Welcome to Our Home

Welcome to your next stop on BooMama’s Christmas Tour of Homes!  I’m delighted that you’ve come for a visit and hope you’ll say hello in the comments so I’ll be sure to stop at your home!

When trying to find our home during the holidays, my husband always tells people to look for the mailbox that looks like a magnolia tree and a holly tree threw up all over it.  Isn’t he a dear?


Here’s our front door…


And the only one of the dogs that learned the “sit-stay” command…


Someone gave us this Father Christmas when we married 14 years ago. Tater Daddy is a Santa Claus fan, but I can’t help but put this fellow out each year.


Here is our Christmas tree with its little tree friends and some other things we’ve collected over the years.  Our house is kind of small, and there isn’t a lot of room to display things.  Therefore, they all get  put together like a little village or something.


When my husband was just out of college, he said that his first Christmas on his own was pretty lean.  Bless his heart — he made some ornaments for his tree.  He worked for an advertising agency, and this foam board was available to him for free so he made candy canes.  Over the years we’ve kept a couple and always hang them on our tree.  We always laugh a little, but we love them.


My mother’s mother, whom we called Grandmama, displayed her mother’s Nativity scene every year.  I remember being fascinated by it when I was a little girl.  I don’t really know why.  There’s nothing particularly fine or even extraordinarily beautiful about it.  But it was always one of the first things I looked for when the decorations were up.  As I got older, Grandmama let me put it out and that became one of my “jobs” when my brother and I would go to my grandparents’ house to help decorate.  Even when I went off to college, Grandmama saved the Nativity set for me to put out when I got home after taking exams.  I would drop my things off at my parents’ house and drive over to Grandmama and Papa’s house and there it was.  The box. I can’t quite part with it.


Mama Dear is what they called Grandmama’s mama.  I think that’s one of the sweetest names, don’t you?  Anyway, long after college and even up until the last Christmas that Grandmama was with us in 2000, she saved the Nativity set for me to put up.  For the last couple of years, it was one of the few decorations that she used.  I noticed that she’d written on the the box that the set was to be handed down to me.  She even wrote it twice, in case there were any doubt.  That was so Grandmama!  

Now that I’ve rambled on about it like it’s made of gold or something, here it is.


I think I’ll ramble on a little more.  For whatever reason, it was always important to Grandmama that the wise men actually be coming from the east.  What can I say?  She had a thing for “keeping it real.”  So now, wherever we display it in our home, the wise men must be coming from the east.  I always imagine Grandmama giggling when I’m standing around trying to make sure I’m getting it right. 

My word.  I’ve gone on and on about the Nativity scene.  I guess I don’t have to tell you that of all the decorations we have — half of which we don’t even use — it is the one I love the most.  

Let’s see.  Here is our mantel.  More magnolia.  We actually have eight of the reindeer, but they take up a lot of room.  I would have to move the clock, which…um….also belonged to Grandmama.  It is so old, and quite frankly, I am a little afraid of moving it.  I don’t even like to wind it for fear of breaking it.  This year, we’re letting three reindeer do the work of eight. It’s kind of like Santa’s hybrid reindeer team.


Tater Tot has a little tree in his room.  There’s a cowboy theme going on in his bedroom, so when I saw the tree-in-a-boot a couple of years ago I couldn’t really resist.


Well, that’s pretty much it for the house of Tater.

Now, I’d like to share a recipe or two with you.  And I would have made these for the Tour.  However, (1) the horrid sinus infection that appeared a couple of weeks ago came back, and I have been in bed for two days, and (2) the cheese balls don’t last long enough around here for me to arrange them on a plate and take a picture.  What can I say?  The Taters love cheese.

Every Christmas, Grandmama would make a batch of cheese balls, and she made the best EVER.  Mine never turn out quite like hers, but I still crave them around the holidays and always find myself making a batch or two.  


1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cup flour

1 stick margarine


Soften butter and cheese.  Add flour and make into dough.  Roll into balls.  Salt.  Bake at 350-degrees for 15 minutes.



3 cups milk

3/4 cup half & half

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 – 1/2 cup bourbon

marshmallows (optional)

Combine milk and half & half in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, but DO NOT BOIL.  Add sugar and cocoa, whisking until blended.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in vanilla and bourbon.  Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows. Yield:  4 1/2 cups

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope to see you again soon.

