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, Christmas was about faith, family and friendship, and these are the elements that make holiday spirit come alive at the Smith house.

Cory and Kara Smith share their beautiful home with one child, Andersen, and four spirited dogs. They also have two older sons, Seth and Ty, and a daughter, Brooklynn. This Christmas will be extremely special as the family will have two new grandbabies to share it with, the second who will make her debut just days before the holiday.

Kara admits, “I’m crazy about decorating. I get to do most of the decorating at home. Cory and Andersen sometimes think I go overboard, especially with the glitter! Over the years, my styles have changed, but recently I use off-white, red and gold, and lots of glitter. Most of the decorations are rustic glam, and I use a mix of fur, feathers, burlap and glitter in every room.”

Every room in the home is filled with glittery decorations including a large Be Merry picture and candles in the bathroom.

“We recently remodeled, and I am looking forward to finding new places for all of my decorations this year.”

The family loves to pile presents around the tree adorned with ornaments they have accumulated over the years.

“In the living room, our tree is decorated in a rustic aesthetic mixed in with ornaments that we have collected on family vacations. We also have a tree downstairs that is decked out in a more light-hearted design of elf feet and candy canes,” says Kara. Eleven-year-old Andersen even decorates his room with a small tree and colored ornaments, giving it just a hint of the season.

In the living room, Kara incorporates bronze and white decor with rustic accents throughout the room. Her favorite decoration is a bronze and white angel. The living room opens into the kitchen, which is the heart of the home. Here, Kara decorates the kitchen counter with a sleigh in gold and white that’s filled with greenery.

“I don’t know if others like the decorations, but we love them.

“My parents always put a focus on spending Christmas with family.” Kara recalls having breakfast on Christmas morning each year at her Grandmother Robert’s house and then spending the afternoons at her Grandma Nine’s house. “I think those breakfasts started my love for Christmas traditions,” recalls Kara.

Family time and traditions are still an important part of the celebrations in the Smith holiday home. As a young girl, decorating Christmas cookies and candies with her mom and sisters was incredibly meaningful to Kara. It is a tradition she now shares with friends and family. Each year, they celebrate by baking and doing some sort of Christmas craft.

“We often make gingerbread houses, and my favorite cookies to make together are the decorated Christmas sugar cookies,” says Kara.

Christmas Eve will find the extended Smith family enjoying time together. After the festivities, Cory and Kara love settling down with their children and their dogs.

“We watch Christmas movies like Elf or Home Alone together and wear our matching Christmas pajamas,” Kara says. “This time together is what Christmas is really all about.”

There is no shortage of holiday spirit in this family. With decorations inside and out, four dogs sporting holiday sweaters, and lots of time with family, the spirit of Christmas is alive and well. It’s a wonderful time of year; a true holiday home in Loma Linda for the Smith family.