Christmas in July

From car accidents to multiple job interviews for my Audley, December 2016 was rather hectic and stressful for our family.  In between traveling for business and family, we did enjoy a lovely holiday with quite a bit of celebrating including a party with over 75 guests, hosting my in-laws to celebrate and an actual Christmas Day at home!

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I was never able to sharing any of our holiday decor, except a few posts on Instagram, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate Christmas in July here at Fiddle Dee Dee!

And why not?

Macy’s having a Black Friday in July sale, the Hallmark Mysteries and Movies channel has been showing Christmas movies for a week, a few bloggers have jumped in with Christmas themed posts, so it seemed like the perfect time to share our Christmas holiday!

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So step inside and take a peak at our final  Christmas in our South Carolina home.

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I didn’t do a lot of frou-frou decorating around the house this year.  For the most part I stuck to trees and garland with a small scene on my dining room buffet.

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I love the bright colors of the holiday and lots of sparkle, so my decorating reflected that. We had a Nutcracker theme in our living room and that included the tree!  Audley and I discovered it is not so easy to get these guys to stay latched to the branches!

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My sparkle was enhanced using garlands we had purchased at Michael’s and cut to tuck throughout the tree.

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FYI, glittery garland makes a huge mess.

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We don’t have a mantle on our fireplace … sacrilegious I know, so the banister from the loft has made a lovely display for our stocking each year.

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But, I still decked the fireplace hearth.

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And we decked the dining room.

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And set a festive table for celebrating with family.

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While I didn’t do much in the kitchen with our decor this year, or deck every nook and cranny, I did decorate this cake which made a fabulous centerpiece for our party!

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And now to plan for our first Christmas in our new home here in Georgia.  Audley actually mentioned planning to me just this week!

Hmmm… hubby is looking forward to Christmas!

This is going to be fun!

Happy Christmas in July!

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3 Cheers for the Red, White & Blue!!

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.

~Louis D. Brandeis

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With patriotic colors adorning our table, from our home to yours, we wish you a very safe and happy Independence Day!

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Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate

There is something about having hot chocolate on Christmas Eve that has become such a special tradition for us, even if it is nearly 70° in certain parts of the south!

While it is so easy to rip open a pack of Swiss Miss, I love the rich, creamy deliciousness of this homemade hot chocolate.

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{Printable Version Available christmas-eve-hot-chocolate}

hot-chocolate-ohfiddledeedee-comIf you are serving Santa tonight as he stops while making rounds at your house, leave the whipped cream off and have it on a coffee mug warmer for his convenience.

And from our family to yours –

a very merry Christmas!

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Decorating Lessons from the Biltmore Estate

One of the highlights of the holiday season each year for me is a trip to the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  Every year the mansion is completely decked out from basement to attic with festive trees (there are over 70 of them!), garlands, lights, and other delightful frivolities.  It’s truly a magical experience for everyone in the family.

After so many holiday visits to this lovely home, you can’t help but pick up a few things that you might want to add in your own home.  It’s only natural!

So, today I am sharing ten Christmas decorating lessons I’ve learned from the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  I apologize for the quality of photos; they have just now allowed visitors to take pictures in the house and I had the rely on my phone as my camera had the wrong lens on it for great shots.

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1. Deck it all.  Seriously, go all out!

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The beautiful view looking up the grand spiral staircase; trimmed out with live garlands and ribbon.

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2. Mantle decor doesn’t have to be symmetrical.

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3. Use a lot of natural elements.  biltmore-christmas-8-ohfiddledeedee-com

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Could you imagine over 1,000 scattered throughout your home?

4. Add bling and a lot of twinkle lights…  Everywhere!

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5. Multiple trees are highly recommended; maybe even throughout one room!

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The beautiful tapestry room had four trees all decked out, one representing each season!

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The “winter” tree in the tapestry room

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6. Dress-up everyday ordinary items or use unexpected items to decorate with.

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These books looked so lovely tired up in colorful ribbon

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Feathers and roses help make this a stunning tree indeed!

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7. Deck the bedrooms. After all, the children shouldn’t be the only ones nestled in their cozy beds.

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Mrs. Vanderbilt’a beautiful bedroom with not one, but two gorgeous trees!

8. Take your time.

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Decorating just one room in the estate can take up to ten hours!  We may not have a design team in our own homes, but there are no rules that say it all has to be decorated in one day!

9. Use your imagination

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The “naughty & nice” list running down the tree is such a cute idea for your children or grandchildren

10. Make decorating a BIG deal and a celebration itself within your family

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The grand banquet hall tree arriving at the Biltmore Estate

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of the Biltmore Estate at Christmas and found a little inspiration for your own home.  If you ever want a fabulous holiday get-away I highly recommend that you  slip away to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.  We are all decked out here in the Jones home and are ready to kick off the month of celebrations with a Christmas caroling party this weekend!  I’ll be sharing our decor over the next few days and hope that you will stop back by.

Have a blessed day!

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