Decorating For Christmas. Naturally


After the holiday rock decorating crisis I went through last year, I knew I wanted to keep things simple this year.   So I pretty much followed three guidelines::

1. Incorporate Natural Ingredients {less packing away after the season and they bring life to your home}

2. Winterize What I Already Have {instead of buying big Christmas statement pieces} –also, work with the colors currently in my home

3. Don’t Take My Decorating Too Seriously

Your future, January self will thank you for planting paper whites.

Poinsettias are one of the easiest way to Christmasize a room. I use them every year, even during my rock crisis last year so that says a lot. Take two poinsettias drop them in a basket and poof–it’s Christmas!  Plus, they are so user friendly for those of us opting out of red this year.



  1. So pretty and cozy! Just enough and not overdone, I love it!

  2. Crazy over the fresh greens in boots! Just shared (in a lot of places!) :) Janell

  3. Dear Nester, thanks so much for the favorite things linky party – genius! A favorite things post is my #1 favorite kind of post to read ( , and I have had a blast going through all the links. I have a long list of things to try out/future personal favorites. Very fun!

  4. oops, forgot to say that I love your Christmas decorations! I am going for a simpler approach this year to save money and sanity. Will reference your post often for ideas.

  5. What a neat and completely integrated look for Christmas! Looks great, no shocker there

  6. Seriously chucklin’ over the scarves on the antelope and Victorian Bust {at least I think that’s what they are..} Too cute for yur own good…

  7. Pretty sure the fact that the deer head has a scarf on is my favorite :)

  8. Did you have your “O Holy Night” sign custom made or is it one that is sold regularly? I love that song!

  9. Simply gorgeous as always! Love the burlap and big white light bulbs on the tree.

  10. This is exactly what I’m going for this year! I’ve spent the past year simplifying and organizing our house, so putting up a whole lot of clutter-y decorations just doesn’t appeal to me. It’s freeing, in a way! Your house looks simply gorgeous.

  11. Nester, your home is looking particularly lovely these days. You’ve really outdone yourself lately. I’m a lover of the pink and white poinsettias also.

  12. Love the ice skates hanging with the wreath!

  13. Great inspiration here! I love the ideas you showed!

  14. Where did you find those ceramic boots? They are adorable! Decorating naturally is definitely the way to go. I do it too and find the clean up much easier too! :-) Thanks for sharing!

  15. Jennifer in VA says

    Yes, yes, where are the ceramic boots from, the skates on the door (they look to clean to be real used ones), scarves on your animals heads is SO you! fun and at first unexpected but then it’s an “of course!” moment.

  16. Half of the fun I have each Christmas is the hunting gathering expedition to find the most beautiful holly, ivy, fir, and magnolia to bring into my house. I keep a little in a bucket out on the back porch to refresh whatever dries out first. The other half is finding new locations and putting a fresh spin on old decorations. I also allow myself enough TIME, which is huge. I spread it out over a couple of days and the best part is that while The Husband has to live with the mess, he doesn’t get grumpy having to haul of the boxes out at once. Love what you did, you have inspired me! Blessing and Merry Christmas!

  17. There are some that say, that Pointsettias are outdated and ho hum. To that, I say hum bug. They are gorgeous, and your home looks beautiful all decked out with the natural elements, and the pointsettias. I also love that they’re Canadian =) It’s almost like a small piece of me is at Nesters this Christmas (I know, I’m a bit of a crazy Canuck). Your home is beautiful and inspiring as always!

  18. I love using greenery and white lights. I like your greenery in the vase with the ornaments. My future self will thank me that I did NOT plant paperwhites as I cannot bear the fragrance! I’ve gotten away from poinsettas (I don’t use red and the others don’t really go with our house right now, but we have new furniture on order for the great room – lightening things up around here – so next year I may go back to the pinks/white). Remember poinsettas are poisonous to our pets.

    Merry Christmas!!


    • Yes, the smell of paperwhites. Last year, I had to move mine further and further from where we spent the most time. Finally, they were three rooms away and we could STILL smell them. I feel much the same about Jasmine. It’s wonderful if you just catch a whiff, nothing more.

  19. Your ideas are inspiring for winter decorating, not just for Christmas. I have to use that skate idea!

  20. This is absolutely GORGEOUS! I love the clean lines so much. Its so calm and peaceful! You are one amazing gal!!!

  21. I love everything!!!

  22. Nice job- beautiful touches. Especially the scarf on the gazelle (ibex? whatever it is…) and the ice skates. Makes me want a cup of hot chocolate. Question: paper whites. I’ve tried them several years, and think they smell like cat pee soaked in the carpet for days. My family hates them. The petals are so pretty, and I see them in so many home photos. Is there a variety that doesn’t stink??Maybe I’ll go buy some fake ones…

    • I don’t know, mine stink too if they are confined to a small room—in the breakfast area which is one big open room, you don’t smell them unless you get super close

      • Ah, well. Guess I’ll just have to admire them in other people’s photos. Or find some genuine fake ones. I’m tempted to try them again, but I know my family, who also has to live in this house, won’t tolerate the smell. But they’re so pretty…

  23. oh my goodness i love it- so so beautiful! your home has changed so much in the 2 years that i have followed you, and i am just adoring everything about it right now. the white boots are killer, btw!

  24. I cannot wait to hear more about that stunning red letter sign…so beautiful

  25. Thank you for sharing this!! I love how natural and relaxed your Christmas decorations are. We have recently repainted our living spaces so they are more neutral. Our Christmas decorations are a bit formal and I am slowly simplifying them. I want to enjoy Christmas, not the clutter. =) Your pictures are a great inspiration. I also love the random ornaments here or there.

