Spreading Bits of Christmas Whimsy Throughout Your Home

I’m currently in the “overwhelmed” stage of holiday decorating–you know, that stage where you have everything out, yet nothing is really finished yet. I know it will get better but at present, it looks like utter chaos in the upstairs family room where I’ve pulled out all the decorations. The downstairs living room isn’t looking any better since the tree is in the process of being decorated.

We’re going to forget about all that craziness for right now, though. Instead, I thought I’d share a few little snippets from around the house. I know right now we are living through some very stressful times. I always stay far away from those discussions here on the blog because I want you to find happiness and peace when you stop by, not a rehash of all the stress.

So there’s a little bit of Christmas spreading through the house. Each year for the holidays, I try to create little surprises for my son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons to find when they are here for Thanksgiving.


One of my favorite things to decorate with during the holidays is little, preserved, boxwood wreaths. Some years I hang them from the kitchen cabinet doors. Not sure if I’ll do that this year.


These preserved wreaths were impossible to find the year I bought mine, I had to look everywhere! Surprisingly, you can still find them this year–they normally sell out well before now. Real preserved boxwood wreaths can be a bit pricey, but for me, they are worth it because they last for many years. I just found a set of six here: Boxwood Wreaths.


Currently, I have two hanging here on the shelves in my office. I usually leave them up all winter to add a little greenery to the room during the long winter months.


Do you think my grandsons will spot the peppermint sticks?


I don’t think I’ve ever shared this before, but many, many years ago, I took a wood carving class from Ron Ransom, a well-known, talented woodcarver in my area. If you ever have any interest in woodcarving, check out Ron’s book here: Santa Carving. I carved a couple of pieces during that class, including this sweet angel.


I also carved a Santa during the time I took the class. The one I carved is the one holding the green sack on the far left in the picture below. I purchased the other three back in the day when I was collecting carved Santas. My favorite of my carved Santas has to be the one holding all the kitties…just love him! I need to find a good spot for these guys when I’m decorating today.


The guest room has been given a bit of Charles Dickens humor. I need to do a post sharing all the Christmas pillows I’ve collected over the years. I have somehow managed to not buy any this year–which is a good thing since I’m fast running out of space to store them!

Bah Hum Bug Pillow


Thanksgiving and Christmas overlap here in my home this time of year since I want the house to be decorated for Christmas when my family is here for Thanksgiving.


The downstairs guest bath is always one of my favorite spots to decorate for Christmas.


Half baths can feel so intimate, so I love tucking little Christmas bits here and there.


How’s your holiday decorating coming? I feel so far behind right now, need to kick it into high gear today!

Update: If you are making a Gumdrop Tree for your children/grandchildren this year, I found the best gumdrops! These are sooo big and taste so much better than the regular ones you normally see online. I found these here: Extra Big Gumdrops.


This is how my gumdrop tree looked last year after Thanksgiving–almost picked clean! lol My grandsons loved it so I have to do it again this year, only this year I’m using these fat, juicy gumdrops above instead!

If you would like to make a Gumdrop Tree this year, you’ll find a tree similar to mine here: Gumdrop Tree.  Also, found another one here: Gumdrop Tree.

Gumdrop Tree, Almost Picked Clean

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  1. Jackie Allen says

    I was feeling so overwhelmed too- I wanted to switch things up this year and I kept on putting up garland and taking it down – what color schemes to do in each room??? But yesterday things finally started to fall into place and more is up then on he floor in the living room. My goal is to get most of it up by Thanksgiving and then maybe add a little more by December 1 – then just rest and enjoy. Enjoy your decorating! – Jackie

  2. Claire S Hallman says

    One answer to the pillow dilemma is to just buy covers and put them on your existing pillows. Then all you have to store is the flat seasonal cover.

    • That def works for pillows from Pottery Barn. I’ve done that a couple of times with pillow I’ve purchased there. The problem I have is I come across them in Marshalls or HomeGoods and they aren’t just covers, they are full pillows…and I LOVE them! lol I have so many now though, I try to not look when I’m out shopping in those stores.

  3. Tina W Reynolds says

    Thank you, Susan, for giving us a place of peace and cheer. You are a wise woman. You instinctively understand that all of us can get the chaos and fury everywhere around us. And we all must understand that no matter what, we need to carry a banner that is completely non-political: the banner of family, home, holidays, tradition, comfort…and joy! We owe it to ourselves and our families. and you do it so perfectly! I KNOW my grandson would quickly spot those peppermint sticks, if the adults didn’t see them first! Ha! I love your home and especially your lovely kitchen cabinets. I love my kitchen, too and my home, but so enjoy the beauty that you have created. Everything looks so warm and inviting and the boxwood wreaths are so nice! I just love them! thanks again for all you do.

