photo Header_zps3dfc1873.png
 photo Home1_zpsb3c9fdd9.png photo About_zps15362ae7.png photo Shop_zpsb51777c5.png photo Subscribe_zps85d829b0.png photo Contact1_zps08f071b4.png

Christmas Season Reflections 2023

As the year comes to a close
it's time for my annual
Christmas Reflection Post
I can't believe I started these over a decade ago!

It's here where I reflect on the season
share some of my favorite decorating tips
as much to share 
as to remember for next year myself!

This Christmas season was a wonderful one 
to be sure!
With my son and his family back  from Texas
and living locally 
there was so  much goodness to be celebrated!

I change up my main tree every year.
This year is was full of whimsy and red!
I mixed homespun and glitter and glass.
In a mosaic of glamour and heirloom goodness!
I think it was my favorite tree yet!
(But I kind of think that every year
that' the fun of the whole process!)

Our vintage Santa was once again above the fireplace mantel!
He came to us worn and imperfect from a sweet antique store years ago.
His wear and tear imperfections make me love him even more!

I started the season with my usual lists
the most important list
is always reviewing my own list of 
Holiday Mental Health Tips
I republished HERE
The gentle reminders on the list always
send me into the season
in the most positive light!

I once again decorated with my own lemon harvest!
I just love bringing in local abundance to ny decorating scheme!

Christmas cookies were once again made in our house
with the sweetest little baker!
having our grandchildren here for the season
instead of a day
filled my heart so full!

And yes, Crowns were made
as well a the most imaginative Christmas ornaments!
I have a renewed appreciation of the humble pipe cleaner!

One decorating tip I want to remember next year
is using a simple mixed branch wreath from Trader Joe's
Two wreaths got me through the whole month long season.
I simply hung them with some gorgeous jingle bells.
So with every entrance or exit
the bells jingled with the most aromatic Christmas tree smell!

I once again pulled a rack of my holiday favorites.
Since I converted unused bedroom to closets
I have a place to have outfit possibilities all together.
It really makes dressing for the season
easy and fun!
It feels like my own little curated store!

It gives me quick and fanciful outfits!

I can pull basics together and easily add  some  holiday cheer
which makes necessary holiday errands so much more fun.
I think it just elevates the necessary!

Like each year we go to decorate the family gravesite.
We went twice this year
because the cemetery   changed the decorating dates.
Going to decorate isn't as sad as it was some years.
Now going with our big tree, decorations and nativity 
seems so much about honoring my family 
than the horrible loss it has been some years.

It also makes me cherish every single day
i have with those I love.
Death can really make you appreciate 
the everyday, every day.

On a much lighter note
we had a lovely holiday time at Disneyland!!
I wanted a bit of whimsy for my outfit
so I converted my favorite lunchpail into a purse!

I simply added a  bold gold chain to the top!

Back home our vintage friends made a reappearance!
The cutest part of this decor
is that it is Jeff's idea and love!
Every time he brings them out
I can see his childlike wonder and happiness!
I think it's such a beautiful thing
that no matter how old we get
there are certain things that can remind us of our 
own child like wonder!

This year I added ornaments to the three faux trees
behind our vintage characters.
This extra touch made me so happy!
Especially in the afternoon when they sparkled in  the sunlight!

This was the first year my poinsettias made it until after Christmas!
I took a break this year from my usual paper whites
so I used my planter for festive red!
I simply planted three poinsettias from Trader Joe's.
It was so quick and easy
for such an abundant pop of holiday cheer!

I sprinkled in some color into our courtyard.
I'm thinking this area might need a use update.
It's such a great intimate space 
but we haven't actually used it in ages.
Redoing spaces always makes me happy and excited.
Which is why I've been so happy with 
our little house and gardens for almost 30 years!

Our backyard which we always use
got a sprinkle of holiday cheer as well!
Especially our 'little house' that Jeff built!
This is the first year It had it's beautiful green paint
so it took a little Christmas cheer so happily!

The little house was built originally for storage
but it is morphing into the best little play area for our grandchildren
because one of the things I have stored for decades
are the great collection of toys my children have had.
It's become a bit of toy wonderland!

One holiday tip I've taught myself
is to do all of my holiday fluff gardening in White!!
I used to add so much red into finishing my pots
only to pull it all out before New Years.
Now I fill everything with whites only
 add in red with simple decorations.

So when Christmas is over my garden is all dressed up in whites
all ready for the New Year!

We had Christmas crafts and pajamas!

Added fun holiday cheer to the 'show room" ( as in watching)
sweetest name given by our granddaughter Len!
Which included Christmas lights, paper chains and handmade pipe cleaner ornaments.
All the teddy bears had Santa hats as well!

