I’m excited because today I am hosting an open house for all of my good friends…YOU!

Pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and grab a Christmas cookie.

Our family has decorated the halls and we’re ready to welcome you all to our home for the holidays! Please feel free to post your Christmas photos here.

“Hang on a sec. Was that the doorbell?  Oh, hey there! We’re so glad you all stopped by. C’mon in!”


I’m so glad to see you!

Do you like the wreaths I made for my windows this year? I was surprised. They came out much better than I expected! I’ve never been a bow-maker.

They sure were fun to put together. My son Nate showed me the best way to make a bow. We really had no clue and he was so good to help me! I should start calling him, Marty Stewart. It’s pretty bad when your son has to help you make a bow, but then think of what a lucky girl I am that I have a son who even takes the time to help me figure out how to make a bow. ha ha!

We used two different color burlap ribbon in cranberry and taupe to make our bows extra special. Can’t say I thought of that idea. My friend Kim Coley, whose adorable story about her mamma’s pecan pie found in my cookbook, You Never Cook Alone, gave me that idea!

My sweet Amanda and I liked the marriage of natural and man-made materials in this vignette? Whatcha think? We did pretty good, right?

This is one of of my favorite areas of our home decorated at Christmas time. I call it Christmas Past.  My sweet girl Isabel and I were remembering all of the Christmas pasts and were marveling at how grown our boys are now. I just love how she was looking at her boys.

Ah, yes, The Night Before Christmas! I read this book to both of my boys since their very first Christmases. In 2001, after a fire took our home, I was preparing to read the story to my children as I always had when I realized that I no longer had the book in my possession. It had burned in the fire in 2000. How could I have forgotten?

My parents were visiting us for the holidays. I was so upset when my mother came into my room. In her hand was The Night before Christmas. She remembered. We both cried.  Like every other holiday, we all cuddled under the covers and read The Night Before Christmas aloud and sang The Twelve Days of Christmas together. Today when I try to read the story to my boys and sing the song my dad will say, “For crying out loud Elise, they are 23 and 19!” and we all laugh. We still read and sing though.  : )

Last year my dear friend and incredibly talented designer, Mary Accardi, owner of Collaborative Designs surprised me by decorating my formal dining room. I decorated it in the same way this year. Copper, gold and greenery were lovely accents. I love it!

Isn’t that pretty?


Mary gave me those beautiful angels. She has the same pair at home which makes it extra special. Mary also gave me a lamp that her husband John, a wonderful artist, had made before he passed. Oh, how I love it! It sits on our piano in our great room and we think of Mary and John often.

This beautiful manger was made by my family when I was a young girl and given to me by my parents after my family’s house fire. It was made from an old wine crate and the grass was taken from a nearby park.

Each year our family added a new piece or pieces to the nativity set like this beautiful angel.

See that adorable snowman warming himself by the fire? That’s Tommy and my parents gave him to us years ago. Don’t worry he isn’t a REAL snowman and so he won’t melt by the fire. He is special however.  I adore him. He used to talk until my son, Nathaniel removed the batteries. Darn it!

My son taught piano to several children back in Asheville, NC. Every time the students would enter our home at Christmastime, Tommy would welcome them. “M-e-r-r-y Christmas!”, he would say. I loved it. Nate, well, not so much. ; ) I guess he got tired of hearing Tommy. For several years now my eldest son has played tricks on me. It’s become a holiday tradition or game.

One year I found Tommy in my dish towel drawer.

One year I found him in one of my kitchen cupboards…

Tommy has also been found inside my soup pots, under my pillow and hanging from our second story into our great room. : ) One of the funniest things Nate ever did was to call Amanda and I after he had left to pick up more Christmas lights. He said, ” Hey guys, look outside!” Off to the door we went. Held hostage was Tommy, whose head could be seen up against the passenger side window! : )


My advent wreath. Am grateful for all it represents!

That little tree on the left, is a tree that looks like the one my Vavo (my grandmother) gave to me when I was a little girl. My parents purchased this tree for me after our house fire in 2000. The pretty red apples and Raggedy Ann Dolls were from my childhood as well. I was obsessed with Raggedy Ann and Andy as a child. They will most certainly be the first toys I buy my future grandchildren someday.

Hung from this tree which is found in our family den, are all of the handmade ornaments made by my children since 2001. They are precious to me.

I’m so happy you all stopped by for a visit. Thank you! Our family wishes you and yours all of the blessings Christmas provides.