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Howdy Sugar Pies! It’s that Holly Jolly Christmas time again! Everywhere we drive here in the Ozarks (Branson, Missouri) lights are twinkling, bells are jingling and the shops are festooned with candy canes, garlands and wreaths tied with big red bows. Since my little hometown is a tourist destination, featuring nearly a hundred live-music Christmas shows, folks come from all over the country to experience an Old Fashioned Ozark Mountain Christmas. They also come to do their Christmas shopping! So indeed, the little town of Branson is bustling! In fact the old downtown reminds me of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry…why, you could peek inside the glowing windows of a warm little cafe on main street and see an apron-ed waitress pouring steaming coffee into waiting cups with saucers…kids carefully sipping hot chocolate as their pink noses kiss the whipped cream floating on top…giggles spilling everywhere. Joy is in the air. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Summer Rose doing the Vanna White pose

Last weekend my hubby, daughter Summer, and I scurried “over the river and through the woods” with my son Dusty, daughter-in-love Kimmy and grandbaby Kade to get our Christmas trees (Kade’s very first!). We were able to fit both trees on top of Dusty’s car. We dropped off our tree at our home then drove over to Dusty and Kimmy’s to help decorate their tree, watch the movie Home Alone and eat Pizza!

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Pictured here is my Hubby, Summer, Kade, me and son Dusty…so excited that Dusty and his little family are continuing our family tradition of picking out the perfect Christmas tree!

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Here’s Dusty’s wife Kimmy and sweet baby Kade dressed in Christmas Jammies…aren’t Mama and baby adorable?!

Love her boots! I’m pretty sure I need a pair of those!

img_6335And now, Sugar darlin’s, since I have my Christmas tree… I’d like to share with y’all the sparkling Christmas goodness here at The Farmhouse! Hopefully you’ll pick up an idea or two! So go grab something yummy to drink, put on some cozy slippers and make yourself at home…

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Someone said “The kitchen is the heart of the home”…I agree! Especially at Christmastime! It’s the place where all the warm aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, apple pie, spicy clove and orange pomanders, and sugar cookies swirl throughout the house making each heart swoon and eyes sparkle. It smells like love. The kitchen seems to be the happiest room in the house.

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All I had to do to add some Christmas cheer to my old farm table was to place my big red dimpled bowl right in the center! It’s just waiting to mix up a powdered-sugar-y batch of Grandma’s Snowball Cookies. The look is so simple yet cheery! Whether plain or fancy, I think we should decorate in a way that brings joy into our heart!

(I got my bowl at Crate and Barrel last year)

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For Fall I had little orange pumpkins perched on top of my white pitchers,

I switched them out with these over-sized  red and white ornaments. Easy Peasy!

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“A house becomes a home when good smells come from the kitchen.” ~Terry Willets

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My very whimsical Gingerbread house is from Cracker Barrel restaurant ( from a few years back) …

the Cracker Barrel a most delightful place to visit this time of year!

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See the decorations on the shelf above the kitchen sink? I got them for FREE!! Yes! A local clothing store used them last year as part of their Christmas decorating props. I asked the manager what they do with them after the Holidays were over, she said they just “throw them away”. What?! Throw them away? No way! She said if I wanted them I should come in just after New Year’s day. Guess where I went the day after New Years? Uh-huh! And here they sit this year! So, next time you’re at a shop and see their seasonal decorations, don’t hesitate to ask about them!

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I love how Disney-esque they look…like something you might see on Main Street USA!

I grew up going to Disneyland in California and was mesmerized by the beautiful Turn-Of-The-Century gingerbread architecture  on Main Street. Walt Disney grew up on a farm in Marceline, Missouri. He designed Disneyland’s Main Street USA after the one in his hometown. He was a genius! Walt also had a little sister named Ruth! Fancy that!

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Above my stove I added more whimsy by placing a white flocked Christmas tree in a “Milk” bucket (I’ve had it for a long time). A couple of creamy white candlesticks (from Home Goods a few years back) and vintage milk bottles (filled with salt to look like milk) topped with sparkly snowballs.

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My vintage toy cow reminds me that the “cow-nt down” to Christmas has begun!

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On the other side of my kitchen is our great-room…

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This year I embellished the mantle with a white lighted garland ( you can find a similar one HERE) and then I draped pom-pom trim along the front. I got the pom-pom trim at Hobby Lobby on sale ($2.04 a yard). It looks like a garland of snowballs! I’ve had the vintage Cedar Hill Farm sign for a while now…I found it at an antique store near Springfield. The Birch branch adds to the rustic woods-y look.

