Thistlewood Farm Christmas Trees

I think I need a smiley face intervention.

Seriously.  🙂

I mean….I knew I used them a lot.

I just can’t help it…..I think the world needs a good smiley face for emphasis every now and then.


Reindeer Ornament Thistlewood


Maybe I like them so much because I am a smiley person.  

Not just a little smiley.

Really, really smiley.

But even a really smiley person can over do it with a plethora of these.  🙂


Glitter Tree Thistlewood


The other day… a Facebook thread….I counted 23 smiley faces.

And that was after I held myself back.

I looked at the messages and there they all were….. 🙂 grinning at me from cyberspace.  It was like…..enough already.  

Is every sentence truly worthy of a smiley?


Songbird Thistlewood Christmas


In blog land we live in the world of the written word.  We write words in e-mail and Facebook and Twitter and on our blogs.  And the challenge is……that it is so easy for the written word to be misunderstood.

Especially when that is all you have.

It’s so easy to read emotions into words….that sometimes aren’t even there.


Merry Christmas Thistlewood

It might seem like the writer is happy.

Or sarcastic or frustrated or overwhelmed or overjoyed.

But how do you really know?

Top of Three Trees

That’s why the smiley face is so perfect.

It completely removes all doubt.

When you see a smiley face you don’t have to wonder or guess or pontificate… just know…..

….that the writer is smiley 🙂


Christmas Tree Pillow


But lately it seems like there has been a little too much of a good thing.

So before I embark on a self-imposed smiley face reduction….can you just indulge a few more for the road ?

I’m glad it’s Christmas time. 🙂

I’m glad you’re here. 🙂

I’m glad I am up to my ears in white Christmas trees with glitter ornaments and stars and reindeer and snowflakes and seventeen turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree 🙂

But most of all… smiley faces and I are so glad…..

….that we are having a get-to-know-you holiday party for the 27 other emoticons 🙂


PS  The sweet Christmas Tree pillow was made by my youngest sister Whitney…..she is as cute and wonderful as her pillows 🙂

Check them out in her shop.

PPS  Want a few more smiles and Christmas cheer?  Click on each of the pictures for great Christmas tree ideas.


  At The Picket Fence


PPS  And wait…..we’re not done yet!

Here’s a little more Christmas inspiration from my friend Tracie over at Cleverly Inspired!

holiday decorating in the kitchen @cleverlyinspired (1)


  1. Image for Sally Sally

    Oh my - what a glorious tree (trees?) The glorious light woke me right up out this morning!!! I would've been SMILEY writing that post too!!! =)=)=)

  2. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    You are a wonderful writer!! I couldn't of expressed what you had written any better!! I've stated it before...but want to state it again... "You are an Awesome Inspiration!" :) I so appreciate you and your talents! Wishing you the best of the holidays!! Keep smiling for you sure do give us readers something to always smile about!!! :)

  3. Image for Sandy Miller Sandy Miller

    Karianne~ It's only fitting that someone so happy would try to make others happy! Love your blog and love your sister's pillow. Sandy ;)

  4. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    I am smiling as I admire your beautiful trees- if I could add several smiley faces I would just to let you know how big my smile is today. I truly believe that one can never have too much Christmas - it is one of the times of the year that most people put their best foot forward - now I am smiling even bigger. Thanks for a smiley, happy day.

  5. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Smiley faces and exclamation points are packing their bandanas with all their worldly belongs, tying them onto a stick and setting off to walk along the railroad tracks. It's definitely time for them to take a little vacation. But don't worry, they'll get some sun, see the world, and return to you so you can overuse them to your hearts content. I would throw in a smiley face or exclamation point here, but I have to wait til they those cute little guys return. P.S. (thankfully, the P.S. didn't leave the country - love that cotton ball pillow). Kelly

  6. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Me too!! I'm a smiley person, too, and I use wayyyy too many smiley faces and exclamation points! You are so right about misreading words on electronics. That is why I use them, too, to smile when I'm "talking." This post made me smile ;)

  7. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Keep the smilies coming! Love them! Your trees are beautiful! Going to check out your sister's shop. Have a good one!

