. Thank you for donation info for Aleppo.
Your favorite? Wow! I am so glad you enjoyed it Peggy. Hope your Christmas was a good one, and that 2017 brings you many things to enjoy.
Happy New Year!

martha - December 25, 2016 - 11:28 pm

I love your blog and love looking at pictures of your beautiful home. Tonight I love you for mentioning that in the midst of all our pretty things and comforts, real people are suffering horrible fates. We are so blessed, and it is easy to get caught up in the fun part of Christmas. It is so important to remember that we should celebrate the birth of our savior and the precious gift of salvation. We need to do all we can to give others this wonderful gift. Thanks, Kelly!!!
p.s. I am so glad your children were all able to be with you….all 3 of mine were too, with spouses and 6 grandchildren. I feel like the richest woman alive. Merry Christmas!!
Thank you for writing your heartfelt comment here Martha. If your children and spouses and grandchildren celebrated Christmas with you, you WERE the richest woman alive. It’s a wonderful life for sure. 🙂
Many wishes for a healthy and happy new year!

Mary Michelle - December 25, 2016 - 11:23 pm

Merry Christmas Kelly! Enjoy your week with your family in your lovely home in this season of caring and sharing.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Mary! May you be richly blessed in 2017. 🙂

Home for Christmas…All Thru the House

After a week or so of posts on the Avondale Estates Christmas tour, we now return to our house to finish up the Christmas season.  If you remember, we were going through the house one room at a time looking at the holiday decorating in the bedroom wing, but I’m afraid Christmas is almost here, and we are running out of time.  Yikes! So today we are going to take in several rooms.

Coming in the front door, you will see I have pulled out the large red checked bowl to use on the buffet with an assortment of bottle brush trees.

There is also an old glitter reindeer from Hobby Lobby in a jar of snow (laundry detergent.)

Our small favors by the door were super easy to make.

I placed a little tissue paper in the bottom of these:


Then I took 6 cookies from the ginger families from here:

I dropped the cups with the cookies in a clear plastic treat sack, tied on a tube of white decorating gel (from Walmart), a gift tag, and a short piece of red ribbon.  And viola! You have a gingerbread cookie decorating kit to-go! 🙂 And of course you could use other color icings for the gel…not just white.  (That tube of icing already came with a hole in the top of it…perfect for running the ribbon through it.)

Next to the foyer is the piano.  A little bit of greenery in a mug and a couple of candy canes add just a touch of Christmas cheer to that spot.

And then we come to the family room…

with its very tall Christmas tree. 🙂

It holds quite an assortment of ornaments that we have decorated with for over 30 years…and tinsel…always love the nostalgic look of tinsel. 🙂 One day I want to go back to using those large C7 lights too, but I am always afraid we will burn the house down by catching the tree on fire with them.  They get so darn hot!

I have never really been a fan of poinsettias, but this year I used one in the family room, and it is still going strong!  (Gotta love that!)

I took a few of the extra tree ornaments and filled a jar with them…

and a few for the bowl in front of the sofa.

There are also ornaments wired to the garland over the mantel mirror.

A couple of simple undecorated evergreens in pots add a bit more color.An old-fashioned glitter Santa, reindeer, and clock finish off the vignette.

Now let’s take a break from all the red, and go in the playroom where I decided I wanted it to snow. 🙂  Those snowmen mugs from Target were perfect for the room this season with their green scarves.

See…no red in here. 🙂

My mother-in-law got me a couple of old sleds back in the fall.  They were in really bad shape, so my husband sanded them, and I painted one of them green for this room.

Lowes had some snowball ornaments I had planned to use on the tree, but when I got them home I decided they were waaaay too large for the scale of that little thing.

So I went up in the attic and pulled out all the styrofoam snowballs I had made a couple of years ago for our daughter’s bedroom.  An ornament hanger easily pushed into them, and they worked out just right for that tree.  The pompom “garland” is Target’s Spritz “pompom gift ribbon” (on the aisle with all the colorful paper plates, napkins, and things.)

And Target’s snowman cookie jar was just too cute to resist (filled with Archway wedding cake cookies that look like snowballs…those cookies are too yummy to resist.)

And White Christmas just had to go on the chalkboard in the “snow room.” 🙂

Now just wait here in the playroom, and I will have another post to finish up our tour in a day or so.  You can watch a Christmas movie, pour yourself some hot cocoa from the thermos, and munch on a few cookies and popcorn. (The popcorn is in the bowl beside the sofa. 🙂 ) I’ve got a couple of errands to run to finish the last of my shopping (Hallelujah!) but I’ll be back with the kitchen, dining room, workroom, and porch for you to see soon.

