This post is brought to you by my love of all things French, farmhouse, Christmas, white, blue and pretty. I would like to welcome you into my master bedroom all decked for the Holidays! Big ol’ thanks goes to Balsam Hill for partnering with me for this project. All the sources for the goodies you see in the images will be listed at the bottom of this post.
I’ve got a little story to share with you today.
And it’s not necessarily one I’m proud of.
I share because working on this bedroom brought back this Christmas memory of times past. At first I felt total shame, but upon further reflection I could see the revolution of the person I’ve become.
The flood of memories happened while hanging the sweet little white ornaments on our tree with my oldest daughter.
She asked me the question, “Mom. Why is our tree so different from all the other Christmas trees?”
We had just visited a Holiday focused store and she had witnessed the Christmas trees full of . . . well . . . stuff. This followed by decorating our pretty-darn-close-to-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tree with very minimal decorations.
And I said to her, “Remember how I always say, less is more?”
She seemed satisfied with the answer and we continued to talk about 4th grade drama while hanging the ornaments.
And while half listening to her, my mind recalled the early years of our marriage and family life, particularly the Christmas trees we’d had throughout that time.
Our first Christmas together as husband and wife, we were both in college and were completely broke. Our small apartment had camp chairs for furniture, an ironing board for a TV stand, and a mini artificial tree my husband brought along from his childhood. We were young and carefree and didn’t seem to mind a thing.
And we were so very happy.
The second year we found ourselves renting out my brothers basement, who charged us next to nothing. I was finishing my student teaching, and my husband was working all he could.
We were still dirt poor, but because of the low rent due to my generous brother, we afforded a beautiful full tree from the tree lot and bought all new blue and silver ornaments from Walmart to go with it.
I had just found out that I was expecting our first baby . . . and we were so very happy.
By our next Christmas, we had bought a humble condominium. It was small but comfortable, and we were proud to have something to call our own. But because we had a child and I chose to stay home with the baby while my husband went to school and worked – we were dirt poor.
But by some miracle, my husband pulled together the cash to get me the full beautiful tree from the tree farm, just like my mother had always bought while I was growing up. He knew how much it meant to me. We used the same blue ornaments we bought from Walmart the year before and thoroughly enjoyed having a child to share Christmas with.
We were so very happy.
Another little one came along, and we had decided to plunge into family life and buy a real home to fit us better.
I was still a stay-at-home mom, my husband was still in college and the sole provider, and our mortgage was too big for our britches.
As Christmas came that year, it felt more like a burden. We looked at our budget and looked at our options. We could either spend $30-$50 dollars on a full tree farm tree (like I always preferred) or we could buy a $5.00 tree permit and go to the mountains to cut our own tree.
For obvious reasons, we got the permit. My husband was so excited! I was skeptical, but tried to suck up my pride.
My husband grew up in Washington state where they always made a day trip and cut their own trees. Trees in Washington are full and beautiful. Trees in the Rocky Mountains of Utah and Idaho are generally sparse.
But he assured me it would be great, and I would love it.
Off to the mountains we went, with our little ones all bundled up. He found “the perfect tree”, cut ‘er down, and we brought it home.
Once home, we pulled out the tote of blue ornaments we bought years ago at Walmart, and began to decorate the tree.
I was not so very happy.
This was a sad excuse for a Christmas tree. You could see the light wires dangling through the sparse greenery. The ornaments hung ridiculously off each pathetic excuse for a branch. I couldn’t believe the sorry scene before me.
And I pouted.
Like a little child, I threw a fit.
Knowing my husband like I know him now, he was probably disheartened, ashamed, and frustrated.
For days this went on. I hated our situation. I yearned for more. My stomach churned every time I saw that tree.
Of course I knew how terrible my behavior was, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. What was Christmas without a beautiful full tree from the tree farm??!!
I don’t know what changed my attitude – perhaps the prayers of my husband – but after a couple of weeks I began to see beauty in that tree.
My 2 year old daughter loved it. The baby gazed at it in wonder. I began to notice how each ornament could really shine without being lost in thick branches.
I never stopped yearning for my traditional tree, but I found myself apologizing profusely to my good man for my behavior and attitude. I felt very ashamed of myself and tried my hardest to count my blessings.
