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After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

by | Dec 16, 2011 | Authentic Living, Christmas, Christmas Decorating, Jack, My Life, Our Holidays

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After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

After the Christmas Home Tour.

Sometimes I just have to laugh. Or wonder what is wrong with me. HA! I see so many people with their homes seemingly (still) all decorated … perfectly, shiny and pretty. They are hosting parties in their homes this weekend, leisurely enjoying making crafts, baking their favorite Christmas cookies, their gifts are all wrapped with cute paper and bows.

That is just how it is at my house!

I’m totally ready! We’re just sitting by the fire singing Christmas carols!


Truth. I’m sorry this is going to get ugly. Feel free to avert your eyes.

I haven’t bought or wrapped hardly any gifts yet. Really. I haven’t baked anything. Our tree has been undecorated by Jack.

After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

Our garland on our stairs is crunchy and leaving bits of evergreen all over the railing and floor.

After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

I killed at least one of our poinsettias.

After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

My slipcovers had to go in the wash (again), so my family room is torn apart. It got so messy I had to keep the blinds shut. Just in case a blogger with a zoom lens was driving by.

After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

Dogs are walking all over the furniture.  Now you know why I have to wash white slipcovers all the time.

After the Christmas Tour. The Unraveling.

What was a really pretty dining room table all set for the holidays during my Christmas tour just got buried in some sort of freak avalanche.

I’m just about to do a massive cleaning frenzy so I can recapture my holiday spirit.

But other than that, I’m READY! WHOO HOO!

So, how are you doing the week before Christmas? REALLY?

HA! It is seriously OK if you are leisurely making crafts, hosting parties and baking gingerbread cookies. Really. I am not jealous ONE BIT. I hope to join you in the festivities. Next week. We just had a little setback and I’ve got a few things left to do around here first. But I have time, right?


  1. katiedid

    Hohoho! Big belly laugh there….cuz I am right there with you sister! My tree just got finished, but the boxes are still cluttering the Dining Room…..which we will just not even discuss right now. The mantle is done, bit the rest of the room needs some help. Nothing wrapped. Lots of BUYING of cookies….none baked yet. I still need to put the garland around the front door….it is laying on the porch, along with the wreath that is meant for the Dining Room. No cards done, but they have shipped from the printer. Does that count? I have no idea how people run a business, have a family life and maintain any kind of social life at the same time. BUT….I think I may have it together by the big day. Yup….I am going to try my best. Wishing you the happiest of holidays!!! ;)

    • Melissa

      AMEN. Big sigh of relief that I’m not the only one! Merry Christmas to you Katie!!! xo

  2. Leanne

    LOVE the honesty! :) My Hubby and Father in law are currently tearing apart my guest bathroom to put in a new tub. Walls are bare plywood all around it. My 15 month old daughter undecorates the tree everyday and i have stopped redecorating it and resorted to randomly tossing things back in that direction. i am scouring the internet for toys that will arrive in time because all the “real grownups” did their shopping early so there in’t anything left in the store on my step son’s wish list. My laundry is way backed up because i decided to make my daughter a doll for Christmas. The doll does not yet have a face. or a body. or clothes. Also… the “i” key fell off my keyboard and i cannot find it. it is probably under my bed but i don’t have time to look for it so for now i have to stick a pen in the “i” hole where the key used to be. Thisis my 9 day before Christmas reality. We. are. Awesome. ;)

    • Melissa

      Ok. This cracked me up:

      The doll does not yet have a face. or a body. or clothes. Also… the “i” key fell off my keyboard and i cannot find it. it is probably under my bed but i don’t have time to look for it so for now i have to stick a pen in the “i” hole where the key used to be.

      Thanks for the laugh. I’m feeling oh-so-much-better.

  3. Myra

    THANK YOU for making me feel normal!!!!!!!! :) We had a massive house clean up last night to clean up all the clutter barf everywhere. LOL!!! I think I’m about ready to start wrapping gifts and baking goodies to give to church family on Sunday. Ack. xoxo

    • Melissa

      Wheee! This is fun!! :-) xo

  4. Casey

    I know how it is! I don’t like doing everything too early (or I get sick of it and want to take it all down). Just got my tree today–had so many ideas for diy decorations this year–just no time (and I am retired–UGH!). Nothing’s done and I have an editorial deadline coming up, so I’m in the office wishing I could decorate (if I didn’t have the deadline, I probably would be doing something else–not decorating). My house isn’t decorated, the lights are not up outside, nothing is cooked, no presents are wrapped (but here’s where I am ahead of you–I am finished with all my Christmas shopping). Family comes in Christmas eve early evening. Two types of lasagna (red and white veggie), meatballs, sausages, three desserts — don’t have time to grocery shop. Woe is US,

  5. Barbara (WA)

    This is more real than most of what we see out there. I wish I’d known it when my kids were little and lowered my expectations WAAYYY down. And now I wish they were back as little kids all sweetly miserable with the anticipation. It’s a little boring with just the two of us, at least until Christmas Day. But even this empty nester with lots of time on her hands has snafus. The cookie baking isn’t going very well… Glad there is a week left in case I have to start all over.

    • Barbara (WA)

      PS: I’ve never had cookie dough come out of the fridge rock hard. New recipe that isn’t going to be a keeper…

    • Melissa

      Yes, that is IT, we really need to keep our expectations closer to reality! HA! And the snafus seem to be a part of that reality :-) I’m glad for one more week!! :-)

  6. Jessica

    The wreath over my mantel is drying out and shedding needles. Kona has shredded three silk Pointsettias and a throw pillow cover. The kitchen counters are covered in flour. I still haven’t put the tree up and there’s a piece of garland that’s been sitting on the foyer floor for over a week.
    And all the while, I’m writing blog posts that look like I’m leisurely decorating cookies and drinking eggnog (practicing my photo cropping skills).
    Thanks for posting this, I think there’s a lot of us who are glad we aren’t alone!

  7. Comeca

    Arent you the brave soul for given us your real!

  8. Ellen O

    Oh my gosh, I had to LOL. It’s nice to know that real life happens in the pretty photos! I love your blog and I’m enjoying the home tours. I’m checking a few each day.

  9. Brook

    This is so my house!! Everything was so pretty for a couple of days and then our sweet toddler “helped” redecorate and rearrange everything. I’m cleaning because when I start getting stressed I start throwing stuff out and scrubbing stuff! I haven’t wrapped one thing either and probably won’t until Christmas eve.

  10. Nancy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for making it ok to admit that I am in about the same spot you are! The best part is… I’m kind of ok with it! It feels good to simplify this year. I think the things I have done are the things I enjoy the most. Our tree is decorated, the nativity is set up, wreaths decorated with childhood ornaments are on the boys’ bedroom doors, and Christmas music is playing all day long. But…..I haven’t cleaned or decluttered, I haven’t baked a thing, I haven’t purchased a gift, I haven’t planned a meal and yet somehow I feel calmer and more full of Christmas Spirit than I have in a long time. I know everything that needs to get done will…until then I’m just going to enjoy the moments.

  11. Alecia

    Right there with you! I just took apart my whole fun table set up (yeah, like I eat at the table) because it was shedding pine needles every where! Now I know why the original just used white pine.

    My tree is only decorated from about half way up so the puppy and cat can’t knock all the ornaments off, and it’s currently leaning against the wall like it drank a few to many eggnogs (did I mention my cat is sticky with pine resin?). I have exactly one half my my super awesome tree skirt sewn.. and nothing wrapped. In my defense my cat unwraps gifts so I need to wait till the last minute anyway.. I really, really appreciate knowing I’m not the only one with a less than blog-perfect holiday home!

  12. Carla

    I am so ready for this Christmas to be done… I never say that. Ever. Your place is more decorated then my. I did add lights to the kitchen window the other day, now that lights up with the balcony. I have a tree and wrapped presents under the tree, but I still have to send everything home to the families :/ The stress is killing me. I know it’s because I haven’t found a job since we moved, nor had time in the last week to talk about borrowing some money from my significant other to buy the one last gift needed (and pay for the shipping). I did put out the little glass nativity scene with our new advent candle holder though. And made a few little crafts, but that was more to curb the unhelpful thoughts that keep filling my head. I just wish I had more Christmas spirit and less stress… but there’s always next year. lol

  13. Shannon Fox

    Good to know. Guess what? You are normal… LOL.
    I decorated my chandy in greenery and it was totally crispy about a week ago. I was thinking fire hazard, so it’s gone and now it looks so bare. I have craft~crap all over my living/dinning room. I do not have a single gift wrapped, though that won’t take long. It’s a lean Xmas, just stuff for my bugaloo ;) I did manage to bake some pre made pouch mix cookies. Yay me.


  14. Kathleen Grace

    What, you mean everyone doesn’t have shopping to do (I started mine today, I bought one thing. One) a torn up house, and the gentle tinkle as needles rain from the trees and greens? That’s the norm here too my friend:>) We just don’t share it all. Thanks for letting your hair down and letting the rest of us feel normal.
    Christmas blessings to you and yours!

  15. Snap

    I laughed out loud at the blogger with a zoom lens comment! Too funny and too true a post!!!!!! Merry Merry!

  16. Gina

    Ok, I’m smiling at this post, not because that’s how it is here, but because YOU are able to smile through it! My house is decorated, the gifts are bought and mostly all wrapped, some cookies were indeed, baked….most of what I have left to do is the day to day cooking, cleaning, and prep for Christmas weekend. My home is not perfect but I have everything (I think) planned out so that it is all do-able. We’ll see. there’s always room for error…but since I work all weekends, I have to have things DONE during the week!

  17. Carlene

    Just how often do you have to wash those white slipcovers? Love the look but seems like a hassle.

    • Melissa

      Wrote a whole post on the truth about my white slipcovers! :-)

  18. Stacey

    Oh I can relate to all of this! I am sitting on a slipcovered couch that still has a coffee stain on it from thanksgiving. It’s just so exhausting putting those slipcovers on and taking them off! How does Rachel Ashwell do it?! Lol. Thanks for sharing your real life with us…I’m also very intrigued by your ebook, I’m going to have to get that! I call my blog, A Sort Of Fairytale because I feel that’s exactly my life, just a sort of fairytale, not perfection or a fairytale by any means! ;). Anyway, I really like and admire that you have tackled this subject, thanks!

  19. Terri

    I, too, find it refreshing to see a totally “real life” post. It hardly ever happens and it’s wonderful! You’ve got courage!

  20. Sharea

    I have to say this post made me smile…because I know exactly how you feel. We wish you a Merry Christmas and of course a Happy New Year! ~ The Moberlys

  21. Suzi

    Thank you for keeping it real! What a refreshing post!

  22. Vee

    Pretty good tonight because I have company coming for breakfast and a craft day tomorrow. I think I’ll be where you are by Sunday morning. That’s the trouble with housework. It never stays done. Thanks for the grins!

  23. Anna

    I love you. And I love this post. I just had the same reveal on my blog this week. The dog walking all over the furniture picture is my house…every day.

  24. Judy

    I love your honesty…what a great post! I wonder how many of those so-called “perfectly” decorated homes, crafty making mamas, baked goodies, etc. are really what they seem? We tend to get caught up in all that glitz and glory and feel inadequate because our homes and/or lives don’t seem to measure up to others.

    Thanks for making me feel “normal”!


  25. jessica

    Ahh you make me laugh :) You should see my closets….I just threw everything messy into them and made them REALLY messy! Ahhh whatever! :)

  26. Noelle

    Melissa if you want to see something really funny, go to bhg and check out their cleaning schedule for the next 7 days to get your house holiday ready!! Hilarious!!!

  27. Laura

    These posts made me so happy!! So funny! We all get so stressed out this time of year. Just do what you can or want to. It really doesn’t matter. Thanks for making me laugh out loud!! Hilarious!

  28. Diane

    My husband reminds me that houses are meant to be lived in. I’d say you’re living BIG!!!! And hopefully loving it too!

    OH…and the down side of all that fresh greenery….it really doesn’t last long. I used to put mine up the second Saturday of December when I lived in Michigan, so it wasn’t crispy for Christmas.

  29. kelly in georgia

    Aw Melissa, thank you for the laugh! The lights blew on the tree in the bedroom. The lights blew on the tree in the playroom. There weren’t enough lights for the big tree in the living room that we finally started decorating last night. We’re going with naked trees next year. No gifts bought yet either. What I wonder is how did they not have “fire hazards” back when everyone put those big C7 lights on the trees back when I was little. If ours dry up so fast now with the miniature lights, why didn’t the trees fry back then???

  30. Grace

    That confirms what I have always thought about white slipcovers. I’m just not that kind of a girl.

    Some things are done – like the shopping and the baking and some of the decorating, but the tree isn’t up yet and nothing is wrapped. I’m not really in a panic as I know it will get done. I have to say that you are a brave one baring all on your blog. I haven’t been so upfront yet.

  31. Megan

    Santa is done shopping, but we don’t have gifts for anyone yet. Whoops! Our house is actually amazingly wonderfully holiday’ish. Quite fabulous until you see our bedroom. The bedroom has become some sort of dumping ground with 3 months of laundry piled up. I just close the door and enjoy my holiday home. Until bedtime that is. Then I have a slight panic attack before falling asleep. Healthy right? Ahh well…that is what doors are for!

  32. Donna

    So funny all these reality posts!! I have had the decor up and done for a couple of weeks and it still looks good no animals or toddlers in the house. My 9 year old grandson, move the ivy wreath in a bucket that is on the fireplace and placed a tall vase behind it, sat a puffy snowball from on the TV decor on top and shot Nerf bullets at it last night! LOL I did take a pic. This is the point where I start looking at my list and seeing what I can cross off, what is just in my mind and no one else would notice if it didn’t happen. Thanks for sharing the real world.


  33. Donna

    Oh and Melissa, I think I am still vacuuming cedar off the stairs from last year!! That’s why I skipped the garland and just hung a wreath!


  34. Deanna


    That is real, girl!

    I kept it low key again this year – and I didn’t join the house tour because sometimes it is all too much, so I just let somethings pass by. I don’t feel badly at all!

    This is how I can enjoy the season – celebrating the real things, not the image of what I want people to think!

    Jack will settle down when his puppy days are over and you will look back and laugh about his antics!

    Loved your photos!


  35. Joan Clapp

    Don’t worry, when you have the time to get it all right and on time you will be really old like me!!!Your children will be grown, you have”extra” hours in your day (that you needed back when) and you are not interrupted by children or pets.
    Enjoy whatever life brings you. Life is short at best and can change in a instant. Enjoy your family and friends and remember the reason for the season! Thanks for all the inspiration. Merry Christmas, my FB friend!

  36. Annaliese

    Oh my gosh .. i don’t know what I loved more about this, the bissfully unaware dog, the avalanche, or the drive by blogger with a zoom lens. Seriously? THANK YOU! you make me feel so much better about my own level of dysfunction!!

  37. Funky Junk Interiors

    Oh… so this would be a bad time to stop by to sing Christmas carols then?


    No fear. I share your dilemma. I think next year I’ll decorate 1 week before Christmas so I only have to do it once! :)

    What a concept, huh?


  38. Jennifer Spadaro

    Well you’ve been a lot busier hosting your tour than the rest of us! We are doing good here. I need to finish writing the other half of our Christmas cards and send them. I’m trying not to stress though, they’ll get there b4 Christmas. And I have another few presents to wrap. Just enjoy, come January we’ll all be cleaning out closets and junk drawers like crazy people lol. I even bought some organizing supplies today getting ready for January resolutions! Have fun and enjoy the season, you deserve it!

  39. Sarah

    What a relief…sounds like I’m not the only one! I love your honesty! Thanks for sharing :)

  40. Tara G.

    We finished up our schooling for 2011 and will take a break next week so we can bake and have some fun. There is a large indoor waterpark we are going to go to while the locals are still in school so it’ll be nearly empty. :) I’m taking the girls to the Nutcracker on the 31st which is actually Christmas week here- Orthodox Christmas is on 7 January. It’s nice to have the spirit extended a little longer…our Christmas cards begin to trickle in and we feel like we’re a little connected to those across the ocean!

  41. Janmary, N Ireland

    Thanks for keeping real.

    Having just hosted my teen’s beach party last night my aim is to rediscover my dining table under all the debris of stuff that is temporarily “resting” there!

  42. Emma

    Brilliant post! I feel so much better now. My children decorated our tree, and it looks like we just threw the whole box of decorations at it to see which ones would stick… but they did try really hard! I wrapped all the presents but for some reason forgot to put tags on any of them, so now I have no idea which gift belongs to who. WHY??? I loved the house tours, looking at all the beautiful homes but if I’m honest I loved this post even more. It’s all this stuff that makes our families special and creates memories. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway! x

  43. Ann vonBehrens

    This is the best post I have read all week. I have spent so much time keeping my three antique mall booths pretty and decorated for Christmas, that I cannot get a thing done in my own house. I put the tree up in the front window with lights on it so it looks pretty from the street, but there is not a single ornament on it yet. There is a wreath on the front door that only has a bow, nothing else. The table in the entry is ready, but the kitchen table has been project zone for two weeks. I better get moving since there is only a week left. I am glad I am not the only one.

  44. Diane

    I think it is still beautiful!!!! You ARE a real person! :) I love it. Thank you for making me feel normal. And, a very Merry Christmas to you!

  45. Angela

    I am right there with you! My ornaments are falling off my tree, I have needles all over the place, My spare bedroom has laundry I need to fold thrown on the bed, there are blankets and pillows all over the floor in my family room, my decorations on the banister keeps falling off and I have not baked a thing!!! I still have Christmas cards to get in the mail and I am having a Christmas brunch to prepare for and I need to clean the whole house!!! Have a great holiday!

  46. Carolyn Maves


    Truly I don’t think anyone has their house perfect for Christmas! And that is okay, we don’t need to, in fact I wonder if our houses were perfect, we might be so uptight and anxious about it, we would most likely be miserable.

    Can I tell you a little secret? I have been doing my Christmas following FlyLady principles for about 7 years now. How that translates for me is that I have been simplifying, decluttering, lowering my expectations, doing LESS (not MORE) every year.

    So in some ways my Christmas is getting smaller each year. But not in the ways most meaningful for my husband and I. We trying to focus more on people and our relationship with the Lord.

    Fewer gifts, fewer decorations, not as much Christmas baking. We still send out lots of Christmas cards because that is about people, faraway friends we only hear from once a year. And the last 2 years my husband and I are going through an Advent devotional book for our family devotions. That is sparking some good discussions about real things.

    It has been a journey for me, letting go, so to speak of Christmas. Just like our Christian lives are a journey, we learn and grow and change. I am having a happy peaceful Christmas season.

    Thank you for your beautiful blog, Merry Christmas to you and your dear family. God bless you all in the New Year.

  47. KimH

    The outside of my house looks GREAT! ;) Wreaths hung in all 5 front facing windows & the door, big candy canes liming the outside perimeter of my little garden area along with the solar leds that line the way and my 3 lighted Christmas trees behind them… It looks beautiful, from the outside looking in..

    Inside.. I have about7 loads of laundry on my love seat, floors are filthy, and there are gifts on my kitchen table I brought home from work yesterday…

    The good news is… Im off work for the next 17 days so I’ll have time to get caught up, finally.

    Our basement flooded last Monday, we had 2 work Christmas parties, one at work, one after, a craft show at work, gift exchanges at work, and somehow I managed to make of 16 of my closest coworkers gifts (single apple pies in a jar & home-made apple butter, or pumpkin butter & zucchini relish for some) , make bath & body products for the work craft show (did good)and get my basement completely cleaned up & dried up too…

    And then I fell over into a heap.. haha… Yesterday was the last day of work & I had scheduled a therapeutic full body massage.. what a great way to end that part of the season! Yay! No more hard deadlines! Thank God!

    I have most of my Christmas presents bought (did most of that during the early part of November) and only lack 1 for my honey & one for a son in law.. No cookies are baked but I’ll get to that soon..

    They are coming to clean my carpets on Tuesday so putting up the tree is going to have to wait.. I know thats cutting it close.. but I cant wait to have clean carpets. Home cleaning just doesnt do it justice.

    All I know is I think I can breathe again and thats a wonderful thing!

    Merry Chistmas and I hope you have a wonderful & happy New Year!

  48. Cathy

    Love your honesty! I think that with kids and pets all our homes look like this at one time or another! You made me smile this morning.

  49. Susanne

    Oh, this may sound a little nasty, but I’m happy to hear of your real life, Melissa. I was well on my way to believing that you are a Stepford Wife. While I was visiting the various homes on “the tour” I just kept wondering how on earth do they do it? Perfect house, perfect furniture, children, decoration…what have I done wrong in my life that I have none of the above? Disregard question on children. I don’t have any, but if I did I would have a question about them as well…lol. I’m sure that it will all fall into place for you and Jack will help. If not, that’s ok too. Don’t forget to put on your list..take deep breaths frequently. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  50. Sonya S

    I LOOOVE the (non)picure perfect version by far. That makes me feel better because 10 after decorating at my house, it looks just like your pics. Haha! Got to love real life!! Merry Christmas!

  51. Beverly Nobrega

    OMGoodness, I am totally cracking up. I told you in a previous comment that I thought we were cut from the same cloth, but this totally confirms it! My dining room table is not even able to be seen it has all kinds of Christmas spirit but it is still in the Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Target bags that it came in. :)

    I JUST had a discussion with a friend yesterday about the holiday baking at my house and how mine never seems to be as jolly as they make it out to be on the commercial. After 10 minutes into it, I’m scolding my kiddos as they double dip the knife in the frosting after licking it! Yuck!

    I think it is very similar situation as we see in fashion mags. I will never look like those poor women they get to model because I like cheeseburgers! My house will never look as good as the Better Homes and Garden homes because I live in it! Oh well, it is fun to dream and also relief to be real!

    Thanks for making me laugh. I love visiting you every day!

    Merry Christmas!

  52. Mindy

    Hahahahaha – If anyone is doing ANYthing leisurely this month, I’d love to see it. I love that your house is a disaster. Not for you, of course, but the fact that we all have piles we’re constantly dealing with is a reminder that real life ain’t always pretty! :)
    And you are a serious glutton for punishment to keep those slipcovers with a dog in the house. Our dog rules the roost as well, but our furniture is beige!!!
    Oh and yes, I did bake yesterday. And the day before. It was a nonstop baking marathon and now I’m pretty sure my feet are bleeding from standing in the kitchen for so long. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

  53. Laurel

    LOVE it!!! I even shared this post with my hubby…”See honey, it’s not just us!” Thank you for keeping it real…Merry Christmas, [email protected]

  54. DebbieRN

    Bless your heart Melissa! We live in the real world. Today is my daughter’s 21st birthday. Yesterday I delivered 34 goodie bags to our nursing aides and gave out hugs. I will run some errands with my husband and start on the Christmas cards tonight. No presents are under the tree yet. Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree devotion has been grounding us this month. We get to choose what we LOVE to do. Merry Christmas!

  55. Tiki

    Merry Christmas to me!!!
    I thought for sure I was the only one that had a house look like a tornado hit!!! heck i dont even turn on the tree lights anymore!! awe geez…i hate being normal but in this case i am glad that i am…lol
    in my opinion…if it isnt messy..there is no
    Love it just the way it is and hope ur house is like mine and gets like that on a weekly basis!!
    messy house = family full of love and life!!
    merry merry christmas to u and your family!!!

  56. Tiki

    I am going to host a party just for all of us to show what our houses look like in Real Life!!
    now wouldn’t that be a great party???

  57. kathysue

    melissa, sometimes reality just gets in our way. Thank you for always be honest and true to who you are. We all have what I like to call Santa’s workshop!! you have a buys household so it is bound to look lived in, I know you will get it pulled together and be totally ready for Christmas. Good Luck and remember Enjoy the Process, Merry Christmas,

  58. Wrndy

    Thanks Melissa for a good laugh. I love when you said you have to leave the blinds closed in case a “Blogger with a zoom lens happens to drive by.” I literally laughed out loud. Merry Christmas to you, sweet lady!

  59. Just B

    What a great post, Melissa! While it’s fun looking at all the beautifully decorated holiday homes this season, it’s easy to forget there’s “real life” behind each and every one. Perfection is a myth and life is for living. Happy Holidays to you. I’m sure you’ll pull it all together! :)

  60. Peggy

    Good Morning: You have made me feel so much better and not such a “lone ranger”. While our house may be decorated, and it does look halfway presentable (if I can keep our dogs out of the living room), I have not bought, and therefore have not wrapped, one single present, and it looks like I won’t have the opportunity to go out shopping til this coming Wednesday when I’ll hit the stores running to get the shopping done in two days. We’ve (husband and I) have been busy taking care of our 14 month old grandson. Our time with him is precious, but leaves little time for anything else, i.e., zapped energy after taking care of him all day. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family, and all your followers.

  61. Londen

    I enjoyed this post very much because I’m still trying to dig out my dining room table! Today is the day to get all the leftover Christmas stuff put away and clean the parts of our house that I didn’t share yet. Here is to getting our houses in order!

  62. Cathy

    This is my favorite post out of all of the Christmas house tour series because this is the one I can relate to the most! Thank you for keeping it real!!

  63. Marilyn Holeman

    Melissa, I LOVE this post! Thanks for keeping it real.

    God bless, and Merry Christmas!


    BLOG POST OF THE YEAR!!!!! Hilarious!

    and blogger with a zoom lens driving by… LAMFO!!!

  65. Tracy

    Thank you for keeping it real! As I run around the house trying to clean up once again today (and find the kitchen table) this is just the post I needed to see. Merry Christmas!

  66. Pam

    I never even got to the “tour of home” look. Just proud to have a tree up, decorated. Not hardly a present bought and certainly nothing wrapped. I say, “Hey, why in the world should I get in a hurry? There’s plenty of time.” Now where are those Hershey Kisses? I think I need a holiday snack while I sit here and think about all I should be doing. :-)

  67. mimi

    What a hysterical post; trust me, you are not alone!

  68. teresa

    I would say just about the same…but throw in a blow out knee and picture me using an old lady scooter at Target to finish up my Christmas shopping- so….yep….I understand.
    Merry Christmas =)

  69. Bettsi

    Oh, Sister! I hear you! And now my big, messy teenage boys are out of school for the holidays! I think I’ll try to hold the line the best I can and do a massive clean up on the 24th. Wishing all the best to you and yours, Melissa. Thank for keeping it real!

  70. Vivienne

    You totally inspired me to do a similar post this morning. I had all of my exterior decor done at our house, then we had high winds, rain and roof damage… my decor is covered in old shingles and new roofing materials and we don’t have elves or reindeer up on our roof, but construction guys and banging hammers. :(

  71. Carol

    OMG! this is just Hilarious!!. I love that you are keeping it real! Now lets hope that the zoom lens bloggers are to busy to stop at your house :-)

  72. krista colvin

    oh my gosh…. as i was enjoying the honesty of your post, my daughter was peering over my shoulder…. she sweetly asked ‘are these pictures of someone you are helping?”
    :) cheers chica… very merry to you~

  73. Raine Raschiatore

    What a lovely, realistic, and breathtakingly refreshing post. All of us come to your blog imagining and wishing we could be as amazing. Thanks so much for the inspiration and ideas. Thanks for making it real! Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greetings!!


    p.s. even disheveled, your house is breathtaking. :)

  74. Rachel

    I’m totally with you, girl. I’ve got Christmas stuff and gardening plans on the dining room table. Mantels are somewhat decorated and redecorated because I can’t seem to get it the way I want it. Christmas china is still in the attic. Have not done any baking. We don’t have slipcovers so our furniture is covered in sheets, as always, to keep at least some fur off. Christmas is in my heart, where it’s supposed to be.

  75. gretchen nation

    you know, this is probably the most REAL post I have seen in a long time and you made SO many people just feel good about their own lack ‘o deco right now!

  76. Linda

    Funny! I have fake snow all over the place that I finally got around to vacuuming up today. And thanks for the xmas cookie reminder. I think I’ll do that project tomorrow!

  77. Sharon

    This year our house is probably the most organized it’s ever been at Christmas. Still there is much shopping to be done with not much money. I think we all have our struggles, some just hide it better than others. You know you could pull it all together in 5 minutes if you had to ; )

  78. Gail

    Yeah, I love having real greenery up for Christmas, and love the fact that all I have to do is go cut it in the yard, but the greenery that has been up for two weeks is taking on a brownish color! If any one strikes a match, we might have a fire! I will love having fresh; I just don’t want to have to go out and cut it and gather it all in again. Oh well, I have to, though if I want to have greenery for the next week or two! Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into it? Thank you, Melissa, for being real and sharing it! Gail

  79. {darlene}

    love it!!!!
    no crafts here. just nursing a hubby after acl surgery, and trying to get dinner on the table!
    what a fun post. love to see that you are LIVING the thing!

  80. Kate Wilson

    Hilarious! I’m not the only one who has a house like this! Yay! (P.S. Your house still looks amazing) ;)

  81. Richella at Imparting Grace

    Bless your sweet, honest heart.

    Jack would fit in really well around here, what with his un-decorating and walking-on-furniture tendencies. I HAD done a little bit of holiday baking. Unfortunately, the pumpkin bread was left on a kitchen counter (clearly an unsafe surface) and is now making its way through our pound puppy’s digestive system. Of course, this is not as bad as the time she got into my closet and ate all the candy I had bought for the boys’ stockings. ALL of it. Including foil wrappers. And including 1/4 pound of dark-chocolate covered espresso beans. Nothing like a sick dog who’s also high on caffeine. Merry Chaos.

    But Christ was born, and we will celebrate, and we will give thanks amid our mess, right?

  82. Evelene Sterling

    Thank you for a great real post about a real Christmas!
    I am visiting from Viv at the V Spot.

  83. Leah Rixmann

    You’re awesome. Thank you for your honesty and realness and for giving us all permission to be less than perfect :-). Why do we think we have to live a commercial? Will I ever learn?

  84. Michelle Starling

    As I walked through the living room the other day, I was wondering if there could be more of a mess. Pillows on the floor, newspaper on the coffee table, other “stuff” on every surface and then I turned the corner into the dining room. There was my wrapping paper, ribbons, and other gift wrapping stuff on the table and on the floor. And I thought that I was the only one. LOL

  85. tara

    the house is very simply decorated…..
    the presents are all bought…even stocking stuffers…..
    the Christmas cards were sent out on December 1st…..

    I got it all done early so that I could really enjoy this month, and I have.

    BUT, we haven’t done crafts and we haven’t baked anything more than Chocolate chip cookies…..

    And, honestly, I’m not sure if we will.

  86. Jennifer

    Haha! I can totally relate to this post. Love your honesty and love the dog on the couch. Only difference in my house is … it’s a few cats on the furniture! LOL.

  87. Glenda Childers

    Ah, the highs and lows of Christmas prep . . . I love them all.


  88. Dana

    Seriously just read that to my husband with a big smile. I love it when bloggers are transparent!

    Finally, today, we were able to get the rest of our ornaments on the tree. (We had a “to be mended” bag of salt dough ornaments needing to be glued. Again.)

    Last night I got our mantle done. Finally.

    And, we can almost, almost see our dining room table – just in time to wrap the gifts.

    Gifts. Darn – where’s that burlap I bought for a no sew tree skirt? Arrrrrrghhhhh!

    Happy week before!

  89. catlin Evans

    Thanks so much for this – a much needed dose of reality and grace!

  90. Dawnee

    Oh my gosh…. you’ve NO idea how much I needed to read this!!! After browsing The Inspired Room and all of the beautifully decorated homes this last week I really started to feel down on myself! My home is a wreck right now. I’ve been so sick and we are in a two bedroom home with 7 people… yep, 7. With that many people, {especially with 3 little ones} my home hasn’t stood a CHANCE! I needed to read that someone else isn’t on top of the Christmas holidays at this moment either! :) Thank you for cheering me up!!!

  91. Mariaelena

    we can all relate….at least I can totally…still need to bake, wrap…etc…life is moving too fast…it is nice that we all allow ourselves a little bit of time for inspiration and relaxing while blog hopping…and you are too funny about a blogger with a zoom lens looking in your windows…It’s so nice to see “real life”…thanks for sharing and hope you enjoy the next week…Mariaelena

  92. the domestic fringe

    LOVE it! Thanks for being real. Good luck putting it all back together. :-)

  93. JustMe

    Scrolling down the page to find the open area to comment, I see I’m in good company! All was going well till last night. Was determined to find all the partial rolls of wrapping paper and upon pulling out of my entry closet, staring back at me is a large patch of mold on wall from neighbors apt. Okay my train of thought reversed went in to “over-drive” this is after shopping all day and wrapping. I cleared 1/2 of closet lg 3 drawer file cabinet removed with dolly) so Monday when I call maintenance they can fix. Half of living rm is in major disaster with wrapping paper, bags, tissue, and other is closet. Yep, I’d say that I fit in too!!! :) Merry Christmas JustME

  94. Kathy Sykes

    This is exactly why I don’t get real poinsettas (I can’t keep plants alive) and why I set my Christmas table but buy paper plates and cups for when we REALLY eat. It can be stressful trying to keep up “appearences” during the holidays. I “try” not to go ALL OUT with decorations so that I can maintain my authenticity AND save face! LOL!! I come to this site so that I can live vicariously through the REAL home decorators!

  95. Laura

    I love you! Thank you! I feel 96.4% better now when I look around at the mess here. And now I will go wrap gifts since I decided last night that we need to celebrate Christmas a week early in order to fit in family, church, and my UPS man’s working on Christmas Eve. No pressure!

  96. Rosa

    As long as we all clean up well by Christmas I think there is no harm done. ;) I’ve got a fever and cough, thanks to the kids before me, and my drive to decorate has since burned up. At this point people are going to have to lower their expectations! LOL

  97. Peggy Zortman

    Thank you for a beautiful post on real life. That is one of the many reasons I enjoy your blog so much. It just brings to mind again not everything is as it seems or perfect. Thank you for taking the pressure off. Our Christmas is about family, being together and the reason for Christmas, our lovely Savior. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  98. KalBuckles

    About those white slipcovers….can you really wash AND dry them and put them right back on? Cuz I got mine from Ikea thinking I could and instead, my husband wants to know why our dry cleaning bills have so far cost more than Pottery Barn couches would have? Oh yes…we raised a puppy for Leader Dogs and fell in love so now we are owned by a black lab that is fur family and the couch, bed etc. are hers to lounge upon at will.

    Merry Christmas! Keep on keepin’ it real!

  99. Shauna

    I think we all feel like this at times. I had my own challenges this year and share about it in my latest post :)

  100. susan

    LOL Love it…I still have to make my MIL a table runner, and wrap hubby’s gift-and no matter where you are in the mess of Christmas, it’s all good.

    Now what are we all going to PIN and make when January comes rolling in? Hmmmm…


    I so relate to your post and christmas situation. Some decorations are up and I hope to get my gift shopping done by Tuesday (or so I’d like to believe).
    Bear in mind a great number of christmas decorated homes in magazines and some blogs have been staged and photographed sometime in June/July.
    Happy holiday season!

  102. Amber

    That is so hysterical…and familiar!

    Amber @ junkaholicsunanimous.blogspot

  103. Karen

    Hi Melissa,

    I admire your honesty and if I lived closer, honest, I’d come over and help you get things up. I know you’ll have everything looking festive and fun in time for Christmas…some people just work better under pressure. It will be fine. :-)

  104. laurie

    This is great!!! Thanks for being so real. My house looks just like yours today. LOVE your blog.
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  105. Beth

    I’m Loving this blog , I think the one element you haven’t hit yet … is the over the top christmas letter . It seems to arrive when you world is falling apart, nobody is talking to each other , the house is a total wreck , your bank account is over drawn and a trip around the world isn’t an option for the next 20 years. God Bless these perfect people and Happy New years to the other 99.9 !!!

  106. Kim

    Yay for reality! Know that you are not alone :) I haven’t seen the top of my dining room table in weeks…Merry Christmas!

  107. Melanie

    This is me! I had the place all pretty and decorated. Now it looks like a big mess. And to be perfectly honest since it’s just my son, husband and myself for christmas this year I have no intention of cleaning it anytime soon. I figure it will get all cleaned up the day after christmas when I put all of the Christmas decorations away! No, we do not procrastinate in this house. Otherwise it will stay up till next year! LOL :)

  108. Cheryl

    Thanks for being honest. It makes me feel so much better about where I am at with Christmas. I still have most of my presents to buy, all of my presents to wrap, laundry to do and a house to clean. Oh, and my mother in law is coming on Friday. Life is not perfect, no one expects our house to be.

  109. candy jones

    I know I do not know you personally but I just LOVE you so much!! I love real people who are really real in the blog world….does that make sense. You help me feel normal! C: I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. And give your doggies a kiss for me. Love theme too!

  110. barbara

    oh yeah. real life…. i worked on a garden that was shot for the holiday issue of BH&G a few years ago …..the photo shoot was in FEBRUARY…and of course the write up had the 4 of us “sipping hot spiced tea and nibbling on treats” as we fluffed the garden together …hahahaha

  111. Nickolina

    One of our first Christmases there was no room for a tree so I got some hemlock branches from the yard and hung them all around the top of the room with lights and ornaments. The next day, needles started falling off … every time someone walked across the room. Within two days I had a twiggy garland and needles in the indoor/outdoor felt nightmare carpet for the rest of our years in that house.


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