  8. Image for Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

    Beautiful! :) And I love that you hang stars from the ceiling as tree toppers! :) Great idea that I've never seen before. I may have to copy. :) Maybe you should hang a smiley face as a topper sometime, that'd be cute! :) :) Merry Christmas to you!! :) :) :)

  9. Image for ange ange

    And this is why we all love you, because you are smiley and make beautiful things! ;) Seriously, thanks for all the smileys, I try to hold back as well but I want to make sure ppl know what how I'm saying what I'm saying. Beautiful pics of your tree, thanks for sharing with us! :)

  10. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I need a little icon that conveys "opps Ms. Thistle did it again" because that sounds nicer than what my head really exclaims which is : "#u@% !... how does she come up with this cute stuff?" Bliss

  11. Image for Aunt Lou Aunt Lou

    Yeah! You said what I think about misinterpretation and the fear of same when writing. I am also a smiley person. Please, if you give those smilies a break, I won't be too :( . If they stay away forever, I might be :/ . And I like to :) and :D and B) and <3, even if doing so is a bit like reverting to Jr. high school. Happy Christmas. ;)

  12. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Oh I would cry if there was a ban on :) because I love using them! I used them all the time when I was a kid! Same as BFF, TTFN, TTYL, and all the other lovelies that are used now... I mean, come on the old is the new new right? :) And what would the new new be without the smiley... :) face. But I just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your Christmas decor! MY house is decor-less right now because I've spending my days at church... yep, decorating there... and at the swimming pool watching a certain young man dive! :) Today... I hate to admit I'm still in sweats.. but I am seeing all the potential around here.... especially with my Mom's old chandelier hung! well old as in we got it in Germany in '76 while living there (yeah I experienced the bicentennial will living on a military installation on "foreign" soil... it was different but good!) But it brings back lots of fond memories! :) And now I get to gaze on it each and every day! Woo hoo!! Sorry babbling today! So thank you and don't, ever, ever ever quit with your :) faces because you are such a smiley person!! It brings a bit of sunshine into a person's day when they need it the most! :)

  13. Image for Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls

    Your tree is beautiful! As for too many smiley faces--do you worry about smiling too much when you are speaking to someone in person? Of course not! As you said, the written word is not always easy to interpret. Even on the phone, one can hear the tone of voice, and you know if the person on the other end is smiling, angry, bored, whatever. But when all you have is printed words, you don't always know, so you need visual clues. I have a rather odd sense of humor, and sometimes I worry that my attempt at humor might be misunderstood, or that what I say might come across as criticism, which is never my intent. A smiley face can help convey that it 's meant in a nice way. Besides, smiley faces are cute, fun, and brighten one's day. What the world needs is more smiley faces, in person, and online! ( and I would put one here, except I don't know how! The best I can do is :)

  14. Image for Andrea Andrea

    I use entirely too many smiley faces, as well, and for the exact same reason. However, my smiley faces aren't uptown like yours. I only know how to do this kind on my keyboard =), or sometimes I go crazy with a wink ;). Anyhow, I love your smiley faces, and say bring them on! LOVE seeing your Christmas decor. How gorgeous it all is. =))

  15. Image for kristin kristin

    I love :) and most likely use them too much but if it's contagious that's ok :) Love your tree, so gorgeous and sparkly! So happy to be in this tree hop with you. Have a fabulous day :) XO Kristin

  16. Image for Bethanie Bethanie

    oh girl, wait til your girls are teenagers and critique everything you write... the other day I got the lecture of too many smiley faces and "dot dot dots"... :) I ignore them, by the way!! My theory is, if you're not sure of the punctuation, use the "..."!! And end it with a smiley face! :)

  17. Image for Tonya @ Love of Family & Home Tonya @ Love of Family & Home

    If that little corner of Christmas was in my home I would be all like :) :) :) :) ALL DAY LONG!! Seriously....your trees are beautiful!! And again, I'm loving the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling as toppers!!! You are making me want to add one to my tree!! And that little tree pillow is fabulous too....make sure you tell Whitney I said so!! :) :)

  18. Image for Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation Maria @ Inspiration Affirmation

    I love your smileys -- I don't think you should cut back at all! Because they make me smile. :-) Always. I love your Christmas decor -- your color palette is gorgeous. And that little Christmas tree pillow? Adorable. Like, LOVE. Thanks for the inspiration today, and every day.

  19. Image for Diane Allen Parks Diane Allen Parks

    OMG......don't EVER stop smiling! It's what makes the world go 'round! :) Beautiful Christmas are so talented! Thank you for your blog! Diane Parks

  20. Image for Jackie A Jackie A

    Hi Kari, I'm not certain, but I believe the jury is still out on whether or not you can have too many smiley faces. I have on occasion been misunderstood even when using them - perhaps I needed 3...or 12. I think they are an expression of the joy we hold inside and don't know how else to convey through this wonderful/awful medium of the internet. So smile on, girl! : ) : ) : )

  21. Image for Lucy Beliveau Lucy Beliveau

    I'm afraid my smile is missing this Christmas and it is not within my nature to go without. Please keep your smiles coming as I lean on them until mine returns. Your blog and your writing help my every day! Graciously, Lucy

  22. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    :-) :-) :-) :-) So there!!! I'm not sure I would know what to do if I didn't see your smiley faces all around and I, for one, can't stop smiling when I look at this beautiful post full of gorgeous details and inspiration. You, and your home, are like one big smiley face, my friend! Love ya, Vanessa

  23. Image for Vee Vee

    You make a good point, though I do love a good smiley myself and if I am not feeling smiley I stick in a ☺ Love seeing how everything is shaping up here. Will you give a holiday tour?

