Thanksgiving Feasts and Family + HM #210

Celebrate and be grateful with Thanksgiving feasts and family. Plus link up at Home Matters with recipes, DIY, crafts, decor. #Thanksgiving #HomeMattersParty

Thanksgiving Feasts and Family + HM #210

It’s time to count your blessings and give thanks! And how better to celebrate than with good food, good drink, a welcoming and warm atmoshpereof lovely decor, and a boat load of family fun. The gals of Home Matters are wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving and offering up some fabulous ideas to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy!

Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad Recipe from Tonia @ The Gunny Sack

 

The Ultimate Appetizer Board from Gaby @ What’s Gaby Cooking

 

Amazing Thanksgiving Pie Crust Designs from Camille @ Camilleiam

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape Simple Elegance from Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

 

Thanksgiving Feasts and Family Blog Hop

Click through all the Hosts and Co-hosts blogs to see the complete Themed Roundup!

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A Home Matters Themed Roundup

Last Week’s Theme: Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Home Matters is off next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, and we hope yours is full of joy!

In Two Week’s Theme: Holiday/End-of-Year Prep



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Holiday Prep: 8 Things You Can Do EARLY from Natalie @ Refined Rooms

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Chocolate Bark Thanksgiving Turkeys from Wendy @ The Monday Box

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DIY Rustic Farmhouse Floating Laundry Room Shelves from Angela @ Simply Beautiful by Angela

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Easy Sweet Potato Soup Recipe from April @ April Golightly

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Flower Shaped Mini Pumpkin Pies from Lois @ Walking on Sunshine The Floor

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Thanksgiving Tablescape Simple Elegance

At the busy holiday season, it’s nice to have some simple elegance. I’m sharing how to put together a gorgeous and easy Thanksgiving tablescape with the help of Oriental Trading Company who provided some of the items for my table decor. AD #ThanksgivingTablescape

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape Simple Elegance

Helping to make the busy holidays easy and beautiful

 

There is no escape. You can’t turn back now. The holidays are upon us. So, let Oriental Trading help you make this busy season simple and elegant, fun and easy, or whatever sparks your fancy. There is something for every decor style, craft idea, or DIY project.

This year, my Thanksgiving tablescape style is simple elegance with a rustic touch. Autumn is such a lovely season full of fall colors, delicious flavors, cozy moments, and family memories. Let’s celebrate!

The first thing I did was gather my supplies:

  • Ceramic White Pumpkin
  • 1 – Wood Large Round Centerpiece (wood slice)
  • 1 – Wood Medium Round Centerpiece (wood slice)
  • Silk Fall Leaves
  • Fall Burlap Pumpkins
  • 2 – Battery-Operated Round Flameless Candles
  • Raffia Ribbon
  • Tape

Prep the Candles:

Candles

  1. Lay individual leaves in a line, right side up. Make the line of leaves long enough to go around the candle.
  2. Place a strip of Tape across the line of leaves to hold them in position.
  3. Wrap the leaves around the candle and secure with an additional piece of tape.
  4. Tie Raffia Ribbon around the leaves. I used two pieces of raffia ribbon for each candle.
  5. Carefully remove the tape.

Building the centerpiece:

  1. Stack the two Wood Slices (large and medium) in the center of the table. I turned mine so they didn’t lay exactly the same.
  2. Then tuck some of the Fall Leaves under the edges of the wood slices. Add extra leaves to spill out across the table as desired.
  3. Place the Burlap Pumpkins around the wood slices.
  4. The showcase of my centerpiece is the gorgeous Ceramic White Pumpkin. It has a white glaze and a little gold detailing to make this pumpkin absolutely stunning. Place it on the wood slices.
  5. Set the Candles on opposite sides of the centerpiece.

Tie your place settings in with your centerpiece:

Napkins

  1. Fold napkins however you wish.
  2. Lay a couple of leaves on the napkin.
  3. Tie with raffia ribbon.

Water Goblets or Wine Glasses

  1. Tie raffia ribbon to the glass stem.

So, what do you think of my Thanksgiving tablescape? It’s simple and elegant, right? And it certainly was quick and easy to create.

If you are looking for more ideas and inspiration, check out Oriental Trading for all your everyday and holiday needs.

Looking for an easy DIY project to spruce up your home before the holidays? Check out our Mantel Makeover!

 

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Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party – Fun, Easy To Host

Fun and easy Halloween Girls’ Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!

