Bloggy Tour of Christmas Homes!

It's time once again for a fun tour of homes as sponsored by BooMama! So, make yourself at home and let me show you around. There's a yummy treat at the end!

Our outdoor decorations are usually quite tasteful - just simple white icecicles and candles and wreaths. (Though this year our icecicles aren't working for whatever reason and two of our candles are out.)

But this year, for some reason, we went a little nuts. Perhaps we have crossed the line into tacky, I can't quite decide, but it makes me grin when I see my house, so it can't be all that bad, right?

Why yes, that's a blow-up Nativity scene...why do you ask?

Inside is always a little more sedate, though upon entry you are greeted with my favorite decoration of all - the chile lights. (What? I grew up in the South West - chiles are like breathing.)

The nutcrackers are new this year, mom was cleaning out her collection so she gave me half. One day I will have a nutcracker for every stairstep. (Insert evil laughter here - it's really funny to watch the dogs try to avoid them as they race downstairs.)

In the music room we just have one nativity scene - set out on the piano. (Also new to me from mom going through her Christmas decorations and downsizing.)

And a closeup...

Then in the family room we have the tree in all its splendor. (Yes, I know there's not actually a ton of splendor - I was going for a "classy" tree this year so it's just a few colored shape ornaments and all my White House ornaments. I should just give up and stick with the hodgepodge tree, but I keep hoping I can finegle elegant - does it need bows or something?) (And the chaise? That's part of the Thanksgiving Couch.) Then we have the stockings, hung by the fireplace with care cause, well, it's gas...so there's no chimney. We figure Santa will figure it out. And below is Cassi wondering why I'm using that "stay" word she hates so much just to get a picture. Meg has cannily run off.

Also in the family room is our Precious Moments nativity set, which I happen to adore. I know many people find them cheesy but, well, in this case? Bring on the cheese! (How can you not love the patchwork animals? They remind me of Raggedy Ann and Andy and their wrinkly kneed camel.) Meg thought she had escaped but, alas, she was captured in this shot, notice how she's already eyeing her exit possibilities.

That concludes our tour - can I interest you in a slice of Mom's Apple Walnut Cake?

Mom's Apple Walnut Cake

1 can apple pie filling
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. soda
1 t. salt
2 eggs beaten
1 t. vanilla
2/3 c. oil
3/4 c. chopped nuts

Butter and flour 9 x 13 pan. (optional)
Spread apples in bottom of pan.
Combine dry ingredients and sprinkle over apples.
Mix eggs, vanilla, oil and nuts.
Pour over ingredients in pan and stir together until combined.
Bake 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

Put fork holes all over the top of cake after it comes our of the oven if you are using the glaze. (I often leave it off as it is a sweet, moist cake.)

Glaze - make while cake is baking.
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
Cook until it boils for 2 minutes. Pour over cake while it is hot.

Yummy yummy and soooo good in the winter. (And your house will smell deeee-lightful.)


  1. Anonymous8:28 AM

    I love the lights on your banister, how inviting!!!

  2. Anonymous10:18 AM

    LOL I love the outside, too cute! All we've gotten decorated around here is the Christmas tree, ah well.

  3. You've outdone yourselves! The blow-up nativity scene absolutely ROCKS! :-) And the tree is the very definition of classy. I'm ashamed to even begin showing off my decorations, or lack thereof, so I won't be participating in this (not to mention Blogger doesn't seem to want me showing any more pictures). Good job!

  4. Anonymous11:58 AM

    I am sooo jealous of the blow up Nativity!! Your house is beautiful and I love your Nutcrackers and chile lights. Have a very blessed Christmas:)

  5. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I've always loved the candle-in-each window look - so inviting and cozy! Thank you for sharing your home!

  6. I love the wreaths, I don' tthink it's too over the top, it's sophisticated & yet still fun. Love it!

  7. Anonymous1:52 PM

    looking at all the big, beautiful trees on this tour is making me home-sick. i miss america!

    You home is beautiful!

    Merry Christmas!!

  8. awesome dog!..oh and the decorations are nice too! ;)

    Merry Christmas!

  9. The more I see of your house, I have to say the more I love it! I love the Christmas decorations too!!

  10. Amazingly, you can buy the inflatable nativity scene from Lowe's!!

  11. What a beautiful home. And a girl can never have too many Christmas lights outside, now can she?

    Thanks for inviting us in!

  12. Those nutcrackers are great and I love where you've put them. (I'm pretty sure I'd break my neck though. hee!) Great tree -- I like 'em big and fat like that.

    You have a lovely home -- thanks for inviting us in. :)

  13. Love the nutcrackers all the way up the staircase, and the chiles too!

    Thanks for sharing, and have a Merry Christmas!

  14. Great decorations! LOL at the blow up Nativity. Too funny. :)

    Our house is all decorated for the holidays, but I haven't bought a Nativity yet. It's on the "To Buy" list. I KNOW. What kind of person am I??

    Is the piano new? I don't remember that from when I last visited you.

  15. Your house is beautiful! I think the blow-up nativity is awesome, not tacky! :)

    Thanks for sharing your mom's Apple Walnut Cake recipe. Yummy!

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and see my 2006 Christmas Tour of Homes decorations! I do appreciate it!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the Ireland pictures that make up my blog design. My husband took those pictures during our wedding/honeymoon in Ireland 3 years ago.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  16. I love those nutcrackers going up the stairs! And a blow up Nativity, I've never seen that before! Cool!

  17. Thanks everyone :) We love to decorate for the season and it was fun to share.

    Michelle - I think the piano may be new since you visited, but it's the one I grew up playing that mom and dad passed down when they rearranged their house. I was happy to make room for it! :)

  18. I LOVE the front of your home with the wreaths on each window...so pretty! Your livingroom is so cozy, your tree and fireplace are beautiful! Thank you for having us over and Merry Christmas!

  19. Everything looks wonderful. Thank you for inviting us in! Merry Christmas!

  20. Anonymous12:12 AM

    There's something absolutely wrong with a blow-up nativity scene.

    And, if you want a good apple recipe, here's my mom's apple betty:

    preheat oven to 375

    4 cups sliced and pared tart apples
    1/4 cup orange juice
    1 cup sugar (I use 1/2 sugar and 1/2 splenda)
    3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup butter

    1. Put prepared apples in buttered 9² pie plate and sprinkle with the orange
    2. Combine sugar, flour, spices and salt; cut in butter till mixture is
    3. Sprinkle mixture over the apples

    Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or till apples are tender and topping is crisp.
    Serve warm with milk. Makes 6 servings.

  21. Wow, the tour was awesome! Got to try your recipe, I've been in a baking mood so it's look really yummy ;)