Christmas Home Tours

 

The joy and the beauty of the season are upon us!

I have never tried this before, but one of my friends ( and fellow blogger) and several  others  linked up to share their holiday decor. (I hope I have you linked up correctly)

These homes are really fun! They are very creative, some simple and some over-the-top. But these are women who love decorating for the season and are willing to share with all of us.  I couldn’t wait to pass this along to my readers, as well.

Grab a cup of Christmas tea ( or a bottle of holiday cheer), sit back and enjoy the tour of these Christmas homes just as I did. The tour begins with a blog called Cottage and Vine.

Enjoy the beautiful labor of love you are about to see.

 

http://cottageandvine.blogspot.com/2011/12/welcome-to-room-by-room-christmas-tour.html

 

 

I have mentioned this before but I believe it bears repeating; there is no other time, or season, or event where people decorate everything! And we do it, simply because it is beautiful.

We do it for beauty’s sake!

 LOVE that!!

Merry Christmas !

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

The beautiful child in the Christmas photo above?

 My Grandson.

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The lists of CHRISTMAS TIME

christmas-chokeberry-21Dianne Ross Photo

Following a Christmas-List reality check this week, I came up wanting. I was horrified to accept the fact that it may not be possible to accomplish all of my tasks. Only on Thursday did I begin shopping for gifts . . .

No cards written, addressed, or mailed, but the house is looking fairly festive.

No baking done, but I know where the cookie cutters are.

No gifts wrapped or embellished, but I did find a Tupperware container filled with 8 scotch tape dispensers and a 7 inch strand of wrinkled ribbon. The container was in the cupboard behind the cookie cutters.

Stocking stuffers? No comment. But, I digress . . . BACK TO THE LIST!

And to exterior design. Well, uh,  I don’t have any outdoor lights up yet, either. But it’s on my list.

When I shot this photo in my courtyard, the glitter of the snow was as fresh as my ambition to design my own Christmas cards this year. Talk about excited! Instead, what I did was sprinkle salt (ever so artfully) on the front step and then I scooped the sidewalk.  Exterior design. I ran out of steam and I’m running out of time.

TIME. It also occurred to me that my story might very well be your story. Our holiday lists apparently have no end! So here’s a thought, if you will, and a generous gift to give yourself. It’s the gift of awareness. . . .

To see the beauty of glitter on the snow,

To hear the somber tolling of bells,

Give yourself the gift of TIME . . .

To stop long enough to behold the spirit of the Christmas.

This year give yourself the gift of time for awareness.

(it’s on my list!)

Merry Christmas!

This is a re-post from 4 years ago but it speaks to me today.  After losing two beloved family members this year I would like to add one more thought for the gift  list. . .

This year give yourself the gift of TIME. . .

to cherish those you love.

 Give yourself the gift of awareness for a grateful heart.

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

guest author – CHRISTMAS TRADTIONS – original story!

Today we have the privilege of reading (part of) an original story by a guest author, Stacey Kible, which she has called  Christmas Traditions.

 

Just weeks before Christmas we prayed and we wondered how Santa would be able to visit this season.

 truthtalklive photo

While preparing a cup of coffee one evening in the kitchen I heard a noise in the living room, stepped into see who was there and much to my surprise it was Santa himself!

Dianne Ross photo

“What are you doing here”, I asked?

 With his voice choked up and a tear in his eye he said, “remember the reason for this season”.  I wondered why he was telling me that, and before I could get the question out of my mouth he had already anticipated it coming and quickly reached behind my tree and grabbed a small bag. As I stood there in wonder Santa said “remember the reason for this season”.

“Remember the old meaning of Christmas.

The meaning that today has forgotten.”

 

Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE, placed it on the mantle and said, “remember that the fir tree is a stately tree that stays alive all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, with the needles pointing upward making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward heaven”.

ldgames photo

He again reached into his bag, pulled out a brilliant STAR and placed it on top of the tree.

“Remember that the star was the heavenly sign of promises from long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise”.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT  and placed it on the tree.

“Remember that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity from our hearts and good will we feel during the month of December”.

Dianne Ross photo

Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree.

after tales photo

 “Remember that the candy cane represents the shepherds’ crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper”.

Santa looked back and was pleased.

He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes.

He said, “Remember the meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the

One that is, and I bow down to worship Him,

our LORD, our GOD”.

As Santa was leaving my family home I could hear his voice fading off in the distance saying,

 “On humility, on loving, on caring and sharing, on forgiveness, on peace, on gratitude and family.

Let the flocks return to their families abode and let forgiveness and laughter all be restored”.

Created by

Stacey Kible

THANK YOU TO OUR GUEST AUTHOR, Stacey Kible, who wrote this story for her family. There is even more but I wanted to share some of the highlights of her original writing!

 

Merry Christmas!

