Christmas Kitchen and Mantel

It’s really looking festive around here and we are so enjoying having it all done and gazing at the twinkling lights around our house!  I love when it’s finished and then I get to relax.  The plan is to do more of that this month and to really take in the seaon and savor it all.

Today, I’m joining another blog hop with our hostess, Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for her annual Christmas party in blogland and there will be lots more inspiration out there to see as well, so I hope you’ll stop by and visit these ladies all at the bottom of this post.

If you’re new here and stopping by from Life & Home at 2012, welcome! I’m so happy to meet you.

I’m going to be sharing our kitchen eating area and the mantel which is next door in our family room. I love having these two spaces open to each other, it feels so homey to have it all together.

If you’re new here, let me tell you a bit about me.  I’m a long time home/DIY/Lifestyle blogger about to hit 11 years in February, so I’ve been on the internet for a long time.  I’ve been through many changes during that time and this year, I married the love of my life, Mark, and we bought a house together which we are working on putting our own stamp on to make it a unique home for us.  It’s not an old house, 12 years old, but with my husband’s talents in adding trim and details and my passion for beautiful spaces, we are having fun with this house!  We are in our 60’s and both enjoy creating a pretty home that reflects our tastes and we have a lot more to do around here.  You can find all our projects so far under the DIY/How to tab on the blog.

I have to open the door again to welcome everyone in, so please come in and join me for the tour.

I shared the foyer table last week and now I get to watch those paperwhites come alive with blooms.

I love this part, when every day they change and open up even more with those delicate white blossoms.

I also shared our pretty and colorful tree in the living room right inside the front door, so take a look at that if you missed it.

We’ll head down the hallway to the family room and kitchen.

I didn’t do a lot of decorating in the family room, but a mantel begs to be decorated for Christmas, so I added some holiday cheer to this area.

I used my beautiful O Come Let Us Adore Him sign from Scripted Simplicity that I’ve had for a couple of years and it’s the perfect sentiment for the fireplace this season.

All of this I’ve had for awhile, except for the new little lime green faux cedar trees.  I found those online this year and you can see them in my Shop if you check it out.  I love little things like this for Christmas and they will transition into other seasons as well.

The middle are just fresh greens I picked up and clipped myself.  I got the cedar branches at the home store since I don’t have any of these growing in my yard, but I do have a magnolia tree in our backyard in the woods, so I cut a few branches and leaves from it this year. Magnolia leaves are so Southern and a great accent at Christmas.  I piled a few gold glass Christmas ornaments in a brass tray and called it done. Sometimes simple is best!

I love things under glass this time of year and they seem to take on more importance just sitting under that glass dome.  Simple gold glass ornaments. I picked up that vintage garland at an antique store once and wish I could find more of it.  The other garland I’ve had for a few years too.

More silver and white ornaments are piled under this dome and sitting on a wood slice. I’ve had these urns forever too and they are real work horses for me. I added a black and white ribbon to add some pizazz and love the pop it gives.

Peeking into the kitchen sitting area from the family room, you can see all my green and white things I’ve been decorating for about as long as I’ve been blogging, I think. I’ve been putting this little tree in my kitchen forever and it still makes me happy and feels so festive.

You can see the addition of a new lamp in here and that’s Mark’s lamp, in case you had any doubts.  We are still getting things out to use and he loves this lamp, so this was a good spot to use it in.  It’s not toally my taste, but I think it looks nice here too. See those other cute things in the windows?  Yep, those are Mark’s too and I’ve got a story to share about that.

Another look at the antique French buffet I’ve had for about 20 years.  It’s from about 1880 and a very neat piece.  I love the shape of it and have never seen another one like it. Talk about character!

It’s great for extra storage and to put things on top of for special occasions and perfect for Christmas decorating.  I’ve got 2 rustic shelves that I’m adding up here soon too which will be fun to play with.  I bought that platter and cake plate when I was still in Birmingham and still love them too.  My friend, Andrea, gave me that cute Christmas towel.

Another Mark addition, I couldn’t resist adding this cute snowman cookie jar to the mix too.  More cookies please!  Guess I need to make some cookies, don’t I?

The sign is from the very talented Tara at Between You and Me.  I love this one too!  This sentiment is such a part of Christmas to me.

The tree is full of all these cute ornaments that I’ve mostly had for a long while. This cute tag is also from Scripted Simplicity. It’s a happy little tree!