Until next time…

You might enjoy these posts:

Linda - December 28, 2016 - 11:33 am

Just Love your warm and cozy look. Where did you purchase all of your Buffalo Plaid red, black, and taupe drapes? Can’t wait to see what you do for Spring. Happy New Year
Thank you Linda. I made almost all of the drapes. The ones in the playroom and in our daughter’s room came from Country Curtains. I lined them and added some trim to the panels. I made all the other drapes in the house. If you will click on the FAQ tab at the top of the blog, it will take you to the page that should have all of the fabric sources listed.

Maggie - December 25, 2016 - 8:05 am

Taking a moment before the craziness of Christmas Day starts to browse through some of my fave bloggers’ pages and just had to comment on yours. In an era where store perfection seems to be the goal, your house is a welcome oasis. All I kept thinking as I looked through your pics was “I would love to visit her!” No all white scaring people to make themselves comfy, books with spines facing out so you can read titles and choose one, sofas without too many pillows, and furniture arranged for living. All this done with finesse and taste. Love everything about your home. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!
Goodness! Thank you for such a kind comment Maggie. I know exactly what you are speaking of with the white sofas, books turned around on the shelves, and a million pillows filling every seating spot in the house. It is unreal the things that magazines and shows think we should live with. A house is for living…and that is what we do here…with a lot of red! LOL I am glad you enjoy seeing the photos of it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes to you. 🙂

Frances in England - December 24, 2016 - 12:13 pm

This tour has been fabulous. I just wanted to say thank you for your lovely posts throughout the year, and also to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!
Thank you for reading all the tour posts Frances (and the others through the year. 🙂 ) I hope your Christmas was a good one. Happy New Year to you!

Tricia - December 24, 2016 - 5:47 am

Merry Christmas, Kelly! I adore every last detail. Your vignettes are unique and beautiful. Especially love the one on the piano. Your snow room is delightful. Your family and guests must indeed feel wonderfully at home. Thank you for inspiring us and inviting us to share this blessed season.
Thank you Tricia. I am really going to be sad to put it all away. Our house really does look its best during the Christmas season.

JenniferinVA - December 23, 2016 - 6:41 pm

OOOOOHHHHHHH Kelly, I haven’t posted in SO LONG!!!!! I am always here with you though. We are currently in the middle of selling our house (I sent you a pic a couple years ago with tire swing in the yard)and we have purchased a house on 3 acres. Same city….just further outside of the city in the country. So thankful your still blogging, I should would miss your posts! Your still my favorite.
The house we are purchasing we are fixing up as we did our current house and I often think….WWKD? I bought an antique bed for $100 that I KNOW you would be proud of me for buying!! 🙂

Merry Christmas sweet friend. I’ll send you pics of this place too, before and afters are so much fun!
Hugs to you. Jennifer
Well there you are! Been missing you girl. How exciting to be fixing up another home! Your antique bed sounds like a steal. 🙂
Hope your Christmas was a good one and that 2017 is a productive and fun year for you and your family.
Happy New Year!

Judy Downing - December 23, 2016 - 5:20 pm

Kelly…FABULOUS Christmas tree and I loved the little tree as well…
Blessings, Peace and Joy to you and your family this Christmas season…Judy

Kristine Pelz - December 23, 2016 - 2:59 pm

All looks so Lovely! Would you mind sharing the name/brand of the green color in your playroom? Thank you and Merry Christmas🎅
Thank you Kristine. My latest match to it is an Olympic paint sold at Lowes called Moss Point Green.
Happy New Year!

Virginia koepke - December 22, 2016 - 11:14 pm

Your house inspires me, waiting to see the rest of it

Jeanne bell - December 22, 2016 - 10:23 pm

I love your playroom and the green you use in it. The shade is really pretty. Your decorating is beautiful.
Merry Christmas!

DiAnne - December 22, 2016 - 10:20 pm

Everything is beautiful. The favor is a super-cute idea.
You must not require much sleep to be able to get all this done.
Love the green sled.
I look forward to the seeing the rest of the house.
Merry Christmas
So glad you liked all the holiday house details. I DO require a good bit of sleep. I just stay up late, and then get up at 8:00 (with a 15 minute power nap in the afternoon! LOL)
Hope your Christmas was merry, and that 2017 is your best year yet!

Ellen Martin - December 22, 2016 - 10:16 pm

Your children must love coming home to their beautifully decorated home. So many pretty and charming spaces. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

Lori - December 22, 2016 - 5:02 pm

We have used the c7 lights for 38 years on a live tree. My husband rigged up a Reastat like you use on the wall to Dim a light or slow a fan. We can dim or brighten the lights on our tree. Enjoy your blog immensely, and put me on the list to come help me decorate my house next year…..we would have fun! Happy Holidays!
Wow! That is good to know. Your lights sound just wonderful Lori! We most certainly would have fun decorating together, (and I could check out your C7 lights then. 🙂 )
Happy New Year to you!