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

WHITE Christmas Decor

 
 

 

 

 “Always use white”

 

 

was last week’s advice and will be going even stronger today.  

The white Christmas mantra will be seen all through the house!

It’s classic, it’s traditional, it’s fresh, modern and funky. It’s even nostalgic, country and shabby chic.

 
 
 
 

Browse and be amazed with WHITE!

          Here, there,  . . . everywhere WHITE elegance!

 vintage WHITE delicacies

 

All dressed up,  fancy WHITE tulips

 

 

rather flirty, never serious,   **youthful WHITE**

 

unexpected snow-covered decanter and tray

 

 

What?!  

WHITE piano topped with WHITE churches! Delightful!

 

 

Flocked WHITE wreath with peacock feathered poinsettia

 

Environmental WHITE Lodge

 

 

Smart books on WHITE shelves

 

  

 

Restful turquoise, silver and WHITE 

 

All photos are from Country Living website.

  I would, however,  love to see your holiday whites!

           Send your photos to me and I will publish them. Now get out there and deck your halls with

WHITE!  

 

 
 
 

Fa la la la la la la la la!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

It’s a Wrap! SIMPLE Christmas packages

Because I believe the Christmas box or package should rival what’s actually inside, many of my friends and readers ask me for help concerning how to wrap glorious gifts during this, the most gift giving time of year.

First:  consider the decor and colors in your room.  Match it up.

SIMPLE!

country living photos

 

Second: And then – Always use white. . . . somewhere.

 

What could be more beautiful or simple than an all white presentation?

 

                                                                                                                            Delish photo

This is SO simple you don’t even need paper!

Using white gift boxes make this type of package the easiest to wrap.         Use white satin ribbon or color coordinated ribbons, add an ornament for embellishment and you have an impressive designer look in under three minutes!

 

camberly photo

This designer of these packages did use white paper instead of white boxes but she kept it casual and simple by using white yarn instead of ribbon. You could also use string before adding some artificial flowers and fruits. In my yard I have evergreen trees, so I simply cut a few sprigs and tie them onto white packages.  Easy!

 

Third: Use white!

If you have young children and want a more fun type of simple  look,

  go for the white boxes or white paper again!

good housekeeping photo

Let the kids stamp alphabet letters or family initials onto the paper.

This is quality time and your opportunity to teach them how to wrap pretty gifts! If this project ends up with messy letters who cares?! 

 Children love simple holiday projects.

If the idea of ink and children scares you, then buy some fanciful stickers and let them go at it. Nothing gets more simple than that!

 

One more festive presentation that children of all ages love is done with something very simple, inexpensive, and available everywhere:

Candy Canes!

little loveables photo

 

Fourth: Use more white boxes!

                                                                                             

                                                                                                             soapbox photo

I think I’ve blah, blah blogged long enough on this subject! Can you tell I love it? Maybe I should offer a gift wrap class.

 You bring the eggnog and I’ll bring the scissors! ooops. I meant to say I’ll bring the white boxes!!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

363-9634

The Glitzy-Glam Tannenbaum (i.e. Christmas tree)

xmas-tree

                               O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

The history of our Christmas tree is long and murky. The first worshipped trees were of pagan origins and celebrations. But then, somewhere around the 1600’s came the tannenbaum. Germany gave us the lovely, candle-illuminated, first  Christmas tree.

O Tannenbaum!

Today in most schools the words have been changed again – going back to a more pagan nomenclature – they are now referred to as holiday trees. Seriously?

 Throughout wars and times of peace the holiday (i.e. Christmas) tree has transformed, morphed, progressed, and regressed.

In the 1930’s trees became large and real again. Balls, bells, tinsel, mercury glass, crystal – anything that glistened  – was done en masse. Over the top didn’t exist.

When the 50’s and 60’s introduced us to “less is more”, decorators could not, would not give up the glitz and the bling, no matter how sophisticated and modern they attempted to be. Solution? Make the whole tree out of blinding bright, silver color, aluminum! Now, that had some razz-ma-tazz! And everybody could save face by labeling it as minimalistic.

Today holiday (i.e. Christmas) trees of every creative style abound. Last week I saw Hollywood-Glam trees advertised and they are PINK!  Trees with a theme are apparently going to be with us for a while: Snow Queen trees, Mickey Mouse trees, Victorian trees, Fishing Lure trees, Pokemon trees, Feather trees, etc.

Well, whatever they are called, whatever they are made from, whatever hangs on their boughs, they are one of the best ornaments ever invented! Aromatic fresh or long term fake makes no difference to me. . . You might remember I am the one who loves everything about Christmas? ESPECIALLY if it’s shiny?!

If you scroll to the end there is another photo of a grandchild under an enormous  holiday (i.e. Christmas) tree with me . . . it was taken last year in the lobby of a Texas hotel, as we celebrated my birthday.  

O tannenbaum!

 

westin-color

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634