“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!”
Oh the joy of Christmas past. So many memories fill my heart, and each bauble and bead brings back a forgotten one that cheers a weary soul through the challenges this year has certainly brought to all of us.
It seems we all need some Christmas cheer this year, and this tour is the perfect place to find it. Thanks so much to Marty for organizing everything. She always does such a great job, and welcome to those of you coming over from Shayna’s beautiful home at The Wood Grain Cottage.
I love Christmas. I love everything about it from the most important aspect – celebrating the birth of Christ, right on down to the cultural traditions and customs, from trimming the tree and hanging stockings by the fire to singing Christmas carols and the first taste of my mother’s fruitcake. My memories of Christmas are absolute magic and the stuff dreams are made of, not because we had lots of gifts, but because of the wonderful family times, church services, and brown paper bags filled with an orange, an apple and a few candy canes.
The older I get, the more I want to keep that old-fashioned magic alive, and to be honest anything from the 1880s until about 1979, captures my attention. I particularly love the open, imperfect trees strung with tinsel, colored bulbs and icicles that were fixtures in pretty much every American living room until the early 1980s when clear lights began to gain favor, and icicles and tinsel faded away into the past, replaced by clear lights and themed trees.
Since I built the mantel out of wood from great-granddaddy Porter’s house here, I wanted something that could have been in a parlor anywhere from 1896 to the 1940s. All the Christmas tree details are in THIS post.
I love color (obviously), and Christmas just fits right in with my normal decor. In our living room, I like to add velvet pillows and warm throws so we have a comfy place to watch Christmas movies or vintage TV.
I decided to put the little cardboard house replica I made of the old house on my great grandfather’s drop leaf table. I’ve never been a Christmas village kind of person, but adding the vintage ceramic church and some faux fur, definitely made this little vignette have that feel.
The windows were salvaged from the old house, and I attached picture wire to the backs then lined with sheet music. The Chinese ancestor prints were inherited. I cut juniper and euonymus to hang over each window.
The mantel is certainly a joy to decorate in any season, but Christmas is definitely a favorite. The Perfection Kerosene heater is from the early 1900s and is original to the property here.
I made the red velvet mantel scarf this fall, and that’s just the touch it needed for Christmas.
The 8-day clock is from 1920, and I thought my great grandmother’s portrait from 1921 was perfect to go beside it.
For the antique buffet, I really wanted something different this year so I added a plaid runner, silver tea/coffee set, and great grandfather’s antique oil lamp.
An old wagon wheel hub holds juniper and nandina berries from the yard. Underneath the buffet is an antique book/printing press.
I saved the oranges I dried last year and used them again in the greenery around the light and on the centerpiece. I layer a faux garland then add fresh pine that can easily be pulled out and exchanged for fresh.
I always use my J & G Meakin Romantic England dinnerware at Christmas time so I set the table using silverplate trays and a Mikasa Italian Countryside plate as a charger. The sterling flatware is Wallace and Sons Louvre from 1893, and the crystal glassware is Cristal d’Arques Durand Longchamp I started collecting back in the 90s.
The oil lamps are from the old house.
Our kitchen and dining are all in one now, and we have loved having it like this since we took out the island.
For the kitchen, I added greenery to the tops of the cabinets and some other seasonal touches with towels, plates, etc.
If you’re new, we made the wormy chestnut countertops about eight years ago from reclaimed wood off another little house here on the property.
I forgot to share, but I changed out the white-painted shelves when I found a stack of stair treads from the old house. These stairs went to the third-floor room where this tongue and groove wormy chestnut was. How amazing to have it in its original, unpainted condition.
On the shelves, I used a combination of vintage Blue Ridge Poinsettia, Meakin Romantic England and Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles.
My son loves the hot chocolate station, and now that he is home doing remote school, he really likes to have a cup in the mornings – like he’s drinking coffee😉
I actually bought those Santa mugs at Walmart a few years ago, because all my vintage mugs are small. These are great for a large cup of hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream on top.
For the centerpiece on the table, I used an old board to contain everything and to make it easy to remove the entire thing if needed. We always eat buffet style, or I serve plates, so we never need space to have food sitting on the table.
I layered different varieties of greenery and pine cones then added sparkly fruit Christmas ornaments my mother gave me many years ago.
For the center, I chose my great grandmother’s castor cruet set from the late 1800s and filled it with what I believe to be proper Victorian condiments – salt, pepper, oil, vinegars and dry/powdered mustard.
I love knowing these very lamps lit the darkness for many family members before me, and that my great grandmother filled those very bottles to grace the center of her table. I’m very happy that these things ended up in my care and not in a thrift shop or antique store.
We do enjoy this cheery, little house, and it really feels cozy and welcoming at Christmas. Surrounded by things passed down from family and living here next door to my parents, on the homeplace my great grandfather bought, is definitely a blessing I do not take for granted.
And in the spirit of my grandfather, I have finally, after all these years, added new items to my online version of Knight’s Store, so please come by for a visit to find a handmade gift or something special just for you.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please be sure to check back and visit all the links this week so you don’t miss any of these fabulous tours! Next up is my crazy talented friend Cristina atRemodelando la Casa, so be sure to hop over there.
Merry Christmas friends!!
Monday December 7th
Tuesday December 8th
Wednesday December 9th
Thursday December 10th
Friday December 11th