A Tour of our Home at Christmas 2016, Part 1

Welcome to our Indiana home at Christmas! So glad you stopped by. I look forward to sharing our home at Christmas every year. I love the whole process: tidying up, lighting the candles, fluffing the pillows and placing each little detail just right. Taking the pictures, editing them, and sitting down at my laptop, taking the time to share my ideas and decor with you is so rewarding! I especially love when the kids come home from school and throw their backpacks in our dining room and spread their homework all over the perfectly staged Christmas Eve table. Once a year, just before school lets out for Christmas break, I get to pretend that our home is being featured on the pages of Better Homes & Gardens. All the effort and attention to detail that I put into decorating for Christmas gets put on display for all of you to see and that just makes me happy. So, welcome! Come on in! I’ve been anticipating your arrival. And it goes without saying that my home is not ever this neat and tidy, so don’t stress. There’s a mess there. I have five kids! How could there not be?




We moved here to Indiana in May, so this is our first Holiday Season here in our new home. It was my goal to buy as little as possible in the way of new decorations, simply because we already had so many bins filled with stuff. I wanted to see how far I could stretch what we already had. I also love to reinvent decorations in our new home. What I placed on a door in our old home might look even better over a mirror in our new home. However, our color scheme in our Indiana home is slightly different, so I decided to try some new ribbon this year. The black silhouette sleigh ribbon jumped right out at me at a holiday open house at Allisonville Garden & Home, my favorite local store. I was drawn to it because of how different it is than the usual stuff. I do love a ribbon that is easy to work with.



Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane posted a tutorial that I discovered a few years back, illustrating how she took her family Christmas card photo each year and made an ornament with it. I took her fabulous idea and made it my own. Thanks, Sarah! I’ve loved your blog for a long time.


While Sarah wraps her scrap booking paper to cover the outside edge of the ornament, I paint the outside edge of the wooden rectangle with red or green craft paint. After the paint dries, I Mod Podge a piece of scrap booking paper to each side of the ornament. Once the Mod Podge dries, I gently sand around the ornament so that the paper is flush to the edges. If the paper lifts at all, just use a little brush and get some more Mod Podge in there so all the edges are glued down. I glue the number of years we’ve been married as well as the calendar year on one side, and this year’s Christmas photo on the other side. I cover the ornament with Mod Podge Hard Coat with a brush. (When you first paint it on with a brush, it looks a little scary. Then when it dries, it’s completely clear and covered for posterity.) Lastly, I drill a small hole in the top of the ornament and thread a little piece of cord or ribbon through the hole and tie it at the top to hang on our garland. Here’s a close-up for you…


The first year I made these ornaments, we had been married about eight years, so I had a bit of work to do. Now I just add one new ornament each year. Easy! And so worth it. Seriously, this is my favorite decoration in our entire collection. I love imagining the ornaments going all the way up the banister and down the other side, one year of marriage and one Christmas memory at a time.


Okay, moving on! Up at the top of the stairwell, I have our little feather tree, dripping with hand made (and some store bought) ornaments. I love having a little something up there in the hallway. And how about that evergreen and peppermint candy table cloth? Thrift store score.


The alcoves above our front door are five and a half feet tall, like I can stand up inside them no problem. We found a pair of topiaries that fit just right, and for Christmas decided they had to have some lights on them. I tried some fairy lights and I’m very happy with how they look. It was The Hubs’ idea to put the packages under each tree. The boxes and bows are all Sugar Paper for Target from last year. Cute, right? He sure does surprise me sometimes! Love that guy.


Welcome to our dining room! I am still looking for the perfect chandelier for this room, but honestly, I don’t mind ours for Christmas. The gold works with all the other gold decor I have. Maybe I’ll hit up Wayfair in an after Christmas sale and find the light fixture of my dreams.



I really like using pitchers as vases and cake plates for height. They’re both things you can pick up at low prices at Marshall’s and Homegoods and they’re so useful! The gorgeous tapers you see are placed in my grandmother’s glass candelabras. Aren’t they dreamy? I only pull them out for special occasions. I love how dramatic they look.


It’s so funny, every time I post a picture of this room on Instagram, someone mentions my jade green dishes and how much they love them. I purchased the entire set at a Goodwill in Ohio while shopping with a dear friend of mine. She can attest to the fact that I literally circled the dishes like a hawk, around and around, walking by them, having a conversation with myself about how the last thing I need is another set of dishes. “I don’t want my spouse to file for divorce over dishes, Christine!” And then I bought the whole dang set for 65 smackers. He was a good sport about it, truly. The fact is, I don’t know a man on the planet who has or ever will really understand a woman’s need for ___________. Fill in the blank with the following: dishes, pillows, shoes, bags, scarves, lamps, picture frames. Just as we gals may never understand a man’s need for ___________. Fill in the blank with the following: guns, guitars, fishing rods, baseball caps, nose hair clippers. So let’s just accept our differences and move on. Aren’t they just the cutest little green tea cups you ever did see? They’re called Petal Ware and I love them. A lot.


I let the girls make the snowy scenes this year and I think they did a fantastic job! Each girl got their own glass dish, a bag of fake snow, and some little figures and trees to arrange. I laid everything out for them and left the room. This is what I have to do to allow creativity: Provide the materials and space in which to be creative and then walk away. You know what? It worked! The girls worked together, encouraged each other, complimenting one another. I listened from the other room and thought, “I have arrived!” Small victories, people. Small victories.


Since I’m fairly certain someone will ask in the comm box, the liquor decanters are from Reclamation Etchworks. Check ’em out! Such a cool company.


I decided to put a little mini Advent wreath in the dining room by way of some votive candles I purchased from Toadilly Handmade. Gotta have my beeswax candles! The three-tiered platter is a new favorite of mine to arrange and re-arrange, and move around the house. So many possibilities with this piece. I think it’s going to look so stinkin’ cute with Christmas cookies on it!

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you’re new to Sometimes Martha Always Mary, welcome! I’m so happy you’re here. And if you care to learn more about me and my family, I share all my deepest, darkest secrets here. Not. Just click on the “About” tab. I’ll see you tomorrow I hope! I’ll give you a Christmas tour of the kitchen and family room.


This is not a sponsored post. I like to mention where I purchase certain pieces just to help my readers out. Feel free to ask where I found any of the decor you see in my posts!

Categories: Celebrating Homemaking


6 Responses to A Tour of our Home at Christmas 2016, Part 1

  1. I love what you did. Looking forward for more of the house tour. We *might move to a bigger house. And will need lots of help with decorating. Our current house is just overflowing with stuff. Stuff that I don’t really Want to carry over to the “new to us” House. I’ll be asking for help and ideas!

  2. Now I understand better the moving truck dilemma. Haha! Just beautiful. Love the yearly ornament idea. Will be doing. Snow scenes are so cute. My girls would love that. Is your dinning room shelving all IKEA? If so, it sure does dress up well.

    • Haha, yes. The movers made a point of teasing me for all the red and green storage boxes. The unit in the dining room used to be in our basement! It dressed up well, doesn’t it? xoxo

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