Two families showcase their style through their Christmas decor.

Photography by Sadie Thibodeaux

Decorating your home for Christmas is a very personal endeavor.

Whether your style is more contemporary or traditional, Christmas decor has a beautiful way of warming up your home and the holiday season.

Growing up, our Christmas decorations went through several iterations, with my favorite pieces being the Christmas village on the fireplace, poinsettias on the entertainment center, and, of course, our tree. Every year, Mom picks a new ornament for my brother and me, creating a very personal and eclectic aesthetic. Looking at our tree brings back memories of Christmases past and the joy that came with them.

Kerri Moriarty and Cheznee Lee have two very different Christmas aesthetics, but both are intentional and meaningful to their families and themselves.

Fashionable Family

Cheznee Lee is a very stylish lady. This style extends to her family’s new home, including the Christmas decorations. As a mother of three boys, this could be a challenge, but by including her boys in the process, the warmth and love in the Lee home’s holiday decor is evident.

Her process begins by finding pieces that go together, the style currently being a traditional black, white, red, and green motif. With help from local designer Stacey Halstead along with Jamey Lee Essig (together they are Florissimo Designs), Cheznee is able to produce the look she wants. “He helps with using my old stuff to create an up-to-date, modern design,” she says. “I was able to use all my childhood ornaments and my kids’ ornaments in a way that still looks pretty and intentional. Since we just moved in a few years ago, I felt like I needed someone to help me bring all my decor together because there are different spaces to decorate, but I didn’t want to go over the top. I wanted it to all be cohesive. What I started, Stacey helped finish up.”

Some of Cheznee’s favorite decorations are the entryway piece, her Christmas village, and the Christmas tree. The entryway piece is adorned with Christmas cards, strung up with lights, from family and friends. “One of my favorite parts of Christmas is getting Christmas cards,” she says. “The kids love to play with them and look at their friends.”
The boys also love to play with the Christmas village and decorate the tree. “The village is a work in progress. The kids love it. There are a lot of missing arms and heads,” she laughs.

Much like my mom does, Cheznee gets new ornaments for the family every year, including novelty pieces inspired by the boys’ interests, such as the St. Louis Cardinals and Captain America. “I like a really full tree,” she says. “We put up and decorate our tree as a family, then Stacey came in and spruced it up and tied it all together with the details like the bows and ribbons. The boys still feel like they got to decorate, but I got to keep the designer feel.”

Whether you’re a collector, a do-it-yourselfer, a stylista, or what have you, Christmas is not only a time of celebration and family; it’s a way to express yourself and your family through your home.

Kris Kringle Collection

11 years ago, Kerri Moriarty began collecting Santas. Walking through her home, you’ll see figures of all styles and sizes, artwork, ornaments, and more. “I’ve always had a fascination with Christmas, particularly Santa,” she says. “It’s always been the most magical time of year for me.”

Her preference for the traditional red suited Santa creates a very intentional, stylized look throughout her home. “Each piece is unique and different in its own way,” Kerri says. “Many of them I bought over the years. There are a lot of pieces that have been gifted to me, and a few pieces are from my childhood. The childhood pieces have the most sentimental value, as they remind me of the magic of Santa and Christmas as a child. I still have a letter I wrote to Santa as a child framed and on display along with a photo of my great aunt with Santa from 1959, a gift from my mom.”

Kerri finds her pieces all over: Samuel’s; River City Florist; Tra Art, a downtown St. Charles floral shop; and Victoria Station, at the Lake, as well as various antique shops and even eBay. All of her finds are used to decorate her home beginning in mid-September, including her five Christmas trees. (Yes, you read that correctly.) “It takes a good month to get it perfect,” she says.

Kerri doesn’t keep her Santa-inspired joy to herself. Every year on the first Saturday of December, she and her husband invite family and friends to their home for their annual open house. “I spend two days baking cookies and getting candy for the party,” she says. “It’s been a tradition for several years now.”