Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Decking the Halls, and Stairs, and Sunroom. . . .

Can you smell it? It's a fresh-cut Frasier Fir, it's in the corner of our conservatory, and it's filling the house with the piney scent of Christmas.

Since Christmas is a season when we indulge in a bit of excess -- whether it be food or gifts or decorating -- I am indulging in an excess of blog parties today. Find links to all 3 of them at the end of this post -- Met Monday, Mosaic Monday, and Show Off Your Cottage.


It was a busy weekend at That Old House. We turned this:

into this:

After seeing so many beautifully bedecked staircases in so many blogs, I decided to try decorating our front stairs. Not so good; this is our first attempt, as we never had an open staircase before. It will be better next year, but for this year we'll just let the white pine roping and the red ribbon just carry the day.

Then, I turned this, the naked feather tree:

into this:

I think Mr. Feather Tree will live in the kitchen for the holidays.
Or, in the front hall. Or . . . . well, somewhere.

On Saturday morning, we headed for a tree sale to benefit a local historical society, and found a lovely Frasier Fir. Last year, the fresh tree in the sunroom looked good, but was in the way. This year, I told Howard I wanted the tree in the corner where this table and chandelier normally live:

My husband is a good sport. He moved the very heavy oak table, took down the chandelier, vacuumed (which you know is when a man is at his most attractive, right?), and put up the tree.

I love the shot on the right, Howard looking at the chandelier and thinking, "Is she kidding?"

On Sunday, he added 1700 lights.
Howard likes to best his brothers-in-law in numbers of lights on the tree.
I'm thinking there's no contest this year.


Speaking of my family, on Saturday, my brother and his wife held their annual dressy
Christmas gathering.
Howard took the picture, below, because he no longer
owns a tuxedo and was just wearing a suit, so he was not one of the Cool Kids.

That's my two big brothers flanking my 89-year old Dad, with my brother in law Bill on the right.
They clean up pretty nice.
My Dad is a big hit at the retirement home when he puts his glad rags on.

It's fun to get dressed up for Lindy and Carol's party; Dion was not invited, which is good because he only owns one coat, and it is definitely not formal wear.

Howard and I, and our two daughters, are hosting our annual family and friends Christmas gathering next Sunday; it will be fuzzy-slippers and reindeer sweater casual.

And now I am off to straighten the ribbons on the stairway swags; I noticed how wrinkly they looked in the pictures! I hope to have time to read so many more blogs today; I think I need a laptop, don't you? -- Cass

Here are today's blog parties, all ready with fabulous posts:

There is Mosaic Monday, at the Little Red House blog, a must-see. Mary, who is both a gracious hostess and a remarkable photographer, has a fabulous Christmas mosaic of her own, and dozens and dozens from talented participants. Go!

Cielo at The House In The Roses hosts
Show Off Your Cottage Monday.
I love this idea!

And for a big, big list of fab posts,
visit Susan at Between Naps On The Porch,
Metamorphosis Monday! It's worth the trip.


  1. I happen to love your staircase in the red ribbon!

    Have a very Happy Monday!

  2. LOVE the staircase! Your home is looking so cozy for Christmas. Love the photo of your Dad. Mine will be 89 in April. They are just so precious. **blows merry kisses** Deb

  3. Hi Cass...

    Ohhh my gosh, Girl...I couldn't agree more...a man with a vacuum in hand is the sexiest thing ever!!! Hehe! Hmmm...can I say sexy on here? Your Howard is quite a gem...he sure completed your "Honey-Do" list beautifully! I can't wait to see that fabulous tree decorated...I will stay tuned!!!

    My friend, I love the beautiful long pine needled garland that you decorated your staircase with!!! I think that the long needles are my favorite and topping it off with the pretty red bows...simply gorgeous!!! Classic Christmas, my friend! Love your pretty feather tree...sooo many pretty ornaments!!! Simply beautiful!!!

    Wow...what handsome men you have in your family!!! Loved seeing the photo of your Dad and brothers all gussied up...what a fabulous photo!!!

    Well my friend, I know that you have been really busy at That Old House with all the activities and festivites of Christmas...but stop by for a visit when you get a chance!

    Warmest wishes and Christmas Blessings to you and your family, my friend!!!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  4. Wow what a husband! I always enjoy visiting your blog.

