Simply a Christmas Mantle

I am not a professional decorator kinda gal…  for the sake of my self-esteem – try to act surprised. My decorating skills come from more of a trial and error type of experience.

I know what looks good – it just takes a while getting there.  Some people can pull together some loose legos and a photo of a gingham rooster and your heart stops at the beauty, I am not that gal.

Alright – perhaps the legos and rooster were a bit of an exaggeration – but we all know people that have a gift for making common everyday items look amazing!

Great Room Fireplace

This will be the first Christmas with all the fireplaces complete.  I was pretty excited about decking them out for the holidays. When I pulled out the boxes of Christmas decorations I tried every combination of every stocking, pine cone and holly bough available.

Then with garden snips in hand, I wandered our woods gathering the perfect cedar branches. Once they were elegantly displayed on our mantles – I was reminded of just how flammable those once live branches can be.  So, after removing my budget outdoor branches, my next jaunt was to our local Hobby Lobby.

Family Room (Pub) Fireplace

I experimented with one display after another and still another – combining this with that and that with this…  standing back to admire each new creation, they all shared one problem, none of those creations were that admirable…  until I started removing items one by one – it seems the more I took down the better I liked it!

My biggest challenge in decorating is knowing when to leave well enough alone.  When it comes to decorating my home – I am learning that less is best.

Kitchen Fireplace

Like the fireplace in the kitchen…  This is the same topiary that is always there – I just added some Christmas pics and a Skinny Santa. Anything else would get roasted on that shelf.

Family Room (Pub) Fireplace
Some extra pine branches on the mantle just under the snowshoes created the look I was after on this mantle in our family room.  So simple.
Great Room Fireplace
Each of our fireplaces provides the warmth and peaceful spirit of Christmas.  Especially when I am sipping a cup of hot cocoa seated on one of the hearths.
 Bottom line: Simple can be beautiful.


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All photos, thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.


  1. D Jane Bartlett

    Now I have the Christmas Spirit. Your home looks beautiful and restful. May the Spirit of Light and Love permeate your life and your home and bring you and yours and those whose lives you touch great joy and peace.


      Wow Jane – you just made my day. Thank you so much for always having words of inspiration to share.
      Merry Christmas my friend.


      Ellyn – One day I hope to see what heaven really is – for now I think you might be on to something – You have a great Christmas.

  2. Ellen jane Peters

    From one Sis to another, I have no decorating ability at all. Yet, I do know beauty when I see it. Your pics are wonderful. The comment about the fireplace with only the deer(?) skull and the skinny Santa where you say “anything else would be roasted” made me laugh much. I could see your dear Brother in law, Denis, doing just that. Then he’d stand back, admiring the flames and the wonderful smell of smoke, he so enjoys making in our own backyard.
    Merry Xmas to you both from the Kansas relatives! — Ellen Peters


      Hey Ellen – As I was reading your comment I can see Denis doing just that and smiling his big smile the whole time!! That skull on the kitchen fireplace is “Tex” he is a Longhorn from Austin, Texas… He keeps me company while I cook.

  3. Nicely done! I’ve always been a “less is more” kind of person. Over the years I’ve tried to acquire some “charm” and less of a sterile look, but I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. Brenda


      Hey Brenda – I love the “charm” too. The important thing is if you love it – it is a success! Now, I am going to head over to 1010 Park Place and check it out!!


      Oh Pat – It is always so good to hear from you – Thank you for following our journey through this crazy life. Merry Christmas my friend.


      Hahaha – Haralee!! Well it seems a few of us do – that is the only way I know how to decorate! Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. Happy Holidays to you!

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