Home is where the holidays are, hand lettered overlayed on an image of the living room.

For Rita Lindenbusch, holiday decor represents the spirit of the season.

Before Thanksgiving dinner hits the table, Rita Lindenbusch has her Christmas wreath hung and her snowmen cozy on the mantelpiece.

“I always want decorating done before Thanksgiving because I feel like there is so much time and effort put into it,” says Rita. 

The decorations live a life of fame until the day after Christmas, or sometimes Christmas Day, when they’re placed into boxes to wait for another holiday season. 

Rita’s resistance to being tethered to one interior style makes her home, in her own words, “a hodgepodge.”

“I’m not contemporary, I’m not anything,” says Rita. “I have a barnwood mantle, but the walls are contemporary. But I like that. I don’t only want one thing.” 

The same attitude stands for her Christmas décor. Traditional holiday reds and greens are accented with fresh design.

“I’m constantly thinking, ‘What am I going to do now?’” says Rita. 

Snowmen Flurry

A house painter for almost 40 years, Rita often picks up inspiration at her clients’ homes. 

Since her youth, decorating and interior design has been a passion. In her previous home, where she lived for 20 years, she and her husband completed three renovations, including three new kitchen countertops, knocked down walls, and renovated hardwood floors.    

Today, situated in her forever home, renovations are not as frequent, leaving experimentation up to her décor. 

That doesn’t mean there aren’t favorites. One Christmas decoration highlighted every year are snowmen. 

“I love snowmen. They make me happy. There’s something about a snowman that just puts a smile on my face,” says Rita. “You know how some people love Santa Clauses? I don’t love Santa Clauses. I love snowmen.” 

Besides snowmen, Rita gravitates towards greenery and anything that lights up. 

“Just the warmth of Christmas — it makes me happy,” says Rita. “I like to sit back and enjoy when it’s all finished.”

Best Celebrated with Friends

For five years, Rita and two of her closest friends have house-hopped, knocking on one another’s front doors during Christmas to admire decorations. The three chat for hours over wine, beer, and snacks. The last house always serves dessert. 

“I love doing that,” says Rita. “It’s fun to go to everybody’s house and see what they’ve done. We have little drinks and treats.”

After all, Christmas is about who you spend it with, not what you’re surrounded by. 

Christmas Tomorrow

While Rita’s children have had little interest in holiday decor throughout their lives, her granddaughter, Brexten, has inherited Rita’s beautification gene. You could say Brexten is the star atop Rita’s internal Christmas tree. Rita’s favorite part of her forever home, in fact, is the backyard gravel path leading to her granddaughter’s home. 

The family has begun traveling to a warmer climate to celebrate Christmas. One year they traveled to Jamaica, another Las Vegas. While presents may be forgotten by February, these memories will last a lifetime. 

Despite the lights, snowmen, and towering evergreen at her house, not every Christmas for Rita is spent at home. Christmas can be anywhere if the family is together.

“Just the warmth of Christmas — it makes me happy,” says Rita. “I like to sit back and enjoy when it’s all finished.”

Rita Lindenbusch

Resource List:

  • Tom Lindenbusch, Contractor 
  • Devan Netcott, Holiday interior designer
  • Holzer Cabinetry, Kitchen cabinets
  • Howell’s Carpet, Wood flooring
  • Lamps Plus, Living room fan
  • Nathan Voss Construction LLC, Back porch
  • Nebraska Furniture Mart, Entryway and bathroom lights
  • Scruggs Lumber, Sliding barn door and paint
  • Silent T Acres LLC, Mantle 
  • Sweet Salvage (Phoenix, AZ), Front door