The Junk Parlor

The Junk Parlor Christmas Home Tour

While it might be hard to imagine, I am not a big seasonal decorator.  Back when I had the shop in the little brick church I didn’t go crazy either. I decorated for Christmas, but my store was not decorated top to bottom in holiday decor. I think decorating the shop always got the desire to decorate out of my system.

In the new house I feel a little more like decorating because I don’t have a shop this Christmas.  If you’ve worked retail or had your own store than you know that sometimes all of your decorating efforts go into the shop and not into your own house.

It’s a weird feeling, not decorating a shop when that’s what you are used to doing!  I have not decorated the new house as much as I thought I would because our built-ins are not finished!!!!  I talked about the built-ins back when I was working on the One Room Challenge.  See that transformation HERE.  Or the START of that transformation. That built-ins were supposed to get built in OCTOBER!!

I know!  I can’t even talk about it I am so frustrated!  But, we will save all of my disappointment for another post!  This is the time for some holy jolly Christmas!

Watch the Christmas Home Tour on YouTube

The Tree


This was the first year that I decorated our tree.  Why? The kids have always decorated the tree.  We typically take a day after Thanksgiving and put it up and decorate together.  This year?  Everyone was working and I felt like if I didn’t get it out, it wasn’t going to happen.

While I am a very organized person, I still do not have everything situated in the new house.  Plus, when we moved I got to the point where if there was any open space in a tote.  Even a tote labeled Christmas, it was getting shoved full of something.  I didn’t see any point in moving boxes that were half full!

Vintage store Santa cut out behind our Christmas tree decorated with family ornaments.

So finding and unpacking Christmas boxes was an event itself!

A few years ago I had purchased some Christmas ornaments because they were green!  Yet I had never actually used them!  Until this year.  I hung my new to me ornaments along with some glitter grapes, leaves and candy canes I picked up at this same garage sale.  I left the kids ornaments in a tote in the living room.

No one said anything about decorating the tree or looking through old ornaments, so a couple weeks later I added all of our personal ornaments.  Ones the kids had made, ones we had gotten from church, as gifts, even some of mine from childhood.

Guess what!?  No one even noticed that I added them!

Up close of our decorated tree with homemade ornaments.
Up close of our decorated tree with homemade ornaments.
Up close of our decorated tree with homemade ornaments.

Tree Skirt

Our tree is a small flocked tree from Walmart. (holiday time flocked cedar pine tree 6.5′ prelit) That might not seem small, but when you have tall ceilings, it is pretty petite.  So, often I do different things to elevate it.  Most often I put it in an antique laundry basket.  Check out THIS post to see how I’ve decorated around the tree in the past.  BUT!  I sold both of my old laundry baskets, so I had to do something new this year!  

I grabbed a suitcase because it is wide enough for the base of the tree to sit on.  Then, I covered that base by wrapping it in an antique coverlet.  I might add that both of these items are for sale! 😉 Just leave a comment if you are interested in either!

One of the things that will come in handy once I get the gifts wrapped is going to be having an extra level to set packages on!

Up close of our decorated tree with homemade ornaments and a view of the antique coverlet I'm using as a tree skirt.


My grandma moved to a nursing home when she was about 96.  Before she went, she went through all of her things.  She’d bring totes of old cards she saved downstairs and reread them.  She’d climb the stairs and go through dressers and cedar chests with us.  I’ve talked about this many times, but obviously what she said stuck with me.  Don’t save things, she’d say.  Instead use them.

Vintage Santa store display with our family Christmas tree.

For example, a nice quilt.  She saved them, never got to enjoy them herself and then she worried that no one would want them.  Old toys, nice clothes, etc. got saved away.  She regretted doing that.  That is probably one of the reasons I’m not a keeper.  I don’t have a lot of things in storage. If I can’t have them out to see or use, I sell them or donate them.

I reached out to a neighbor because I needed a big box to ship a large phonograph horn.  He gave me the dimensions of a box he had, but I told him it was to small, so I’d just make one.  He responded with “Well, that’s at least good news for me now I don’t have to unpack that box of apparently stuff we haven’t needed since moving over a year ago. 😁” 

Full view of Christmas tree and surrounding decor.

I know we can all relate!

Anyway I’m getting off topic again.  Back to grandma’s house we go!  

As I was digging through grandma’s garage I found a great surprise, SANTA! Tucked behind stuff and behind more stuff, folded with the yucky side out was something intriguing.  When I opened Santa I couldn’t believe that this was tucked away in the garage. I don’t remember my grandma ever having it out.

My mom did remember Santa.  Her grandparents always had it out on display.  And now, I have had it up a couple times!  I love it!