  5. Every time I read your blog, I leave with a smile! What a awesome family (and house!!)!

  6. Cass..
    You are so together with it all..beautifully decorated and tied with gorgeous red bows..
    am still behind with everything.. while still trying to shake the bug which toppled me in Florida..I can't muster the strength to tackle the will try to do a bit online..
    meanwhile..with all the prettiness inside, can we peek at the EXTERIOR of your house in holiday style? Am sure it is picture postcard perfect!
    warm hugs...Loui♥

  7. The staircase looks great. The greenery is so pretty. I wish I had some.
    If you keep posting pictures of men vacuuming I will have to report you. I don't know who to but really how much can we take of this.
    Your brothers and your dad all look so much alike.
    Your mosaic is so colorful and cheery. It would look good in the kitchen.

  8. Oh how pretty. Thanks for sharing your lovely house. Isn't it funny how we notice things in photos? Well I loved your virtual tour.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Many Blessings,

  9. The staircase looks perfect as is!!.. and.. love the Feather tree!!! I need one of those, wonder where I can find one...

  10. Such gorgeous each and every one!

    And our staircase is perfection! And the guys in the tuxedo are not bad either!

  11. What wonderful decorating! I can almost smell the pine branches. Pretty cool dudes :)

  12. Looking good. I like the simplicity of your staircase.
    We are still working on the decor


  13. I love the staircase . And what handsome men. The one vacuuming was the best. But the ones in Tux's weren't bad either.

  14. Hi Cass, the men in your family are all looking so handsome. Love your decor! I can smell the pine, uhmmmm, so lovely!...Christine

  15. Aaaah, so that'll be why Natalie always makes me do the vacuuming! :)

    Lovely decorations: I really want some nutcracker tree ornaments like yours!

  16. You did a wonderful job on your stairway and throughout your house. Love to see a guy in a tux, your Dad looks very handsome!

  17. What priceless photos of you Dad and brothers. Husbands are so good about moving things around. Mine was a super worker as we were getting ready for the house tour yesterday. Everything looks just lovely in your home. I will be anxious to see your tree.

    Can you believe how many of us have posted to these parties?

    Thanks for sharing all the joy.


  18. Great job! I like the swag with ribbons on the stairs, it looks like mine only much prettier.

  19. Hi Cass !
    I love your staircase with all that greenery and red ribbons !
    I giggle at your Howard and that look on this face "Really ?" hmmmm these guys.....Love the guys in the penguin suits - you couldn't pay mine to wear even a suit !
    Hugs~ Kammy

  20. Your tree is wonderful!!!!!! I can't believe you moved all of that to put it up there. The garland on the banister is wondeful. And you banner with the photo of your home is amazing. I would love to live in a house like that. We want a BIG front porch. Merry Christmas.

  21. Gorgeous Dad and sons - that picture will be a treasure.
    I think you did a great job on your staircase - love those lovely swishy pine needles.
    You're right about men - never more attractive than when wielding a vacuum!

  22. Cass I LOVE your stairway garland as is! It's gorgeous and elegant simplicity. Sigh....:) Your feather tree and frasier fur are precious and stunning respectively.

    Your home is amazing! Love the tuxs too.

    ~Holiday Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  23. Hi Cass,
    I love your staircase garland, it's beautiful!!

    1700 lights on the tree!!!! That baby must glow like the sun :)

    Have a great day

  24. Cass, your decorations look lovely & you better give your hubby a great big hug for doing all that prep work!!

    I'm glad to see your Dad out of the hospital & dressed so sharp! Hope he continues to do well.

    My hubby continues to improve a little each day, thankfully (♥ attack) but my decorating & blogging have come to a screeching halt. No time right now & different priorities, too.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  25. All the guys look so handsome; especially the 89 year old dad! ;) May the Lord continue to bless him and all his children.... and oh, I'm totally in love with your blog banner, is that your home? Lovely lovely... my dream! Thank you for participating in our "Show Off Your Cottage Monday".... It is a pleasure to have you at the house in the roses.


  26. Beautiful staircase all decked out for the holidays. Your house is so warm and welcoming.
    Your Dad is very handsome in his glad rags as are the other men in the family.

  27. love the picture of your dad and your brothers and bill! they look so spiffy!

  28. What a snappy pic of your Father.

    Merry Christmas ~
    TTFN ~Marydon
    **NEW BLOG**

  29. Wonderful mosaic, I love the staircase decorated and the pretty trees. And your hubby hard at work is terrific.

  30. Cass,

    I think the staircase looks wonderful! Wish I had beautiful banister like yours. Wish I had a beautiful conservatory like yours. Wish I had a husband who knew how to take down chandeliers... oh well, you get the idea. Thanks for sharing at MM, and have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the snow!


  31. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.