Merry Christmas!  (And for the small number of you who visit Tater Tales regularly, if this is the only post you see for a couple of days, it’s because I’ve crawled into a bottle of Ny-Quil in hopes of shushing the cough.)

I  was about to leave Boo Mama a comment last night and I read about another Home Tour at Hooked on Houses.  So forget about that laundry and all the errand-running you need to be doing.  Grab a cup of hot chocolate, snuggle up in front of  your computer, and let’s spend the day touring each other’s homes!


33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tatersmama
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 04:06:15

    Oh my…Everything is so beautiful and I really enjoyed the little stories behind your precious things!
    Everything looks so perfect and so wonderful and warm, that you’ve totally inspired me to do a “little bit” more than just the garland this year.
    There’s no one here but me to enjoy it, but why not?


  2. Kim H.
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 09:05:07

    I love it! Your house looks so cozy and cute! I might have to get some pictures of mine before the year is over too!


  3. Kerstin
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 10:09:12

    Beautiful! I love the nativity story. And I’m so impressed that Tater Tot left the ornaments on the tree alone! Audrey used the ones she could reach to go bowling. No joke. All I heard was “Ready, GO!” and the sound of ornaments being thrown into each other. Ugh! So, maybe I can look forward to a pretty tree next year. 🙂


  4. Meg @ SpicyMagnolia
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 11:08:47

    I absolutely love all of the magnolias! My absolute favorite! And the Christmas tree set up is so much fun! You did a wonderful job decorating. What special memories of the nativity scene, and the Christmas tree in Tater Tot’s room reminds me of the small Christmas tree I used to have in mine as as little girl that I had such fun decorating. Thanks for stirring up precious memories for me too, and the wonderful recipe. I hope you feel better soon. Enjoy soaking in all your beautiful decorations while resting!


  5. Kelley
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 11:19:49

    LOVELY!! I love it, love it, love it!

    : )


  6. upsidebrown
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 11:20:41

    My friend and her stories… my…my…my – you’ve made Christmas at home this year! I’m ready to move in!!


  7. Sandra Evertson
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 11:29:49

    I love the dog statue and Thank You for sharing your recipes!
    Sending Season’s Greetings!
    Sandra Evertson


  8. Bonita
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 12:57:55

    It’s all gorgeous, but wow, wow, wow to the mailbox, front door, and Christmas trees!!!


  9. sarah
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 13:00:21

    I love the big tree with its tree friends, what a great idea, i wish we had room for a scene like that!


  10. Becky
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 13:00:51

    I have goose bumps! I love the story about your nativity! How special! I know you will cherish it for years to come! Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  11. PEA
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 15:12:45

    Thank you so much for such a delightful tour of your home, everything looks so beautifully decorated for Christmas:-) LOVE the little tree in the boot!! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo


  12. Sharon
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 15:25:45

    Wow…all your decorations are so beautiful! My favorites: 1) The Garland on your front door, 2) The holly berry garland on your Christmas tree, and last but not least, 3) The Christmas tree in the cowboy boot! How cute!!!

    Thanks for the tour of your lovely home! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God Bless!


  13. JLI
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 15:56:17

    Very cozy and welcoming! Your main tree is so beautiful! I love the icicles on it! I never knew there was so much you could do with magnolia! Very impressive!! Merry Christmas!


  14. Jackie@OurMomentsOurMemories
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 18:34:24

    Wow…that is the coolest looking mailbox ever. You’re hubby doesn’t know what he’s talking about. 😉

    And I am really liking that sound of that Tennessee Hot Chocolate….mmm, mmm, mmm.


  15. Ginny
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 20:21:07

    Oh, I love the family stories that go along with your decorations. Those stories always make it all the more special. Thanks for sharing! (I have a nativity scene that was my dad’s mother’s, and I always looked forward to putting it together. Get this…it’s a CARDBOARD one! I have threatened my parents that it must be in the will that it is MINE! Jim and I may have a knock-down, drag-out fight for it!!!) Thanks for inviting me to your open house!!!


  16. Carrie
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 20:37:56

    i love the main tree(s) set up, so fun!!! and i’m diggin the cowboy boot tree!!!!!


