Christmas, Home Tours

The Holly and the Ivy Christmas Swag

Christmas Swag using fresh holly and ivy

Happy December dear friends! The Christmas season has officially arrived and I know we have all been busy decorating our homes inside and out for the most wonderful time of the year! Today I am excited to be hosting the Christmas Porches and Holiday Door Decor Blog Hop and to join 20 blogging friends as we share how we are adding festive touches to our doors and porches for the holidays!



At the end of my post you can find the links to each blogger’s beautiful porch posts.  For this hop I am sharing my Christmas door decor inspired by one of my favorite Christmas carols from the nineteenth century, The Holly and The Ivy.


A couple of years ago I found this shabby-farmhouse style treble clef and it could not be more perfect for our front door, since I have taught music and directed choirs for over twenty years and I still give private lessons at home. Of course I also love chippy-shabby white decor! When I decided to use it as door decor I knew I wanted to be able to make it into some kind of wreath or swag so it could be changed for the seasons.  I attached the treble clef to a simple grapevine and boxwood swag which works year round and is also a neutral base for seasonal additions.


For fall and the holidays I just add seasonal floral picks to the swag. Last Christmas I used faux eucalyptus and juniper with blue berries, and I really loved the simplicity. This year I wanted to do something more for Christmas, so I added a large, beautiful faux Fraser fir and pine cone garland behind it.


Christmas wreath with fresh holly and ivy Christmas swag with natural elements

I thought I just wanted the simple look of the pine garland, boxwood and grapevine, but as I stepped back and looked I realized it looked a little plain next to the Christmas tree in the corner with all the red bulbs, plaid ribbon and red wooden bead garland. Since it was one day before this hop when I finally got around to working on the swag, I had to use what I had on hand.


I didn’t have any faux red berries that I wasn’t using elsewhere, so I came up with the idea to use fresh holly sprigs from any of the six holly bushes in front of our porch. This year the bushes are full of beautiful red berries!


Because I am always thinking in song, I started singing “The Holly and The Ivy” as I was gathering the sprigs. All of the sudden I realized I could also use some of the beautiful fresh ivy growing up our porch wall behind the holly bushes. Just like that, my holly and ivy Christmas swag came together!



The Holly & The Ivy



The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,

of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown

Oh, the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer,

The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir




The Holly and The Ivy Christmas carol



Click the link to listen to The Holly and the Ivy performed by The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, England.




After gathering my cuttings I simply stuck them in the grapevine here and there. I have been wanting to use live greenery somehow on the porch this year, so I am really loving this impromptu swag. The berries and ivy will only last a few days, but there’s plenty more to use between now and Christmas. How’s that for “use what you have decor?” I am so OVER spending money on Christmas decorations (and having to find storage space for it all!) This year I really tried to use what I have in new ways.








Christmas Porch Decor

I also dressed up my vintage ice skates and sled with some pine, holly and ivy clippings.



Christmas Porch Decor Vintage sled with vintage ice skates and fresh greenery



Just a few days ago I found the perfect basket for the top of my vintage sewing machine and filled it with a mix of different kinds of faux greenery and berries. I will be keeping this basket in this spot year round and filling it with pretty seasonal florals.








I just shared this cute primitive-vintage Santa in my Merry and Bright Farmhouse Christmas Kitchen post. He was taking up a seat in the breakfast nook so I brought him out to the porch to wish a Merry Christmas to family and guests.




Our Christmas porch wasn’t finished in time to share a full porch tour for this blog hop, but it’s coming along!  I just have a few little things to add and change around. I plan to share more “plaid tidings” on the porch tomorrow for the Festival Christmas Blog Hop hosted by Kendra of Joy In Our Home, so you can see more then.






Next week I will also be sharing some fun DIY Christmas craft posts including how to make cute, faux French grain stripe pillow covers like this one for around $5.oo!  As I was decorating the porch things just weren’t looking right until I added the pillow, then everything just started to come together.  It’s amazing what one good decorative accessory can do for a space!





Christmas Swag using fresh holly and ivy

Thank you so much for “visiting our porch” today! I hope you will stop back by tomorrow to see more of our porch. I will also be sharing two home tours this week featuring different areas of our home decorated for Christmas. If you love vintage, French Country, farmhouse and cottage style Christmas decor, be sure to check out the tours.



Now it’s time to continue on with more Christmas porches and holiday door decor inspiration. Next up is sweet Christy of Our Southern Home. She always shares awesome ideas!  You can also visit all of the blogs via the thumbnails below.