 

Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party

Easy to Host – Learn How To Play + Free Printables!

 

+ Halloween Decor Blog Hop

 

Halloween is always a fun time to host a party. This year, I got to host our monthly Bunco Party for a vamptastic Halloween Girls’ Night! It was hauntingly fun and I cannot wait to share it with you.

If you have never played Bunco, you are missing out on some serious girl-time gaming amusement. Don’t worry, you can get into the game easily enough, I have downloads and FREE printables that will arm you with everything you need. Check them out below.

Since my party was at the beginning of October, I wanted to give it a Halloween theme. My house is all spooked out with the decor, I added Halloween names to the Bunco tables, and of course, I served a frightfully tasty Halloween-themed dessert, Vampire Cupcakes.

Jeepers Creepers, let’s take a peek!

I had a ton of fun creating my Halloween Mantel Decor, and am absolutely in love with the Orange, Black, and Purple color scheme. See the post HERE. This was a perfect focal point for my Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party.

Happy Halloween Sign hanging from Mantel
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 1
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 6
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 5
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 4
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 3
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 2
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!

 

I set-up a super cute buffet table for some extra snacks and my delectable dessert.

These Vampire Cupcakes are easy-peasy to make and are quite a crowd pleaser — definitely a perfect Halloween-themed dessert. CLICK HERE for the RECIPE!

 

All of my Bunco supplies had a Halloween twist. From the goodie bags for my prizes to the table tags denoting which table was which, to the pencils. Even my prizes were renamed: Master Vampire = Most Buncos; The Headless Horseman = 1st Place; Mummy in the Middle = 2nd Place; The Cackler = Most Smileys; and The Body in the Basement = Most Losses.

Aren’t these spooky Candelabra Place Cards adorable? They were perfect for marking my tables and placed beside my cupcakes.

Ready to Play Bunco?

Bunco is a very EASY game, anyone can play it. There is no skill or strategy involved. If you can roll dice, you can play. This game is a great social mixer since you change partners and tables all night long, so you get the opportunity to chat and giggle with everyone.

Very few supplies are needed to play Bunco: dice; paper; pencil; and a bell (or something to make noise with). You will also want score sheets. And, if you are starting a Bunco Group of your own, you’ll want the Monthly Paid Schedule and the Rules, Prizes & Game Play. I have FREE PRINTABLES for these!

Downloads and Free Printables for Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party

Bunco Score Sheets

The score sheets come two to a page. Each player needs to have one.

Bunco – Monthly Paid Schedule

If you are starting a Bunco Group, use this to keep track of who has paid. You collect money at the end of the bunco party for the following month’s Bunco.

Bunco – Rules, Prizes & Game Play

This is loaded with information and awesome tips too. It provides all the details on how to play the game of Bunco, prize descriptions, game set-up, and more.

Bunco is a great idea for a Halloween Girls’ Night or anytime. Think about it for a church group event, big family get-together, or any event where you might play a game. You will have a BLAST!

Halloween Decor Blog Hop

If you are looking for some quick and easy Halloween Decor DIY Ideas, try my Trick-or-Treat Lantern, the Haunted Mirror – An Eerie Halloween DIY Decor, and DIY Spider Candles. Spooktacular!

Check out this Bubbling Cauldron of Candy and other fun candy display ideas.

Now, you have seen a lot of my Halloween decor so it’s time to check some of the ideas from this talented group of bloggers that I have joined up with to do this blog hop. I know you will be inspired by the creativity.

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Thanks for stopping by to have some Halloween Girls’ Night fun, learn how to throw a Bunco Party, and enjoy a Halloween Decor Blog Hop too!

 

 

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5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

Hosting a Family Christmas Party can be stressful. You want everything to be perfect, full of family tradition and holiday spirit in order to create those magical memories that will last a lifetime. So, we have some great tips and trick that will help you host a stress-free family Christmas Party. Of course, these tips will help in planning and in hosting any party!

5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

 

With winter holidays straight ahead and drawing closer by the minute, we’re all looking forward to lip-smacking Christmas banquets and family reunions, right? Well, not exactly. Every time the season comes for Santa to slide down the chimney and deliver gifts, busy moms start bracing themselves for second helpings of stress and hard work required to host a pitch-perfect at-home Christmas celebration. Nevertheless, the fact that your whole family will be coming together to welcome Father Christmas in a few weeks’ time doesn’t have to be a source of angst or dread this time around. All you need to do is arm yourself with tried and tested tips on how to throw an unforgettable, stress-free Christmas party and act on them without delay.

