{Scroll down for Christmas Tour of Homes pictures.}

Two Christmases ago, we had just completed a home renovation that included~

  • Blog Christmas Tour of Homes, hosted by The Nester knocking out the wall separating our kitchen and dining room
  • moving our dining room into our to-that-point unused living room
  • making the previous dining room a "keeping" room.

I have no idea why it's called a keeping room, we simply picked up the name from a friend who had the same layout–a living space adjacent to the kitchen.  (Is it a Southern thing?  Anybody??)

That year, because the keeping room was fairly empty (and still is…), at Christmas, we bought a second tree and I divided the ornaments I had between the two; neither tree seemed completely dressed.  During after-Christmas 75% off sales, I stocked up on new ornaments for the next year (if you're razor sharp, you already understand would've been last year).  I didn't realize it at the point of purchase, but many of the new ornaments were red and white, and I thought it would be FUN to have a tree primarily decorated in those colors.  I couldn't wait til the next Christmas.

Which was last year.

Thing is, when it came time to purchase a tree, money was tight; but more than that, I was under a conviction to give more away to people in need so I decided to give up Starbucks for the month.  I asked my husband if he wanted to join me in my "sacrifice", and he said, "That's 20 bucks…why don't you give up something that's really going to hurt…like that second tree in the keeping room?"

It was one of those times I wanted to really hurt him…u n t i l  I thought about it, and decided it was excess, and we didn't need it…so I gave up both–my beloved caramel macchiatos and the second tree.  When it came time to decorate, I had no use for all those new ornaments.  Still nested in their boxes, I wistfully looked at them through their cellophane windows, trying to focus on that little bit of money I had "sacrificed" going to someone who might've had a need met instead of my "wants" satisfied.

This year, as I've intentionally minimized in other ways, to initiate ChristmasChange in our home, we decided to get that second tree for the keeping room.  A tree decorated in red and white.  It's a mixture of the new and old–I was happily surprised at how many old ornaments we had that fit the simple color theme.  And…it's a poignant reminder of sacrifice to me–I remember what I gave up last year, so it means more to me.  I know that sounds silly…I didn't do without a thing I needed when we gave up that tree, but somehow it has become symbolic of thinking of others.

If you're visiting from The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes or didn't see it last year, I'd love for you to see my previous years' Christmas decor favorites.  Instead of taking many of the same photos for this post , I'd love to share my Red & White tree…colors which in a sense reflect Christ better than any others.  Red, representing His blood and life sacrifice, and white, His purity and holiness and cleansing of my sin (which didn't even occur to me until I put this in writing…hmmm).


These snowmen lights are one of my favorite parts of the tree; they glass snowman can actually clip on any light, allowing me to place them throughout the tree.


I've had this angel for 15 years; first year she tops a tree, though :).




    Homemade by my middle son; I think his part of "helping" was to sprinkle glitter.



I love these white squiggly dangles…which I'm pretty sure is NOT the official name of these icicle-y ornaments! 


It's nearby landmark and a hat tip to our hometown…:)

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