  26. I JUST posted about my natural Christmas decor about a minute ago! Your house is absolutely beautiful – as always! Love your chandelier greenery!

  27. Very pretty. I like the boots in the entry way. I’ve read several blog post about natural decor and “christmastizing” what you have. That must be the new thing or great minds think alike. Thanks for letting us peek at your home.

  28. I loved your post last year and I love your post this year.

    I have gone back three times to look at all of your pictures on this post. Every picture offers ideas, beauty, spirit of the season and NON-CLUTTER.

    I really cannot tell you which picture is my favorite. I love the goulashes, but then I, also love the ice skates…then there is the red poinsettia with one of my favorite Christmas hymns on burlap. I really would love to do that, by the way….Ah…the feather wreath….Nope, cannot pick out a favorite.

    God Bless you this season and always. Hugs, Jan

  29. stunning, friend. stunning.

  30. The scarf on the bust cracks me up for some reason. I think it’s cute and hilarious. Makes me wish I had a bust large enough to put a scarf on.
    We’re getting a real tree for the first time in 8 years!!! I’m so excited. James Bond decided that Han Solo deserved a real tree for his first Christmas, just like Indy had. I was thrilled to hear this. So thrilled I gave our fake tree away so he couldn’t change his mind. :)
    We always set our tree up on St. Nicholas Eve (meaning *I* decorate while Indy and JB make a gingerbread house), which is next week (Dec 5). OF COURSE we moved last week (delivery of household goods the day before T-giving) so I have to unpack as much as possible so we have a place to actually put a tree AND try to find our Christmas stuff. Germans (We moved within Germany, so at least it wasn’t a trans-Atlantic move) do loads of natural stuff and I’m going to try to incorporate that more this year (mostly do I don’t have to drag out ALL of our Christmas stuff). I won’t be forgoing red though. I had planned on it actually, but decided along with a real tree, Han Solo should get a bright, colorful, traditionally red Christmas (plus, I won’t have to buy anything).
    I’m staring at a stack of boxes about 6 feet high, right where our tree is going to go. I suppose I should get off the internet and unpack.

  31. I will be using your guidelines also! Less stress less mess (packing away after the holidays) to go natural. I too need to get off the internet and unpack (my christmas decor).

  32. Love your decorating! It’s refreshing and inspiring. I live in a city and after seeing your pics I want to run out to a forest and get me some nature. Good stuff.

  33. Your house looks great, Nester! I like your philosphy! The great thing is that a lot of this stuff will carry you right through the winter months, too.

  34. Pretty pretty pretty. :)

    It’s so bright and airy but still screams Christmas, fantastic.


  35. Your Christmas decor is incredible! I too love bringing the beauty of the natural elements inside. (I posted pictures and a How-To of my natural Christmas wreath just today!)

  36. Lindsay von says

    Thank you so much for this. My husband is Jewish and we decided in a Jewish home when we got married. I’m really struggling on how to decorate for winter without decorating for Christmas. Great inspiration!

  37. I love all your decorations! The logs in the house rock!! You made me laugh about beating out those soccer moms :) !

  38. Pretty, pretty, pretty! For me, it’s got to be REAL.
    I’ve planted paperwhites too and do not like the smell. Another idea is to plant an amaryllis….big, gorgeous blooms atop a tall, green stalk. Kids love to watch the growing progress.

  39. Oh, I wish I could get rid of a lot of the red & green and go natural. I just don’t think I can do it. The kids & hubby really love digging all of that stuff out and I feel like it is the time of year where I relent and everything doesn’t have to look like I like it too. Maybe each year I can get rid of a few things… yours looks fantastic though. You really captured that natural look but kept a holiday feel. :)

  40. I can’t say why, but for some reason the pink-ish (I say pink-ish because I could never admit to liking that terrible, awful color — even if it happened to be on a poinsettia) poinsettias in the basket by your staircase is my favorite aspect of your holiday decor. That, or the greenery on your dining room chandelier. Or the decorated pine branch in the vase in your office. Or the bescarved gazelle…

    Either way, I’m glad to see your idea of holiday decorating has extended past stuffing an ornament into brown branchy stuff.

  41. Haha!! The last paragraph totally reminded me of that IKEA commercial… you know the one… “Start the Car!! Start the Car!!” lol. Or maybe it was just in Canada. Ha! Either way, I can totally picture the mad dash to the white poinsettias.
    I am in COMPLETE agreement about decorating with natural items… love it!

  42. To me, your beautifully decorated home says beach house meets mountain retreat. Super duper oh-so LOVE.

  43. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing! As a side note, I believe, poinsettias are poisonous to animals. If you happen to have kitties or puppies that like to chew keep them up. I happen to have a kitty that believe it or not when she gets “frisky” will lightly chew on electrical wires. Crazy??!!

  44. I love that wreath in the first picture! I would love to know how that was made. The greens in the white boots are beautiful! The natural elements give such a warm and inviting feel.

  45. LOVE all that you’ve done this season….

    is your light fixture thingy new over your table? LOVE it.

  46. Nester – LOVE IT! The natural elements are EXACTLY how I love to decorate for Christmas too!! And thanks for de-bunking the poinsettia myth – I was worried for my dog, but now I don’t need to be :)

  47. So clean, light, airy, and natural.
    (And, I couldn’t help but Pin those ice skates on your door!)
    Looking forward to the Tour of Homes on the 15th!
    ~ Dana

  48. Love your decor! I especially love the beautiful mirror above the fireplace. I don’t remember seeing it before.

    I hope your holidays are filled with joy!

  49. Love natural decor. It seems more authentic. :) Am currently obssessed with forcing bulbs, but here’s a warning about paperwhites:

  50. I am truly delighted to read this blog posts which consists of tons of
    helpful information, thanks for providing these statistics.

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