Christmas Decorating Ideas

Christmas Decorating Ideas

By Holly Hukill, Certified Interior Decorator, C.I.D. The article for December is probably the hardest for me to write. There are so many different and wonderful ways to decorate for Christmas! My sister and her husband used to decorate with blue and silver. It was an...

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Glitter and Family Make a Holiday Home

Glitter and Family Make a Holiday Home

By Kathleen Swift Home photos by Artistic Expressions Photography Smith Family photo by Tim Toms Photography When it comes to holiday homes, the Smith home, tucked into the Ozark hills in Loma Linda, is a picturesque backdrop for all things Christmas. Growing up,...

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A Heartwarming Christmas

A Heartwarming Christmas

By Kathleen Swift Photos by Savanah Mandeville Christmas is a magical time, and it brings many traditions to the celebration. For the Gene and Paula Baker family, this includes all the light and love and decorations of the season. Austin Baker, Gene and Paula’s...

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Simply Elegant

Simply Elegant

Article and photos by Savanah Mandeville When most people think of Christmas, the colors green and red are probably among the first things to come to mind. Not for Cindy Amayo, whose distinctive holiday home is awash with shades of white, silver, gold and pink. Amayo...

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Editor’s Letter


There’s No Place Like Home

Home is where the heart is, and there is no better time to be at home than on Christmas Day. SMTO Magazine features three families that opened their doors to inspire our creative side, share family traditions and talk the real reason for the season.

The Smith family opened their doors to talk holiday decorations and family traditions. When walking into the home of Cory and Kara Smith, you will find a combination of off-white, red and gold holiday decor topped with glitter, fur and feathers in every room. The ambiance and details of decorations will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit, but the heart behind the family traditions will remind you of the real reason for the season. Turn to page 56 and learn how Kara’s parents influenced her love for family traditions and how she has carried on those traditions with her children and grandchildren.

The love of decorating runs strong in every member of the Baker family. Austin, 12 years old, starts the holiday with turning the basement of his family home into a winter wonderland while his mother, Paula, turns the kitchen into a gingerbread heaven. Not only is Gene Baker the master taster of everything Paula bakes, but he adds three angel bells he has had since childhood. Turn to page 58 and learn what family tradition the Bakers always keep at their center.

The Amayo family decorations are simply elegant. Their home is a beautiful collection of white, silver, gold and pink Christmas décor. Walking in their doors, you will feel as if you are walking into the French countryside. On page 61, Cindy will share tips on starting your own unique, distinct style of decorations. She will also let you in on her secret to keeping her home picturesque, as she has mastered that skill with seven children and 14 grandchildren.

This month, our December edition is dedicated to everything to make you feel at home this holiday season. We bring you lighting ceremonies, community events and holiday celebrations to bring you and your loved ones together. We highlight services and merchandise from our favorite local retailers to help you remind that special person in your life how much you care. We feature people and organizations who are spending their time helping others enjoy Christmas Day. You will find the spirit of Christmas on every page you turn.

As always, Holly Hukill shares with us her decorating expertise. This month, though, it is her words of wisdom that stand out. Her article is full of ideas from Christmas themes of the past and what is trending this season. Most importantly, she reminds us decorating your home for Christmas should come from your heart. Whether that is handmade ornaments or store-bought creations, Christmas is about making YOU feel at home and sharing the feeling of home with others.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you are at home this season!


Lee Radcliff

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