A Very Merry Christmas Home Tour

a very merry christmas home tour 5

Whoo hoo! Christmas Tour post day is here! I love Christmas! And, because of this love of Christmas, I’m excited to be joining in on the A Very Merry Christmas Home Tour, hosted by Carrie at Lovely, Etc. More than 30 bloggers have participated, with tours posted throughout the week. If you’ve landed here from one of the other blogs then welcome! So glad you’re here! And either way, be sure to check out the other tours when you’re finished here. I’ve been having a great time looking at them this week, and I’m planning to catch up on the ones I haven’t made it to yet this weekend.

So I think I’m going to call this A Vintage Pom-Pom Animal Christmas Tour. I think you’ll see why as we go along.

First up is the foyer. If you’d like a photography challenge, try taking pictures in a small room with a mirror on the wall directly across from the french door. Good times. But I did my best:


I picked up these little ceramic elves at an antique mall months ago, and I’ve been waiting not so patiently for the chance to bring them out for Christmas ever since. I wanted them to be the first thing people see when they come in the house, because I love them so.


I’ve developed a little bit of a pom-pom making habit lately.

And I’ve always had a little bit of an animal collecting habit. Real ones and fake ones. Like this….skunk?


To the left of the foyer is our library. In here I set up our skinny little tinsel tree (I’d love to get a bigger one at some point, but I need one to turn up at the thrift store) with vintage blue and silver ornaments:


The coffee table still needs to be painted, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be Christmasified:



A lot of my Christmas decorating consisted of buying a tube of jingle bells at Michaels and tying one around the neck of every single brass animal in my house. Abe (my 22 month old) is not much for putting things in his mouth any more, but the loose bells are easy to pick up and put out of reach when we’re not watching him. When we are watching him, he likes to dump them all over the floor and then (sometimes) pick them back up.


To the right of the foyer is our dining room. Here’s what it looked like all dressed up in its holiday finery a few days ago:


We’ll try to set it up like this again and do at least one more fancy meal before Christmas, but for every day we keep it a lot more simple, with just the rustic box centerpiece and a few squirrels for good measure:

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On the buffet behind the table we have our Advent calendar set up; it’s cone trees made out of vintage wrapping paper (each one has a treat or activity under it). More on that here, but since the original post, I added in some figures from Rudolph. I thought they would probably have a lot of fun frolicking in a cone tree forest:

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Also this little rabbit. Because why not?


Now we’ll pass through the kitchen and take a quick look at our hot cocoa station (I’ll do a full post on it later), observing that there are more pom-poms here:


….on our way to the sun room in the back of the house.

Last year we had our tree and stockings set up in our den (where there’s nothing Christmassy whatsoever this year). Most of the house has eight foot ceilings, and I’ve always felt a little sad that we couldn’t have a tall tree. Until Christmas morning last year when it occurred to me for literally the first time (after two Christmases in this house) that we could put the tree in the sunroom with its arched ceiling this year! Whoo hoo!

We got a little overzealous at the Christmas tree farm and bought a tree that is not only 8 1/2 feet tall, but also the fattest tree in the world. It turns out they look a lot smaller before they’re in your house.


But now that I’m used to it, I’m totally in love. Dave and I have….discussions every year about the lights. He hates doing the lights at all, and I like lots of lights. “It has to glow from within!” I declare, as he rolls his eyes at me. But I always win because I’m right about Christmas, and our tree glows from within.


