Welcome to my happy place of DIY, homemade, homegrown, handmade, nourished & crafted, whole hearted living. Finding magic in the mundane & growing some roots in the process.
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It has been snowing all day and the fluffy white stuff, and a giant sheet of ice, is everywhere. We had planned on delivering Christmas gifts to friends for family night but after pushing our neighbor’s car up the steep hill near our home we decided it was probably better to start a fire, put on our jammies, and stay in.
My mother LOVES Christmas, it is her favorite of all holidays. I’m pretty sure she has more Christmas cheer in her little finger than most kids! Sometimes I wonder if my Dad ever filled her in on that little hush-hush Santa secret, but I’m too afraid to ask. The magic of Christmas lives in her and it is beautiful. My mother had the most beautiful angel that trimmed the top of the tree. My mom kept her in a box wrapped in tissue paper and I would cradle her like a precious baby. She had blonde hair, a yellow and gold floral dress made of cardboard, and a gold tinsel halo. Each year, after we had hung all the ornaments, my dad would lift me up and I would gently place that vintage angel on the highest branch of the Christmas tree. I’m pretty sure that little heavenly creature started my love of old things.
As much as my mama loved and looked forward to Christmas every year, I don’t have a single photo of what my home growing up looked like for the holidays. The only pictures of the tree, our stockings, or my beloved angel are in my own mind, and it is a shame.
For that reason, I thought it would be fun to do a little tour of what our home looks like for the holidays. Then someday when my kids miss home, they can come back here and be reminded of special memories of Christmas when they were young.
The rusty penny walls make decorating for fall really fun but Christmas, not so much. I had to get really creative to make things feel like they flowed. I use a lot of rusty finishes and old things to bring in the orange of the room. Happily, this room is getting a little makeover in January so, this will be the last orange Christmas! Yay!
I know the style these days is to make everything neutral, including all your Christmas decor, but I just can’t do it.
I love color too much.
I think it will all flow a lot better next year with more classic colored walls.
Oh, and that cream ceiling is getting a makeover, too. Hooray!
The walls may be ugly, but that mantle sure is nice.
I love the mismatched stockings.
They add happy color and personality and our home is full of both so I figure, why not?
I let the kids pick which one they want and it always cracks me up who ends up with what one.
Someday I might just glitter those stocking holders but at this moment I have way too much to do, so for now they are safe.
Look at all that gorgeous fresh garland!
Oh, don’t you worry!
I’ll tell you more about that disaster in a little bit.
This rocking horse is my favorite and I fight the kids for it every year.
When I was a girl, my Great-Grandpa Wood gave me a little red toy rocking horse.
To this day, every time I see a rocking horse I think of him.
The metal Christmas pennant banner was a new addition this year and it’s really fun.
The wash basin was my Great Grandma Piano’s and instead of using it to bath children, we use it to hold our firewood.
It’s one of those treasures that nobody would understand unless they knew the backstory.
My kids giggle as they picture my granddad getting scrubbed in that dented old tub.
I didn’t inherit much from my great grandma when she passed away, I was only 17 and we had a big family. But I did get a couple of her hymnals, some Christmas sheet music that I attempt to play every December 25th in her honor, and a very sweet old wash basin.
I have recently fallen in love with Putz houses, these two are the first in what I hope to be a fun little collection.
They even light up!
Mine aren’t vintage, I got them at Joann’s, but they are still darling.
I’m hoping to find more at thrift stores and yard sales next summer!
Last year, my friend’s husband made me this amazing laser cut stone nativity.
Isn’t it wonderful?
Going along with the old time feel, the Christmas tree is packed full of vintage goodness passed down from my grandparents’ tree.
Several years ago, my grandparents decided to get new Christmas ornaments and gave me the ornaments that had hung on their tree my whole life as my Christmas gift.
Best present ever.
There are clothes pin reindeer…
hand-painted rocking horses and old twig sleds…
and even a little red felt star that my mother made for my grandma one year as a Christmas gift.
Any guesses who that little blondie with the bowl cut is?
Yep, I still have that dimple in my right cheek and the double chin, too.
Mixed in with the handmade, there are lots of snowflakes (my favorite are crocheted), oodles of pine cones, some mercury glass, and a handful of beautiful vintage colored glass balls too.
I love it all.
Under the tree the tree skirt is covered in Christmas books.
Ever since my oldest daughter was a tiny girl, she has loved to lay under the tree and read them, and it is has become a beautiful Christmas memory for me as a mother.
On the piano, there is the nativity that my parents gave me after I’d had my first child.
The tinsel was another hand-me-down, and it reminds me of my mama’s Christmas decorations when I was a girl.
There was always lots of tinsel and I loved to play with it.
She still has a little bit of spun fiberglass angel-hair.
I only had to play with that stuff a couple times before I learned my lesson!
I stick with the plastic safe stuff that doesn’t slice fingers open.
In here you’ll find fun plates, lots of citrus fruit, a Santa cookie jar my grandparents gave me for my first Christmas as a newlywed, and lots of old fashioned candy.
Since my gingerbread house sits on the kitchen island, that milk glass bowl of candy gets filled regularly to help my 4 sugar monsters resist the urge to start house demolition.
Those stained glass stars hang in my kitchen window all year long but feel especially festive at Christmas time.
I got those at Swiss Days a few years ago, and they just plain make me happy.
On the far wall of the dining room is a little bit of magic.
A hand-me-down Costco Christmas village sits on our buffet. My girls have full rein of this little town and get to set it up any which way they want. There are casualties every single year, but they are so happy about their village so I don’t mind it when they play. They think of that village the way I think of my mother’s angel.
By the way, bottle brush trees are darling, and addicting. I may need intervention.
The center of our dining table holds our Christmas Manger, but right now there are 30 neighbor gifts and 4 other mangers waiting to be delivered after the snow plows come. So yeah, we’re just gonna skip that majestic scene, alrighty?
You can find some pics of our little manger and even some instructions on how to make your own as a family HERE.
Long story short?
We live in the high desert mountains of Utah.
Within two weeks of hanging all that gorgeous greenery, it dried up and died leaving needles EVERYWHERE. The greenery became brownery and went to live out the rest of it’s days in my back field.
Poor, sad greenery.
So, my fun Christmas card garland had to get a little tweaking.
You can’t win them all.
Oh, hey! Know what else is going away this year other than the orange paint?
That nasty stained carpet on the stairs.
Just you wait!
Well, there you have it.
What Christmas looks like at the Mag house.
I hope when my kid’s think back on their Christmases growing up, that they remember warmth, sweet traditions, family, things made with love, a little bit of magic, and a whole lot of joy. Christmas doesn’t have to full of expensive things.
Sometimes it’s the hand-me-down village, a homemade manger, or even an old tattered angel that we end up cherishing the most.