Reindeer Games.
Christmas House Tour 2012

My house looks beautiful. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

I probably shouldn’t say that. Humility and all that stuff. But … it does look beautiful. I love it. I really don’t feel bad saying that for a few reasons which I shall list for you right now.

1. It was a lot of work 3 days, no elves, 2 injuries.

2. One injury involved spray flocking, a sparkle and four eyelashes. People are always prouder of things that involved getting an injury.

3. After standing proudly decorated for a total of 2 hours, my Christmas tree fell over. Scratch that. It didn’t fall over, it smashed spectacularly to the ground accompanied by the sound of artillery, resulting in my diving for cover under the nearest thing. A Triscuit cracker. As it turns out the “artillery” was actually dozens of my antique glass ornaments shattering into pieces.

I did not cry. I came close. But I did not. It wasn’t until the THIRD time the tree fell I cried. Mostly because it fell on me. People are always prouder of things they accomplish by overcoming the odds. I overcame all odds.

So those are my reasons for unabashedly proclaiming my Christmas decorating to be beautiful.

I followed my usual rules this year.

1. If you put something out, you have to take something away. Reindeer on the buffet? Then take away the vase. Just put everything you take away in a box or two and stick it in the basement until Christmas is over.

2. Just because you own a Christmas decoration doesn’t mean you HAVE to put it out. If you hated it last year and only put it out because you felt like you owned it and you had to, you’re going to hate it again this year. Just leave it in the box and get past the guilt.

3. If you put it on a glass block or under a glass dome it’ll look like it cost more than the $3 you paid for it. That rule works any time of year.

And this year I added a new rule. Use more fishing line to attach your Christmas tree to the wall than you think you would need. In fact, factor in the amount of fishing line you think it would take to capture Jaws and then double it. Then use more than that to tie up your tree.


Merry Christmas Door 1
Table 1

White Tree
Table 2
Stump Final
Sofa Table

This would be the tippy, topsy, toppling tree.



One final point for those who are wondering.   If a tree crashes in the living room … it does make a sound.  And by it, I mean me.   And by sound I mean swear words that would warm Gordon Ramsay’s heart.


→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←


  1. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    BEAUTIFUL..As always Karen..You never disappoint me..I prefer that adorable little brown deer standing on top a piece of wood and the crashing tree is still gorgeous..Is the Fella allowed to eat the oranges in the box or do they have to stay there to look pretty??

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – We eat the oranges all day and night. I just replenish them. :) I’ve found keeping them in boxes or crates around the house, I’m more likely to eat them. ~ karen!

  2. Shauna says:

    Wow, you are totally right – putting stuff under a glass dome does totally make it look way more expensive than the $3 you spent.

  3. Chau says:

    Karen, your home is beautiful. Well done! Thank you for the stories,tips, humor, giggles and LOL through out the year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  4. Kim says:

    You rock, Karen! Your house does look beautiful, so you have the right to say so! I so feel your pain. My “fella” tried to “improve” the lights on my already decorated tree and knocked off one of my mercury glass balls. Luckily it was only one and not one of the many other highly cherished (often glass) ornaments I have lovingly collected over the years. Merry Christmas to you and your family!- Kim

  5. Amy in StL says:

    For the first time ever, my tree fell over this year. Luckily it wasn’t decorated yet; it fell as I was putting my 1950s era lights on it. My boyfriend asked what I’d do if we didn’t get it upright and it fell and broke some of my 19th century ornaments. I told him I’d cry; so you’re a stronger woman than me. (BTW, I too am glad someone else uses tinsel and uses it in the proper non-thrown way.)

  6. Brenda J. M says:

    Great job Karen. Warm,inviting and lovely all around.
    Thanks for sharing all year round.
    Merry Christmas from the armpit of Ontario: “The Schwaa”

  7. Susan R in CA says:

    What a beautiful Christmas atmosphere you’ve created! And for tree stability, try nailing or screwing your tree stand to a four foot x four foot or larger piece of particle board. If the tree is tightly fit into the stand, and the stand is heavy duty and securely screwed to the plywood, it shouldn’t fall over. The thicker the particle board, the better. It would have to be a very top heavy tree to even come close to falling over. Your tree skirt would cover it well. My empathies on the loss of your ornaments. Mine were thrown out by a nitwit neighbor who wildly overstepped her boundaries while cleaning out our shared basement storage one day when I wasn’t around.

