How to have an Old-Fashioned Rustic Christmas

*If you are interested in starting a blog yourself, check out the end of this post where I share a bit about how I started so that it may help you get your foot in the blogging door!

It’s November 22nd.  You know what that means.

old-fashioned rustic Christmas

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Christmas is coming.  While everyone is slowly getting into the holiday spirit, December 1st is not far off and December always seems to be when people get super serious about the holidays.

Everyone has their own personal style when it comes to the holidays, but for us here at the homestead, we prefer a simpler, rustic, good old fashioned kind of Christmas. 

We are always looking for some old fashioned Christmas ideas to add to each year.

Mixed with a LITTLE bit of modern for good measure.  Mostly because I’m not sure the kids would appreciate toys from the 1900s.

I mean, I probably would, but I don’t think they would be very happy.

Anyways, I always loved watching those old-fashioned Christmas movies.  You know the ones – things like Little House on the Prairie. 

I love that episode where the girls get a shiny penny and a pencil in their stockings and they are over the moon excited.  (If you haven’t watched it, you NEED to.  Best. Christmas. Show. Ever.  It’s over here on Amazon if you want to check it out, and pretty cheap too. 🙂 )


Sigh.  If only Christmas was as cheap as it was in Little House on the Prairie days.

While I don’t recommend putting just a penny and a pencil in your child’s stocking (or maybe do it and let me know how it goes 😉 ), working towards an old fashioned Christmas also means simplifying and keeping it affordable.

Something tells me that not many families were going into debt over the holidays back in the 1940s.

There are so many benefits in an old fashioned, rustic Christmas.  You generally have more time to spend with the ones you love. 

You don’t spend all your money.  You aren’t so exhausted because everything doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy.

Though I will say, if you are like me, you probably feel like everything about a rustic Christmas IS Pinterest worthy in your eyes.

I gotta be honest – the whole time I am writing this post I keep singing that song in my head from Garfield’s Christmas special.  “It’s an old fashioned Christmas, down on the farm…” 

Maybe you want something different this year.  Maybe you want an old fashioned, slower, simpler, and absolutely beautiful Christmas. 

If that’s you, keep reading because I’ve got some ideas on how you can make it happen.



When I think about an old fashioned Christmas I think of evergreens and pine cones, snow, and birch trees.  Bringing those elements into your home (minus the snow – I don’t recommend that 🙂 ) can make for very beautiful decor.  We made a wreath out of grapevines, evergreens, and dried flowers from our property this year which you can check out how to do here

I also took evergreen branches and lined the window sills with some beeswax candles along with some flameless candles.  Flameless candles aren’t old-fashioned but with kids sometimes you choose the safe option.  Plus, they do still provide an old fashioned look.

Candles, however, are the ultimate way to add old fashioned cozy warmth to your home this Christmas.  I love beeswax candles because they give an old fashioned look.  If you want to make your own, here’s a tutorial.

Of course, scented candles are a great option too because they may just add an old, rustic scent.  Check out these scented candles (like butter tart, maple syrup, and Nanaimo bar candle scents) I’ve created which will make your home smell delicious all holiday season!

You can use pine cones and clementines to decorate as well.  I’ve been known to put those in a glass bowl or vase, or to just add them to the window sills with the evergreen branches.  Using older antiques as well, like this old watering can adds to the rustic vibe.

I’ve also made some rustic signs with old barn board or pallets and some paint.

The best part of this kind of decor?  If you have it on your property like I do, it’s free!  The only thing we pay for every year is a real Christmas tree because you can’t beat a real tree, not to mention the smell!  It’s AMAZING!


The presents underneath the tree can add another element of beauty, and for that rustic look you can wrap them in brown kraft paper and twine.  You can also add a small branch of evergreen to the top to decorate it.  While you are at it, check out these ridiculously adorable vintage gift tags you can add to the top of your gifts.


A good old fashioned Christmas means staying within budget and not going overboard.  I know it can be hard when we want to show those around us how much we love them.  However, there’s nothing like that feeling of regret in January when you get your credit card bill.

Years ago we adopted the very popular mantra of what to buy the kids that says to get them “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.”  That helps us stay in budget and to not continue to buy after we’ve filled all those categories (plus stockings.)


Nothing says old fashioned Christmas like homemade gifts.  There are so many ideas out there.  One year I made rag quilts for my boys’ beds.  Another year I made pallet signs for family members.  And another year I crocheted coffee cozies for everyone.

There are so many ideas on what to make out there.  Check out these homemade gifts in mason jars, or this other list of homemade gifts here.


Back in the day I don’t think families made sure to never miss a community Christmas event.  Honestly, back in the day there probably wasn’t any, or if there was, it was like one thing for the whole season.

You don’t have to go to every parade, breakfast with Santa, and Christmas light ceremony.  Decide what you want to do as a family.  Make a list of how many things you want to do, and how much time you want to spend at home (you know, making good old fashioned cookies or stringing popcorn and cranberries. )

This year we’ve said no to a lot of things after a very busy Christmas last year.  There are still things we will do – my kids are set on enjoying the parade this year as we missed it last year – but we won’t be out every night doing activities for December.

