A tale of two Christmases

Every Christmas, I look at the beautifully decorated homes in my magazines and marvel at how everything is coordinated, carries out a common theme, and manages to look both festive and uncluttered.

I love, love, love this tree of Martha's. (Our December issue of Living had 3 different covers in succession? Yours too?)

Oooooh, and this one from Family Circle. Perfectly shaped, simple green/white/silver scheme, even the presents match!

And can I have this Better Homes & Gardens room (in my lodge in the Smokies)?

Maybe while we're in the Smokes I can party at this Southern Living home, please?

And then there’s our house. A curious conglomeration all year long, but especially at Christmas.

Want serene and tasteful? I think we achieve that in the dining room, and it’s my favorite. It looks like grown-ups live here. It makes me want to wear black velvet, nibble on brie, and clink champagne glasses. (I’d take a picture but I’d have to move the “bad kitty” spray bottle, my brother’s Christmas present, and Mike’s sketch of the design for our powder room floor tile off the table first.)

Want kitschy and excessive? Hang out in the living room. Santas and snowmen galore, lighted garlands at all the windows and on the mantle, an anything-goes tree, cats napping wherever they please, and nary an open space to rest the eye. It’s what I like to call the “Santa stopped by and threw up Christmas” school of decorating. It makes me want to wear a big sweater and stretchy pants, eat too many cookies, and spike the hot chocolate.

I guess it’s good we make room for both kinds of heaven at the holidays.

What’s your heaven-at-home like?

Christmas is a time when you get homesick — even when you’re home.
~ Carol Nelson


  1. robbie said,

    Monday, December 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Maybe the color on my computer is going. That first tree looks like Martha forgot to throw it out last year and decided to use it again this year!

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Monday, December 7, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Should have mentioned that Martha’s tree is part of her collection of vintage metal/tinsel trees — obviously a gold/bronze version. (Green is so yesterday.)

  3. chappy said,

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

    what? green is so yesterday? the first tree looks like something dead and decorated! only thing to love is the bark tree stump container..give me ‘the lodge in the smokies’ tree any day! to each his own natural or rusted metal…thank you martha.

  4. WritingbyEar said,

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

    We can’t decide which kind of tree we like best — so we put up 3 of them!

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