  8. amyjk says:

    Sorry to hear about your old balls.

  9. Jeannie B. says:

    Have a wonderful Christmas Karen. Your home looks truly beautiful. I have been following your blog for the last few months. I don’t know how I found it. But, I really admire your many talents and look forward to reading it each day. Thank you for all the pictures and amazing ideas and your sense of humour. You are such an inspiration. And so are all the comments from your many fans.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jeannie B! And yes … I can say without question that I have what are probably the best commenters on the Internet! ~ karen

  10. Please be my mentor! You are amazing!!

  11. cc says:

    You always just make my day… and yes your house is Beautiful
    I love it all especially with the deer and tinsel on the tree..
    Loved the idea of not feeling guilt for not putting something out… Amen and then the idea of taking away something too. Makes it feel fresh and not cluttered… How did you get so smart. ?? LOL
    Merry Christmas my friend..

  12. Marion says:

    Goodness, your home is beautiful. I particularly love the Merry Christmas on the lampshade! So creative. Good luck with your tree, maybe it won’t decide to fall over anymore. I’m sad for you that you lost some of those beautiful antique ornaments you bought at the antique show. Maybe Santa will bring you some more!

  13. SK Farm Girl says:

    Well . . . if you didn’t water your tree with wine it wouldn’t pass out and fall over! And besides what would your mother think of you wasting perfectly cheap wine on the Christmas tree?!?! LOL! I love all the rustic touches – twine, burlap, pinecones! It’s stunning and I’m going to steal more than one of your ideas! Speaking of stealing – don’t be surprised if that sweater goes missing, I covet it! Merry Christmas Karen, the fella, pussa-cat and all the hens (and can’t forget the dust-bunnies – face it we all have ’em)! Much love, light and laughter in 2013.

  14. Janet says:

    Wow! It’s beautiful! Karen, you make me laugh, sometimes so hard I cry….and you totally inspire me. Thanks for that….After seeing your beautiful pics of your gorgeous home….I’m actually feeling the Christmas spirit come over me. Have an incredibly joyous and awesome Christmas! PS…thanks for allowing me to feel NO guilt about the Christmas crap I’m NOT putting out this year. You are so sensible.

  15. Alex says:

    Gorgeous! All of it! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  16. Patti says:

    Love it, Karen! Your house pulls in so many awesome textures, both rustic and modern, and I absolutely LOVE it. LOVE IT.

    Also, I feel like we`re friends because I’m all like “ooh! Look! There’s her rolling pin in the cupboard”, and “oh, I love how she used her egg basket to hold candy!” and on and on and on! I feel like I’ve been in your house before or something, because I recognize so many items! Does this make me a stalker?

    Also – LOVE that you used burlap (or is that natural linen?) as a tree skirt! I SO wanted to do something fancy for a tree skirt (mine is currently just felt) and that is the PERFECT idea. You’re so smart!

    Signed, Your friend, Patti.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Hello my pal Patti. It is burlap and it cost 0.39 cents a foot at the local garden centre! Best investment ever. I also made my mother buy about 10 feet of it! ~ karen

  17. Liz says:

    Butt gusting funny. I mean gut busting. Hysterical. And beautiful. Yes, you deserve to brag.

    Now I’m going to squirrel away a bunch of non-Christmas decor into a box and take it down to the basement (where there are 193 more boxes of stuff). Thanks for your inspiration!

  18. LAURA says:

    I’m sure Pottery Barn would pay you mucho big bucks to help in their store. You have more than one calling in life. Your photography skills amaze me as well. My own pics of random house areas don’t intrigue me to stare even half as much as yours. I’m like centimeters away from the computer screen at your blog.

  19. Cathy says:

    It’s beautiful, even more so that it is simple and uncomplicated in the way it feels; though I know it had to be a lot of work. Our tree fell 3 years ago and destroyed my favorite ornaments, too. I’m blaming ours on the Great Pyr’s tail hitting it. Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your beautiful home via the great photos!

  20. Lisa says:

    Same as you, I like to decorate with greenery and pinecones, etc. because it also says “winter” and not just Christmas. Then I put away the ornaments and some things can stay out until February-ish.

    Also – don’t you have a cat? Do you own the only cat in the entire world that doesn’t eat tinsel??

    Where is this magical place?

  21. Elen Grey says:

    That did warm the cockles of my Christmas coffee cup! There, I got four C’s!! I loved the fireplace swag and the metal egg basket used for Christmas candy. Okay. Okay. Okay. I loved everything. The incredible crashing tree is fabu!

