I love Christmas. I love decorating and baking and singing Christmas carols. And I love Christmas traditions. We have a lot of them and try our best to stick with them but we’re far from perfect. And I love adopting new traditions with our kids as they get older. From our tacky light tour with milkshakes (yes, milkshakes…even in 30 degree weather) to our 25 days of books (25 individually wrapped Christmas books we open each day) — we love them all.
Last year we added a tradition of service. In addition to adopting families and participating in various service events around RVA, we place an empty manger under our tree and add “hay” in the form of slips of paper that identify ways we have each helped or served someone in our community. It can be any random act of kindness or a way we served someone else, big or small.
This beautiful Willow Tree nativity scene always sits on the front entry table so it’s the first thing you see when you walk through the front door. We collected it the first few years we were married and I just love it. Laura Trevey’s beautiful artwork is the perfect backdrop.
One of my favorite (and easiest) things to decorate with are pictures. Years ago, I printed all kinds of Christmas pictures of us through the years going all the way back to our first Christmas together. I love family pictures. I love the beautiful posed pictures, but I love the crazy, impromptu moments of life even more.
To make it easy, I keep the Christmas pictures behind the current pictures in the frames. When it comes time to decorate, I simply switch them out. It’s quick and easy and we love reliving those fun memories. It’s so fun seeing pictures representing all of our years together…especially those toddlers screaming on Santa’s lap!
Ornaments! I love ornaments! We all have a blast decorating our family room Christmas tree. It’s full of memories.
Each year, we give our children ornaments that represent that year for them so those are always my favorites. Last year, I found these paper advent ornaments from Kiki and Company. I decided to laminate them so they’d last and attached some baker’s twine to use on our tree. The small gingerbread house — a gift from my husband last Christmas — is a handmade wedding chapel with a bride and groom dancing inside. It’s one of my favorites.
And our tree is full of Coton Colors ornaments. I love getting them personalized with something special on the back. They’re big and colorful and capture memories so perfectly!
One of the easiest ways to decorate around the house is with gifts. Wrapped packages make great accessories around the house, like these fun packages on our bar cart. To make wrapping easier, I wrap each gift as soon as it arrives. Not only are they great to use for decorating, but it’s great to have them all wrapped!
Winston shares our love for Christmas. You can usually find him snuggled up in his bed or cuddled on the sofa with one of the kids.
Our sunroom is bright and colorful all year round, but especially at Christmas. This is one tree I like to change up once in a while. We keep our family room tree pretty traditional with ornaments that are near and dear to us since that’s where we spend most of our nights during the Christmas season. It’s warm and cozy and we’ve got the fire going on cold nights.
This year we added a basket rather than our traditional tree skirt and a lit starburst on top. It’s already got a lot of blues and greens so it’s fun to add pops of red in there at Christmas.
Our kids each have their own small Christmas tree in their rooms with their favorite ornaments and you can definitely see their personalities reflected in the way that they decorate their tree. My oldest has a white tree with pops of pink and turquoise, my youngest has a lavender tree filled with her favorite character ornaments, and my son’s tree is full of football helmets.
I love seeing what they come up with each year.
And this is one of my favorite pieces of art to hang during the Christmas season. Six years ago, my kids made this Christmas tree with their precious handprints. I can vividly remember the afternoon we did it and love hanging this up each year.
Speaking of traditions, we still send out Christmas cards via snail mail. So many things are digital now, but I still love sending cards. And we’re so excited to start getting all of those wonderful Christmas cards in the mail. In a few short weeks, this wreath will be full of the beautiful faces of our friends and family.
I don’t really have themed trees, but our dining room tree does have mostly pictures and then our new advent ornaments. Several years ago, I purchased small wallet-sized wooden pieces with precut holes in the top, painted them and added all kinds of fun family pictures to adorn the tree. I love it. They’re fun family pictures of our family vacations or time spent with family and friends. Each year, I try to add several more pictures. I’m excited for the day when we need a bigger tree to hold all of the pictures!
The dining room is the perfect spot for this tree since it’s where we like to have our “fancy” dinners with sparkling cider. The beautiful etched glasses on the dining room table are from our first Christmas together. We collected them at Arby’s — only 99 cents with each meal purchase. I’ve had so many people asked where we got them…we just say they’re vintage.
We keep the exterior decorations clean and simple. This year my son did add some string lights to our basketball goal so if you drive by, chances are you’ll see a driveway full of boys shooting hoops.