Home for Christmas
This is a view of our fireplace, which has the original tile found in other homes built at the same time as ours. Tammy's father replaced the mirror for us and redid the frame around it with trim from Lowes (our former home away from home). I love how the front porch light's reflection shows up in the mirror. The chair is an antique his great-great grandmother had in New Orleans. The wood is original, but Steve's father and mother reupholstered the chair when they owned it. The stockings are from El Salvador, while most of the knick-knacks on the mantel belonged to the previous owner of our house.
We were thinking about going with light wood furniture but worried it would end up being like having too much lard and sugar in your frosting and went with very dark wood for contrast. We love the plantation shutters, which are easier to maintain than blinds or curtains. The wreath is a gift from one of Steve's sisters who live in El Salvador. We bought the red nutcracker on a trip to visit Tammy's parents when they lived in Germany, and the bowl contains pecans from our very own tree in the back yard. Steve's father and Tammy cracked a total of six cups of nuts to prepare holiday treats like Praline Pumpkin Dessert, Gluten-Free Casein-Free Pecan Praline Dessert, Cranberry Conserve, and Tropical Dump Cake. The book on the end table is a family favorite, Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien who hailed from the Midlands of England like Steve's mother.
This detail features our Christmas look: a poinsetta from Tammy's friend, three candles (one of which rests on a wooden candle holder made by her dad from the pecan tree chopped down last summer), and a colorful nativity set and angels from La Palma, El Salvador. The items on permanent display in what Steve's sister Janet calls "the museum" include unusual artifacts gathered in our worldwide travels. The piece behind the nativity is made of driftwood, Japanese fishing floats, and shells, put together by an Alaskan native named Albert Jackson, whom we knew during our two-year stint in Sand Point, Alaska. To the right of that on the shelf behind the glass are two green, fruit-shaped pieces Steve picked up on a business trip to Quito, Ecuador. Our neighbors during our eighteen-month stay in Colorado gave us the snow white goose girl for babysitting their snow-white Westie named Christie. The cheap, ugly television behind the poinsetta is to cover the ugly gash we need to hide some day in a more elegant and refined way.
We did nothing more than hang a decorative piece on the wall of the tiffany hall, which takes you from the living room to our next destination, the dining room. Steve hung the closest thing he could find to mistletoe above the French doors. The Christmas colors of the lamp, walls, and carpet, the tiffany hall sets a festive mood without much effort. Likewise, the Heirloom Red walls of the dining room require very little addition. We put a Christmas cloth from Germany on the table and a few knick-knacks on the buffet between the windows.
We normally keep the willow girl, the prancing horse from Ecuador, and the photo of Tammy's parents wearing elf hats taken last Christmas. All we added was two more knick-knacks.