1. Invitations Nobody Can Say No To

Before dashing off to decorate the dining table and whip up food for the Christmas party, pause for a second to do a brief guest count. Draw up the guest list and seating plan to make sure your party goes down without hitches or unpleasant guest table quibbles.

With the guest list in place, it’s time to send out invitations (preferably in the written, not digital form). You should send invites at least two weeks ahead of the celebration to allow your guests ample time to RVSP. Expert tip: be sure the invitations are so lovable your invitees can’t say No to them. If you hate the idea of DIY invitation crafting, you can find various printable Christmas party invites online. Use them to cheat your way to bonus party turnout.

2. Decide on the Food and Drink Menu

The next point on the stress-free Christmas party staging list, the choice of food and drinks you’ll serve your guests deserves an extra dose of attention. As a general rule, the party bar should contain both alcoholic and soft drinks, just to stay on the safe (and relatively sober) side of the dining table.

If possible, it would be a wise idea to check with the guests if they suffer from any food allergies or follow special diet plans: such a precious piece of info will help you stock the party table with delicacies all invitees will relish. If you don’t want to go through the food prep hassle, you can look up the offer of best finger food catering services in Melbourne and pick tasty bites that fit the party budget and your guests’ dietary preferences.

3. It’s Time to Dress Up the Party Venue

After you’ve sorted out the essentials for the Christmas party, you’ll need to dress the venue for the gathering. The rule of thumb here is that ornaments in red, gold, and green are best-suited to the biggest event of the winter season, but you can also use violet, blue, and orange details as accents.

To achieve a festive yet suave tablescape, you should bring out finest silverware and porcelain crockery: after all, Christmas is precisely the type of a special occasion that calls for such displays of elegance and luxury. For final touches, you can top the Christmas party table with fragrant candles, string lights nestled in jars, and a centerpiece in the form of an evergreen arrangement with red and white ribbon.

4. Devise a Fail-safe Entertainment Program

To keep boredom at bay and avoid awkward party silences, create a special playlist and pick a few games you and your guests will play after dinner. Christmas Carol Pictionary, white elephant gift exchange, and other themed games are a great entertainment choice, but you can also opt for non-Christmassy activities if your party crowd isn’t exactly a major fan of traditional festive amusement.

As far as music is concerned, you shouldn’t leave out Christmas melodies from the playlist, but you can structure it around handpicked non-seasonal tunes such as jazz, blues, R&B, and classic rock. Expert tip: melodies that make your guests’ ears prick up and set the mood to merry are a good choice of music for the Christmas party.

5. Party Favors, the Hospitable Hosts’ Way

No Christmas party is complete without gifts, but the Christmas tree shouldn’t be the only place for your guests to find tokens of appreciation, caring, and love. To bring home the medal as the most hospitable host ever, make cute party favors before the big event which you’ll place at the dining table.

Gingerbread cookies, lollies, tree ornaments, and chocolates in Christmas wrappers are just the tip of the party favor iceberg. If you want to go pro with the Christmas party staging, you can present the guests with personalized favors such as swag bags, printed mugs with funny slogans, spa and massage coupons, and creative cookie tins or favor bags which you can order online for bonus stress-free party organization.

All set? Don’t forget to put on your finest party clothes, don a wide smile, and have tons of fun –after all, joy, laughter, love, sharing, and positive mood are the whole point of winter holidays. Enjoy your family Christmas party to the fullest. Merry Christmas!


 

 

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Christmas Tablescape Ideas – 12 Days of Christmas – Day 4

You are going to love this round-up of festive Christmas Tablescape Ideas. There’s something for every style from the 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Blog Hop. Don’t miss a single day — they are all different and promise tons of holiday cheer and inspiration! Enjoy…

Join us for the 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Series along with eleven other talented bloggers. We’ve rounded up the best of the best Christmas ideas to make your holiday season more festive and fun.

Every day December 1-12th we will be sharing a new collection of Christmas Ideas rounded up from our best blogging friends around the web. That’s a total of 144 awesome Christmas Ideas to make your holiday season easier and more fun! Some of our topics include Decor, DIY, Organization, Food, Games and so much more. We don’t want to spoil the fun by telling you too much. We want you to be surprised! Now is the perfect time to subscribe so you’ll be the first to know!

