The cookies, treats, and food have been eaten. The tree may be on its way down this weekend, if not before. We’ve prepared for the Holiday season for at least a month – poured over our to-do list, shopped, wrapped, decorated, visited with family and friends. And in a blink of an eye it’s all over. I don’t know about you, but once December 26th comes, I don’t look forward to the day where I have to pack everything Christmas away for another year. I sort of get a post-Christmas blues feeling about it all. My home loses a little jolly and warmth that I had all too easily gotten used to. The reds, the golds, the sparkle, etc…Well last year I finally did something to try and keep that feeling alive throughout the month of January (which I may be posting pictures of soon, just to document and compare). I took everything that had an obvious Christmas flare and put it away and kept everything that could pass as “Winter decor”. Of course, “Winter decor” could just be in the eye of the beholder, too! I found this was a great way to transition out of the Christmas season and I was sure to do it again this year! I’m going to first show you how I dressed everything up for the Holidays and then how we switched gears – if ever so slightly – into Winter.The first place to get decked out for the Holidays is our entry way table. The fun thing about decorating throughout the seasons is that not everything goes in the same place every time. I love playing with the new items I’ve collected over the year and putting a slightly different spin on my arrangements. You might be able to tell that a deep red, or a “Poinsettia red”, is one of my favorite colors to decorate with no matter the season. It accidentally became our accent color, along with gold, when we were putting our personal touches on our home. It was a happy accident that makes our personal space have that added touch of warmth that I’m always looking for. It’s very important that not only do we feel that in our home, but our guests as well. Brass candlestick holders have become part of the permanent pieces on the entryway table ever since I found some at a thrift store back in the Spring. Let me tell ya – this girl has found some wonderfully fun things for the home at thrift stores. It’s such a great way to make your home a little unique without spending a lot of money. You just have to keep your eyes peeled! Metal tins will occasionally catch my eye, like the ones here. The bottom square one I found earlier in the year at a thrift shop and stored it away until the time was right. I loved how it was a little scene in a shop. My imagination went wild thinking of the happenings in this imaginary shop! I stacked the tins and placed a festive Williamsburg candle on top. The throw blanket over this chair is usually meant for just the Fall season, but I decided to keep it out this year. We piled an old Christmas teddy bear from David’s childhood (so sweet!) and one of my favorite pillows with a pocket in the front to put letters for Santa in it! I love wrapping a garland around the chandelier over the dining table – a page I took from my mother-in-law’s book! I put place card holders shaped like ornaments on either end of the runner, along with faux candle ornaments that light up. The vase that I put dried roses in managed to stick around and hung out behind the Merry Christmas sign. The vase has become an all year staple. You’ll also notice in the background that we moved the glass side table to that corner. Where the side table normally lives is where our tree is currently taking up temporary residence. Even the glass table got its fair share of decorations! One of my favorite finds while thrifting over the last year has been that huge brass candlestick holder with the finger hole! I’ve always wanted one of those! I try not to buy too many new decorations for the Christmas season. Between collecting over the years and people giving me theirs, I have more than enough! I have to absolutely be in love with it if it’s coming home with me, like this sweet pillow I found at Michael’s. It found its way on the old Victorian chair we inherited. A newer thing that I’ve discovered I love decorating with – books! I displayed them everywhere during the Christmas season. I found this wonderfully bound version of “The Night Before Christmas” by FAO Schwarz. And yes, that picture on the left is David and I in high school! This shelf is where all of our photo albums live. I knew I had to have a space where I could pull them out and look at anytime I wanted. Of course they haven’t been updated since high school, probably, other than some pictures of our engagement photo session and our wedding. Do you keep photo albums handy? It might be a nice goal this year to get decades of pictures into some photo albums!This little area hardly gets any love except during the Christmas season. It’s a place we keep our fruit bowl (but pictured is a red pie plate for the season), and a platter or two. I fell in love with the red canister with the hearts on them! That one