Christmas Decorating at The Cottage Home

Today is the start of our Christmas celebrations here at The Cottage Home. My mom and her husband Allen (aka Pepo) are flying in from Texas to celebrate an early Christmas with us. Ever since Savannah was born they have come to our house early which has been really nice. That way we are able to celebrate the holidays with my in-laws and this year, my dad and brother on Christmas.

So I have been busy around here getting the house ready for their arrival. I’ve made a huge batch of homemade Chex Mix (we’ve already gone through one batch so this is round two), muddy buddies, white chocolate rice crispy bars and popcorn balls (recipe, coming soon!). We plan to make sugar cookies and gingerbread houses with my mom this weekend. Christmas is definitely in the air!

I thought I would take this opportunity and show you some pictures of our house now that it is decorated for Christmas.

So here is our Christmas tree. We cut down our tree each year at a tree farm about 45 minutes away from our home. It’s a fun, family tradition that I hope our children will remember forever. We have never cut down this variety before, but the owner of the farm said it was a white fir.

This year we put the bottom of the tree and tree stand into a 17 gallon galvanized wash bucket. I saw this idea last year in Country Living Magazine and I thought it was too perfect for our cottage style home. Plus, it keeps our cat, Lily, from drinking the water and it keeps Caspian’s curious hands away from the tree stand. I ordered this wash bucket from

We don’t have any fancy themed tree, but all of the ornaments on the tree were either given to our children or were Brett and I’s childhood ornaments. I love pulling those ornaments out each year. My favorite is the ornament I got when I first saw a professional performance of the nutcracker with my mom when we were living in San Francisco. I was six years old and I still remember walking up to the counter in the lobby of the theatre and picking out that very special ornament. Every year it gets a prominent place on our tree. So our tree decorations aren’t fancy, but they are special and to me, that’s what Christmas is all about.

Here is our fireplace mantal. The ‘Oh Joy’ banner was sent to me from the folks at and I just loved it. Christmas is such a joyous time and I thought it was perfect to hang in front of our big mirror. The garland was just a very inexpensive one (like the most inexpensive) from a local craft store (Michael’s, I think) that I embellished with gold and red balls from the dollar store. The large pinecones were collected by my children in our yard. Each year we add more to the garland, so it’s starting to look pretty nice.

The garland on the stairs is the same as the one along the mantal. Again, each year I have added embellishments to it using green florist wire. I found this burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby and I really liked the natural texture, so I wound it up the stairs and put little bits of it in the mantal garland.

Here is our little nativity on top of our piano. Santa was not really part of the nativity, I know…….but he looked nice standing there and I figured he’s holding the north star.

Here is our dining room table. It’s not fully set yet, but you will just have to imagine the plates, stemware and pretty napkins. The red and gold balls were purchased at the dollar store. They came in all different sizes and were anywhere from 8 – 15 ornaments in a tube. They are attached to the greenery with green florist wire and again, the pinecones are from our yard. That is the Holiday Tablecloth that I made most recently (tutorial found here). I just love it……it really goes well with our deep green and white dining room.

We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition this year, so here is our elf, Rosie. The girls thought he/she looked like a girl so that’s why they named her Rosie. It has been so much fun seeing them look for her each morning and I love seeing the magic in their eyes when they find her. Here is Rosie laying down on top of our large family canvas in the dining room.

I added some candy to our table just for fun. The girls can’t believe I have candy just sitting out on the table. They like to just sit and stare at it, in total amazement. It’s surprising that they haven’t just tried to eat it.

So that’s a little tour of some of our decorations. I get so caught up in the excitement of the season that I forget to take pictures of our home. I hope you like a little look inside. I can’t wait for my mom and Pepo to get here.
We are going to have so much fun!

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  1. so beautiful! that family pic is the sweetest thing:) merry christmas!

  2. Beautiful :):) Merry Christmas:)

  3. Your house looks beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  4. Beautiful! But I have to ask…are the presents temporarily around the tree just for this photo tour, or can you actually leave them sitting there without fear of the paper being torn to shreds? We have to hide all wrapped presents in our house until Christmas! 🙂

    • Surprisingly, Ellie, the kids don’t touch the presents. Caspian (who is 15 months) has picked up a few, but he has been really good about listening and not messing with the tree. Thank goodness! We have a one finger rule. You can touch anything on or around the tree, but you can only touch with one finger. I think that makes the kids feel like it’s not entirely off limits. It was great to hear from you!

  5. You have such a lovely home & decorations – beautiful nativity set! Merry Christmas!

  6. Everything is gorgeous, Lindsay!! I love the idea of progressive decorating – as in, adding a little embellishment to the garland each year. I’m always too exhausted after decorating to take pictures – I’ll try. 🙂 Have fun with your whole family!!

  7. So lovely Lindsay! It’s all beautiful! And you have so many presents already under the tree!!

  8. Just had to pop in and add that if you want to make the full female transformation for Rosie, they now sell Elf on the Shelf skirts! Saw a stack of them at Barnes & Noble. 🙂

    Beautiful house!

  9. oh my goodness, I love that your tree is in the tin tub! so clever and cute! wow, that is a lot of gifts lined up, I need to get crackin on mine! also love your candid happy laughing picture–as a photographer, candids are my fave;)