  22. laura gerber says:

    Amazing as always Does the reindeer sweater live on the chair all season or do you get to wear it?

    • Karen says:

      Laura – Hah! I got the reindeer sweater for my birthday from my mother (a few days before I took the pictures) so it was hanging on the chair. I decided it looked pretty damn good there, so I left it for the picture! ~ karen

  23. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Your home is lovely! I love the tinsel. I remember way back in the day that my Grandma would save the tinsel. She would layer the strands between sheets of tissue paper. This was back in the 60’s so I imagine it was the real metal tissue.

    Merry Christmas!

  24. Ann says:

    Gorgeous. But I know it must have been tough to lose some of your antique glass ornaments. I am not even putting my tree up this year because I have a new, fairly young cat in the house. All my ornaments are glass, “Old World Christmas” and Radko and I can’t imagine how much it would hurt to have any of them break. Especially since every year when I buy one, it is purchased in tribute to the passing year. Like last year, after having to deskunk my dogs hundreds of times, I bought several varieties of skunks to go on the tree. This year I couldn’t find one with any connection to our year so I just bought a pretty woodland snowman. Next year when the kitty is 2 years old, I will dare to set the tree up!!

  25. Barbie says:

    …..sorry about your tree falling over so much! Your a stronger woman than I for not crying!

  26. Barbie says:

    Love the white pitchers and pinecones! Also the fireplace with the burlap….brilliant!

  27. Kelly says:

    I love that I’m not the only one who still puts tinsel on a tree. I’ve been told by my kids that no one does that anymore but now I have proof that at least one person on this planet, besides me, does. My husband likes tinsel and colored lights and because I still really, really like him a lot after all these years, I try to keep him happy……… even if I’m more of a white light and themed tree kinda gal. The white lights are on the upstairs tree :o)
    Your house is beautiful Karen and I really love the country charm it has.
    I hope you have an awesome Christmas and all the best for good health and happiness in 2013!!!

  28. Jack says:

    Your home is indeed a scene out of “Its a Wonderful Life” but I must say as I scrolled through your many rooms of festive cheer I did not see any Christmas cards perched atop mantles or strung across entranceways. Where might you be displaying your many Christmas cards…….particularly the one from me??

    • Karen says:

      LOL! The Christmas cards always get slipped into the slats of the slatted door leading into the basement. And your particular card happens to be on a small sideboard in my hallway. ~ karen!

  29. Deb says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Love the simple white pitchers and the pine cones!!! Too cute, but one thing confuses me. HOW do you get the “girls” to lay those holiday appropriate beautiful colored eggs?

  30. Tara says:

    Magazine worthy!

  31. qtpuh2tme says:

    So Christmaslicious! ~:)

  32. Mary Werner says:

    Beautiful! My favorite are the trees under glass on the table. We always fish lined our trees which we cut from our farm. They were so crooked and some years we put three in pot and wired together to get a fuller effect as Florida trees are spindly. You brought back GOOD memories of crooked trees, hectic times, and yes that is what it was all about anyway. Relaxing can wait for new year. Favorite movie? Christmas Vacation of course. Does salad bowl like the decor or does he wait patiently for new year clean? Merry Christmas!

  33. cred says:

    smashing of dozens of your vintage ornaments makes me cry.

    Where are the creepy elves? They remind me of my childhood.

    Looks very festive- I love that you decorate every room.

    • Karen says:

      Cred – The creepy elves are on a windowsill in the kitchen. I believe they’re protecting the pepper grinder at the moment. ~ karen

  34. Sandy says:

    Your home looks beautiful. Merry Christmas.

  35. marilyn says:

    it is really beautiful karen..great job

  36. Tres says:

    Your house looks amazing! Santa may have to bring Mrs. Claus by for some decorating ideas. According to TMZ, the North Pole is looking a bit tired this year. Have a Merry Christmas!

  37. Susan says:

    Your tree is pretty but real with lights on it! Please remember to never leave the room with the lights plugged in. That tree becomes an inferno in seconds…I know from first hand knowledge! And tied up it can’t even be knocked over, picked up and thrown or anything! Please be careful. By the way metal tinsel is banned because of the fire hazard. Do NOT ever use real metal tinsel. Not to belabour the fact but the burlap on your mantel is also so pretty. Be careful to only have smoldering fires with that hanging there. The heat or an exuberant flame could turn to disaster in seconds again. Sorry but it all scares me now and I know from what I say! Merry Christmas Karen to you, the fella and your family. Your blog gives all year …just like a Christmas present!!

