Decking the Halls

Mormon Mommy Blogs is hosting a holiday home tour where we show how our homes are decorated for the holidays. So, I’m inviting you into my house to take a looky-loo at my own decorations. I would have gotten around to anyway at some point this holiday season, so the $50.00 gift card isn’t motivating me in the least bit. Honest.

Anyway, come on in…..

Front Door Wreath

This is my front door. In the few days after Thanksgiving this year, I kind of went crazy making Christmas projects and decorations. This wreath was one of them. They are all over the DIY blogs this season. Dollar Store ornaments strung on a wire hanger. I hate the ribbon, but I didn’t have anything else on hand. I’ll change it next year. Something about all the snow and the cold makes me not want to go out and buy different.

My front porch

I have an enclosed front porch. I put this console table in there with the idea to decorate it for all holidays, which I have done so far. The problem is that I don’t think anyone really notices it. Oh well. For Christmas, I have more rustic looking decorations on it.

I know. I haven’t written how many days ’til Christmas on that chalkboard. I never remember. Plus it’s freezing on the porch, and so I just don’t bother. We all know anyway, right?

Five Christma Cards

This is one of those little photo trees. I got it at Goodwill, spray painted it black and am using it to display the Christmas cards I receive in it. Please notice, it is December 16 and I have only received FIVE thus far Actually, I’ve gotten a lot of e-cards this year, which I personally don’t like but understand why people do it. I like to hold the paper and photos in my hand and use them all for Christmas decor.  Then again, my cards aren’t sent out this year yet, either. So I have high hopes for a flood of Christmas cards in my mailbox.

Snowman floral arrangement

These two floral arrangements were purchased here in town. The snowman one came from a craft fair. The smaller one I bought at a flower shop that my neighbor runs.

Button Tree

This little button tree is another of the decorations I made this year. I bought a silver tray from the Dollar Tree, sprayed it black and used my vast button collection to make a little tree. My daughter helped me decide which buttons to use, and it was her idea to have the star on top. Love how it turned out. A little kitschy and very cute.

Willow Tree Nativity

In the dining room I have several nativity sets displayed. This is the Willow Tree one, on top of the radiator (I love that spot…such a good little display area). I also have a Precious Moments Nativity in my hutch, and a few other small ones in various spots around the room.

Kid's Christmas Corner

This is the “Kid’s Corner” in the dining room. Please excuse the state of the walls. Just before Thanksgiving we stripped the wallpaper in here, and it’s pretty bad underneath. We have plans for fixing and painting, but it’s looking like they won’t come to fruition until January.


I admit, I’m a bit of a Christmas Tree snob, so I don’t put the kid’s homemade ornaments on my main tree. I don’t know if that makes me a bad mother or not, but my aesthetic sense just can’t do it. So, I have a small tree on the table that holds all of their ornaments and some various balls that I was going to use on another decorating project but never got around to doing it. Also on that desk are some Santas, and a small nativity. The stockings hanging above are the stockings that have been used in our household since my oldest’s first Christmas in 2000. This year I finally bought 5 new ones, and I’ll show you those shortly.

The kiddie tree

It’s not that I don’t love the kid’s ornaments. I really do. I adore them. This tree makes them feel pretty special, so it all works out in the end.

And the Stockings were hung

Now for the mantel, which I like to call “The Pottery Barn Project.”

First, the new stockings. These actually are from The Pottery Barn. I splurged back in early November. I had a coupon, plus they were running a special for free shipping and free monogramming. They’re velvet with little jewels and I love them. Worth the splurge.

But normally, I refuse to buy things at Pottery Barn, and just try to copy the look instead.


So, the stocking holders I have had for ten years. At least the “JOY” ones. Those were a Pottery Barn knockoff being sold at Target. This year I added the snowflakes to accommodate the two new stockings.

Bria's stocking

I found these initial ornaments online this year at several places. Unfortunately, every place that sold them was out of “L” but had all our other initials in stock. So, I found another ornament that wasn’t quite as pretty for the “L” and ordered the other initials from two different stores. Then I strung red grosgrain ribbon through them and hung them from the stockings. Love how this turned out.

Pottery Barn wannabe

Finally, the wreath. I fell in love with a Christmas wreath at Pottery Barn this year.  But, I couldn’t justify the $80.00 price tag, especially when I was already buying stockings there. So, I decided to try to make it myself. I got the plain pine wreath at WalMart for $10.00, and around $5.00 worth of ornaments at the dollar store. I wired them on the wreath, and I think I did pretty good at creating the Pottery Barn look.

I have various other decorations here and there, but this is the main idea of my home for the holidays. I do, of course, have a tree, but I think I’ll save that for another day soon. 

Golden Snowflake

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Kristina P.

I love your mantle!

And I have to say, I love the idea of a kids tree.


Wow, you have done some really great Christmas projects! What a festive, happy home.


We always had a kids tree growing up, too. I never thought that it was because my mother didn't want our ornaments on her tree, though…hmmm. 🙂 I plan to implement this idea for my kids next year (my oldest is only 3 1/2 so next year he'll "get it" more). Beautiful home! Thanks for "having us over"! 🙂


The button tree! The button tree!!!!

