Joyful Living: Simple Holiday Decorating f0r the Season {by Breanne Medlin • Guest Post}

Everyone always says, “Oh, I bet your home is lovely!”

But let’s be honest. I have two preschoolers, own a business and find myself just trying to keep up with chores and all the activities. Lovely might not be the best word. As for holiday decorating, our home is, well, very practical.

My mother always decorated for the seasons, and that is something I have enjoyed doing, especially since having kids of my own. Seeing their faces light up with just simple items and seasonal decor in every room brings a whole lot of JOY to my momma heart. And it’s always the smallest things that get the biggest reactions.


Here is a glimpse into our Holiday House.

  • The stockings were hung

Although we have a whole wall of built-in cabinetry, I try to make the fireplace the focal point of the room. This is our second Christmas in our home and the first one where I added greenery here. I love it! The contrast with the white molding really grabs your attention when you walk into the room and it adds a bit of elegance to a very child-friendly scene. Our stockings are from Pottery Barn Kids and while I do love that they are so whimsy and cute, they are not what I would ideally pick. Christmas in our house is really about our girls, and these stockings fit the season we are in!

PS: If you don’t have a fireplace you can still hang stockings. They can be command hooked onto a bookshelf or built-in cabinetry or strung along a staircase!

Tip: pick your colors or theme and stick with it. I chose to decorate our family room with blues, silver and white with hints of red (because of the stockings). My mantle reflects those colors and I love the sparkle it adds. Throughout my built-ins there are touches of silver trees, snowy reindeer and framed Christmas pictures of our family through the years. I love seeing how our family has grown each year and all the funny pictures of unhappy children with Santa! This is such a simple way to add decor for the season.


  • Set the table

While most homes have gotten rid of a formal dining room, our home is traditional in style and does have a very nice dining room space that we use once or twice a week. Whether you have a dining room or not, we can all agree that the table is a special spot during the holidays. Gathering of loved ones, sharing a meal and making all the Christmas snacks is part of the season, so let’s talk table decor. Although this is a formal space, our family is not, so I wanted to make sure the table wasn’t overdone. Simple and classic was my objective and I love the way it all came together.

I used the same garland from the fireplace (Ballard Design) and laid it down the center. I purchased the gold tin Christmas trees last year from Ballard and decided to use them on the table for some dramatic height. Because I already had so much gold in this room, this was part of my color theme and adding to it, blue (to tie in the blues in the family room), red and green. You can’t go wrong with traditional Christmas colors when decorating.

Votives and some large ornaments finished the centerpiece, which made for a very quick and simple arrangement.

I finished off the room with Christmas plates on the wall, our nativity set and all sorts of Christmas trees on the buffet.

Tip: Staggering heights of decor helps create lots of interest and drama!


  • Oh Christmas Tree

Although it’s on my wish list, I do not have a tree in every room… yet.

But we do have a special 4’ tree that is in our front living room that is adorned with the most precious handmade ornaments. The girls get to decorate this tree themselves and love looking back at all their crafts through the years. Nothing is breakable on this tree so they know they can touch and play with it daily.

Tip: Don’t strive for magazine worthy. If it’s sentimental flaunt it!


  • Christmas Countdown

Over the last few years I have immersed myself in a women’s advent study to countdown and prepare my heart for Christmas morning. For the girls I have used the StoryBook Bible advent study and have loved it! However, I got the cutest felt countdown from Hobby Lobby and loved that they can be involved in moving the star each day. I took it a step further and printed out verses that chronicle the Christmas story, and we read those each morning. It’s so simple and takes about two minutes at breakfast to direct our thoughts and hearts back to Jesus. It hangs on our kitchen wall and adds a very sweet visual of the manager scene.

Our foreign exchange student gifted us with two countdowns we are using this December as well. The first is a German Advent peep inside display which has found its home on our bookshelves. It’s beautiful and the little hands love to open the doors and windows every day as we countdown to Christmas morning.

The second is a countdown for each girl with goodies inside little envelopes. This is of course their favorite because it gives them something to open each day. The “treats” are very small, like a piece of candy, erasers, cookies etc.

Along with our Nativity Sets, the Advent calendars are now a staple in our home for function and decor!

Tip: I know as well as any momma that trying to do too much leads to a lot of stress. If it’s bringing a headache rather than joy, it’s not worth doing. I remind myself daily that Christmas is going to come regardless of all the extra things we do during the month of December. Let’s also not lose sight of what the season is really about.

  • A beautiful entry

One of my favorite rooms in any home is the foyer. I always tell clients that the foyer is the preview of a home and it should reflect the family residing within. Our staircase is right by the front door which gave me a great area to showcase some holiday decor. I had to pick and choose how I wanted to decorate knowing the little girls would be touching it every day as they come down the stairs. While I’m a fan of garland, I knew at least for the next two to three years it’s just not going to work for us. I settled for some pom-poms and a whimsy kid proof arrangement to the post. I ended up finding some handsome nutcracker ornaments I tied to the garland… but I may regret this decision. I pray they last to the end of the season.

From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!


Practical and lovely home decorating ideas for the season by Breanne Medlin @inthequiver #Christmas #Home


Breanne can be found keeping house, making snacks (because preschoolers) and creating functional and beautiful homes for NC families. To learn how to get more design ideas from Breanne check out her business website, Open Gate Interiors.


7 thoughts on “Joyful Living: Simple Holiday Decorating f0r the Season {by Breanne Medlin • Guest Post}

  1. Your post is truly “lovely”! I discovered something with every tip that I can incorporate with my own style. Most of all, thank you for reminding us to keep Christ as our focus!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are such beautiful ideas for Christmas decorating, and I appreciated your tip: “I know as well as any momma that trying to do too much leads to a lot of stress. If it’s bringing a headache rather than joy, it’s not worth doing. I remind myself daily that Christmas is going to come regardless of all the extra things we do during the month of December. Let’s also not lose sight of what the season is really about.” Amen and Merry Christmas to you, Breanne!

    Liked by 1 person

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