I don’t remember if my mom picked this nativity out on her own or if I told her I wanted it.  But, over the years my mom has added to my Willow Tree Nativity.  I don’t have a stable or creche, but I think I have or have had all of the other pieces.  There is a metal star cluster that I have sitting in the mudroom window at the moment with some of the little sheep from this set.  Those pieces are normally sitting in my kitchen windowsill year round. I also had one of the angels that goes with the set, LIKE THIS ONE, but it got knocked over at some point and broke.

PS. Mom, I need another one.

I have had A LOT of Willow Tree figurines over the years!  But when we moved, I sold everything but my nativity.  And at the old house I just left my nativity out in my china hutch year round!  This year, it’s on a cutting board on the kitchen island.

Next Christmas, assuming my built-ins are done, I will have it displayed on my built-ins!

Willow Tree Nativity on our kitchen island
Countertop decor of white ironstone pitchers, wooden spoons, and a Santa cookie jar.

Christmas Home Tour Kitchen

One of my favorite things about the new house is the under cabinet lighting!  Checkout THIS post about all of my favorite things in the new house.

What’s so special about under cabinet lighting?  It makes everything look good!  It’s hard to take a picture of these things, but in person, WOW, good lighting makes a statement!  So what is on my counter this holiday season?

A Santa cookie jar that I’ve had for years yet have no memory how I got him!  I have a gingerbread house that my mom gifted me from a shop in Pella, Iowa.  I threw out the first one she gave me before realizing that I could just put this one back in the box and use it year after year!

I put it up on a cake stand just to set it off.  In past years I have had one on my old scale.  Get a glimpse of that look HERE.

Also on my counter is my MJB coffee can collection and little green enamel teapots.  They are the perfect color for Christmas.  I stuck our little Elf on the Shelf here.  In the video you’ll see that he is missing!!  My youngest had some friends over and the little Elf on the Shelf disappeared!

Plugged in close by is my grandma’s bubble night light.  If you don’t have your grandma’s you can get a new one HERE.

MJB tins, green enamel miniature tea pots and our Elf on the Shelf.
Gingerbread house from a shop in Pella, Iowa.
Grandma's vintage red plastic Santa cookie cutter.

I love decor in my kitchen window. I seem to spend a lot of time standing at the sink, so I like having something to look at other than my neighbors house! I have some Walmart flocked garland in the window with a few of grandma’s cookie cutters I kept. While I love Santa and the reindeer I do not remember them making good cookies. Some cookie cutters just don’t release the dough like they should!

Up close of the Santa cooke jar

Christmas Home Tour Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is one place where I have completed a lot of projects since moving in!  I turned a card catalog into a nightstand, see how HERE.  I transformed some Facebook Marketplace lamps HERE.  And, I transformed a free curbside dresser HERE.  I’ve also transformed a dresser we purchased when we first married, post on that will be coming soon!

On top of that dresser I placed an ironstone wash basin with some silver and gold shiny brights.  I added wool trees I made during my 25 days of Christmas DIY’s.  (These wool trees are for sale, just leave me a comment)

Wool trees in our bedroom with lamp bases. #forsale

Also in our bedroom I have a little glass nativity.  My mom has this same nativity and every year when I see hers or I get mine out we both have a good laugh.  My mom has been on our local Tour of Homes and she has helped a lot of friends when their home has been on the Tour.  One year they were setting out this nativity and were in a panic because they had lost baby Jesus.  They looked everywhere for him only to eventually discover that they just had the manger upside down!

Has that ever happened to you?

Ironstone bowl of silver shiny brites.

Christmas Home Tour Bathrooms

In the kids bathrooms I add a few things as well!  Little Santa buckets now hold toothbrushes and one of my ironstone platters holds some ornaments.  I needed to keep it simple in these spaces as there is not a lot of counter space and I needed things that would be easy to clean when I packed them away.  

I’m a realistic mom and know that whatever holiday touches I add are going to get dirty!

MJB tins, green enamel miniature tea pots and our Elf on the Shelf.

Christmas Home Tour Front Porch

My daughter has repeatedly said she wants us to add lights out front!  So, that is going to be something we do in the fall…next year!  For this year I added some of the lamp globes turned ornaments that I made last year for my vintage truck.

The front of our house doesn’t get any sunshine, so the solar lights I used to use wouldn’t light up my globes this year.  Instead I just plugged in a strand of lights and put them on a timer.  I just bought the timer and made sure to get one that is a double so that we can add lights to the porch columns or window next year!

Really we should be decorating the back of the house because that is the part we actually see!  I have yet to drive around the front of our house when it’s dark since I put the globes out in November!

I hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into our house for this years Christmas Home Tour!

Dining room table view with a wreath in the center of the table.

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Hi, I’m Brooke. Welcome to The Junk Parlor.

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