Christmas Tour of My Home

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Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester
This year as with all years previous I envisioned an immaculate, perfectly decorated home at Christmas. Beautiful wreaths, wonderfully arranged tchotchkes (def#2), chestnuts roasting on the open fire; Jack frost nipping at my nose; you know the story….

And then I woke up and smelled the coffee.

There are just a few things to get in between me and that Better Homes and Gardens image:

  1. I have pretty close to zero decorating or creative crafting abilities. I’ve tried, and it just doesn’t look right.
  2. Our house is very lived in. Since we homeschool, we are in our home the majority of the time, at least during the school year. Cleaning and tidying is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm. I can rarely get ahead.
  3. I’ve never really wanted to invest the amount of money to buy the right things. (And forget about DIY – go back to #1)

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t show you my home, warts and all. Most of these shots were taken on Sunday morning before anyone awoke. That gave me the best chance of finding things “at their best.” So, here’s your tour of the FishHouse, at least the downstairs.

Our entryway: front door at the bottom right. Shoe buckets in disarray.
My one little place for tchotchkes, or decorative knick-knacks. We haven’t purchased much furniture over the years. Most pieces are hand-me-downs, but this dresser we bought from IKEA this fall. LOVE the color.
Years ago when I used to send Christmas cards, I often made them. Several years I scanned pictures that FishBoy12 had drawn. This is one of them. Love that memory of my aspiring artist.
I keep a collection of Christmas books that we bring out only in December. (Somehow a Bionicle book has joined the collection this year.)
Whenever we have a toddler in the house (which has been 10 of the last 12 years) we’ve purchased a smaller tree and placed it on a table high away from reaching fingers. I love doing this. It takes a lot of stress out of my life not watching the Baby undecorate the tree. And since we buy a live tree every year, we pay a smaller price since the short trees are less expensive.

This is the one nativity I own. It belonged to my grandparents and perhaps my great-grandparents who lived in Winona, Minnesota. It is small — you can see it under the tree in the above picture. It is stamped 193-. The last digit has been chipped off.
A lot of our ornaments are of the “untraditional” sort. I can make anything into a birthday cake — or a Christmas ornament.This is the car key to the little red car FishPapa rented in France when he came to visit me the year I lived there during college.
One of my favorite ornaments. My in-laws bought it for us when it was just us and the FishBoys.
The first of our Jesse Tree Ornaments.
Instead of hanging lights outside, I ran them up the spiral staircase. Makes even bedtime a little festive.

And then there’s this guy who graces us with his presence every year. And I’m wondering WHY did I put new batteries in this year?

Don’t forget to visit The Nester for the Christmas Tour of Homes. I’m sure you’ll see some bee-youtiful places!

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  1. What a great idea! My tree is constantly having the decorations taken off by my 2 year old!

  2. Love the lights on the staircase, and the red dresser too! thanks for sharing.

  3. I think your son did a great job with the Christmas drawing. How cute (and creative) to use a car key for an ornament!

  4. wow…great idea with the tree!! i love the nativity scene and ornaments – so meaningful!! it looks like Christmas at your house!! 🙂

  5. My oldest is just starting to really draw, and I'm loving it myself, so I love the idea of those handmade cards!

  6. Your home is just beautiful. I have the same peas in a pod. 🙂 May many wonderful Christmas memories be made within its walls.

    Our home is having an old fashioned handmade Christmas this year. I hope you will stop by.

  7. You don't need any other decorations. You've got the most beautiful one already – your baby's artwork. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I LOVE the red dresser – we have the matching bench in our entryway. Your home looks comfy and beautiful – thanks for sharing!

  9. Love it! I really like the idea of the tree on the table….but I have 2 cats; not sure if it would work out.
    & That mouse is tame compared to some my folks have given us (that somehow always get left at their house by mistake LOL) With my kids they will have ALL the musically decorations going at once (& my IL's have at least 10)

  10. What a beautiful red dresser! I need to check out IKEA and see if I can score one for myself. Love your decor. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

  11. You did great! i love the splashes of red… and how cool to have an ornament out of a car key! Love that!

  12. Your red dresser is awesome! And I love that old nativity. So wonderful that you still have it…

  13. Beautiful decorations! I love the special artwork! 🙂 I think your 'untraditional' ornaments make the best ones!

  14. Looks like you have an artist in your family, what a beautiful nativity. I enjoyed my visit

  15. I love the drawing – such a priceless treasure!
    And I think the key ornament is great. Such a unique story behind it. 🙂

  16. I love that you hang keys on your tree – we do too! We have the spare keys to three cars that we owned together, the key to our first house together, and the key to my husband's first toolbox (he's an aircraft mechanic)…I've never seen anyone else do this, so I loved your post! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  17. You have such a beautiful staircase! What touching way to use that memorable car key.

    Merry Christmas!

  18. Everything looks just wonderful. I love your "untraditional" ornaments. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays.

  19. I love it when Christmas ornaments mean something to you! 🙂 This is my idea of a PERFECT Christmas!

  20. I love the red chest in your entry way. And the key ornament is so sweet – great memories make the best ornaments.

  21. A lovely real home. I bet you and your kids have a wonderful time and many beautiful memories are being made. It is after all not about the decorations.

  22. I love the key ornament – what a great, great memory and idea! ox Merry Christmas!

  23. Love it!! Our home is very lived in, too. We are homeschoolers and our home would not be gracing the pages of any magazines.


  24. I love a story behind an ornament and the key is priceless! Such a wonderful glimpse, thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas!

  25. You have a lovely home, I really enjoyed your tour. Your ornaments are precious, especially the key. Great memories for your family.
    Merry Christmas!

  26. The key to the red car is a darling idea full of memories. Thanks for the tour.


  27. Beautiful artwork! Thanks for sharing your home.

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you!

  28. loving the fishmouse!! and that spiral of lights is just lovely – the perfect way to go to bed indeed!

  29. My tree has many many special ornaments as well. We give the kids each and ornament that signifies a milestone of that year and mark the date on it. This year there were music notes for piano lessons started and horses for horse riding lessons!
    I am stopping in from Nester's Place. To see my tour click on the 'Christmas 2009' Tag on in the left sidebar!

  30. I'm really enjoying the 2009 Christmas Home Tour. Many of you are so talented and creative.
    Your decorations are so beautiful!
    Thank you for the tour.

  31. Love the Christmas Spirit & decorations in your home. You are welcome to stop by my blog to view my home.
    Happy Holidays & Many Blessings

  32. Finally getting around to visiting some more home tours.

    Thanks for sharing yours.

    If you want to join in with my Nativity Blog Carnival you would be most welcome to share your precious Nativity set – none of mine are old at all!