Creatively Christmas Book and Revealing My Secrets

I’ve got a secret that I’ve never shared here on my blog before.  It’s one you probably won’t expect coming from me.

Ready? Here it is….

I celebrated my first Christmas just eleven years ago when I was dating my husband. I never had a Christmas as a child.  I have exactly zero warm and fuzzy memories of cookies by the fire, or the anticipation of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, or big holiday parties spent ripping open gifts and getting in fights with my family. I never had a tree or garland or a stocking in my house. I never got to go to the mall and take pictures on Santa’s lap.  Growing up in the church we attended, we were not allowed to celebrate Christmas.  Or Easter.  Or Valentines Day.  I got checked out of school for all the holiday parties or sent to the library to read a book. 

But, that is a very long post for a different day. I purposefully have chosen not to talk about religion here on my blog in the past because it’s obviously one of The Big Three Things that people don’t like to discuss… Politics, Religion and Salaries.

Oh, and weight. Make that four things… 

I like to keep things on the lighter side here at Boppyville. But, it’s a very big part of who I am today, and one of the reasons why I *might* go just a tad overboard every year when I decorate our house for Christmas.   I want my son to have all of those warm and fuzzy feelings around the Holidays that I never had as a kid.  I also find it pretty ironic that the first “viral” post on this blog was titled “How to Photograph Your Christmas Tree”.

So, that long-winded secret revelation brings me to the point of this post!  

For two years now I’ve been honored to be a part of Jen Rizzo’s Holiday Housewalk.  The all-star blogger lineup of Christmas home tours is absolutely spectacular, with holiday cheer oozing out of every Balsam Fir scented orifice each year. To give you an idea of the popularity of these posts… My 2013 Christmas home tour has been repinned 61,000 times. Yeps. Amazing.

Since Jen is officially the Queen of all things Christmasy in blogland, she has written a book called Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Décor.

Creatively Christmas Book

And it could not be more perfect. The book begins with her memories of her childhood Christmas dinners (which is what got me thinking about sharing all that up above with you guys.)  Jen’s writing style is so fantastic I felt like I was lying right beside her in the back seat of her parent’s station wagon counting the streetlights as they went by…. You really need to read it!

But, more than just for the stories.  From front to back, this book is jam-packed with creative ideas for holiday crafts, decorating, diy and more.

One of my very favorite projects was this Santa mail sack she made from a reverse transfer technique using a solvent.  I first watched Jen create awesomeness with this procedure on the 2012 Creatively Made Home e-course. It was fascinating and so surprisingly easy!  She walks you through the whole process in the book

Blue Christmas Door
In addition to projects, there is eye candy galore throughout the entire book.  Like this.  Swoon…

ice skates as christmas decor

Let me also say that if you’re thinking this book will be filled up with pictures from your favorite bloggers that you can find anywhere on Pinterest let me guide you right over here to Exhibit A: 

skis on the staircase

There are entire sections in the back of the book dedicated to featuring the homes of Jen’s local friends and designers.  These homes are STUNNING and are the total cherry-on-top of an already spectacular book!

Rustic Christmas decorations

I was giddy (like, for real squueeeeeeeing) when I saw that she has even given a 2-page shoutout to all of the bloggers on the Housewalk in the book!!  Look!  That’s me right there in the right hand column!  Woot!! Thanks Jen!

2013 Holiday Housewalk bloggers

I have known Jen for many years now, and every time we meet up we are like two long, lost friends reconnecting.  From the moment I met her I felt like she was one of those soul-sisters who I just instantly loved.  We’ve spent two Haven Conferences together laughing, chatting and connecting with other great friends. 

jen rizzo, beth from unskinny boppy and roeshel from the diy showoff

Roeshel, Me and Jen at Haven 2014

And, just this past weekend while on vacation in the woods of Wisconsin, I made my husband drive down to the Kane County Flea Market to see Jen’s booth in person (and I nearly froze to death in the process). Can I just say… The girl also knows her way around a power tool or two.


I absolutely adore this girl, and I could not be more proud of her for this amazing accomplishment of writing a fantastic Christmas decorating book!  Congratulations Jen!!  You’ve done a spectacular job at assembling a big ol’ beautiful book filled with handmade holiday goodness. Way to go!

Y’all need to go pre-order the book right now! It’s totally on my Christmas wish list.

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Speak Your Mind



  1. Hi Beth. I’d like to introduce myself to you. I have a blog Life by the Pool….it’s just better. I, too, am crazy for Christmas decorating. In fact, I am in the process of decorating our home right now. I usually start around Oct. 15th but we have events coming up and I didn’t want to get behind! I look forward to seeing your decor. Congratulations on being mentioned in her book.