  4. Rhonda Storey says

    I can SO relate to the pillow obsession Susan! I actually had to buy a cabinet last year to put some in. Now I’m trying to remember to just buy the pillow covers since they don’t take up so much room. I actually made some pumpkin covers myself this year. I just bought two solid cream colored covers from Hobby Lobby and stenciled white pumpkins on them. Love them! I’m also one that likes my Christmas decorations out by our Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve only managed to get both of my trees decorated so far though. We do our lunch the Sunday before Thanksgiving so my daughter and her family can go to the in-laws on Thanksgiving day. Looks like I won’t get the rest of the house decorated until after Sunday, but that’s okay. (I move MUCH slower now because of a badly broken arm last year and reverse shoulder replacement.) Love the wallpaper in your bathroom! Your home is so beautiful Susan. Thank you for sharing it with us and all the great tips you provide. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Rhonda Storey says

    I forgot to tell you how great your carvings are Susan! You should continue that skill. I’m very impressed! ❤️

  6. Franki Parde says

    Oooohhhh, everyone is started, finished, in-between…”the hurrier I go, the behinder I get”…oh, dear…where did I put the deer…*sigh* franki

  7. I LOVE the peppermint sticks in the mason jar. And I used to have the gumdrop tree like a zillion years ago. Thanks for reminding me, ordering one now! 🙂

  8. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family, though while I have family I could spend holidays with this year, I am not. I just can’t do it – I take care of my medically fragile handicapped person adult ‘foster son’, (and I do work in property management for retail mall but I am in an office with only 1 other, we work in completely separate offices and never without masks on, etc – we are pretty isolated in our office). I find that as there is no way I could possibly ‘police’ where others go, or if others wear masks, wash hands, stay safe distances apart etc so I find I would rather stay inside my own ‘bubble circle’ with my significant other and not have others inside my home or risk being around others who might have been around others that weren’t careful / sensible, etc. I don’t want to risk possibly exposing anything to my ‘foster son’ . And I respect each individual’s right to choose what is best for their family 🙂 I am a scaredy cat, and I know it. Please, everybody, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, a joyful Christmas and a happy new year.

    • Your reasoning is cogent and considerate of the others you come in contact with and of those who come in contact with the others. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

  9. I love your carved angel and Santa! You are so talented. I, too, love pillows.
    It is so easy to add something extra in a room with them. I bought some plastic containers and keep some under beds. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I just sold my big large Christmas Tree that I put in the living room – it has become too cumbersome to get into the house (it’s on wheels) & hubby complains every year about getting it in plus we can’t move the entertainment center any longer to make a spot for it. I’ve loved the smaller pencil trees I use for the entry way & dining room for my special collections – SO…I ordered a 9 footer in the pencil tree mode – going to use that for the living room – I hope I’m not disappointed when it comes after having such a big tree in my corner for so many years but I’m sure the putting up & taking down will be worth it in the long run!

  11. The only Christmas decor I have up on Thanksgiving are the candles (electric) in the windows. But I can see why you overlap; just too much fun to watch the boys in holiday mode. It will be just the two of us (first time!) and I am looking forward to it. HE is the cook, but I do the important part–the tablescape!

  12. Linda Page Gurganus says

    I love your house. I especially love the picture upstairs of the two bathing beauties. I’m so glad you still have it. I know your house will be beautiful when you finish decorating.

  13. Bobbi Duncan says

    Susan, everything looks lovely! I think my life was far easier when we just had one Christmas theme going, which was collected traditional ornaments. We now have 7 or 8 themes and I have a time of it deciding which one to put out as I love them all lol! I love your preserved boxwood wreaths and there are so many places one can add them to scatter “Christmas” throughout the house. I have been on the hunt (for years) for upholstery fabric resembling your powder room wallpaper for one of the wing chairs in our family room. Hopefully, interesting patterns like that will one day come back into vogue…hopefully, before my chair deteriorates! Hugs!

    • I know what you mean, Bobbi. I’ve often thought of doing different themed trees, but I still love the ones I always do too much to change. lol
      I would love to one day do a “Woodland/Hunt” themed tree covered with woodland animals.

      Not sure if it helps, but that paper is a Thibaut paper from their Far Hills line. The pattern was named, Brandy Wine. Here’s a better picture of it from the Thibaut website back in the day.

      Thibaut, Far Hills, Brandy Wine Wallpaper

      • Bobbi Duncan says

        Susan, thank you soooo much for the name. Ironic that I live in the “Brandywine” Valley. Isn’t that something? Hugs!

  14. I love all the whimsey! I’m looking forward to decorating my house for Christmas, even if nobody sees it (inside) but me. I will decorate my porch, too, and put out treats for delivery people like you showed in the past. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family.

  15. You just whittled an angel and a Santa? Then painted them? What? Ok I don’t feel at all sorry for you now. You got this! LOL

  16. I’m betting that the grandsons will find the peppermint sticks in no time flat – that was the first thing that caught my eye. Then the gumdrop tree! 🙂 I love the fun things you think up for your family. Thanks for sharing them and giving me all kinds of ideas, even though it’ll just be my wonderful husband and me this year. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Susan!

  17. Bobbi Duncan says

    Susan, thank you soooo much for the name. Ironic that I live in the “Brandywine” Valley. Isn’t that something? Hugs!

  18. Linda Sitton says

    Your carving! Wonderful. You sent me down memory lane. My Dad taught wood carving up until he passed a few years ago and I recall him talking about Ron Ransom. That’s the kind of carving my Dad did and I have his carvings all over my house! I was never able to carve like that but my sister and my son both keep the practice alive in our family. Thank you for sharing.

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