This is magnificent, fun, unique. I might just have to dig up my old buttons & make one. Divine!


My favorites are the wreath and the button tree. I would have never known dollar store ornaments. I have always had a thing for buttons and your mounting them on a tray…love it!


Can I move in just for the holidays? Beautiful!

Alyson | New England Living

I didn't know you were so crafty! I especially love the button tree. Seriously, that is adorable!

I need new stockings bad! Yours are amazing.


I love it! Gorgeous decorations, and really ingenious ideas for creating your own Christmas! We usually decorate late, so we won't even be starting until Sunday…I'm so excited for our house to be transformed, and seeing your house is making all kinds of ideas sprout up.


what a cute entry way. I a in SE michigan – we missed that storm, but it's MI so I know that ours is coming….


Thanks for sharing! Looks Fab!
I am in love with your mantel!


I LOVEEEEE the mantle! Beautiful, beautiful, I especially love the stockings! Love you!


I love all of your projects! I love the button tree too much to say! And I'm impressed by your ornament wreath. Your stockings are GORGEOUS! Definitely worth the splurge. Now to the topic of Christmas cards:

1. Wow look at the Union Square people representing! Whoever has all of those brunette children (and one blonde) is SO LUCKY ;p

2. I still haven't received one from you missy — so don't be pointing fingers

3. Usually I don't get a lot of Christmas cards until the 20th. Then it seems like I have a buttload every time I go to the mail. My friends are usually major slackers. This year I was actually surprised to have so many early!

4. I too hate the e-mail cards. I know it's a lot of work to do cards, but it's like the ONE thing I do all year to let all of these people know that I still put effort into our friendship, KWIM? It's so easy to do a quick FB comment or a blog comment, but once a year I actually put together something just for them.

That Girl

Love love LOVE the mantel!

Dang, woman.

Wonder Woman

Love it all!! I want to make a button tree and bulb wreath now.

My kids haven't made too many ornaments yet, so for now, I just put them on the back of the tree.


Seriously-I'm always so in love with your decorating! Love the stockings and how they're hung. How fun to have an enclosed porch, too:)




Love your Pottery Barn Mantel. I agree, I normally stear clear from them (due to their high prices) but I purchased similar stockings for my inlaws this year. But also only because of the sale prices, free monogramming, and free shipping. 🙂 It does look awesome!


Wow. You're decorations make mine look like they came from the dollar store… which they didn't. I just have a hodge podge of decorations of no particular decorating style. I can't wait until I'm able to decorate the way I want. I'm too afraid the kids will destroy them for now.

Caroline C. Bingham



Lara, it looks SO great, I love it.
And look at my cute card there.
One of five, thanks so much. 🙂
I'm pretty sure mine was the funniest, right?


I LOVE what you've done this year! (Why I'm specifying on "this year" I don't know…I can't say that I remember what your Christmas scene looked like back at ASU.) Anyhoo. VERY CUTE!

I LOVE your stockings!! (and am kind of jealous that I didn't see them first.) 🙂 The initials, too…I may steal your idea using different stockings.

BTW, I'm a Christmas tree snob, too. I came up with the idea to do a mini tree for the kiddos' ornaments before they were ever born b/c I, like you, absolutely REFUSE to put theirs on my tree. And, as you said, their own tree makes them feel special in the end. That's all the matters, right?

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Great job!!!

The Alleman Family

I love everything!! I especially love the snowman tree- I am alittle obsessesd with snowmen!

L.T. Elliot

I love the button tree too but the mantle takes the cake. It's gorgeous. Everything you do is gorgeous. How on earth do you do it?!


W.O.W! Everything looks like it's from a magazine. Give Lucas 5 minutes and it wouldn't anymore.

Simply gorgeous.

I agree on the cards. I've only got 5 too! (just sent ours today)


I have a Christmas card that would match your decor, send me your address if you want via mine and I will send you another Card for your collection first thing tomorrow. hansonpatch[at]


I love all of it! You really are one talented and creative Lady. I wish I was creative enough to be able to come up with ideas even close to yours. I really love the mantel. Just beautiful! Oh and I forgot to thank you for reminding me last week to link up to MMB Holiday Home Tour so Thank You! I really enjoyed my visit!

Amber Lynae

Simply gorgeous. Can you come put my decorations up?


Your decorations are lovely. I've always wanted a screened-in porch. I like how personal all of your decorations seem. It's funny, I like to get cards too, but haven't sent them out for 3 yrs. Last year, brand new baby was an excuse. This year, I guess it's cost. I am determined to do it next year.
My tree has no theme and jam-packed with lights and ornaments. I like theme trees, but I'm all about random ornaments for my own. lol


It all looks so nice! I love older homes. Ours was built during WWII and I swear it has things to tell me…

You are a terrific decorator!


I love it all! Come do my house 🙂
Your wreath is pretty and I absolutely love your button tree and the tray you got at the dollar store. So I am so doing that-but probably next year…I love it!
Merry Christmas!