the holidays

Last year I got all philosophical about Christmas decorations and I’m feeling the same way this year. But despite my lack of motivation (and more truthfully, a lack of time), I pulled out the plastic bin labeled “Christmas” and did my best.

For some reason I don’t take holiday decorations too seriously and I think that’s a good thing.

As per tradition, we got a small tree from the open air market near our house. For the last several years we’ve tried to get a least one new ornament each holiday season. I like to think of it as creating a timeline of our lives together and it’s a practice that will help ensure a magnificently eclectic tree down the road. 

For this year’s ornament, we picked up the above (left) jewel from the gift shop at Taliesin.

My mom also sent me some of the overflow ornaments from my childhood. When my mom was pregnant with my sister in the early 80’s, she made a bunch of soft fabric ornaments and even though they look a bit dated, I love them. The ornament on the right is some of my early handiwork. (Do you remember those DIY kits with the cheap plywood ornaments and paint?)

Speaking of holiday decor challenges, last week we hosted Kyle’s office holiday party at our house. It was the first time since the major remodel that we had a formal dinner for ten!

During the design phase we strategized about ways to fit more people around the table for events such as these and I’m happy to report that it was a success! (Nevermind the mismatched chairs that clash with the red and green decor…at least we had 10 chairs!)

So how did we convert our regular table into a table for 10? Here’s a hint:

A few years ago (back when the living room was the dining room), we were hosting Thanksgiving at our place and needed more space at the table. So Kyle built this topper out of plywood and 2x’s that fit on top of a card table that we already owned. For this event, we simple rotated the wood table, added the extension leaf and then the card table. The LCW flipped to the other side of the living room which allowed the sectional to be pushed closer to the wall, giving just enough space for the larger table configuration.

Once you throw a tablecloth over the whole thing it’s hard to tell what’s going on. (By the way, the red tablecloth is a $20 piece of linen that I picked up from the fabric store.)

The next day, we simply put away the card table and topper, removed the extension leaf and rotated the table back to its original home. If we’ve learned one thing from living in a small home, it’s that flexibility is your friend.

Oh, and happiest of holidays to everyone!


9 Responses to “the holidays”

  1. Chris says:

    The past several years we’ve had a silver aluminum tree with vintage-y ornaments, much to the kids’ disgust. Next year it may be time to break out the boxes of ornaments that go on a real tree and all my childhood ornaments too. 🙂

  2. bentley1530 says:

    I am going to start my decorating today and I like your less is more style. I too try to pick up one or two new ornaments each year and I need them to keep up with the couple of very old glass balls that my cats send crashing to the ground each year. How are you keeping your little guy from the tree?

    • Kyle Z says:

      Well, Felix has taken off about a half dozen ornaments and batted them around for awhile. He also somehow broke the bottom row of christmas lights, we were watching a movie on the couch and then started to see the tree tip back and forth, he had climbed up in it, I suppose that they are giant cat toys, we’re kind of okay with it since it makes him so happy. Happy holidays.

  3. Katia says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you four.
    That tablecloth – linen! – must have been one heck of an ironing job, Lauren!

  4. Joyce says:

    Hi I discovered your site when looking for images of the paint color Soot. The outside of your house is wonderful and helped me to decide to use that color on some of my doors. I continued to read your entire site from Fri night just finishing around midnight Sat. I would like to know about the interior trim on your windows and doors. Read something about a metal reveal but didnt understand Thanks Joyce

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks Joyce! For our interior window trim we used a VG fir casing and butted the drywall right up to that. In our bedroom and bathroom we had a similar detail but held the drywall away from the casing with a metal reveal (basically a U-shaped piece of metal) that gets painted white to match the wall. That detail turned out to be pretty fussy so that’s why we switched to butting the drywall next to the trim.

  5. KeLLy Ann says:

    I did that same thing. I did not feel like going the Griswold this year, I just wanted a simple holiday. I gave the kids construction paper, GLiTTeR, Acorns and Pine cones, Pipe cleaners, and let them go to town. We added a popcorn and cranberry garland and I let them pick out 5 ornaments to hang. Once the construction paper chain, and GLiTTeRized Acorns and Pine Cones were done the tree looked great.
    A few plastic light ups in the front yard and Viola. ….Christmas


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