Holiday House

comments: 132


It is a gorgeous morning here. The sun is just coming up, throwing beautiful golden light onto the front porches of the houses across the street. I must say, Winter, that you haven't been too gloomy yet this year. I'll begin my wishing and hoping for snow — anytime in December would be good for me, FYI. Just sayin. Did you know that the Christmas season is five days shorter this year? I heard it on television the other day. I was kind of bummed about that. I like this season so much. Especially when it snows (alas, almost never).


We decorated the dining room last weekend. Our dining room is actually the living room, if you think that fireplaces are normally in living rooms. In our house, the "living" room (with the fireplace) was just too far from the kitchen — one of us was frequently watching TV in the living room, and the other was cooking in the kitchen. This resulted in lots of shouting back and forth during "together" time. "Can you bring me a Coke?!?" "Yes!!!" "What channel are you on!?!" "ABC Family!!!" "Okay!!!" "What are you listening to?!?" "The Avett Brothers!!!" The dining room was between the living room and the kitchen. So we switched the living and dining rooms a couple of years ago — it's one of those houses where the front door opens right into the middle of the living room, no entry hall or anything — and we like it a lot better. But I do kind of miss watching TV and sitting on the sofa near the fireplace.


I moved the table into the middle of the dining room so I could move the dresser in that was in front of the window to the wall, and then the Christmas tree could be in front of the window. (Here's how things usually look.) It's a very, very old tree. Silver tinsel. I'm not sure how much longer we'll be able to keep it. The branches are falling apart, the tree lists dangerously to the right, and the tinsel is shredding. We bought it from an antique store about six or seven years ago. It was expensive, but live trees are so expensive that I think it paid for itself in just a couple of years. Andy thinks we might get a real tree next year. This is Clover's first tree (we didn't put it up last year because she was too young to manage something so fragile, and covered with glass balls) but she's totally oblivious, so that's nice. No problem there.


I got these snow-cabin dishes at Goodwill a few week ago. I have always wanted Christmas dishes but I never found any that I really liked, and as I discussed with my sister, if you're gonna have Christmas dishes you gotta love the Christmas dishes. These are nothing fancy, but I liked them, and they reminded me of Polish pottery, which I love.


Naturally I have absolutely nowhere to put them. You can see my other thrifties just piled in the cabinet back there.


So I am just going to leave them on the table all winter, and bring them into the kitchen when it's time to actually serve something that will be eaten in the dining room, in front of the fireplace, which is a great way to eat breakfast. Or dinner. But breakfast is great. I'm making waffles for Andrea this morning, so I should probably light that fire. The tablecloth came from Goodwill, too, and have I or have I not just been so totally scoring at Goodwill lately? I know.


Here's my sideboard. I am going to make another one of Jennifer's poinsettia garlands for myself this year. I gave the one I made last year to my mother-in-law but now I want one for myself. I got some little tiny clothespins and I thought maybe I'd hang whatever Christmas cards we get from the ivy, because I never know what to do with the cards.


Now. This little collection is cool. These are these little tole-painted boards that I got from an estate sale this summer. This guy's mom made them and he was selling about fifteen of them for about a dollar each. Dude!!! Aggh. Too good. I adore them. Next is the wreath I made a few years ago — remember that? Inspired by this? Phew. That was quite a project, I have to say. And then our little collection of hand-carved Santas, all made by Andy's grandpa, Mark Thomas, who sends us one every year. I love these so much. Let's look at them closer.


So cute. I think each one is a kit that he orders, and then makes for everyone in the family. I just love these.


Then there is my snow-village mantle. I've photographed and written about this several times. One of my favorite blog posts, from 2005, is about it. This one from last year kind of made me cry. This one always does. But it wouldn't be Christmas unless I was crying about something.


I've gotten several emails this year asking me how I put this village together. I wish I had photographed it before I'd set it up (because, trust me, once it's up, it's not coming down until the new year). But basically I took a bunch of four-inch foam, like upholstery foam, blocks that I had (I know, who has these just sitting around? I do, because I used to make baby blocks out of them for Posie several years ago — but you could easily use boxes of different sizes, or books) and just stacked them up, tall ones in back, to look like hills. Then just plop some white Christmas lights all around the boxes — the icicle kind are good, because they have these long tendrils and you can have those reach into little corners and stuff. Then I just draped the whole thing with a couple yards of white linen, doubled so there wouldn't be too much show-through. Just bunch it up around stuff to look like snow drifts. And that's it. Easy.


