Simple Christmas Mantel



When I sit in front of the fire and look up on our simple Christmas mantel, I can’t help but think back on my childhood Christmas celebrations.  I so hope we are creating great memories for our girls that they can look back on.  One memory came back to me today…

When I was a little girl, we spent one Christmas eve at my grandparent’s house.  Snuggled all up in one room was me, my sister Lisa and my cousin Aingeal.  We woke up in the morning all excited and scooted down the stairs.



I can still picture every single detail of that house even though I haven’t been inside it for 30 years.  The crystal door knobs on every door (I wonder where my obsession with old door knobs comes from?) and beautiful wood banisters.  The feel of the carpet, the smell of the dehumidifier on the landing.




When we reached the bottom of the steps, all of the adults were scuttling about and shooed us right back upstairs.  You see, there was an incident.




My grandparents had two chimneys, one to the fireplace and one to the stove.  It seems, Santa got confused and went down the wrong one.

As he was stuck.



I am not exactly sure how they got him out, but I know when we were able to go back down, all was well and the presents were under the tree.

I was so thankful because that was the year I got one of the greatest presents ever.  Now, this will surely age me, but my present was a Bionic Woman Barbie Doll.  If you have never seen one, the skin on her arm rolled up to reveal her bionics.   Coolest-thing-ever.  In case you are wondering, I did also have the Cher and Sonny dolls as well.  I learned how to braid hair on Cher’s long and lush and locks.

Now, if I had just been smart enough to keep the Bionic Woman (and the box) because they are selling on Ebay for over $300!




Every year, now that I am the mom, I make sure before we go to bed each night on Christmas Eve that the fire is completely out and the flue is open.

I would hate for history to repeat itself.

If you would like to see the rest of our home decorated for Christmas, you can visit our Christmas Home Tour.  You can also find the tutorials for our DIY Chalkboard and DIY galvanized wreath.

Thank you so much for reading!


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8 thoughts on “Simple Christmas Mantel”


  1. I have wonderful memories too. In Italy we had a chimney but it was like a huge flue over the wood stove. I would stand on the stove — the times when mamma wasn’t cooking and yell up requests up to Santa. Our Christmases weren’t so much about the toys but more about church , family and food.

  2. Oh what a story Laura!…Just love those Christmas memories….when I saw your post land in my email and saw that it was about your mantel, I could not open the email fast enough as I always look forward to your gorgeous Christmas mantels each year…Love this one Laura…just gorgeous!….Have a great weekend and thanks for the wonderful story!

  3. Oh my goodness – This is the sweetest “Santa’s-stuck-in-the-chimney” story I’ve ever heard!
    It’s a good thing that your grandparents sheltered your young eyes from that horrific ‘incident’ as I’m sure that you could never un-see that.
    Your home is just lovely Laura – at Christmas time and always!

  4. i love the chalkboard with the wreath over the fireplace mantel! What a great idea that you can change seasonally with the decor!!! I think that I am going to try and make one for my family room now:). Thanks for the inspiration!!! What a beautifully cozy room!