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A Collected Christmas

December 18, 2023


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I am an old soul and always have been. From my childhood days, old things have spoken to my heart. Old things tell stories, and they come from a time when objects were created with artistic flair. Even utilitarian objects had grace and beauty to their forms, adding a touch of lovely to the everyday.


As a chubby elementary school girl, I pestered my grandmother on her yearly visits from Ohio to have tea parties with me. Grandma laughed and simply said to me, “You were born in the wrong era.” That was her way of saying that tea parties belonged in a more genteel era say of the Victorian age.


As I decorate my home for Christmas now as a 30 something year old mother, my love of old things permeates my style.  Everyday items from yesteryear are elevated to honorary status as I tuck fresh greenery around them.


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I love the collected look. It transcends decorating trends and showcases the unique tastes of the homemaker.


The collected look takes time. I can’t rush into Goodwill and buy out the whole store, bring it home, and think that it will look beautiful. The word tacky comes to mind if I followed that methodology. It takes time and patience to peruse the aisles. My rule of thumb is this: an item has to catch my eye. I don’t take very long in the thrift store (I don’t have that kind of time right now anyways!). As I quickly walk up and down the aisles, an item has to catch my eye and speak to my heart before it can jump in the buggy.


Almost every item in my home has special meaning to me. Perhaps my mother gave it to me. Or maybe a thoughtful neighbor or friend gave it to me. Maybe the item spoke to me as I quickly scanned thrift store aisles. These collected items are what make my home unique and special to my family.


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Not only do I loved the look of a collected home, but I also like to decorate in a manner that harkens to a collected lifestyle. Getting my Christmas tubs down from the attic, decorating in a day, and then boxing up the remnants sounds wonderful, but I can never seem to decorate that fast.


Slow and artful describes my pace. Never one who likes to rush, I like to take my time and enjoy decorating. Sometimes the need to finish is eminent, but if time is not an element, decorating is a relaxing art form.


As a busy homeschool mom, large pockets of time to decorate just don’t exist for me. I’m learning to find little pockets of time and just enjoy those creative moments. For example, last week after morning breakfast clean up, I took about ten minutes or so each day to work in my kitchen. Those little pockets of time gave me the opportunity to style the shelf above thechalkboard and style the tier stand in my kitchen corner.


 

Teacups from various thrift store visits sit elegantly in a cream-painted tier stand. Like a chicken sitting amongst warm hay, the teacups nestle into tiny pine branches. A new jar of chamomile tea showcases a friend’s kindness and awaits a Christmas tea party.


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The gold-rimmed vintage frame is a memory of garage sale shopping several years ago. The worn kitchen towel gains new life as a Christmas decoration in the frame.


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Pine branches gathered from the yard bring festive flair without too much fuss. A bow if cream lace adds a touch of vintage.


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Touches of red in the master bedroom whisper Christmas without overwhelming the senses. A crocheted cranberry red blanket, made in the college years, adorns the foot of the bed. A simple red toile pillow brings a red touch among a snowy bundle of white pillows.


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Ladies dressed in elegant French attire look down upon their bedecked surroundings. Vintage inspired candlesticks flank their picture frame house, and freshly clipped pine branches grace their front porch. A bauble of red and a mercury glass votive say, “It’s Christmas,” without too much ado.


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Simple wreaths of silverberry (elaegnus) brighten the white wardrobe. A vintage picnic basket sits atop a hand crocheted blanket, perhaps awaiting a wintry adventure.


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Well, friends, these are a few glimpses into my home at Christmas. I’ve been known to leave my decorations up well into January and even February! I figure if time was invested in decorating, why not enjoy it?


What are some of your favorite treasures in your home? Do you like to incorporate everyday treasures into Christmas décor, or do you prefer traditional Christmas items? I’d love to hear how you have decorated your home!


Merry Christmas!


-Ashley


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