Follow The Yellow Brick Home | Our Southern Home | Decor To Adore | Have a Daily Cup Of Mrs. Olson



My Thrift Store Addiction | Petite Haus | Let’s Add Sprinkles | Botanic Bleu



The Painted Hinge| Virginia Sweet Pea | County Road 407 | The Crowned Goat


Belle Bleu Interiors | Art and Sand | Katherine’s Corner | Lora Bloomquist


Beauty For Ashes | White Arrows Home | Thistle Key Lane | Le.Cultivateur | Decorate and More With Tip


Vintage Victorian Holly and Ivy Postcard


Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!


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  • Reply Katherines Corner

    Your swag is gorgeous and your porch is such a beautiful way to greet guests. I enjoyed sharing our porch with you and I look forward to visiting the other lovelies who are on the tour. Can I tell you a little secret? We have to keep our front porch decor to a minimum. We have been vandalized and had things stolen over the years. It made me so upset and disappointed I didn’t put the reindeer or anything too expensive on the porch for a couple of years. Last year we tried again with a bit more decor and this year a little bit more. Meanwhile, we had our fed ex packages stolen…ugh. We don’t live in a big city, we live in a comfortable and modest area in the burbs. Sigh…thank you again for including me in your lovely hop. xo

    December 3, 2018 at 8:12 am
  • Reply Cecilia

    Amber, as always, everything looks lovely. Your fresh holly is just beautiful! Excited to be joining the tour with you! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

    December 3, 2018 at 9:07 am
  • Reply Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Oh, such a wondrous theme! The vintage black skates are a perfect touch to all of the natural greenery. You have inspired me to get outside and clip some holly and bring it inside. Thank you for hosting such an inspiring tour!

    December 3, 2018 at 9:11 am
  • Reply Heather Olinde

    Your front porch is so fun and festive, Amber! I love that you used fresh holly and ivy to make your swag. It turned out so beautiful! Now I want to plant some holly bushes in my yard! Thank you so much for hosting this tour and allowing me to be a part. Happy Holidays!

    December 3, 2018 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Paula

    Your Christmas front porch is absolutely lovely. I love your door decor and it’s perfect for your music students to see as they enter your home for their lessons. I’ve always wanted a pair of skates to use for winter decor and I love the black pair that you have on your old sled. It’s all so pretty! I look forward to seeing more of your home this Christmas.

    December 3, 2018 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Katie Mansfield

    I have that song on my computer and I just love it. Your porch is adorable. Thanks so much for getting us all together. I’m with you on the money spent on decor. Your holly and ivy is wonderful.

    December 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Cindy@countyroad407

    Amber, how I’d love to be greeted by this swag on your front door. Everything looks beautiful. And I love how you give us so much extra beautiful inspiration. Even a song! You have such a giving heart.

    December 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply Botanic Bleu

    Beautiful! I love holly and ivy, and your plants in your yard are gorgeous. I only had one holly shrub in my yard, but lost it this summer and need to replace it. What variety of holly do you have planted in your yard? The holly sprigs from your shrubs are so healthy and vibrant.

    Thanks for hosting and organizing this Christmas Porches and Holiday Door Decor blog hop. I always get so many good ideas from seeing what others are doing at their houses.

    Merry Christmas,


    December 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply Lora Bloomquist

    I love the holly and the ivy mixed in with the Christmas greens! I totally decorate with Christmas carols in mind, too! Your sled looks awesome with it’s black skates and greens tucked in! Great minds…

    December 3, 2018 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Michelle | Thistle Key Lane

    You have an amazing talent for pulling vintage items together festive vignettes. The door sway is so beautiful. Love the holly and the ivy too!

    December 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Amber, first of all, your porch looks amazing!! I love every detail!! I LOVE that your porch is themed after one of your favorite Chrismtas songs! Love love love that pillow! So cute! Seriously love it all! And, thank you so much for hosting this fun blog hop, and for allowing me to join in on the fun!!

    December 4, 2018 at 1:21 am
  • Reply Jann Olson

    Amber, the red holly is the perfect addition to your swag! Music is an important part of your life and this swag tells us that. Also, love your farmhouse style kitchen!

    December 4, 2018 at 8:24 pm
  • Reply Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

    Amber, your swag is gorgeous! I love using fresh holly to decorate with during Christmas. I love your vintage skates adorened for the season. I’m so sorry I am late commenting. My youngest has been very sick with the flu. Thanks for including me in the hop and for hosting! Merry Christmas, sweet friend!!!

    December 5, 2018 at 10:44 am
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