Seeking Holiday Holiness {Christmas House Tour 2014}

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Lately I have virtually toured so many homes for Christmas, and I am so excited to be posting our Christmas house tour now. Last year was my first year decorating a house for Christmas (see the tour here), and it was such a fun experience. This year, I tried to change things up a little bit while still using most of the same decorations. I was able to get by with only buying a couple spools of ribbon, three live wreaths and a $2 artificial wreath, a garland, and four 25 cent cloth napkins at a thrift store.

But before the photos, let me say something.

Christmas is the time of year when nearly everyone becomes a home decorator. As we put up our lights and our trees and deck the halls with our own unique and sentimental items, homes are given new life that we treasure for those few short weeks at the end of every calendar year.

But with that comes a huge temptation to compare ourselves to others. So, I want this house tour to be different. Please don't compare yourself to me as I so often do to other people. I look at other people's homes on blogs and Instagram and in magazines and movies, and I get self conscious. A million thoughts run through my mind. Maybe we should get a bigger tree. I wish I could take better pictures. Why don't my vignettes look like that? If only I had a bigger budget. I wish our house had more architectural details. 

I often scoff at the materialism of consumer Christmas as we have made it these days. Jeremy and I don't spend inordinate amounts of money on gifts nor do we make that the focus, but yet I fall into the same trap of pride when I idolize a beautiful Christmas over a holy one.

This year, I want Christmas to make me more holy. More like that Jesus who was born as a baby. I want to take the time to soak in His work and word. I also want to make family memories, and I want to find joy in the home God has blessed us with, but not at the expense of holiness.

So my prayer is that you will be inspired by the little things we did in our home to make your home a place for family togetherness, warm memories, and personal sanctification this holiday season. Be inspired that it doesn't have to be expensive or perfect. It doesn't have to touch every room in your house (I really only decorate three rooms).

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I'm preaching to myself on this one and reminding myself of the true meaning of the season. In that spirit, come on in. I decorated the front porch for our Christmas card photos. I will show some more of those later once the cards go out :-) All that stuff doesn't sit on the porch permanently, but it's fun to dress up for a special occasion.

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When you open the door, you're greeted by more garland and a wreath in the stenciled hallway. The fresh garland and boxwood wreath on the front door are from Trader Joes. The artificial wreath is from a thrift store. Here is our living room. It is laid out differently than last year, but I LOVE having the Christmas tree in the window. It looks so pretty lit up as I drive home at night after work. I also changed around some of the pillows on the couch and pulled from other rooms for the Christmas season. I love my little vintage Christmas card display. I may change out some of the photos for Christmas cards that come from friends as they begin to come in the mail. I printed all of these out from the Graphics Fairy for free and clipped the little clothespins on red and white twine from Michaels. I made a bunch of those little boxwood wreaths from wire hangers, floral wire, and boxwood clippings from the bushes in our yard. One of my favorite things is this Christmas tree forest on the coffee table. I bought the metallic trees at Home Goods last season and made all the rest (see tutorial here)

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Here is the living room from the other angle. Last year, my tree was all metallics and neutrals. This year, I added a few pieces of black and white stripe ribbon for some contrast and I love it! Next year, I want to wrap the whole tree in black and white ribbon, but I ran out of ribbon and didn't want to spend any more money :-) I reused some Free DIY Pinecone Ornaments  from last year. Let's head into the dining area! Tip of the day: setting your table automatically makes your home feel more decorated.

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I changed out some pillows this year on the banquette and added pops of red. Last year, the whole house was pretty neutral, but I had fun adding in classic red. I got all four of those plaid napkins for $1 total at a thrift store. We were given the Christmas plates. I threw some leftover ornaments in a bowl, free tree clippings in mason jars, scattered pinecones around, and called it done!

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This time of year, I love spinning Christmas records. We found several at a record shop a couple of weeks ago, and we have been enjoying them so much! A few more kitchen details... Finally, our little reading and music room. I love dressing up this mantel. Even though we don't do a real tree, having real fraser fir wreaths (which are always $5 on Black Friday at Home Depot), brings in the scent of fresh greenery. I drew that handsome buck on the chalkboard, and he wishes you a very Merry Christmas. Finally, I hung some sweet little DIY boxwood wreaths with that candy cane twine over the window.

Thank you for coming over, friends.

Go love your home. And seek Jesus this season.

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