  17. Marty
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 21:17:32

    “Mama Dear” is such a wonderful grandmother name! It reminded me of my long-time friend whose grandchildren all know her as Dearma.


  18. Pendy
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 22:07:05

    I SO get how you feel about your nativity. The one I have came from the dime store probably about sixty years ago; it was my grandparents’ set. The ten cent stickers are still on the pieces. The hay in the stable is what’s left out of what my grandfather put there (and that was in the fifties as far as I know). It was very banged up so the year I was gargantuan pregnant with my first child and couldn’t go to football games, I listened on the radio and repainted each piece, which just adds to the specialness of it for me. I do wish it had shepherds because I love their part in the story, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other set, ever.


  19. Lindsey Langhans
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 22:16:57

    I adore your magnolia leaves! Did you make your garland? It is gorg! Your house is so pretty! Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thanks for stopping by my blog home!


  20. Allison L
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 22:52:25

    Thanks for inviting us in your home and thanks for coming by my house (virtually, anyway), too!

    Love the little cowboy tree…my son’s room is a cowboy theme also!

    And I love all the magnolia…my grandmother was from Mississippi and she loved magnolias (she also had two at her house here in Dallas). So, anytime I see them or smell them, I think of her! Great taste!

    But my favorite was the nativity…sounds like lots of great memories! And I had never heard of putting the wise men coming from the East, but it sounds like a very ‘wise’ thing to do!

    I’ll definitely be back!


  21. Carey
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 01:15:26

    Your home is so beautiful…it looks warm and inviting. I love the garland around the front and your tree. I love the look of cranberries on the tree.

    Thanks for having me over…
    Happy holidays!


  22. thefarmerfiles
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 05:07:51

    Aloha….love the new background…don’t know how new it is but I have been offline awhile. I loved the box for the nativity set. My mom had a stroke in 2002. Two weeks before she made bows for my Christmas tree and addressed a box to me. I keep the box because it is the last reminder of her familiar handwriting before the stroke. She doesn’t even know that’s why I keep the box. Yes, she made it through, by a complete miracle. So I get the not parting with the box. 😉


  23. Carol
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 09:34:06

    Beautifully done! I am seriously coveting your berry garland. Thanks for sharing your home with us.

    Merry Christmas!


  24. Tiaras & Tantrums
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 09:38:04

    OH _ I ADORE that cluster of trees! Brilliant idea! And your front door and mailbox – GORGEOUS!


  25. Becca
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 10:18:53

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your mailbox and your front door – so pretty! thanks for having us!


  26. Carly Long
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 14:43:44

    I love the Nativity and the clock. This is my first Christmas without my grandmother and as I write a comment, I am trying not to cry about it. But I have nick nacks she gave us at Christmas, my first nativity is one she gave me. It just touched my soul.


  27. Carly Long
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 14:44:08

    Oh and the magnolia leaves are beautiful!!!


  28. hookedonhouses
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 23:28:31

    I got such a kick out of the tree-in-a-boot! How fun! And I enjoyed the story of the nativity set. My kids always fight over who gets to put ours out. This year the argument ended with my daughter in tears because she wanted the cow on the roof and her older brother refused to do that “because everyone knows cows can’t go down steps, so he’d be stuck up there.”

    Thanks for joining my blog party, even though you weren’t feeling well. That Tennessee hot chocolate sounds like it would make anybody feel better, though!

    Merry Christmas! -Julia 🙂


  29. Cyndi
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 11:26:17

    Love your mailbox and your door, the magnolia garland looks great! The cowboy boot tree is awesome, thanks for letting us in.
    Merry Christmas


  30. Carrie
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 16:52:08

    Thank you for sharing the story about the nativity set. I have found memories like that with my grandma and reading yours brought tears to my eyes. Keep that box forever! Merry Christmas.


  31. The voice of melody
    Dec 18, 2008 @ 19:35:42

    Yes, that cute white dog seems very obedient! 🙂 I like the mailbox greenery and I think it makes your home look even more festive. Merry Christmas!


  32. becky
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 13:30:23

    Love your mailbox and front door and those red berries on the tree! Happy Holidays!


  33. Trackback: Baa, Ram, Ewe! « Tater Tales

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