Meet The Hostesses

Shirley of Intelligent Domestications ~ Erlene of My Pinterventures ~ Lindsay of Crazy Organized

Michelle of Our Crafty Mom ~ Stephanie of The Tip Toe Fairy ~ Lorelai of Life With Lorelai

Katie of The Organized Dream ~ Amanda of The Kolb Corner ~ Marie of DIY Adulation

Megan of C’mon Get Crafty ~ Sara of Twelve On Main ~ Kim of Made in a Day

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click the link and buy something, I may receive a percentage of sales at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting Our Crafty Mom!

IT’S DAY FOUR AND WE’RE SHARING

12 Christmas Tablescape Ideas For Every Style

Welcome, Michelle from Our Crafty Mom.

I love to decorate a pretty table as so many of you do. It really is fun to see the different decorating styles that people have and how they decorate their tables for Christmas. Today I am not only sharing my Christmas Tablescape, but 11 other beautiful tablescapes in different styles so you have plenty of options for your own Christmas Tablescape. I would classify my style as Rustic Glam which basically means lots of glitz and glam!

Our Crafty Mom-Silver & Gold Christmas Tablescape

Up To Date Interiors Feminine Christmas Table

The Crazy Organized Blog-Christmas Tablescape

Twelve On Main-Farmhouse Christmas Dining Room

Sondra Lyn At Home Merry & Toile Tablescape

Monica Wants It All-Black, White, Gold & Red Tablescape

Pink Fortitude-Rustic Christmas Tablescape

CCMcAfee Perspective-Christmas Home Tour

Pink Peppermint Design-How To Set A Beautiful Christmas Tablescape

Windgate Lane-Home For The Holidays

A Purdy Little House-Christmas Tablescape

C’mon Get Crafty-A Simple Christmas Tablescape

Thanks so much for joining us for the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

Happy Holidays!!!

 
Thanks so much for joining us for the 12 Days of Christmas Ideas Blog Hop! If you missed any of our fun collections just see the links below!

 

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Easy DIY Table Runner

A simple and creative table runner could be just what you are looking for to bring a little something extra to your table or buffet. This is a great idea for any party.

 

Easy DIY Table Runner

Change It Up for the Holidays and Re-Use It Too!

 

Last Thanksgiving, we hosted the family dinner. Now, I have hosted many large family parties for holidays and other occasions over the years; but this time, I had a much smaller house to make the most of in a functional and pretty way. I no longer had the drop-leaf tea cart or extra buffet to use for additional serving space, and that meant my table had to be special without a centerpiece taking up valuable space.

I love setting a beautiful table, and making it all festive and seasonal, so what was I going to do?  I plowed through my tote of Autumn decor, and found some silk leaves in all the gorgeous autumn colors. And then, I had a fantastic idea–I could create a lovely table runner with these leaves!

To make this idea be functional, I needed to construct a table runner and not just throw loose leaves all over the place. Loose leaves would be a mess and a nuisance as guests passed dishes around the table. But, I also did not want to ruin my silk leaves. I wanted to use them again. So, here’s what I came up with…

Easy DIY Table Runner

Here’s What You Need:

  • Silk Leaves (Snowflakes, Hearts, Shamrocks, Flower Petals, Stars, Cupcakes, Dinosaurs, or any shape of choice–think Die Cuts)
  • Tape

 

How-To:

  • If you have items of different colors or sizes, separate them by color and size.
  • Take a couple of pieces and turn them upside down on your work surface.
  • Tape the pieces together so the tape will not show from the front side.

  • Add one piece at a time, taping them together until you have constructed the length or shape table runner you like–the possibilities are endless.

  • Carefully flip the runner right side up, and place on your table.

 

Could this project be any simpler? I don’t think so. And, I have to tell you, my table runner was a huge hit at Thanksgiving.

I love the way the runner has a little depth with the openings left in the design and the ruffled, not quite flat lay of the leaves. Our food platters sat atop the runners easily, but the leaves poked out in vibrant bursts of color, absolutely stunning. I used leaves in other areas for decoration, so it all tied together nicely.

If you have the room, a centerpiece would be wonderful, and imagine how lovely a few candles would be.

Packing away the table runner was easy-peasy. Simply remove the tape, and throw it away. I placed my silk leaves back into their boxes, and they are ready to use again next year. I wonder what I’ll do with them then?

If you are looking for something fun, different, functional, and super easy for your holidays or special occasions, this is a great table runner idea! An idea even the kids can help make. So, give a little pop to your decor.

