Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas in the Family/Great Room

Nativity on the fireplace mantel
When we had this house built nearly four years ago, we opted to eliminate the living room, enclosing that space with French doors for Beloved's study, and just use our family room (or great room) for the couches and recliners. Today I am sharing pictures from that part of the house.

It is a large room, almost square with the exception of the fireplace that is positioned diagonally in one corner and the pantry door that is also diagonal in a corner of the kitchen. For this stage of our lives, this arrangement works very well.

our biggest Christmas tree
Although I snapped this picture in the evening, the effects of a semi-dark room are washed out with light and lost.  You will have to trust me that our tree is twinkly-pretty in one corner of the family room. We have it sitting atop my mother's hope chest which is beautiful on its own, but for Christmas the chest is draped with a hand crocheted bedspread made by one of Beloved's aunts many years ago. 

my kids!
My very favorite ornaments on the tree are these 3 stockings with grade school pictures of our 3 children. My mother made these when the kids were still young and you know how much my heart treasures them!

Beloved with his toy Santa
Every year we make a little bit of a production of Beloved placing his boyhood toy Santa Claus under the tree after the last ornament has been hung. 

the jolly old elf, up close
Part of the production is that Beloved quotes the words on the doll's label, "It's a wonderful toy; it's Ideal!"  And indeed, it is.

the family room window
Speaking of Beloved, he has outdone himself (in spite of himself!) with our outdoor lights. We have 2 sets of those laser motion lights, one on the front of the house and one on the back. Since we live on a corner and our house is positioned high on the lot, EVERYBODY behind us can see everything. It seemed only right to decorate the back of the house as well as the front.

Anyway, the laser motion light that is on the back deck also shines in the windows if we leave the shutters open, and as a result, we've got moving stars on the wall behind the TV. Not to worry, none of it is aimed at our eyes.  Of course, like the Christmas tree lights, the laser spots on the wall do not show up well in my pictures.  But it makes for quite a show as we watch TV.

a quilted piece on a lamp table

When I'm not sewing a table runner or a baby quilt, I make pieces for our lamp tables and then switch them out seasonally. Here is one one that Beloved especially likes.

Christmas card basket
As the Christmas cards begin arriving in our mailbox, we collect them in this red wood basket on the coffee table, which is on top of another one of my quilted squares. This one is embellished with holly leaves and berries. My sister has one very much like it that I made for her several years ago.

pole lamp
There was no more room on the tree for these ornaments, so they show off well on a standing lamp next to the chocolate chair (so named because it is the color of rich, dark chocolate!).

One year Beloved gave me a generous gift card for Kirklands (do you have a Kirklands near you?). I L.O.V.E. to shop there. That time I brought home this blue lantern. It lends itself well to decorations no matter what the season. I put an electric candle inside.

electric candles

Speaking of electric candles -- they are a wonderful decorating accessory and not dangerous like real flame candles. We bought these 3 last week and have been using the timer feature on them. They come on by themselves around 3:30pm and go out by themselves at about 9:30pm. Very low-maintenance.  

The wood pillars they are resting on are leftovers from this past summer when Beloved built more raised flower beds in our back yard. He had asked me back then if I wanted them for anything. The thought had crossed my mind that they would look wonderful cut to 3 different heights, topped with fat candles. Voila'!

the entire mantel
The fireplace mantel is decorated similarly to what I shared with you from our dining room earlier this week. We've got more of that glittery cheesecloth stuff intertwined with a string of white lights and evergreen garland. The plaque is a gift from my next-door neighbor who made it in a craft class last year. I just love it!

my favorite of all my nativity sets
In 1996 I bought this nativity set from our local Lifeway store. I placed it on top of the bookshelf that serves as a backsplash behind my kitchen sink. When I stand at the sink, this is the view I have of the family/great room -- (smile) nothing can escape my notice from this perspective!!

Tomorrow I will wrap up this series with snapshots from several more rooms.  Thank you all for the wonderful comments you have been leaving after the blog posts. I'm so glad you are enjoying the show -- I like to see what you are doing in your homes as well!


  1. Hmmm...those laser lights sound interesting! Everything is shaping up so nicely there...your quilted toppers are beautiful; you are an accomplished quilter. How fun that your husband still has his childhood Santa stuffie. Just goes to show that he really liked it.

  2. Well, you and Beloved just just outdone yourselves in your Christmas decor! Bet those laser lights are enjoyed by many neighboring folks. Love that Santa! All is lovely and warm and welcoming. Happy weekend!

  3. I haven't put out my collectible Nativity in a few years because there is no place I can put it safely with three cats in the house. Makes me sad, but I would be even more sad if any of the pieces were broken. Your decorations are wonderful and the Santa story and label are priceless!