Decking the Halls with Comfort and Joy Christmas Album

Comfort & Joy Christmas Album

Christmas is going to feel a lot different this year.

Instead of large family gatherings, we’ll be keeping it simple.

Sharing a little Holiday Encoragement

This year, the Eileen Hull teams got together and decided to celebrate the Holidays by creating

Comfort and Joy Albums and asked the Eileen Hull Facebook Fan Club to join along.

For my album, I choose the theme Decking the Halls.

You can find the Eileen Hull Facebook Fan Club Page here.

My Comfort and Joy Album uses the Eileen Hull Journal Die* and papers and embellishments

from Simple Stories Simple Vintage North Pole Collection*.

Instead of giving you a tutorial on how I made the album, I’ve decided to explain the inspiration

behind the album and share with you how I decorate my home for Christmas.

Materials Used:                  (*affiliate link)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Because my family won’t be together this Christmas, I’ve asked my daughter and daughter in law to send me Christmas pictures for my album.  I will have a family album filled with Christmas Memories.

I also come from a large extended family, which usually gets together for a big Christmas party.  I’ll be honest, the thought of missing all these celebrations makes me a little sad.

While making my album, I got the inspiration to take this weekend and drop off small gifts to my siblings.  I’ll be able to take a few porch pictures of the families and get my much-needed family fix.

Decking the Halls

When it comes to decorating the outside, I like to keep it simple.  We wrap twinkle lights around the large bush by our lamp post and hang icicle lights on the upper balcony.

Sprucing Up with Holiday Greens

I cut pine branches from the large pine tree in the yard and spruce up my pots with Holiday greens.

The Front Door

The front door has a simple wreath and a decorated sled.

The Christmas Tree

A few years ago, I got this frosted tree and absolutely love it.  I keep it simple with a red and white theme.  (I only use a fraction of the ornaments I’ve collected throughout the years)

Bookish Gnomes

While working on the decorations, I moved these gnomes on top of the books because my little pup thought they were dog toys.  I liked the way they looked, so I kept them there.

The Mantle

In my Dining Room, I have a large fireplace, which I decorated the mantle with a few of my Santa’s from my Santa Collection.

My Santa Collection

I’ve got Vintage Santas, Skiing Santas, Golfing Santas, and Toymaking Santas.  I scatter them randomly around the house.

Keeping it Simple

I would love to one day have a fully styled house for the Holidays.  Instead, I keep it simple.

I create small vignettes around the house to make it feel festive and homey.

Dexter

Even my sweet little pup, fresh from the groomers, matches my decorations.

Dexter and I would like to wish you all a Happy Holidays filled with Comfort and Joy.

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Dear New Family…

Last week we closed on the sale of our childhood home.

It was bittersweet.

There are so many memories and stories behind this house I felt like I wanted the new

homeowner to know a little more about the house and how special it was to a lot of people.

So, I penned this note.

I may even send a version of the letter to them.  (I just happen to know their address.)

Dear New Family,

As you start this new chapter in your life and move into your new home,

there are a few things I would like you to know.

Your house was built by my parents 60 years ago when dad was only in his twenties.

My parents happily raised their family of 5 kids in this home.

This small abode has held a lot of love and was the last home for each of my parents.

Dad lived here in this house until 3 weeks before his death at age 86

and for 5 quiet years by himself without my Mom.

So…as you settle into your cramped little kitchen,

I want you to imagine my mom cooking dinner each night for a family of seven.

(Although I won’t say she never complained.)

And as our family expanded and grew she would host weekly Sunday

dinners for up to 20 people and then some.

Because when it came to my family there was always room for one more.

When you sit in your living room and decide the best way to arrange furniture.

I want to tell you there once sat a piano that taught all 5 kids how to play.

The one and only small bathroom with the odd blue bathtub,

there used to be a blue toilet and a sink to match.

And…usually someone standing outside waiting their turn.

Those small little bedrooms, I’ve slept in them all.

The bigger one in the basement,  you didn’t get that room until the one ahead of you

got married and moved out.

The large basement laundry room with the turquoise checkered floor, those are vintage 60’s

original and used to be mom’s first kitchen while the upstairs was being built.

Dad took his time building this house trying to pay for materials it as he needed them.

(They lived the first couple years in the basement.)

The giant old maple tree out back with the swing isn’t as old as you might think.

It’s only around 45 years old.

I thought until just a few years ago that I had planted that tree.

Only to find out that mine had died and Dad had replaced it with that one.

When we were kids we played all summer and fall in the woods behind the house.

Back then there was no homes and we thought they belonged to everyone.

In your small little yard, it wasn’t unusual for it to hold half the neighborhood kids.

Mom would pass out Kool-Aid and Dad was the one who would fix things that broke.

I heard through my niece that you have a little girl.

It makes us happy to know there will be kids living here again.

Dad always said some little family will need this small house.

We also want you to know it was really hard for us to give up this place,

because while all five us kids all have homes much larger than this one,

we will always consider this our very special home.

It will always hold a special place in our hearts.

So as you learn all the nuances and get used to its smells,

we hope this home will bring you as much love, faith and laughter

as it has brought each one of us.

Sincerely,

the middle kid who loved it a lot

P.S.  I signed my name in the attic.