Dee - December 22, 2016 - 4:58 pm

Kelly, you are such a creative person !!! I love what you have done in your house this Christmas ! Your home always seems so inviting. Thank you for sharing.

Louvina - December 22, 2016 - 4:23 pm

So glad to be back in your lovely home to continue your tour!! I just love everything you have done!! It amazes me how you come up with different ideas every year!! Merry Christmas to you! And I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your home– thank you for sharing!! 🌲💕🌲

Gabrielle - December 22, 2016 - 3:17 pm

All just beautiful Kelly. Happy Christmas.

Sandy - December 22, 2016 - 1:57 pm

You have a lovely home! Since seeing your house, I now have the red check board curtains. So pretty. Thank you for inspiring me.

Debbie - Mountain Mama - December 22, 2016 - 1:13 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!! I love your home and you are so creative with your holiday decorating!! By the way you inspired me to clean out my linen closet and totally organize all my linens – I’m obsessed with how completely organized your home is. Unfortunately, as long as my two slobs of adult daughters are still living in my lower level it will NEVER be organized the way I want it to be – sniff sniff!!

Sue - December 22, 2016 - 12:58 pm

As always I love every detail. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely home with us. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

Cheryl Johnaon - December 22, 2016 - 12:08 pm

Kelly, your home is stunning and cozy comfy at the same time. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Vel Smith - December 22, 2016 - 11:52 am

Your blog is like a little gift. Your home is my favorite in “blogland.” Just warms my heart. I have a question about your perfect chalkboards. What chalk product do you recommend? Always makes me want to try one. Merry Christmas, Kelly!
Aw how sweet of you to say that Vel. 🙂
I have lately been using only chalk pens – no old school chalk. The pens show up so much better to me. I use the ones called “Bistro Chalk Markers” and they are usually found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby (and sometimes Walmart in the craft section.)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

Gina - December 22, 2016 - 11:32 am

So pretty! Brilliant idea to paint the sleighs green!! I always love how you decorate the playroom, but this may be my very favorite!! 🙂 I’m happy I had a moment to pop in and see the tour! Have a wonderful Christmas Kelly!!

Dawn - December 22, 2016 - 11:00 am


I am so glad to see the playroom! I love all of the inviting green in there! It makes me want to curl up and watch a movie. Your foyer and family room room look lovely as usual. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to see what is next. Take Care.


Judy - December 22, 2016 - 10:49 am

The green and white in the bedroom are really festive! It’s a great change from the traditional red and white. I too, have an old fashioned wooden sled that I keep for my front porch decorations. It was the sled I used to pull my daughter on when we traisped to the post office when she was a toddler. It holds such lovely memories, and I love to see it on the porch in Florida, as though it was waiting for our trip through the snow! But isn’t that what Christmas memories do, bring us back to bygone times? Kelly, I hope you and your family have a warm, wonderful Christmas. I look forward to a new year of your terrific pictures and helpful decorating ideas!

Donna Collins - December 22, 2016 - 10:13 am

Kelly, it’s just beautiful. Your attention to detail is amazing. Just the right amount of decorating for each room – perfect! I love your calligraphy too! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Kristy - December 22, 2016 - 9:56 am

I really like the green/black/neutral theme in the playroom. The snowball tree :)…Your home always appears welcoming. Laundry detergent — great idea! I think baking soda would be a good one to use too. Can’t wait to see your porch…always my favorite. Thank you for sharing.

Marianne in Mo. - December 22, 2016 - 9:52 am

I am always in love with the small touches you do to your decor. They really somehow stand out and make it all shine. I must have missed the snowmen pieces at Target, because I usually zero right in on a snowman anything! That cookie jar would complete me! (HA!)
Your playroom is so cool because it’s unexpected, yet welcoming because of the soothing comfort it gives the room. I love the reds of Christmas, but sometimes it is all too much when you see it everywhere! I usually do reds with silver, but the past few years I have moved to silver and white. Guess I need more calm these days!
I am sitting back with a cup of coffee and an overly decorated sugar cookie from yesterdays baking with the grandkids, waiting to see the rest of your lovely home! (The grands just slapped a ton of frosting on the cookies and followed that with a generous dousing of sugar or sprinkles. There was no “decorating” done here!) 🙂

Susie - December 22, 2016 - 9:41 am

Breathtaking.Love that green color!

