I noticed many bloggers featured their Holiday Home Tours earlier this month. I've been a bit slow getting around to it for a number of reasons.
First, the dog ate my card reader. Seriously. She ate it. And I read somewhere that you should never hook your digital camera directly to your computer because it could get "infected" with any bugs or viruses that might be lurking in your computer. So I always use a card reader to get my pictures.
Second, I have been "playing" with the camera. I am notorious for taking "not so hot" photographs. Primarily because I was afraid to use anything but the "auto" setting which makes it difficult to get decent interior photos. Last week I decided to step outside my comfort zone (reasons explained here) and start playing with the camera settings in the manual mode. SHOCK! I was able to take some half way decent interior shots without blowing out the room and subjects with a flash! In the past I had to wait until the light was "just right" in a room or move pieces around or live with cruddy "flash" photos.
I still honestly have no idea what I am doing "setting wise." But I feel better about turning dials and experimenting. At some point I will take a photography class and actually learn how to use a DSLR camera! Funny thing...I am not a newbie. I have had a digital camera for ten years...I just never used the manual settings and I was terribly limited in the quality of photos I could take.
So today I am going to share a few holiday shots of my house. I still have to be careful about when I take the pictures because I have a lot of windows and the sun can cast some pretty harsh shadows during the day! And they still aren't the best photos...but they are a tad better....
I always try to do a little something during the season around the front. I stick a little lighted Christmas tree in one of the flower pots and then a few wreaths and garland here and there. It is tough to see my Santa and pine forest in the arch window but he is well lit at night!
The living room...
...the BIG feature of course is always the tree!
I made several Christmas pillows this year...you can see the post here!
Decorating can be as simple as sticking a few sprigs of berries or floral in vases or urns!
I absolutely LOVE the look of garland and ribbon down a bannister, but several years ago I decided I had to make holiday decorating a little easier on myself so I made 6 identical wreaths and tie them to the bannister! Simple but pretty!
For both Thanksgiving and Christmas I buy the little "candle wreaths" and tie festive ribbon on them and hang them on the doors throughout the downstairs. It is an inexpensive way to dress up the doors and I don't feel guilty about buying "fad" colors or styles because they are pretty cheap.
I have a thing for skinny Santa's...I don't think it is intentional, but it just seems that all my Santa's are a bit on the thin side...
This year I took the gold shades off the dining room chandelier...I like the "brightness" of the lights.The fixture really is simple to decorate. I just wrap a little plain garland around the fixture then stick a few sprigs of red and white berries here and there...a few crystal doo-dads from last years clearance...pretty!
When my oldest daughter was a baby, my grandmother made her this Raggedy Andy and Ann. With my girls "grown" I really had no way to display them so a few years ago I made little pilgrim outfits for Thanksgiving and Santa outfits for Christmas. Now they get to hang out during the entire Holiday season!
The den during the day...
...and at night! Very cozy especially when it is cold enough for a fire!
Another skinny Santa by the fireplace...
I keep the holiday decorating in the kitchen to a minimum. Mainly because I have limited counter space and I don't want to clutter up what space I have. In the last few years I started adding little simple elements to the top of the cabinets...like Lord/Sir ? (Still no name!)
Just a few little touches here and there can make a difference. I found a Christmasy apron at Hancock's Fabric this year. Holiday salt and pepper shakers, a penguin soap dispenser (you can't see it!), leftover ornaments in glass bowls and serving pieces, wreaths, my Southern Living cookbooks, and again, a few sprigs of holiday floral stuck here and there! Just a few things I think are pretty and festive.
Not much changes from year to year. As I have said before, I stick with the traditional and add just a few little elements here and there every year. But honestly, little changes. My basic rule is if I haven't displayed it or used it in the last two years, it gets donated...and I try not to spend too much time and money on the "fads." One thing about holiday decorating...if you stick with traditional, you probably won't go wrong. "Fads" are good in moderation as long as you don't bust your decorating budget.
I don't mind hanging a few inexpensive peacock blue and neon green wreaths, but let's be honest...when it comes to Christmas, Santas and snowmen, green garland and pine trees and red, gold or silver colors, will probably never go out of "style!"