For they were many.
The years have come and gone. We have 4 beautiful children now. My husband has a wonderful job as an engineer. I enjoy exploring my talents through blogging and I find great satisfaction in helping my husband provide for our family, all while staying home to raise our kids.
Our home isn’t everything we dream it to be, but we certainly make the most of it.
Some Christmas’s we’ve brought home a full beautiful tree from the tree farm. Others we’ve enjoyed cutting down a perfectly imperfect tree from the mountains. We have even dabbled with artificial flocked trees.
We’ve even experienced a mixture of those trees in our home at the same time!
We still have that tote of blue Walmart ornaments. My daughter opened it up herself and took the initiative to decorate her own room with it’s contents. There are blue snowflakes hanging from her closet. Blue glass ornaments tucked here and there. The blue tree skirt rests under her rocking chair.
I, myself have enjoyed changing things around each Christmas as well. It excites me and challenges me. It is also part of my self proclaimed job title, which involves offering you new ideas and inspiration.
But all of that aside, I’m grateful today for the memory of that unwanted tree, so long ago.
I think it was trying to teach me a lesson or two.
When I asked the questions, “why is our tree so different from all the other Christmas trees” and “why can’t I have what I’ve always wanted”?
I think it wanted me to learn to look for the beauty around me. I think I was meant to find happiness no matter our situation. Perhaps I needed to discover that “perfection” was grossly over-rated.
I think that tree was trying to say to me, “Remember, remember – that less is actually more“.
I now find myself yearning for minimalism. I continually try to fight against the urge to want what I don’t have. I crave simplicity.
As a family, we count our blessings. My husband and I try to teach our children that there is more to life than “stuff”.
We look to our faith and family to find what really matters in life.
And we are so very happy.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Christmas story. It is something I truly enjoyed reflecting on. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our master bedroom in all its French Farmhouse Christmas glory.
Balsam Hill is bringing bloggers together all month long to share their beautiful products and Christmas memories. You also have the opportunity to enter their giveaway to for the chance to earn a shopping spree valued at $150 buckaroos! I could spend that easily 😉 Good luck!
I was pleased to dress up our mantel headboard with their gorgeous flocked garland and wreath, metal pillar candles, and the most stunning French Country Ornaments made from thick mercury glass.
The lighting on their greenery is a dream. There are no cords or plugs. They are battery operated and come with a handy remote for easy on and off features. It’s life changing folks.
I’ll show you more when I finish taking images of my home lights.
I’d like to leave you with a source list here, so you can find the items and tutorials you like in our bedroom.
*This post contains affiliate links, which helps support TIDBITS and keeps this little ol’ blog going, at no cost to you. Thank you!
I’m going to start with the foundational bedding items. I’ve become a bit of a “bed snob”, if you will. I’ve discovered a company called Linenspa through a good friend, who has helped me create the sleep of my dreams through their affordable luxurious bedding products. I’m going to explore the items I’m obsessed with more in the new year, but for now, this is my foundation for a good night sleep.
- Mattress of my dreams (firm for him, hug for me) – 14″ Plush Three Layer Gel Memory foam
- Favorite pillows of all time! (I’ve used this pillow for 1 year now and will never go back!) – Gel infused dough memory foam core pillow
- Down Comforter for my DIY duvet cover (super warm yet breathable) – Down Blend Comforter
- The only sheets I’ll ever buy again in my life! (they are that good! Silky feel, yet warm, breathable and incredibly soft. I’ve replace all our old sheets with these ones, even for the kids. They are the best!) – Tencel sheet set
To make my bed pretty, here are the handmade items which I’ve provided tutorials for.
- Reversible Duvet Cover
- Ruffled bed skirt made from drop cloth
- Ruffled pillow covers, I simply sewed on some ruffled fabric to a store bought pillowcase, much like I did HERE.
Folks seem to love our Faux Jute roller blinds as much as we do. Read more about those, HERE.
Other handmade items in these images include our:
White is “Super White” by Benjamin Moore
The soft blue/gray color on walls is “Willow Springs” by PPG paints
Almost everything else was bought at thrift stores, antique stores, or hand-me-downs.
Did you see anything else you would like to know more about?
Thanks so much for being here with me today!