  2. Love that you’re creating those warm fuzzy memories for your son, Beth. Will definitely check out Jen’s book!

  3. Beth….my heart hurts thinking of you reading a book while the other kids had a Christmas party at school. Deep breath…. So glad your life is filled with holiday joy now & that you share it with your son & us! Love Jen’s Christmas tour!

  4. Beth! I just LOVE you! Your post makes me love you more. I love when I get to see a glimpse into someone’s personal life. My heart aches for you as a child during the celebrations at school! Your post has made me realize that I take holidays for granted, and I need to do a better job at making things special around here. Love you darling!

    • Awwww Brooke, I just love you too! I am SO glad we got to spend some time together in Chicago! It was so great getting to have some late night girl talk with you guys. I know your post was not easy to share, but I totally admire you for doing it and fielding all those questions in the comments like an LDS BOSS. You do such a great job of balancing blog and faith. It’s not an easy line to walk. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  5. I love that you shared a secret!!! I love that you are embracing the fun of holidays, and introducing cute and silly traditions for your kids. I saw your comment on Brooke’s post and had to hop over. Then went to your linked wikipedia, and I’m so curious!! I’ve never heard of that faith. Loved what you had to say;) HUGS to you!

    • Thanks Kristen! It’s definitely not a mainstream religion that many folks have heard about. It was very popular from the mid to end of the 1900’s, but I think it’s really been on the decline in past years. I have many, many stories from my childhood that I could share! LOL It’s an interesting life I’ve led, that’s for sure. I should write a book. 😉

  6. This is going to sound “weird”…but as much as my heart aches for “your little girl-self” I’m going to chose to look at it this way: I think your son is lucky for your past. He will have his memories,the ones you are creating for him, because of your past; he will pass that love along to his children and so on…your boy …your line is so lucky. Merry Christmas…early!!! 😀

  7. Great blog post! Interesting story of your youth devoid of all things Christmas. I’m guessing standing + placing your hand over your heart, during the Star Spangled Banner, wasn’t happening, either. Meanwhile, here’s another “no-discussion” topic — baseball teams!
    Depending upon where one lives, that is — I s’poze the Yankees + Bosox fans get a little more heated than, say, the Cardinals + Cubs.
    Good X’s!

    • No, we were still very patriotic! My sister was born on the fourth of July so you better believe we celebrated that occasion! LOL Down south our heated debates are between SEC football teams- Alabama vs Auburn, although looks like they are both going to be bad this year!

  8. Oh Beth, that memory from your childhood makes me so sad. Every child should experience the magic and wanderlust of Christmas, Easter and fairies. I bet you feel the magic now… I know I still feel like a big kid at Christmas. Jen’s book looks amazing too!

  9. Sandy Nall says:

    May I just thank you for your honesty? I can only guess you feel better sharing that with folks. Everyone has something in their childhood that they can question, “was that normal”?

    You have your future holidays and more memories to remember than you’ll be able to! Enjoy your family and the Holidays!

    As a new reader of your blog, just wanted to also say I am enjoying it – I subscribe to just a few and yours is, by far, the best read.

    • Thanks so much, Sandy, for your kind words, encouragement and sweet compliments! I definitely didn’t have a “normal” childhood, but it was a great one. 🙂 I love my family and all that we have been through together, for better or worse. Hopefully I can get around to writing a lot more about my not-so-normal childhood experiences soon. haha

  10. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to celebrate Christmas when you were a little girl. But how wonderful that you can pull out all the stops for your little boy:) It’s so meaningful to see Christmas through our children’s eyes.
    I would love to read this book!!

  11. Oh wow, this sounds like such a fabulous book. I can’t want to see everything.

  12. Sounds great. I’ll definitely pick it up. Love your blog and hers! Really loved your Christmss your last year. All of the other bloggers mentioned are fantastic too. You all are so talented and creative.

  13. Wow, what a fun and memorable first Christmas celebration you had! You beat me to prepping for the holiday. Still too much in the to-dos list before I get to Christmas stuff :). Thanks for sharing!

    ~Do drop by and say hello 🙂
    Gourmet Getaways

  14. I will definitely follow few of them-these are some of the best and outrageous ideas to keep someone stunned,Thanks for sharing

  15. Thanks for sharing!
    Can’t wait to see Jen’s book, early Xmas gift here. Thank you so much, Hugs!!

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  1. […] Beth’s and the secret’s about her early Christmas experience. […]

  2. […] is cute Jen! I grabbed this image from Beth’s site (thanks Beth!!) because I couldn’t help but giggle as the power tool is as big as she […]

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