Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where the Magic Happens!

Where we do life...where we play...where mommy doesn't care about ornament placement...where Christmas really comes to life.
This is where the magic happens!

Last year I realized that we could squeeze in a very narrow "faux" tree in our Family Room and it has now become a beloved part of our Christmas decor. 

Ian picked out the train to use this year and got it all set up.
Nothing says Christmas like a CAT Construction Train! 

The cranberry garland and ribbons are all slightly askew thanks to little hands taking ornaments on and off...and on and off...and on and off...you get the picture. I think it gives it added charm!

This is where all of the fun ornaments make their appearance!

Ian made this little angel in Sunday School when he was 3.

The little girl in this ornament is Yours Truly!

I absolutely adore these little block ornaments and they are perfect on our Family Tree.

This side table sits next to the tree and has one of our 3 nativities.

I found this one at Costco a few years ago and I love how it is "nice" but not too nice for little fingers. The pieces are solid and sturdy but it is a step up from plastic Nativity sets. And, the entire set fits inside the stable for easy storage.

Above it hangs this wreath which I found as part of the Fall Clearance at a local craft store. The colors work perfectly for Christmas too though. It had been $40 and I got it for $12!

On either side of the Nativity I used existing topiaries but wrapped them in this rustic beaded garland.

In front of the fireplace sits this basket filled with all of our Christmas Books. The kids get a new one each year and we have quite the collection now!

On top of our built-ins is a deep red "faux" Amaryllis that sits behind a darling Carousel which my parents gave the kids 2 years ago. It lights up and spins around and the kids have even named each horse. Lately I have been finding little plastic Woody and Buzz Light year characters going for joy rides!

My simple wooden tray which can withstand a lot of abuse, rests on top of our ottomans/coffee table and it wouldn't be complete without my Southern Living!

This is the 3rd Nativity Set we have in our house. My sister gave it to my son years ago and now my daughter loves to play with it.
Notice any additional characters in this particular scene?

I guess even Weeble Wobbles, Snowglobe Cinderella and Winnie the Pooh recognize a King when they see one!

Don't forget that THIS SATURDAY is the First Annual
Cookie Exchange
Hope to see you there!

Linking to
Feathered Nest Friday
My Cottage Charm
Tabletop Tuesday
Tuesday Treasures
Boardwalk Bragfest
Boring to Better
Christmas Open House


Petie@inspirednesting.com said...

I think I just bought that same "family/kids" tree at Target. I love your post...the childhood ornaments really are the best! Your daughter playing with the nativity reminds me of my 9yo daughter, still loves playing with them and telling the story of Jesus' birth.

Happy Holidays!

Traci said...

Vanessa, I just love the nativity sets! They're so pretty & I love the additions that the kids made! The kids tree is great too!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi Vanessa,

Do I spy a double height hallway through the doors? It looks beautiful. I was craning my neck to get a better look!

Aaaah, the train track is PERFECT! And your children look completely adorable.


Becca said...

So, so sweet! I love this ... your little elves worked super hard to create such a beautiful tree, didn't they? And, the train track is such a staple ... looks precious at the base of your tree! And, I love your nativity, too ... and, a shout out to the amaryllis. I have a *faux* one, too ... love their richness! Hugs, Becca

Thoughts for the day said...

What a beautiful peaceful place. It is very nice. Since my first grand child I have always integrated little kids 'things' with big peoples 'things' they have their own nativity, and books and assorted touchables, while they leave grandma's pretties alone.
I love it. Win win for all of us.

Karen said...

Vanessa, yes this is where memories are made for them! When mine were young we put trees up in their bedrooms so they could decorate to their likings. Love the wreath you have hung on the mirror. I wanted so bad to do this, but will save this in my memory bank for next year.

Sailing Simply said...

I just knew Santa was there when Jesus was born! LOL! So cute! I love your manger scenes. Be sure and add them to the Nativity Party over a Happier than a Pig's. What a great deal on the berry wreath, it's very pretty. I also love your childrens tree with rotating ornaments. That's the way it should be, and the train underneath is sooo cute! Everything is looking very festive and wonderful at your house.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

That is great that you have a tree that they can help with and to hold cherished ornaments. So cute.

Judy said...

I love that you have a tree that your little ones can decorate. That's an amazing idea. I love your wreath in front of your mirror and for $12...what a deal!

Lori said...

fun to make magic! Love your nativities, especially the one with extra characters.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh I so love that you have a tree that the children can decorate and totally enjoy and the nativity scenes are fabulous and should be enjoyed by the kids. Such a perfect time for them and perfect decorations. Love it. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Vanessa, Everything is so pretty! You are creating such happy holiday memories for your children.

Betsy B said...

Oh how you will cherish those little hands moving those ornaments when they are all grown up. I used to want kids but now I want grandkids even more. Enjoy them while they are little. You are blessed and lucky.

Debbie said...

I am telling you, you girls are so talented, really it puts me to shame. My friends do not believe me when I tell them there are so many creative women in blog land..they have no clue what is out here! I love all your decor, you really have some great pieces. Love that cranberry wreath too!

NanaDiana said...

