Christmas at Maison De Jardin

” Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Welcome to Christmas at Maison De Jardin, The Garden House ! 

Today, I would like to welcome you to our home, Maison De Jardin, tell you a little about our tree and a “Few of Our Favorite Things.”

Let’s begin in the living room.

One of my most favorite things is our clock.  It was a special gift from my husband – Christmas, 1985.  The case is flame mahogany and the clock is an English Bell Chime.  It was made by Thomas Lees in Bury, England.  Mr. Lees made the clock sometime during the period of 1795-1836.  Today, with her original works, she still keeps perfect time and her lovely chime is truly music to my ears. 

And, should you be wondering about the sweet child’s rocker, it belonged to a little boy named Mike. Mike is now the king of this castle.

The tree is from Balsam Hill.  It holds a gazillion lights, and is easy to assemble and disassemble.  She is dressed in gold, silver and pearl, and wears garlands of pearls.

As I believe is the case with most people, many of our ornaments hold special meaning for us. But, today I will tell you about just a few, or this post would be never-ending .  So, first is the reading cherub, a gift from my husband. Because I so love to read.

Next, I would like you to meet Priscilla.  Priscilla was a treasured ornament which belonged to my mom and she now belongs to me.  My sweet mom loved frogs and felt this frog looked as though she should have the name, Priscilla. I love the pearls on her toes.

I can’t fail to introduce you to Rocky.  Rocky was on our first Christmas tree, 1972.   He is beginning to show some wear – but, I am too.  He is loved, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without him.

The precious Sand Dollars (there are several on the tree) were found and gather by us many, many years ago.  We sailed our Hobie Cat 16 Catamaran across Chesapeake Bay to what is referred to as ‘Little Island.’  As we pulled our Catamaran up and onto the beach, we discovered the beach was covered with beautiful Sand Dollars.  There were literally hundreds of them.  This was most unusual, as Sand Dollars are not usually found as far north as Virginia.  I always felt we were meant to find them.  So, I gathered as many as possible, and tied them in a shirt for the sail back to Virginia Beach.  For those of you who have been on a catamaran, you know it can be quite a ride.  Knowing they were going to adorn our tree, I held onto them as if they were gold.  The legend of the Sand Dollar is beautiful. If you are unfamiliar with it, you may Visit here. 

And, you must see our garden fairy.  She is complete with a wand and hydrangea petals on her dress.  She was purchased at a magical Christmas shop in Portsmouth, VA – Coleman’s Nursery. Sadly, Coleman’s is no longer in business. Visiting Coleman’s was a yearly tradition for so many residents of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Last on the ornament tour today is one of our many Fenton Glass Ornaments. Fenton Glass began their long career in 1905 in the little West Virginia town of Williamstown. Today, they continue to operate on a small scale, but closed their factory in 2011.  

As we make our way to the kitchen, you will see Sophie.  Sophie enjoys the quiet of the dining room. She is wearing a lovely satin ribbon which once was tied around a gorgeous piece of needlepoint, made and given to me by my dear friend, Janet. Sophie (the name I gave her), is signed by the sculptor – Grinam Niam/Paris. 

So here we are in the kitchen. I baked these  fruit cakes this morning and I am sorry I didn’t make them earlier. We could have enjoyed a slice together.  But, they must soak for at least another week.  I drizzled them with Calvados, a French apple brandy.  They will enjoy a wee drink once a week until Christmas, and are one of my husbands most “favorite things.” 

The kitchen window wears a fresh boxwood wreath, purchased from a garden center in North Carolina.  And, it is double-sided.  Therefore, it shows beautifully from outside, as well as the inside.  I purchase these wreaths every year.  To be honest, I am in a serious  love affair with boxwood.  So much so, that there are around 50-plus of these beauties in our garden, which include several different varieties.  This most likely stems from my years in Virginia.  To this day, boxwood’s adorn the grounds of many Virginia colonial plantations and homes.

