Holiday Home Tour 2015

The day after Thanksgiving, I tuck our fall décor away and begin the task of decking the halls.  I’ve always enjoyed adding a little Christmas sparkle to the house, and that has not changed since the quads arrived.  In the past few years, we’ve made a few changes to our décor keeping safety and functionality in mind, but that doesn’t mean our Christmas décor is lacking.

Two years ago we introduced the tradition of Elf on the Shelf, and the kids have enjoyed searching for our elf, Bop, each morning.  This year, Bop appeared two days after Thanksgiving hanging from a deco mesh hammock.  After briefly studying Bop, Rylin proclaimed, “He’s just a decoration!!!” Doing my best to mask any emotion, I inquired why she thought he was a decoration. Smarty pants quickly replied, “LOOK AT HIM!”  She’s continued with similar remarks and inquisitive questions ever since.  I’m doing a precarious dance between honesty and letting the kids enjoy the magic of childhood.  I’m finding it’s best to respond to questions with, “What do YOU think?”  This gets the kids to do a little creative thinking of their own, and I’ve been quite impressed with their ideas.

Christmas decor can be beautiful, yet functional and cozy for young children.©

After breakfast the kids helped us put ornaments on the tree for the first time.   They took their job surprisingly well and treated each ornament with care.  They had a few interesting design choices (e.g. layering six or or more ornaments on a branch), but maintained focus and took time to put each ornament on the tree.  Since having the tree up, they’ve rearranged few times, but are always good about handling the ornaments with care.  Granted, we are currently using only shatterproof, dough, and plastic ornaments.  I don’t think they are quite ready to handle our heirloom and blown glass beauties.  The deco mesh helps fill the tree with glitz even though our best ornaments are still in storage.

We still use the seven foot tree George and I purchased for our first apartment, but it’s a bit short for our den these days.  To give it some height, and restrict the kid’s access to ornaments, we put it on a sturdy coffee table.  This particular table was my grandmother’s, and she used it for her Christmas tree too.   A few years ago, we refinished the table and it  serves as a kid’s table in the playroom.


When we moved into our house, we immediately covered the fireplace with the magnetic board that covered the fireplace at our old house.  The kids weren’t quite two when we moved in, and we didn’t want them accessing the fireplace.  However, they are now 3.5 years old and able to respect boundaries and understand safety much better now.  We decided to pull the board off this year to see how they’d handle it.  I was ecstatic to find gas logs behind the board.  It’s been so easy to enjoy a cozy fire without having to deal with wood and the kids don’t mess with it at all.  In fact, they ask if we can turn on the fire so they can read Christmas books on the rug.


For the quad’s first Christmas, we ordered monogrammed stockings, but had a conundrum of figuring out how to hang eight stockings.  It didn’t make sense to buy eight holders, and we didn’t want to drill into the mantle.  Instead, we used three industrial C clamps to attach a curtain rod to the mantle.  It’s proven to hold all of our stockings and be sturdy against the most curious toddlers.



I wanted to enjoy some of my favorite blown glass ornaments, but knew they couldn’t be hung safely on the tree.  I created a wreath around the dining room chandelier adorned it with my  bride’s box ornament collection. This way my ornaments are out of little hand’s reach, but I can still enjoy them.


This year, I spruced up the playroom bookshelf with a basket of Christmas books and our Melissa & Doug Nativity Set. I wedged the nativity’s base on the bookshelf and the kids leave it there though they enjoy playing with the nativity pieces and rearranging them.


The girls have been doing well with keeping things nice in their big girl room.  This year, they have a silver tinsel tree with pastel ornaments on their dresser, and they are oh so proud of it.  The boys aren’t quite ready for removable ornaments in their room, but have a sturdy metal tree to enjoy.

While the tree appears to take center stage in our Christmas décor, the nativity is our most important piece.  My parents used this nativity in their first home and passed it down to me when I had my first apartment.


How do you deck the halls?  What are your favorite decorations?

If you are searching for inspiration, consider cruising Pinterest for seasonal décor.  I have my own Christmas board, and BloomNation also has a board dedicated to holiday florals that is worth a peek.




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Related Articles:

DIY Cookies for Santa Plate

Christmas Traditions, Old & New

The Reason for the Season: Our Nativity Story

Pictures with Santa

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls- Check!

The weather outside is delightful so a fire would be just frightful! That’s because it is a lovely sunny day with a high of 80 degrees and yes, we have a house adorned for Christmas!  I am fully aware we have not yet celebrated Thanksgiving and it’s over a week until December, but Christmas decor is here.  George and I were both home yesterday so I decided it was opportune time to get in the holiday spirit.  Christmas decor is a lot of work and having four infants doesn’t make the task any easier so I seized the moment.

George helped me heave Steralite boxes from the attic to the den and I busily worked between feeds during naps to get everything just right.  All the while, our Christmas playlist blared from the ipod, which really put us in the spirit.  In approximately four weeks, that same Christmas playlist will make me want to hurl.  It was quite a sight during feeding time to see Boppies full of babies surrounded by a sea of Christmas glitz, half opened Steralite boxes, and oodles of wadded paper.  Too bad  I didn’t have the foresight to capture that in a picture.  As usual, George left me to the tree.  This is because I am a bit particular (when I say particular, I mean downright OCD) about it.  I absolutely must find just the right spot for each ornament.  The translucent ones must catch the light so they sparkle and the colorful ones go into dull spots to brighten them up.  Throughout the season, I have a habit of finding better spaces for ornaments.  When it’s finally perfect, it’s time for the tree to retreat back to the attic.

Here's my favorite collection of ornaments, four pacifiers and a sea turtle!

Here’s my favorite collection of ornaments, four pacifiers and a sea turtle!

George  helped me with our Charlie Brown kids’ tree, however.  The Charlie Brown tree is a skimpy, limp four foot tree that we fill with old homeade ornaments and others from childhood.  For the first time, this tree has a bit more purpose and will be even better when the babies can appreciate it.  Oh how I look forward to celebrating our Christmas traditions with the foursome.

Charlie Brown Tree

Charlie Brown Tree

This year, the babies haven’t the foggiest idea that Christmas is coming, but it’s fun to watch them marvel at their new shining surroundings.  I try to make sure tummy time faces the tree so they can enjoy it.  I figure this is the last year for a while that the tree resides in the den. We generally have at least one ornament fatality thanks to my klutzy hands.  Imagine it with four toddlers lurking about!   With all the Christmas decor scattered around, the best new decorations are of course the four little ones playing on the den floor.


Everybody's having a bit of supported tummy time facing the tree.  Poor Mason is still working on raising his head, which is why he gets OT.

Everybody’s having a bit of supported tummy time facing the tree. Poor Mason is still working on raising his head, which is why he gets OT.

Sydney stopped looking at the tree when she caught a glimpse of her own precious face in the mirror.

Sydney stopped looking at the tree when she caught a glimpse of her own precious face in the mirror.

Rylin could be looking at the tree, or perhaps just the monkey on her bouncy seat.

Rylin could be looking at the tree, or perhaps just the monkey on her bouncy seat.

I'm pretty sure Harper can see the tree here.

I’m pretty sure Harper can see the tree here.

Mason didn't seem to mind the new decor and just conked out!

Mason didn’t seem to mind the new decor and just conked out!