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“Heap on more wood, the wind is chill,

but let it whistle as it will,
we’ll keep our Christmas merry still!”
~Sir Walter Scott

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One of my favorite Christmas decorations is this sweet baby Jesus lying in a humble twig manger.

I’ve had it since my kids were babies.

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His little face is made from a nylon stocking with painted eyes, nose and mouth.

He is wrapped in a swaddling cloth of muslin.

Notice the Cross above His head.

That’s why He came.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasing life.” John 3:16

He loves us so much!

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My tree is also draped with the “snowball” pom pom trim.

“Give me an old fashioned Christmas, with an old fashioned tree,

All trimmed with cakes and candies and cotton for snow there’d be.” ~ Mrs. C.S. Wabnitz

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Hanging our Angel on the tree is also a family tradition since my kids were little. It’s in every Christmas morning photo with my kids around the tree. I suppose it’s a little outdated…okay maybe a lot…but it’s part of our memories…and that matters more to me than what current decorating trends are.  Just below it is a gold tinsel halo that Dusty made in Sunday School when he was 4 years old.

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In my entry a “winter snow” tree greets you, at the base are beloved family photos.

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The snowy shelf liner is just cotton quilt battling that I cut into icicle drips. The vintage music sheets are just taped on the back…I purposely made it temporary in case I change my mind and want to do something else! That happens a lot!

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Here I stacked old books on top of a ceramic urn and layered sparkling tinsel trees (from Hobby Lobby)

and added frosty lighted branches for a cozy glow.

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The centerpiece of Christmas…

the reason why we celebrate…

the reason why we can have joy our heart…

the reason why we get to go to Heaven!

Jesus!

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“That wonderful night in Bethlehem, God declared His love for mankind when His Sacred Covenant became flesh and blood…Emmanuel! No wonder angels rejoiced, shepherds bowed in awe, and wise men traveled so far to give gifts! They all recognized the significance of this Holy Birth, which was hidden in scripture from the beginning of time.” ~ God’s Little Christmas Book

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”

which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

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“The light that shines from the humble manger is strong enough to lighten our way to the end of our days.” ~unknown

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“Joy to the world the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing

And heaven and nature sing

And heaven, And heaven and nature sing.” ~Isaac Watts

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“One of the most potent, though silent testimonials of Christ,

is the fact that all chronology is dated “before” or “after” Christ.

B.C. and A.D. meet and part at His crib.” ~unknown

“And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

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Treasured vintage ornaments from my childhood…these are in style now!

Does that mean I’m vintage?? Lol!

Grandma’s are just antique little girls!

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“Festive decorations are a gift from your heart to the hearts of those who enter your home.

They simply and sweetly say, ‘love lives here’ and ‘we were expecting you, welcome!’ ” ~Dolley Carlson

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I’ve had my vintage Choir boy forever now…I still love him!

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Christmastime is sure to find me

on a high snow-covered hill,

Where an old farmhouse is standing weather-tight and sturdy still

There the plumes of smoke ascending from the Chimneys low and wide

they’re a silent invitation to the glowing fires inside.

Where the warm sweet air is laden with fragrance that combines

The pleasant smells of cookery and the spicy scent of pines.

~ Ida M. Brookshire

dsc071811Sugar Pies, my best tip is to keep things simple and remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. If all I had to decorate with was this little twig manger with baby Jesus “asleep on the hay”, it would be enough. May God’s love for you warm and brighten your heart this Christmas season!

Come check out the 2011 Virtual Holiday House Party at jenniferrizzo.com…lots of wonderful Christmas house tours!

God bless your darlin’ heart!

I’m sending you cozy hugs!

Thank you for stopping by for some It’s-beginning-to-look-like-Christmas-Pie!


Aunt Ruthie

P.S. I get asked a lot about the camera I use…It’s a Canon Rebel xsi. I also use a 50mm lens that really make the shots magical!  If you have any questions for me you can ask me on FACEBOOK!!

P.S. 2  I just have to share about my daughter Ashley’s darling Crochet Beanies that she makes and sells!! I am so proud of her and her creative talents! She takes special orders and will make a beanie in any color. She embellishes them with a beautiful sparkly button on one side. They make wonderful Christmas gifts! I love the one she made me, it really keeps my ears warm and is so soft and comfortable. Both my daughters say it makes me look younger…in that case I want one in every color!! lol

ruthannpicHer Etsy shop is owlbolt.etsy.com or you can email her at owlbolt@yahoo.com

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Adult hats are $28… Infant and Toddler $23 …matching mother and daughter $40

ashleybeanie2Here is my beautiful daughter Ashley…doesn’t she look darling in her cute beanie?

She amazes me with her artsy flair…and she’s a wonderful mama too!


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