I still get excited during this time of year. There is a feeling of anticipation and magic and joy from the beginning of Advent all the way through Christmas day. I love every part of this season: the Christmas music, the decorations, the Advent wreath and calendar, the movies and stories, the food and the shopping, the wrapping of gifts and the giving of gifts. I wear my Christmas tree earrings and Santa sweater during the day, and I slip into my flannel Christmas pajamas and snowflake slipper socks at night. This year, inspired by Pinterest, I decided to add a touch of both preppy plaid and primitive burlap throughout the house. We still put out our traditional ornaments and decorations, but there is also a bit of this new primitive preppy found in many parts of this old farmhouse. And it's all still very kid-friendly. Let's take a tour...
I would love to decorate with lights on the front porch, but alas, there is not a single electrical outlet on the outside of this old farmhouse. We would have to run an extension cord through the house, which would mean we couldn't close the door all the way. Not a good idea in December. So I have to settle for decorating without the lights. The little red chair in the top picture is part of a set with a children's table that my father built for our kiddos when they were all still small. The boys have taken over the table with their Legos, but I confiscated one of the chairs. Lo and behold, I found my husband's old ice skates in the attic (told you it's like a rummage sale up there,) and I added a plaid bow and old Santa hat.
This chalkboard has found its way into other blog posts, and I'll probably continue to use it through the different seasons. I re-used a red bow from an old wreath and took the remainder of the cinnamon pinecones and attached them with a plaid flannel ribbon. Some blue chalk was all I needed to create some snowflakes and a Christmas ball ornament down the center.
While shopping in my attic, I came across an old wreath and stripped it down to just its greenery, then attached a new plaid and gold bow from Target. I wanted to keep it simple.
Kohl's had a bunch of Welcome mats on sale, including many that could sit out all winter. It was hard to choose.
This is as lit up as my front porch gets, unfortunately. I used extra pine boughs from our Christmas tree and attached them to the tops of our outdoor lantern lights with plaid flannel ribbon.
Moving into our kitchen, there is this slice of our tree trunk that I shared with you in the last post. Painted with chalkboard paint and some pine and ribbon hot glued to the top, this is one of our countdowns to Christmas.
Although not plaid or burlap, I bought this painting last year at a small, local gift shop because it reminds me of our house. The lamp post actually does light up and flicker, and my children love it. It hangs in our kitchen all winter.
I finally took that ugly computer desk and all of our office supplies out of the corner of our kitchen. I am still undecided about what will fill that space, but for now, we put up the children's Christmas tree. When I was a girl, I thought it would be amazing to have two Christmas trees, so when our teenage son was little, we purchased a four foot artificial tree that used to sit in the middle of an electric train set. We put up the traditional ornaments of the past, but I also added plaid flannel ribbon and some of those plaid/burlap balls and pinecones I described in my last blog post. When my husband saw the plaid Santa hat at Joann Fabrics, he insisted we buy it since I'm on this plaid kick this year. I don't look good in any kind of hat though, so it went to the top of the tree. Around the bottom is an old plaid tablecloth that no longer fits any of the tables we have. I found the burlap/plaid deer pillow at Joann Fabrics as well, and it gets moved all over the house.
The inside door of our foyer holds this straw wreath with plaid ribbons and a wooden bear, also found in my attic. This is across from our staircase...
It's the same artificial evergreen garland I use every year with some new lights attached, but now plaid bows connect it to the stair railing. Bows were handmade (not by me) and purchased at Michael's.
Believe it or not, this old farmhouse has a chimney, but no fireplace. Therefore, the stockings get hung on the railing. Come to think of it, we have so many people in our family that we'd be hard-pressed to fit everyone's stockings on a fireplace mantel, so it's just as well. The wood/coal stove in the kitchen is what's actually attached to the chimney. No stockings can be hung from that.
Along with older decorations and another soft plaid fleece throw on the leather sofa, this seven foot long plaid blanket and woody wagon pillow get thrown on my enormous rocker/recliner where I sit to read, grade papers, blog, and cross-stitch. Every one of my children can fit on that chair with me---one at a time, that is. Its size is probably out of proportion with everything else in that living room, but it is so comfy and it's positioned between two windows, so it gets the best light.
Each window downstairs has one of these cinnamon pinecones with plaid flannel bows at the top hanging from them. Unfortunately, I ran out of pretty ribbon and jute twine, so I ended up using red twine that was used to wrap around one of our old Christmas trees years ago. I found it stashed in the back of a bookshelf, just waiting for a moment like now, I suppose. In a house like ours, one must be willing to improvise at all times.
Our live Christmas tree is across the foyer in the dining room, and you've seen many photos of that in another post. Does anyone else notice it significantly leaning?
In the center of the dining room table is our Jesse tree. I never saw one of these when I was growing up and wasn't quite sure what to do with it when we first got it years ago. I have to admit that I've never placed items from the Old Testament on it like I think you're supposed to during Advent. It usually sits bare in its burlap bag, but since it already had burlap on it, I decided to add a few more burlap bows and tie a plaid ribbon around the bottom. I hope that's not sacrilegious.
My husband and I decided to do something a little different this Christmas and instead of buying each other gifts that we don't really need, we splurged and purchased a king-sized down comforter and a plaid flannel cover. We saw these at Macy's weeks ago and fell in love with them, and so have our children. I can't keep them off my bed now. The comforter is Charter Club Home brand, and we got the Level 3 Vail Collection in medium warmth. This thing is so incredibly soft and warm and luxurious. The flannel comforter cover is Martha Stewart brand and is 100% cotton. We love the idea of being able to take the covers off and wash them and change them throughout the year to match the seasons. The only problem is that I didn't purchase pillow shams, and I have nothing that matches. So the plaid deer pillow is thrown on them for now. By the way, these comforters and covers were marked down dramatically at Macy's this weekend.
The last stop of this tour is in the bathroom...the ONE main bathroom that seven of us have to share. I'm afraid this shower curtain isn't plaid or very rustic, but Kohl's has the cutest shower curtains, and I wanted something I could keep out for months and not just for Christmas. Since we are outnumbered here by our children (greater than 2:1 ratio) I feel like the bathroom should have a fun, playful touch to it from time to time, so the snowmen were it. I really liked the more woodsy curtains with bears, pinecones, and moose decorating them, but they probably fit our cabin better than our farmhouse, so I'll wait for those.
I do believe that at this point, my Christmas decorating is done. Now it's time to tackle the Christmas shopping, card sending, and cookie baking as we begin the second week of Advent. I hope you are enjoying every aspect of this holiday season as much as I am.