Remember, simplifying your schedule means you’ll make more time to do what really matters to you for the holiday season.  It gives you more time to invest in the people you love.


Can I be honest for a minute without hopefully offending anyone?  While I LOVE getting the ever popular Christmas pictures as Christmas cards (and I really do – I stick them all on my fridge for the whole year) I really miss the personalized Christmas cards that used to come in the mail.  Y

ou know, the ones that told stories about their life and asked questions about your life.

People still love getting hand written notes or cards in the mail and miss that.  I’m all for bringing snail mail back! 🙂  You can even use these gorgeous old-fashioned Christmas postcards.

Go see the Nutcracker

The nutcracker is a classic Christmas play that makes you feel rustic at this time of year.  You can see if it’s playing in your city and buy tickets here.


I adore my old school Christmas music.  Now, it’s not super old-fashioned.  It’s pretty much from the 90s, but I still love the nostalgia it brings.  My favorites are Amy Grant, Micheal W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Celine Dion. 

Many of them have come out with second Christmas cds but I still go back to the first.  And yes, I even use a real CD.  I guess if I was REALLY old school I’d be playing records, or at least tape cassettes, but I’m only semi old-fashioned when it comes to my music.   

Regardless, I think there’s nothing better than the classics.


When you think of Christmas you probably think of certain foods.  Things like gingersnaps, sugar cookies, and homemade eggnog have been around for years and years and years. 

You don’t have to make your Christmas treats look like little grinches or reindeer or whatever (though, if you love it, no shame in doing that either.)  There is beauty in the simple recipes that have stood the test of time.


Even for people who don’t attend church, back in the day many would still attend on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve services often include carols and candlelight. 

My favorite moment at the Christmas Eve services is when they turn out all the lights and everyone is holding a candle and singing a carol.  It’s so peaceful and beautiful.


Christmas is coined as the most wonderful time of the year, but many people are exhausted, discouraged, and just waiting for the holiday to be over because of what it has become.  It doesn’t have to be that way, but if you want it to be different you will need to be intentional about making changes.

That doesn’t mean you have to go full-on old fashioned, but you can make the changes you feel would make the season better for you and your family.  It might mean trimming down your schedule, or cutting back on expenses, or spending more time cozying up on the couch watching all the good Christmas movies. 🙂

This can be your year to make Christmas a time of peace and joy with an old-fashioned, rustic Christmas.


Or maybe you have an idea to start a blog that is completely different!  Want to know what was my secret to getting started?  You see, I had three previous blogs that failed, but this one became a huge success and I owe it to two things. 

One was to treat this blog like a business, and the second, was to make ONE small investment when starting out.  That investment was a course called PINTERESTING STRATEGIES. 

I can honestly say I don’t think I would have gained the traffic I needed to my blog to monetize it without that course. 

I really didn’t know much of how to get people TO my blog to read it, and yet Pinteresting Strategies simplified it for me and gave me an effective strategy on how to use Pinterest to gain thousands and thousands of views to this little blog here. 

If you want to blog I definitely recommend this course.  It has given my the opportunity to work from home for the past 5 years.  There’s nothing like being your own boss, making your own hours, working wherever you feel like it, and being able to take off extra time to have the best rustic, old-fashioned Christmas ever!


4 thoughts on “How to have an Old-Fashioned Rustic Christmas”

  1. I love the look of brown craft paper on gifts so I did that one year. Never again! The tape does not stick well to it and it is so stiff that it is really hard to wrap anything with it. You are going to need the twine just to keep the paper on it!

    When our family got up to 20 stockings I made a new rule that you only get a stocking if you are here at our house on Christmas morning. Besides that stuffing of the stocking itself it is crazy expensive to ship all that weight. This year I only have to do two stockings and they are done. I would love to have more of the family home than that but it is not possible some years. This has been a real stress reliever for us though.

    1. oh my! That’s too bad about the brown kraft paper. 🙁 You gotta do what works for you! We often just re-use gift bags. 🙂

      20 stockings is definitely too much to fill. lol. Stocking stuffers can sure add up in a hurry.

  2. Fantastic article, thank you!

    I’m slamming the door shut on a commercial Christmas this year! I’ve asked nicely, begged and pleaded for a simple Christmas for years but somehow it’s always fallen on me to host the entire family with everyTHING that comes with it?
    So this year, on the 1st of October, I told the family that we’re not doing Christmas (in the “traditional” sense). We’re spending Christmas Eve with the granddaughters baking cookies, making ornaments, watching a Christmas movie and listening to carols, etc.
    Christmas Day will be spent with my hubby – we’ll sleep in, open our prezzies (1 each), make breakfast if we feel like it … but the highlight will be a seafood platter prepared on open coals (we’re in sunny South Africa) with a salad. Minimal prep and cleanup, maximum enjoyment.
    We’ll sit with our feet up having uninterrupted conversations, laughing, listening to music … Just being present in the moment.
    The family are all sulking but y’know what? It’s not gonna kill them or even hurt them to sort themselves out for a change. And maybe, just maybe they won’t be so selfish going forward 🙏

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