I think I picked up this Santa at a yardsale years ago and he fits right in.

Love the green and red for Christmas!

So back to those Santas.  Of course they are Mark’s and there is a story to tell.  It seems that he really fell for these vintage Santas and there’s a reason for it.

The day after he was born in August, 64 years ago, his dad and big sister were on their way to the hospital to see Mark and his mom, when right in front of them a box fell off a truck. The truck kept going and didn’t stop, so Mark’s dad stopped and picked up the box.  He had no idea where to return it, so when they opened the box, there was one of those plastic Santas that light up. The kind you place in the yard and light up at night.

Heres’s that vintage Santa now.  Mark doesn’t light him up anymore, because the bulb gets too hot and it was making burn marks on Santa, so he’s now displayed in Mark’s man cave closet on his lawyer shelves, out of the way of harm. I told you he’s a sentimental guy and I wasn’t kidding!

In fact, there’s more to this story…

At least twice, he rescued Santa from the trash pile.  When he was still in high school, he came home one day to find Santa out in the trash pile for the trash pickup. His mother had thrown him to the curb.  Mark rescued Santa that time and then another time later on and finally took possession of Santa and he’s been with him ever since.  Santa is 64 years old, just like Mark. Ha!

How about that story, isn’t that the cutest?  You might say Santa and Mark are reeeeeeally connected.

So, Mark is pretty sentimental about these plastic Santas that were such a part of his childhood, so he’s collected a few more that he bought off Ebay.

They look so cute lit up at night and I’m so enjoying them as part of our kitchen Christmas decor this year. It was my idea to hang them in the window.  We have taken down these blinds in preparation for getting bamboo shades installed very soon, so it was perfect for showing off the Santas.  I wanted to hide the cords as much as I could, so I tacked up this pretty Christmas table runner in my colors to help disguise them and it looks like a little valance.

Lastly, I added this pretty cranberry wreath to the back door from Tree Classics as well.  It’s a nice addition and very festive.

Next on the home tour stop is Jennifer with Decorating Delirium, hope you enjoy her beautiful home tour as well!

Please stop by and visit as many of these blogs as you can! I know you’ll enjoy all the inspiration that they will be sharing this Christmas season and it’s like visiting a whole Christmas tour of homes in your pajamas, so how fun is that?

Monday – Dec 4th

A Stroll Thru Life

Life On Virginia Street

Clean & Scentsible

Nesting With Grace


Pink Peppermint Design

Tuesday – Dec 5th

ZDesign At Home

Life Love Larson

Dimples & Tangles

Remodelando La Casa

Seeking Lavender Lane

Inspiration for Moms

Wednesday – Dec 6th

The Chronicles of Home

Our Southern Home

Decor to Adore

11 Magnolia Lane

Our Fifth House

Rain On A Tin Roof

Thursday – Dec 7th

Setting For Four

Life & Home @ 2102

Decorating Delirium

Hymns & Verses

Simple Stylings

Friday – Dec 8th

Thrifty & Chic

Tidbits & Twine

Far Above Rubies

House By Hoff

Duke Manor Farm

Common Ground










- Rhoda


  1. Absolutely beautiful and obviously decorated with love! I adore Mark’s Santa story. I have collected Santas for many, many years. I buy one as souvenir from every trip and many were gifts. It makes me so happy each year as I carefully unpack each one because of the wonderful memories.

  2. Audra Taliaferro says

    Your home always looks so warm and inviting! Love the mantel! And the Santas!

  3. Mary Jamieson says

    A suggestion to Mark for his special vintage Santa. He might try putting a LED light bulb in Santa. They do not heat up like incandescent bulbs do. Love the Santas!

    • Well, there’s a little burn mark on there when he lights up, so Mark doesn’t like to light him anymore. But thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Oh, those lighted Santa faces brings back memories I had forgotten about. We had one when I was growing up. It was outside under a porch roof. I think a boy threw a snowball at it one year and broke it.

  5. Rhoda- what a gift to visit your holiday home with the man you love. this makes me so happy. you have done a wonderful job combining houses . it all looks so pretty. love how sentimental Mark is with his santas. Merry Christmas to both you. hugs, me

  6. You’ve done such an amazing job in such a short time my friend…looks gorgeous. Merry Christmas to you both.

  7. I’m soooo happy for you Rhoda!! Your home is so gorgeous, cozy and inviting! I love all of your holiday decor – your tree is sensational! Merry Christmas friend! xo Heather

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