ChristMIX; Fusing Christmas Past and Present
article & photos by lovely hitchcock
I took my time photographing Lynda Berg’s quaint, strikingly old-fashioned, yet modern home because you’ll never want to leave once you enter. I took the liberty of touching and getting closer to her Christmas displays.
Lynda’s house is best described as stepping into an issue of HGTV magazine or Better Homes and Gardens pages. When you look around at her displays, you’ll notice a common color scheme, "Traditional, pretty red and green," Lynda explained. "I'm attracted to green in my everyday style, so that fits nicely."
It’s quite apparent how skillful she is in fusing the old with the new. You are greeted by classic and old-fashioned displays and ornaments when you walk through her front door. It feels like you are time-warping into the past without leaving the present. Many of her ornaments brought me back to my childhood. Authentic old-world ornaments and colorful and muted little deer spread throughout the house instantly bring you comfort and joy.
Lynda keeps all the Christmas cards they receive each year; smaller cards are curled up nicely inside a large clear jar.
Each year, Lynda alters used Christmas books, tearing them apart, removing the pages, and punching three holes. Loose leaf binder rings hold years and years of received cards. I love to think mine are included in the mix! All the altered books are now part of her Christmas staple.
Over the years, I have learned that Lynda’s favorite holiday tradition is creating hand-made Christmas cards, incorporating pictures of her only daughter, Kenadie. "I worry all year about coming up with an idea of where to take the picture and how to alter it with a Christmas message," she said. But you wouldn’t know that from looking at the 16 cards she has created. Each one is carefully thought out, and each embellishment placed on the card, including machine sewing or stapling, is cleverly executed.
These bells don't get tucked away after Christmas...they are part of the everyday décor all year round.
The nice thing about her Christmas décor is that it mixes well with the everyday items she has collected over the years. But her crown piece is her Bing & Grøndahl collection, a Danish porcelain founded in 1853, that her mother started and Lynda carried on after she passed away.
The stylish and fashionably distressed piano covered in Christmas accessories with a perfect color scheme is pure eye candy! On top of it all, you will find her latest craze, the sweet deer. An assortment of glass, fabric, velvet, and plastic. If you could play the piano, wouldn't you want to play those notes associated with classic Christmas carols?
Mischief & Whimsy
The giant chalkboard with the eye-catching hand-made assorted green fabric is where an Elf often gets to be mischievous and perform daily surprises. It is also where Lynda exhibits fun and random photos of Kenadie throughout the year.
Speaking of elves, Lynda has also gone a bit elf-crazy since Elf on a Shelf started trending. Even though Kenadie is no longer a child, she still chuckles when Elf has gotten into mischief overnight. Their Elf customarily shows up on Kenadie's birthday as well.
The electric fireplace framed in reclaimed barn wood adorned with classic green and red proves that it can exist side-by-side with a happy, bright medium. Upon the mantle, you will find a couple of Putz houses; another classic weaved with bright green and, if you look closely, a garland of glass leaf beads strung seamlessly along a vintage Christmas banner.
Utilizing an empty picture frame is a clever idea turning it into a "framed house and tree." With various odds and ends, she created this project with "found objects." It is also a fantastic way of using those loose items you find at the bottom of your Christmas storage box.
Here's a doable and fun little project for all ages. From lighter to darker, Lynda sprayed beige-colored mini bottle brush trees by diluting acrylic paint and glued them on a yardstick.
O’ Christmas Tree
Lynda’s Hint: Put larger ornaments on the inside of the tree and then work out from large to small at the end of the branches.
She reminisced about her beloved mother and how they used to tease her about her Christmas tree choices. "Every Christmas tree is beautiful," her mother would tell them. And over the years, her Christmas tree style has evolved from a pre-lit pine tree to a fresh, Charlie Brown style layered in lights and ornaments.
O Christmas tree, you are the most enchanted part of the display! There is rampant anticipation in unpacking those ornaments, tucked away for almost a year, reliving each ornament's story as we hang them. The nostalgia of this tradition in and of itself is already a gift!
Just about every inch of Lynda's beautiful home, whether Christmas or not – the combination of flocking, plastic, glass, bottle brushes, vintage fabric, mismatched collections, everyday items, and her approach of merging the past with the present – is what makes this a seamless Christ "mix" for this season.
Originally printed in the December 2022 issue of Simply Local Magazine
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Living in that delightful gray area of life, Lovely garners her energy from being a mother, furniture refinisher, craft junkie, foodie, and gym and yoga addict (yet she’s also an occasional skipper). She is a risk-taker yet a problem avoider, fierce yet wimpy, a veteran's wife, and always a pixel shooter.
Simple, Seasonal, and Stylish: 5 Festive Ways to Deck the Halls
When it comes to Christmas décor, it keeps things fun and fresh when you subtly change things up each year. Consider switching up the accent color of your tree, new placement of old decorations, or unexpected pops of Christmas in rooms throughout your home.