I’d love to see what you create…

 

Here’s a Printable Tutorial of this DIY Project:

5 from 1 reviews
Easy DIY Table Runner
 
Creating a DIY Table Runner for any holiday or special occasion.
from:
Ingredients:
  • Silk Leaves (Snowflakes, Hearts, Shamrocks, Flower Petals, Stars, Cupcakes, Dinosaurs, or any shape of choice--think Die Cuts)
  • Tape
Directions:
  1. If you have items of different colors or sizes, separate them by color and size.
  2. Take a couple of pieces and turn them upside down on your work surface.
  3. Tape the pieces together so the tape will not show from the front side.
  4. Add one piece at a time, taping them together until you have constructed the length or shape table runner you like--the possibilities are endless.
  5. Carefully flip the runner over and place on your table right side up.
3.5.3208

 

What creative ideas do you have for low-space table decor?

 

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Home For The Holidays

Welcome to My

Home for the Holidays!

A little over a week ago, I showed you some of the decorations in my house as we are Getting Ready For Christmas. You can see them here. Today, I thought I would share more of the decorations in our home. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Our entry, full of fresh Christmas greens, offers a Christmasy aroma as you step through the door. Pine cones, garlands, jingle bells and snowflakes provide a warm and welcoming entry. The pot belly stove is there year round, but the addition of the old fashioned street lamp adds a beautiful glow.

Of course, what would Christmas be without Mistletoe?!? *Mwah!*

We love our little snow covered village. All the lights twinkling through the windows, and all the people milling about brings lots of wondering about their small town lives to mind.

And what do you think of our wonderful Mistletoe Stick? It hangs above the little town on a Snowflake hook so we can take it off and have great fun! I also have a couple of my snowflakes (like the ones hanging from my recessed lighting and other places around the house) hanging from the branch. I love the shadows the Mistletoe Stick creates.

This lovely Silver Filigree and Crystal Angel sits atop the crystal hutch in my living room. It is surrounded by garland and pearl lights. The lights are the same ones I used to decorate the little 4-foot tree in my mother’s room for her last Christmas. The poinsettia ribbon matches the bow work on my throw pillows.

My Great Grandmother’s wash basin and pitcher bedazzle with poinsettia and lighted garland. It sits above my mother’s hutch (probably my most favorite piece of furniture of hers) that is also festooned with the snowflakes.

Here is our beautiful fireplace, the focal point in our den. It’s a cozy place to sit and relax and listen to the firewood crackling as it warms the room and hearts.

Santa Claus, oil lamps, music boxes, and a large bowl with candle, Christmas greens and cranberries accompany the poinsettia garland running across the mantle. On the far right sits the snowman mug and plate just waiting for Christmas Eve to be filled with milk and cookies for Santa.

A basket filled with firewood (our version) and Christmas greens is tied with a gorgeous huge bow. These Christmas greens make the room smell wonderful.

You may have noticed that we have no stockings hung by the fireplace with care…

That’s because the stockings hang in the staircase in the middle of our home. They can be seen by visitors when they first arrive, and we can look at and wished upon the stockings all season long. My mother made needlepoint stockings for all of her grandchildren, they are amazing. The stockings get hung by the fireplace on Christmas Eve that way we can enjoy the fireplace without fear of destroying the stockings.

My kitchen is filled with childhood memories. Many of the Christmas arts and crafts my children created over the years hang happily in the heart of the home.

My formal dining room doesn’t usually get used for a large fancy holiday dinner. Our tradition is to have German lunch meats for our big celebration on Christmas Eve. The table is dressed with my mother’s hand cross-stitched tablecloth, and set for Christmastime with a special centerpiece crafted piece by piece. The red dishes used are Rory’s that she inherited this past year from her paternal grandmother.

Here’s a closer view of the centerpiece…

Pine candle holders surround a round sparkly gold box and have poinsettias, glittered baby’s breath,  lightly glittered pine cones, acrylic Christmas trees (salt and pepper shakers), and iridescent glass balls tucked around and about. On the gold box is placed my gold riser that is carved all the way around with angels playing musical instruments. At the top of the centerpiece my acrylic angel sounds the horn of glad tidings. I love the way all of the different pieces sparkle and shine in the candlelight.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of our Home for the Holidays. We wish you a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

Do you have any special things that have been passed down through the generations for Christmas decorating?

What are some of your family decorating traditions?

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Contact Lorelai at Lorelai@LifeWithLorelai.com