We got to go to the  Laguna Beach Hotel
for lunch and drinks with our daughter and her husband!

The weather and the view couldn't have been better!

The next night brought us to Christmas Eve!
We were lucky enough to have 
Ellis and Elliot join us!
After such a busy season we all opted 
for a super cozy evening in front of the fire with chili and cornbread
great conversation!

For Christmas Morning
I rearranged the living room to accommodate our family!
It makes my heart so happy that our little house can change so easily!

All the presents had been wrapped with care!
this year I opted for a collection of happy  wrapping papers
finished with felts strips I cut.
Using felt is still one of my favorite holiday wrapping tips
because you can cut 'ribbons' to the scale of the boxes!
And felt holds it shape for the bows!

I just love my Christmas tree so much!
Bringing out sentimental ornaments and working them into a design scheme
is always so fun for me!
One of my earliest memories of loving the design process
was arranging and rearranging presents under the tree as a child!

This little snippet of our tree
has the very first present I ever bought Jeff!
It's the little bride bear ornament.
I bought it a couple of days after I met him.
I shopped all over for a little teddy bear to be friends
with one of his teddy bears
(it was a whole story)
But the short version is
the only bear I could find in all if South Coast Plaza
was this one!
Who knew 37 years later how prophetic this sweet little bear ended up to be!

Now for some Christmas super cuteness!!

One of my favorite ideas of Christmas this year was
making pizza!!
Ellis came up with the idea of everyone making their own pizza
from all types of topping choices and fresh dough!

It was such a fun idea and activity
from just present opening!

We are thinking this might be a new 
Christmas Tradition!!

The Crown crafts that Ellis bought for Len
were also a huge hit!

So next year I want to remember to add
pizza making and crafts
to our day of opening presents!

Thank you so much for stopping by
for this extremely long 
Christmas Season Reflection!

Wishing you and yours 
all the very best in 
the New Year!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. Beautiful photos of a lovely Christmas gathering. And so many good ideas. I made your toy tree last year and two more this year! gayle

    1. So lovely to have a visit here from you Gayle! I so appreciate your support my dear!

      I am happy to hear you made two more trees this year! That is quite an accomplishment! I hope your holidays are filled with much love and joy! Wishing you and yours the very best in the coming New Year! XOX

  2. This is such a beautiful post and thank you for sharing your joy. Happiness exudes from the text and photos. This really is Christmas perfection.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it!

  3. Dear Tamera, what a pleasure to read your wonderful Christmas post. Your tree is magnificent, and it is so much fun to read about your vintage pieces, and see the garden too. However do you manage to fix so many special decorations onto the tree? I am so happy for you that your son has moved back from Texas - it is so good to have them near you. The grandchildren are a delight, and I can see they really make your Christmas special - a do ours as well. The joy and happiness shines through, and thank you for sharing. Happy New Year from Australia! xoxox

    1. Patricia thank you so much for visiting here my dear! It's always such a treat to hear from you all the way from Brisbane!

      My tree is a multi step process to be sure! A couple of years ago I started using a faux tree and have never looked back! First I fill in the tree with about one hundred round ornaments tucked into the interior. then it's a whole lot of garland. then the tree is ready for my collected ornaments. I finish off the tree with green glitter picks as well as lots of cherry picks. the finishing picks give it a completely finished look! Thank you so much for asking Patricia! It has taken me so many years to get the tree to this level without complete frustration!

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year!

  4. Such a joyful celebration you shared! From your beautiful decorations to your adorable grandchildren, everything is magical! I love the tip about using white flowers too. Wishing you a happy, healthy prosperous new year.

    1. Ginger thank you so much for visiting here my dear! I always appreciate your visits!

      I'm glad you like the white flower idea! It is so fun and gratifying to pull out my red Christmas decor and have my gardens perfectly fluffed for January color palate! I appreciate as many easy decorating tips I can find or create!

      Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year my dear!

  5. Thanks for sharing, as I love hearing about your Christmas and seeing all the beautiful pictures of your family and decor! You have many many talents❤️

    1. Thank you so much for visiting here and your beautiful gift of encouraging words!

    2. Hi Tamera, This was my comment. I should have edited in my name. Love you!

  6. I loved my plastic Santa too as a child!We have Nutcrackers that go up on the chimney!
    I had so many thoughts and now they have left me!
    Let’s catch up on the phone soon!
    Happy Healthy New Year!

    1. Thank you ever so much for stopping by for a visit dearest Elizabeth! Your holidays also looked so beautiful and so full of love with your precious granddaughter!