  38. Laura Bee says:

    The old ornament fairies were around when my tree crashed (twice). I got lucky. But I’ve lost others in past years. You inspired me to use my sheepskin under the tree. I love it & love your whole house!

  39. Jamieson says:

    Spectacular spectacular!

  40. Pilar says:

    OMG Dear Karen, absolutely everything looks so fantastic and balanced! I love your house and I love you decoration. I can assure you, that the effort was it worth. I envy you for it (in a friendly way!) because this year I can’t decorate my house as I would normally do. We have a kitty with an age of 4 months and I know where would be landing all the funny shiny, rolling stuff! no, better not decorate too much this year!

  41. Susan says:

    Really beautiful. I especially like all of the greenery. Is it real? If so, if must smell wonderful. I like to set vases around the house full of the free cuttings from the Christmas tree lot. Sometimes I hang a few Christmas ornaments on them or candy canes. Also proudly used the time-weathered ornaments from my family that have been on the tree since I was a little girl. You’ve probably seen similar ones at the museum. I think they’re painted dinosaur poop.
    Merry Christmas everyone!

  42. Kat says:

    Listening to Annie Lennox “Walking on Broken Glass” while checking out your post. Puts a cool twist on to your photos! My fave is that glass reindeer on the mantle beside your white tree. But Holy Moly was it that big huge tree that fell over. Hell you didn’t even get to put a tree topper on that puppy, not that you had room!…and are those your Boggs tucked away in there? Great stuff Karen! I have a 24 inch tall 1950’s blue and green vinyl tinsel tree that makes me as happy as Rudolph on his first flight!

  43. shauna says:

    Good Work Karen!
    It is beeeoootiful.
    Worthy of pride for sure.
    Have the merriest of Christmases and thank you for making me laugh many times over the past few months. Looking forward to more practical, or not, beautiful, or not, but always hilarious tips from you in 2013.

  44. Lori says:

    Merry Christamas! You did a great job on decorating ! Love you tree! Even if it took three tries to get it to stay up! It look great!

  45. Cheri says:

    And….did you make that log side table???? Love it!!

  46. Cheri says:

    No real tree for 3 years, breaks my heart, but stupid white carpet to blame: rental too. So jealous, tree is gorgeous! Done with taste and class…. Well done!

  47. Wendy says:

    Beautiful home, Karen. That glass reindeer on your buffet is my favorite thing, beautiful. Merry Christmas!

  48. oh my. you crack me up.

    your home looks beautiful. i’ve definitely pinned a few ideas to steal for next year (esp the bell strap on door, wreath on mirror (for me it would be on our large framed art), and merry christmas on lamp.

    bravo and merry christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Emily! The Merry Christmas on the lamp is just some gold sparkle letters from the dollar store that I hung on ornament hooks on the shade. Total cost … $1. ~ karen!

  49. White says:

    Is that all? :)

    BTW, the question did occur to me regarding the sound of a tree falling. Thank you for clearing that up. But aren’t falling trees a ‘fella’ thing? You should point a finger (any finger).

    2nd BTW, I appreciate the Medalta brand. At one time, I used to correspond/collaborate with Luke Lindoe who was attempting to keep the business/name solvent, albeit not on an industrial basis. In its heyday, Medalta produced some really ghastly stuff, but also some very iconic, classic utilitarian product lines.

  50. Bonnie Cramond says:

    You have tinsel on your tree. It looks like real tinsel of yore. Tinsel was always my favorite part of the Christmas tree. I have been told that real tinsel–the metal kind–is not sold any more. They only sell the plastic kind. But your looks metal. Yay! It may be worth moving to Canada for real tinsel.

    • Beckie says: sells metal tinsel =)

      {{I like tinsel too!}}

      pretty house!!

      • Bonnie says:

        Thanks, Beckie,

        I just found out that Amazon sells real tinsel, too. I guess you just can’t buy it easily like you could in the past. I read that it is because of the lead, but I don’t want to eat it.

        • Pam Gibson says:

          Please know that although the metal tinsel truly is so much prettier, it is highly toxic to your pets. We all know cats that love to eat that sparkly stuff!! Use with caution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen