My Holiday Home

by Ruby Showalter

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This article first appeared in the November/December 2014 print edition of Daughters of Promise.


As the holidays approach and cold weather sets in, my creative energy is channeled into my home. I love the challenge of finding fresh ways to decorate, while maintaining a cozy, inviting atmosphere! I’m going to share a few tips I’ve learned about styling my home for the holidays on a budget.

  1. Bring in the outdoors!

    Fall leaves, fresh evergreen and even branches can give that natural, woodsy feel that is perfect for any time of the year. The children and I went on a “treasure hunt” one evening, and we found some feathers as well as a few stems of money plant. It was a fun way to get the little people involved, not to mention the bonus of free décor! The money plant looks lovely in a vintage jar that I had, and I used 3 feathers that I’d collected to create some new artwork. Find a simple frame and cut paper to fit inside of it. I used plain white, but gray or even black would work too! Hot glue feathers on to your paper, in whatever pattern you choose. I added some lettering, but it would look just as nice without that. Pop your art into the frame and mount it on the wall!

  2. Get cozy.

    Pull out that old blanket that you inherited from your grandma, and drape it over a chair, or look for a cozy new fleece to store in a woven basket. You can’t have too many to snuggle in at bedtime! Make a cup of hot coffee, tea or even some hot mulled cider to sip on. One of my favorite winter drinks is a homemade chai latte. It’s a wonderful addition to a holiday brunch, or just to drink as an afternoon pick-me up.

    Homemade Chai Latte

    2 Lipton tea bags

    2 cups water

    1 cinnamon stick

    1 whole clove

    ¼ tsp ground ginger

  3. Bling it up!

    Gold spray paint is the easiest way to take your décor up a notch. Try using it on an old frame, dried flowers and leaves or old bottles. For a Thanksgiving centerpiece, transform a pumpkin with gold paint and elevate it on a cake stand or flower pot. If you have access to a magnolia tree, spray the leaves gold and hot glue them to a simple wreath form. They make an elegant wreath that will last all winter!

  4. Surround yourself with reminders to be grateful.

    I loved the “thankful tree” project that Ann Voskamp wrote about. On her blog, you can find leaf templates that are printed with a variety of verses about thanksgiving. I printed them onto cardstock, cut them out and hung them onto branches with fishing line. There are enough leaves to hang one on each day of the month; a great Thanksgiving project for the whole family! DIY chalkboards are another way to display inspirational sayings while creating a bold statement in any room. Look for large framed paintings or mirrors at thrift stores and spray several coats of chalkboard paint over the art or onto the glass to make your own!

  5. Invest in people rather than things.

    It is so easy for us to get lost in the frenzy of getting rather than experience the simple joy that comes in giving. Develop the art of hospitality! If preparing a full course meal overwhelms you, ask your friends to bring salad and bread to add to a pot of soup. A simple, hearty meal is often as satisfying as an elaborate one. More important than the dishes we prepare is the connection we make with the people we serve. And more important than a perfectly styled home is one that is full of love.


Ruby is a farmer’s wife and mommy of two. When she isn’t chasing her mischievous toddler or having tea parties with her little lady, you can often find her creating decor for her home or artwork for her business, Diamond Designs. Ruby loves a good book {with a cup of tea} and capturing moments of beauty with her camera. Though she loves to travel, home is her favorite place to be and she is passionate about making it a beautiful one. Ruby blogs about homemaking and life at rubyshowalter.blogspot.com.

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