I love that you honor your kids by putting up a tree that they can have hands on. One year we had a tree with all cookie ornaments and the ornaments were eaten off as far up as the tallest kid could reach! lol Your tree is adorable. Hugs-Diana

Pamela said...

Vanessa you are too funny! We are sooo much alike! We too have an anything goes tree. It is in the boys bedroom. I started that a few years back one to keep um in their room and two because they kept wanting to add to our tree. They did not understand the whole this is mommies tree concept ya can look but dont ya touch thing! Ha! I did let go of some of my OCD this year and let Oldest help put on ornaments on the main tree! It was a huge step for me but I knew I had to do it so he would have fond memories and enjoy doing it when he has his own tree and wife...sniffle sniffle.

Rene said...

Vanessa, the train track sure does bring back memories. We might have to pull ours down from the attic this year. Your home looks so welcoming.


Nichole said...

aw...beautiful pictures & sentiment. the nativity sets are my favorite.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Good for you for letting the kids participate and "touch" things -- you're a good mother. They will remember how you always let them pick everything up and look at stuff. Isn't that so much better than: "Don't touch that!" :)
Good for you.
Best regards,

Anonymous said...

Well done. I always had the "kid's" tree, as well, and it worked out perfect! Great minds think alike, right? Thank you for sharing on the Boardwalk!

Laura said...

I think this is a wonderful idea- a kid's tree creates memories!
Enjoyed visiting-
I linked to the same party.

White Spray Paint

Anonymous said...

Love the kids tree. Love the memories both made and in process.

Honey at 2805 said...

How sweet, and the best part are your precious babies!

michelle said...

What an adorable tree! I love the train around it, perfect!! Your little ones are so precious as are their handmade ornaments!

Lynn Richards said...

Love it, Vanessa. Such a comfy, fun place to be!!

Shelia said...

Hi Vanessa! Oh, what adorable children you have and how wonderful you allow them to decorate and play with the decorations!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

It all looks outstanding...great idea for that tree in the family room...I must say that cute angel made out of a paper plate is my fav!


Ashley said...

Your kids' tree is beautiful and so is your family room! My kiddos are loving having a tree of their own too. I just love seeing all their little touches on the tree.

Anita said...

Oh...we have that same "Little People" set! I love that one! LOVE your family room all Christmasy!! Since we only have room for one, I just have everything on it, and my 4-year-old has totally redecorated the bottom . Sorry I have been MIA and missed so much, but life has been happening Thanks for stopping by:-)

My Cottage Charm said...

Hey Vanessa! Thanks for being my newest follower...I will soon be yours! (as soon as I post this) ;)
I'm so glad you like my Christmas decor...it's my favorite time of year and I go a little crazy with the decorations! lol My hubby says it looks beautiful, but he doesn't like getting all the tubs out of the attic. :)
Your house is beautiful and I LOVE the wall color in your living room...just lovely! :)
Your kiddos are so pretty...oh my they are adorable!
Thanks for linking up to my Treasures and Trinkets party, hope you will link up again!
Have a great day!


Your tree is stunning. I love the personal ornaments on it. Your nativity is beautiful!

Kelly said...

Your home is just lovely and so inviting! Your "kids" tree is perfect. Looking back I wonder if it was all my mama could do not to "fix" our ornament placement or accidentlly lose some of the more "interesting" ornaments we kids made. :)


Debbie said...

Oh Vanessa, I'm SO GLAD that I am trying to catch up on blog reading. I would have hated to miss this one. It's all just precious, and I love it.

I scrinched up the shoulders and giggled at the Weebles and extras in the Nativity scene. That's precious, and your little girl is a gal after my own heart. I used to do things just like that.

Ooops. Maybe that scares you a little... I think it was the breeding ground for this crazy imagination of mine.

A child oriented Christmas is just about as perfect as it gets, isn't it. Great job, Mommy.

Kim said...

I love your little tree Vanessa! With my situation we were only able to put up a similar smaller faux tree and guess what? I LOVE it! And so do my kids. It fits perfectly and looks just as nice as the big one. Thanks for a great post.

Pink Martini said...

Hand made ornaments made from small hands are the BEST! :)

Town and Country Mom said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Town and Country Mom and becoming a follower! I love your children's sweet ornaments. We also have a Christmas book collection, and it has become a great tradition for us! You are making many great memories for your family!

Diann @ The thrifty Groove said...

What a wonderful post! Your family tree is just so special with all the adorable ornaments and memories. And I love your nativity sets!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful addition that family tree is. How nice for the kids to have a special place to display their ornaments.

Linda said...

Your decorations are really lovely, and so is your home! Hopped over from My Cottage Charm Treasures and Trinket Party!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi there Vanessa~ love that darling tree with the train - and that picture of your daughter is so sweet! Love the kids decorated trees- so charming! Thanks for sharing at my party!

Vicki said...

Hi, Vanessa! That first pic just makes me melt. Your kids are so sweet. I love this family tree with all their ornaments...and yours! You don't see trains very much any more. I'm envious of yours! Such a beautiful home and family. Thanks for sharing and hosting.