Donnamae - December 22, 2016 - 9:33 am

Everything is so festive Kelly! You’ve got such a flair! I’m still a red fan…so your family room is my favorite…shhh..don’t tell the others! Merry Christmas! 😉

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 22, 2016 - 9:22 am

PS Epson Salts works well for the jars as snow also.
Kelly, you have missed out with the Poinsettas. I buy mine the first of December and end up giving them away or throwing them away late January. They add “life”, come in shades of red (we like that) and say, Merry Christmas!

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 22, 2016 - 9:18 am

I will be over! Lovely.
I like the use of the Christmas balls in the bowl and jar.
I know so simple but you do everything with class.
Also use of the Ginger Family. Much cheaper than buying gingerbread houses for kids to icing. That’s what they like, playing in the icing. Thanks for this one. I always enjoy your use of your silver (tray, candle sticks, etc.) and your many pieces of wicker. Please “will” me your wicker. HA! HA!
Looking forward to your next post!

Shirley Gannarelli - December 22, 2016 - 9:15 am


I love your style. Where did you get the light brown (they look like they are wooden) lamps in your foyer?

Thank you.

Merry Christmas!

Shirley those lamps came from Target. I think they may still carry them…not sure though.
Thank you for reading the posts. 🙂

Barbara (WA) - December 22, 2016 - 9:12 am

So, so pretty and fun! Red is my favorite color but I adore the green and white in the playroom. Wish I’d spotted those snowmen at Target. Pretty sure they are all snapped up by now.

Deb - December 22, 2016 - 9:02 am

What kind of chalk pen do you use on your chalkboards? They are always so lovely!
Deb I use the Bistro Chalk Markers that are available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Glad you like the boards!

kathy - December 22, 2016 - 8:52 am

Right now you are inspiring me to get rid of the “hit by a tornado” look that I have going on. Every year I say I am going to be finished early but I never am! I love your bottle brush trees. I was wondering while looking at an earlier post if your snow was laundry detergent! Great idea! Your tree pillow is pretty. And your play room decor is so clever. How about using the pom pom ribbon as garland! Merry, merry Christmas, Kelly!
I so know that feeling Kathy! I was still decorating right up until Christmas Eve (and I even started the 2nd week of November!) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Hope your holidays have been good ones, and that 2017 will be a healthy one for all your family. 🙂

Lynne - December 22, 2016 - 8:50 am

I am just in love with your home. I am sure you know by now! Your Christmas decorations are so soothing to the eye and your home so cozy. Have a Merry Christmas!

Karen - December 22, 2016 - 8:50 am

SO cute! I just love the playroom with the green and white. Merry Christmas and thank you for working so hard and sharing your beautiful blog with everyone. I always find inspiration here.

Garden, Home and Party - December 22, 2016 - 8:36 am

All looks pretty and festive but by far, the playroom is my favorite. The “snow” with the black and a few spots of green accents are perfection. You hit a grand slam with that room!
I always enjoy your home and I’ll have a seat in the playroom and sip on cocoa until you’re back from your errands and ready to “wrap up” the show (pun intended). 🙂
I am so glad you liked the playroom with all its snow and green. 🙂 Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2017!

Cheri - December 22, 2016 - 8:29 am

I love everything about your decorations, you know how to do it just right. Come decorate my house…better yet…I’ll come to your house. Lovely…just lovely.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!

Leigh - December 22, 2016 - 8:28 am

There is just something about your home and the warm and welcoming style of decorating that warms my heart and makes me smile. Thank you for sharing your home, especially at Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family 🎄

Donna - December 22, 2016 - 8:23 am

I just love your style and the family room with snowmen and snow balls. You do such a beautiful job Kelly.
Merry Christmas!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 22, 2016 - 8:07 am

I am afraid if I show my husband this post, he will want to live at your house! He LOVES tinsel but I won’t let him have it because of our dog. When we first started dating, he had those huge old fashioned lights on his Christmas tree too! I think we still have them somewhere in the basement…Your house looks so cozy and festive and I love those gingerbread favors. Such a cute idea. You are so inspiring throughout the year and I always look forward to reading your posts. Have a Merry Christmas!

Melissa - December 22, 2016 - 7:52 am

I enjoyed looking at your pictures this morning! I wish you were my neighbor. I’d drag you to my house to help me! Have a Merry Christmas, sweet friend!
That would be a lot of fun! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you too Melissa!

Kim - December 22, 2016 - 7:04 am

Wonderful as always Kelly! Seeing your home brightens my Christmas spirit!
Thank you Kim! Seeing your comments here always brightens my spirit. 🙂
Merry Christmas!

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