  24. Image for Adventuresindinner Adventuresindinner

    I hear you-I do the smiley face thing WAY too often but then I realized it was just because I was writing as if I were speaking and I usually end things with a smile (or a smirk) C: Lovely, lovely tree. I ALMOST (not quite brave enough yet) bought a black one last night. Might have to return and get it.

  25. Image for tiffini tiffini

    :) i so identify...I am a period... girl .... I can't quite figure out how to write without using them. i think we want to write like we talk and with you you ARE just a smiley person..I know..I get it! it is all so pretty K...hey also...we will be getting you a new ad button before long. They are almost finished up with all the blog design...any DAY now. love ya friend xo

  26. Image for Angela Angela

    I love everything about this post...It definitely made me smile. Your tree is so elegant and beautiful. Thanks for being part of the hop and for your patience with the whole process. I hope we can work together again! Hugs, Angela PS. I use a LOT of smiley faces too, so I thought I would refrain and just let you know that I'm SMILING!!! ;) (and a lot of winks!)

  27. Image for Kathryn Cain Kathryn Cain

    Just open a Newpaper, check CNN or the 5 oclock news, or if in Texas get on I35 in central Texas, Road work. and you don't want to smile, so We need more smily face people, I think the 5 oclock news would sound better from you....keep your smile on girl

  28. Image for Patty Patty

    I smile at folks I don't know everywhere I go. I say rock the smiley face where ever you can! Smile on, Karianne, gosh I wish I could (((hug))) you. Patty/BC

  29. Image for Gwen Gwen

    As a former teacher who am I to criticize this new expression of typing that I used all over the place in my Jr. High note passing?!! Doesn't the smiley face make it feel like you are passing us a note in Algebra and so there's all the smileys because...that's what we girls are used to and do NOT remind me that I ended with a preposition!!! I know that I did but.... It just never would occur to any of us that passed notes in school covered in hand drawn smiley faces to even notice that you USED smiley faces!!! Was it a guy that noticed? Yeah, I don't think my hubby wrote many happy face notes. So after all that, you just keep on smiling on paper and by the way I simply enjoy every one of your ornaments!!! :-). :~}.

  30. Image for Emma Briggs Emma Briggs

    These Christmas tree decorating ideas are simply gorgeous. I love Christmas for its fun spirit and am always looking for different and unique ideas to decorate every year.

  31. Image for gee gee

    Hahahahahaaa!!! Funny... I was asked the other day why there were so many smiles in my chat?? I mean.. the nerve :-) Really??? I am a person that smile when I am talking, typing, texting... so I add them. No? I am the way I am.. I add the smile when my lips curl up at the edges and you can't see them .. like now :-) Keep adding them Karianne! BEAUTIFUL trees by the way... stunning. A def smiley face worthy post :-) ((HUGS)) Gee

  32. Image for Tricia Tricia

    My teenagers informed me that if you make your smiley with a nose: : o ) you are above the age of 30. Anyone under 30 makes them like this: :) I'm old ; o )

  33. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I so understand your addiction. ;) My name is Regina, and I have an addiction to EXCLAMATION POINTS. Really. I had to write a whole novel manuscript to realize that regular people don't speak with exclamation points, or smiley faces. :( Well, I just think that's a sad commentary on our society . . . So I say in blog-land, we use as many :) and ! as we want to. So there!!! :) Did I mention that I love looking at your Christmas decorating ideas?

  34. Image for Meghan Grace Meghan Grace

    I am the queen of the exclamation point!!! I just can't help it! I don't plan on taking an exclamation point hiatus and I really hope that you don't quit using the smiley face either. We read these wonderful blogs because they make us happy! :) Smiley faces are good!

  35. Image for Guerrina Guerrina

    I just popped over from you link at TDC's and your tree is beautiful and happy! Love happy trees! Thank you for acknowledging the biggest issue with the written word (i.e. blogs, texts, e-mails, etc.). How does one NOT use smiley faces (sometimes in combination with exclamation marks) to get across a more accurate tone of what they've written (unless one is going to write a paragraph about how it is to be taken/not taken - I know people who do this...sad)? I say keep the smiley faces and keep being a smiley person! :)

  36. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Don't you dare stop smiling, it makes ME happy when I see a smiley:):) Were there 3 white trees that I see??? Which room is this??? You are truly amazing. As you can see I am WAAAAAY behind on my blogs. I also need an exclamation point intervention:):):) XO, pinky

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