The tinsel tree in the library is all theme-y with a set color scheme, but this tree is a free for all. We haul out every ornament we’ve ever come in contact with and go at it (truth be told, it’s also supposed to have a pom-pom garland, but I haven’t finished it yet. It’s going to take so.many.pom-poms to go around that fat old tree):


Under the tree we have a basket of Christmas books for the kids to open so we can read one each night until Christmas. My kids are 13, 11, 9, and 22 months, so I ended up doing two sets of books. This isn’t all the books. They’re not all wrapped yet, because there are FORTY EIGHT books. I maybe should have kept my kids closer together:


I have holiday pillows for the first time ever this year. The fox one is from TJ Maxx, and Shutterfly sent me the monogrammed one:


One of Dave’s uncles used to give the kids Sears gift cards for Christmas. One year we got inspired and used them to start a Lemax Christmas Zoo. Then they discontinued the Lemax zoo, making adding to our zoo really expensive. But we have a few key zoo components at least. It’s also possible I just spent too much money today ordering a penguin house to add in. But it lights up! How could I not!? That thing in the middle has people that go around in a circle and a recording that says, “Welcome to the finest city zoo….in the world!” Over and over. Also we have this Santa that dances to Alan Jackson singing “Holly Jolly Christmas.”


More pom-poms on the mantel! I didn’t totally redo the mantel for Christmas; I just hung up the stockings and the pom-poms and jingle-belled the unicorns and dog. And I put out these brass candlesticks that spell “joy.” We got the needlepoint stockings years and years ago, possibly even before we had ANY kids. I can’t remember at all why we bought four, but that worked out really nicely since that’s how many kids we have now. It’s also a nice case wherein I bought something that I still like today. But that might be mostly because I like all the Christmas things.

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So that about wraps it up, only 25 photos and one million pom-poms later!

Boxy Colonial blog's 2014 Christmas tour, with lots of pom-poms, woodland animals, and vintage touches

Don’t forget to spend some time checking out the other tours! Here are the links to today’s tours:


Friday collage

Little House of Four

Boxy Colonial

Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

Flip Flops and Snow Boots

Sypsie Designs

Chic California

The Blue Eyed Dove

And you can find all the tours from the rest of the week here.

Linking with:

Link Party Palooza @ I Heart Naptime


A Very Merry Christmas Home Tour — 33 Comments

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  2. oh gretchen, i love it! your home is just so beautiful and happy! the pom poms in the entry and the pom pom garland make me happy! and the bell on the elephant! it’s all perfect!

  3. OMG I could write a novel. So many gems in this post. A Christmas tree that glows from within. Yes you can’t have to many. Christmas lights are to Christmas trees what cow bells are to everything. You need more! And a book calendar. You should trademark that 🙂 and… SQUIRREL… sorry – got distracted. Oh and pom poms. Pom poooomssss 🙂 And cones. And jingle bells. Love your home tour Gretchen!!!

    • Thanks so much, Katja! I like to keep a lot of squirrels around to distract people from, like, piles of dog hair collecting in the corners 😉

  4. My favorite thing about your house is how effortlessly animals become part of your decor. It just fits perfectly. So much goodness here!

  5. I love all of the little touches you’ve added throughout your home like the bells on the brass animals (I may be copying you). Most of all, I love that you bought stuff for your kids before you had kids! I think about doing the same thing sometimes haha

    • Thanks, Michelle! Last year I did the lights all by myself as a special Christmas present for Dave. But this year I wasn’t feeling as generous 🙂

  6. I am SUPER SUPER jealous of your pillows! It all looks so fabulous and fun. But keep your eye on the fox pillow, or I will take it. Lucky for you the other one is monogrammed!

    • Did I tell you about the fox pillow? I went to homegoods one week and they had a whole bunch of these with different animals. the next week I was resolved to buy a couple, but they were ALL GONE! I finally found ONE at TJ Maxx. So many regrets I have now….

  7. Beautiful and Christmassy!!! I love the idea of having the kids open Christmas books each day! I have a ton upstairs. Maybe I’ll do that next year when Beckett can sit long enough for a book…okay so that probably still won’t be happening by then.

    • Yeah, Abe is definitely not there yet. I mean, he’ll sit still for a book that he chooses and then make you read it 40 times in a row, but I can’t be like, “let’s read THIS great book!” and expect cooperation

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