will stay around all year, since red is our accent color and sometimes I just love dainty little hearts.I started following a hashtag on instagram called #vintagecookbooks and managed to find these old Peter Pauper Press books – one for holly jolly Christmas drinking and one for Christmas cooking. I love the covers and thought they added an extra touch of personality. Over the last year I’ve fallen in love with cookbooks of all kinds. So much so, that they have their very own shelf in the kitchen. I love looking up at this shelf and seeing all kinds of potential. The kitchen table wasn’t immune to Christmas, either! I love seeing a little something displayed in the middle of this table when I walk in. It seems so inviting! Susan Branch’s work has become a big part of my life and I love displaying her books, like this one, filled with watercolor illustrations and recipes. Over the coffee bar, we put up the hot cocoa sign that I got last year at Michael’s. I thew some decorations together on the top shelf, including an old Maxwell House coffee canister that came from my grandparents and another Susan Branch book, Christmas Joy. I love draping the Christmas tree runner over the bar. For me, this adds instant warmth in this corner for the season. When I saw this “Mrs. Claus Cookie Co.” sign this past season at Micheal’s (can you tell that’s one of my favorite places?), I fell hard in love. That meant it had to find a place – anywhere – in my home. Images of a sweet little Mrs. Claus with her grey hair in a bun, wrapped in an apron, taking cookies out of the oven, and elves with pointy hats wrapping them up for sale danced in my head. You can find a similar sign here.
***Transitioning To Winter***
Maybe about half the items that were on the entry way were put away. Again, this might be in the eye of the beholder what could be passed off as “Winter” here. Everything was slightly rearranged to create a fresh perspective. The poinsettia runner is one of my favorite pieces to stay – well, all of it, really! I almost put the tin away, but seeing the characters hanging out by a wood oven stove could easily be translated to Winter! I also debated on keeping the snowman and tree light and decided that it just added a little extra personality. Snowmen, after all, aren’t reserved just for Christmas! And Evergreen Trees are ever present all year round. Those two little books it sits on has been a permanent fixture on the entryway table for a while. This Winter snow scene I grabbed at a craft fair a few years ago replaced “The Night Before Christmas” book on the bookshelf that houses our photo albums. I love how the sun is setting and the windows are aglow in candlelight. I decided to keep the throw blanket out for one more round and added the blue pillow. “Goodness gracious” is a phrase I say quite often. What I find amusing is that it rubbed off on David! We say it often enough that when I saw it at Homegoods a few months ago, it had to come home with me! All cookbooks are snuggled back at home on the shelf. Other than taking down the Santa stocking hanger, not much has changed here! The coffee bar looks a little more empty – but tidy- without the runner or the Mrs. Claus Cookie Co. sign. I swapped out my spoon rest and a lot of the mugs. With the little shelf above the coffee bar, I kept the Maxwell House canister – it has several nostalgic Winter scenes along the side. The box in the middle came with a gift inside it this past Christmas, and I thought it would be perfect to display at the coffee bar for a little while longer. And on the right is my first ever Hearth and Hand by Magnolia purchase – an adorable coffee pot. The colors alone are my version of perfect Winter decor. Lastly, I’m currently reading this winter cookbook by Jane Watson Hopping – the original Pioneer Lady. She’s a new-to-me author and I’ve already fallen in love with her work after reading her Christmas cookbook earlier in December. They are full of old tales of her family and farm life, poems, and old treasured recipes and the stories that go along with them. I learned what “pin money” is – extra money that mother’s and grandmothers made by selling eggs and meat. I also had a different perspective of the food and produce that is available to us all year round. Families canned produce in the Summer and Fall to store away for cold Winter months and you had to be sure to have enough to last you! You couldn’t go to the store in February to get strawberries or beans. I’ll be in the middle of reading either the Christmas or Winter cookbook on the couch next to David, look up from my reading and go “Can you imagine canning 100 quarts of peaches?” No, he couldn’t! If you enjoy simple nostalgic stories and gaining some recipes on top of it, you’ll love Jane Watson Hopping!
Hopefully you gained a little inspiration to keep some of that magical Christmas feeling in your home throughout the cold wintry days! I know this helps me stave off any post-Christmas blues, or any Winter blues, for that matter!
Happy New Year, friends!