This Christmas will be the second one that Alexander City’s Ginger and Randy Lee will celebrate in their new home on Lake Martin. With a flair for simple elegance, the mother of two young children decorated her home with warmth for the holidays, yet kept it functional enough to withstand the activity of 6-year-old Kendall and 3-year-old Cecelia.
“I didn’t want so much out that I was constantly asking the children not to touch or to be careful with things. I think we found just the right balance,” Ginger Lee said.
Lee asked her friend and interior designer Jamie Dark to help her with the Christmas décor. With a mix of real and artificial greenery in every room on the main level, plus five Christmas trees and 11 wreaths perfectly placed throughout the home, Lee and Dark blended the beauty of the Lees’ creamy ship-lap walls and neutral furnishings with the dark green, gold and burgundy of the holiday season.
On the front porch, two trees with white lights and wreaths on the double front doors set the tone and greet guests as they enter the large foyer. The dining room to the left has a 7-1/2-foot flocked tree situated in a large wicker basket as the focal point.
“I had planned to decorate the flocked tree, but it looked so beautiful without ornaments, I decided to leave it as it is. On the table, I found chargers and Christmas dessert plates at Pier One to work in with my own white china, and I thought the mix of cedar and magnolia worked perfectly as a centerpiece,” she said.
She spread the buffet with a mixture of artificial pine and berries, fresh cut cedar and magnolia. Three Nativity scenes grace the top of the buffet, along with several gold and silver trees. The butler’s pantry, conveniently positioned just to the side, features another Nativity scene in view from the dining room.
The Lees’ spacious, white kitchen with white quartz countertops is decorated with simple displays of fresh greenery complemented with small trees and other Nativity scenes. A wreath decorates the hood above the stove. The farm table in the eating area lends a warm welcome with a simple red and gold plaid table runner and greenery in the center.
In the main living area, a vaulted cathedral ceiling amply accommodates a 12-foot-tall Christmas tree that dramatically commands the center of attention. The tree is decorated with a garland of gold, linen ribbon and a beautiful mix of new and treasured ornaments that the family has gathered through the years. Ornaments with photos from each year they have been married are especially important to the Lees.
The fireplace is adorned with a heavy layer of fresh greenery, and four stockings have been hung by the chimney with care. Small touches add to the festive air in the room – a special throw pillow announcing the joy of Christmas, jingle bells in the wood basket on the hearth and ornaments that have been handmade by the children.
“My son made two things that I like to have out on the book shelves. One is his handprint on a plate, and one of my favorites is the baby Jesus drawn into the manger, which was made from his footprint,” she said.
The Lees’ master bedroom mirrors the fresh greenery in the main rooms on the tables beside the bed and on top of the dresser. A slim, lighted Christmas tree in the room adds to the ambience. Small Christmas trees also have been worked into the greenery on the dresser. A large wooden bowl of blue, red, white and gold balls sits atop a chest-of-drawers for a touch of color and shine while a long pillow on the bed announces ‘tis the season.’
The guest room, also on the main level, calls for celebration with a simple garland of greenery along the top of the headboard. A rustic iron circle with the word ‘Joy’ spelled out in the middle also is adorned with greenery.
Christmas decorating is carried upstairs with garland and bows on the staircase handrails and also on a bridge that overlooks the living room. The children’s grandmother gave Kendall and Cecelia Christmas trees for each of their rooms, and each tree reflects the personality of the child. A pink and white tree perfectly defines Cecelia with silver and pink swirls and balls, rocking horses, hard candy ornaments and soft, pink ribbon flowing from the top of the tree. Kendall’s more masculine décor features a nutcracker collection on his dresser and a rustic, green Christmas tree with a collection of Santas, reindeer and ornaments he has made.
Lee’s favorite tradition is one with which she grew up. Every Christmas morning, the family sings Happy Birthday to Jesus before any celebrating begins.
“Since all of our families live here in Alexander City, we have time to see all of them for Christmas – parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. We are so blessed,” she said.
Lee loves angels depicted in art, particularly paintings and figurines, which she uses in her home in the everyday décor. Those special pieces become part of the decorations in December, adding to the joy and blessings of Christmas, feelings the Lees hope to carry throughout the year.