I try to keep it simple.


Sigh..I just love your house--it is soo beautiful!!

i want to come to your house!!! i love your blog all year long, but christmastime especially is my favorite time of year at "posie gets cozy".

I really love your house and the decorations

This just might be the happiest Christmas hosue I've ever seen. I love every little inch of these pictures!

Such a dreamscape, pure coziness.

My Mom just arrived in town for a visit, and we put up my own little tree with all of the sparkly lights and hand-made ornaments. Each detail warms up a little apartment so nicely.

I love your holiday decor..Especially your snow village on your mantel..I love it!! happy holidays from your neighbor here in Washington..across from a little town called Indianola..You would like it was an old fishing village/weekenders its full time with a little store, post office and community center...We lived in Vancouver for about 2 years..loved shopping in portland..and loved the sites there too...:)

Beautiful! I have the same Dala horse napkin holder.

Why does your silver tree look so incredible with it's ornaments and mine looks so goofy I haven't used it in years?? Everything look so great!

Your vintage silver tree made me smile. I remember getting one when I was a kid and it was hauled out year after year. Eventually the poor thing became quite bald but still we used it by wrapping the branches with tinsel. Wonder what ever happened to that old thing. Sweet memories, thankyou.

It all looks absolutely beautiful. Those carved Father Christmas figures are really special!

Everything is so beautiful!!! have like the most sweetest Christmas home EVER! Seriously. I can stare at each picture endlessly and get so many ideas and "oooh i love that"s. I really love the Wooden Santa with the beard hanging down the cute is that? Oh, by the was your Morning Living interview? I was looking around the web for a livecast but couldn't find anything. :(

What a wonderful post. It took me about 40 minutes to read it because I kept clicking on all the links to older posts...and clicked on their links....and their links....

I passed on buying one of those trees last year and have been sorry ever since! Everything looks so beautiful!

I started clipping our Christmas cards to a garland like you have there a few years ago and I just love it! Try it out -- I think you'll like it too. Waaay better than trying to balance cards open all over the place.

Your carved Santas are *awesome*! I am soooo jealous that you've got that coming from your family. They're so sweet. Love. Them.

I made the mistake of clicking on the second cry-inducing post and it made me cry, too. You have your very own Christmas angel.

Thank you for opening your Christmas-y home to us -- I love to get these peeks into your lovely, lovely world.

Alicia we are having the same sunny day up here in the north! Lots of fresh fluffy snow...little icicles everywhere! You have inspired me...AGAIN...

Thank you, Alicia! I took notes on your village-building process and I'll be kicking my tree display up a notch! Your house is so pretty--Merry Christmas! :)

You completely and totally inspired me to do a snow village last year. I found some at my local thrift/antique shop and even found some little musical angels, lights and all. I put mine on my mantle last year and we all loved it. I love your simple lovely style.


Just beautiful! I've been feeling a little humbug this year but I think you've given the necessary inspiration. I'm ready to decorate.

Ooh, I'm so jealous of your lovely and festive home! Every year, it takes me so long to get my act together, it's Christmas Eve before we get the tree up. Every year, I want it to be done much earlier, and Every year, I'm up to my eyeballs in other things... Maybe this year will be the one to break the chain? Don't think I'll count on that ;-)

I love how you set up your village. I'm always trying to hide the cords on mine and using the fabric "snowdrifts" is perfect!

OH! You've got a Dalecarlian horse! I'm from Dalecarlia :D

And your blog is so nice.

I love your decorations! I believe the length of the holiday season is calculated as the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- since the shopping "season" starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Eve. Since Thanksgiving was late this year, the season is shorter.

I hope you are able to enjoy every minute of it.

Love your house. gave me a lot inspiration for my new dwelling

Did you knit the stockings? They're darling!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at