Remember me talking about a gorgeous piece of needlepoint tied with a beautiful satin ribbon?  Well, here it is.  ‘Merry Christmas’ is the first thing I see every morning when I come into the kitchen.  It is my ‘good morning’ from a treasured friend.  I have many of these lovely pieces, stitched by my friend – you will see them from time-to-time.  Also, should you be interested in a piece of her work, contact me and let me know.  I will be happy to put you in touch with her.

Before you leave, I thought you might enjoy a few outside photos.  First, is a fresh boxwood wreath on the front door.

Next, a sled which belonged to my husband’s mother, and sits happily under the plaque bearing the name of our home.  This sled has been down many western Pennsylvania hills during its life.

My Boxwood Boys, wearing their red bow ties. Also, in this photo you can see the French blue on the front door.  Many French homes wear the color blue on the front door or shutters.  The French believe it keeps away evil spirits.

And, finally – “Silent Night.”

I hope you have enjoyed your time with us today.  I want to thank all of you for following me this past year.  My goal on the blog is to create beauty and scatter joy.  And, to inspire others to do the same.  Because, in the words of Henry Louis Mencken, “Life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed with beauty.” If we share such moments, we can create a never-ending ripple.  Our world needs that.

Joyeux Noel,




all photos: Michael S. Lambiotte

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21 Comments on "Christmas at Maison De Jardin"

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Rita C at Panoply

Oh Sandra! Thank you for inviting us into your beautiful home today! Just so pretty….from the LR rocker and clock (and I absolutely adore the simple vignette of the two Byers figures with the violin!), to the kitchen fruitcake & needlepoint, to the front porch and gorgeous portico ceiling! Oh, and the tree and ornaments cannot go unmentioned (the frog is my favorite). Your traditional style speaks to me!
It’s a beautiful home. Again, thank you for giving us a sneak peek.


Enjoyed the tour….I too love detail just don’t walk the talk anymore. We have downsized and I think I miss my Christmas decorations the most. Wishing you and Mike a Merry Christmas…beautify on….

Judy Gray

Sandra, you are truly an amazing lady who is so inspirational and loving in all that you share. May you know how appreciative and grateful we are for your sweet escape from so much turmoil in this world. Merry Christmas blessings to you and Mike as we celebrate HIS joyful birth.
With love and gratitude,

Pam Richardson
Sandra, I am overjoyed to be invited into your stunning home! How I love your tree with all the ornaments that tell their stories…beautiful memories that you have shared! I have always wanted to learn how to needlepoint and your friend’s handiwork is gorgeous! Your fruitcake looks delicious, and I happen to love fruitcake! I have made it every year since my Mom passed away especially for my sweet Daddy who loves it! Are you going to possibly share your recipe. Your home is beautifully dressed for the most wonderful time of the year, and a lovely photo taken at… Read more »
Terri Johnson

Absolutely ” beautiful ” ❤️❤️❤️??✨✨✨✨✨

Terri Johnson

I don’t know why it had the laughing emoji’s.. Like out of a magazine… I Love your decorating and home!


Oh my, what a lovely tour of your beautiful home. Thank you so much for the glimpses of ‘heaven’ as seen through your lens. Enjoyed the stories that go with your treasures. A wonderful visit today.

Brenda xox


Thank you for this beautiful tour!!! Your home is beautiful and more so adorned for Christmas! Love that needlepoint piece. My most treasured needlepoint piece is one that has my parents wedding on it. I wish I knew who made it for them. Loved this tour, Sandra.

Elizabeth Ross

Thank you so much for the tour! Your home is beautiful and inviting!

Bonnie Morgan

Joyeux Noel to you, Sandra. Your lovely home decorated for Christmas is special with all your memories and treasured decorations. I love your tree and each featured ornament.Your fruit cakes are so pretty and I know delicious. I adore fruit cake but I’ve never made one. I’ve made fruit cake cookies.
The outside pictures of Maison De Jardin both day and night are beautiful! Boxwood wreath is fabulous.

Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things
Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things

I love the story behind your special ornaments. Your home is lovely decorated for Christmas.