NOEL Christmas Mantel

Dear Christmas sweater from 1992,

I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Joyeux Noel.  

Happy Holidays.

Seasons Greetings and all that.


You were amazing.



I still remember what a splash you made…..the envy of the Christmas sweater circuit.

All white and red and green and black.

With those giant over-sized packages covering every square inch.

And the jingle bells on the cuffs…..

….simply classic.

Letter E Noel Mantel

I think it was the gift wrap on the packages that set it apart.

Some of the packages were polka-dotted and striped and covered with sequins.

Sparkly and glittery and fairly shouting Christmas cheer.


Oh…..the times we had.  The parties and the get-to-gethers…..and all those trips to the mall.

We partied like it was 1992 and  we were wearing black stirrup pants and highlighted teased hair with Aqua Net hair spray and bright pink lipstick.

And a matching “Ho Ho Ho” hair bow.

Noel Mantel

And remember how each one of the presents on sweater was topped with a little white ribbon that tied into a bow.

Remember how the bows were always coming untied and how the ribbons on the end began to fray even after I turned you inside out in the washer and the top of presents started to look a little bedraggled and lose a little Christmas spirit.

And that one ribbon had pink spots after I spilled something on it.

But it didn’t matter.

You made the season so much brighter.

It wouldn’t have been a holiday party without you.


After all… were my Christmas sweater.


Now I’m all grown up and I just wear basic black with red lipstick and try to always drink clear drinks at parties to avoid pink spotted clothes.

But I couldn’t let the 2012 holiday season pass by without letting you know….. 

……that my heart and my stirrup pants will always belong to you.  🙂

PS  If Noel Mantels are your thing and you want to see the rest of holiday house tour….click here.

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  1. Image for Gwen Gwen

    I too loved your ugly sweater story. Truly I did. But in '92 I was hmmm mom to a four and eight year old. I do not think I used the Net but I did enjoy my niece who did. I think she had your sweater! But how far you've come! Your Christmas in French NOEL is so beautiful. Ah! Fun to gaze upon and laugh while reading your personal letter to your sweater. Sigh. Great blog :-)

  2. Image for Marianne@songbird Marianne@songbird

    Didn't happen without picture proof..... Come on show us one of those Christmas party pictures I know you have....... Beautiful mantel, you have clearly come along way. Love the different letters and the boxwood O is so sweet.

  3. Image for Bethanie Henry Bethanie Henry

    Oh girl, I was right there with you with the Aqua Net, stirrup pants (Please Lord, dont let them come back in style...) and the sweater!! Actually, we spent a good bit of time last year at Goodwill looking for that very sweater for a "tacky Christmas sweater" party my girls were going to. It was not easy to find such awesome tackiness! We did it, jingle bells and all. Now, it spends 364 days a year tucked away, waiting for that ONE party... I had some doozies that would have worked perfectly for such an occasion. (The saddest part of the Goodwill sweater was when we were checking out, laughing about the pure ugliness of it, the fact that it weighed 46 pounds, etc....a lady behind us, in all seriousness, oohed and ahhh'd about what a beautiful sweater it was. We held our laughter in until we got to the car!) Your mantel is gorgeous, of course. Happy Saturday, sweet friend.

  4. Image for Amy @ the Avery House Amy @ the Avery House

    An ode to the Christmas sweater of 1992 with her trusty BFF Miss Stirrup Pants! Those were the days KariAnne. We could have donned our Christmas sweaters together and jingled our way to some fabulous parties back in 1992 with the big hair and all. No offense to the Christmas sweater, clearly she is owed a bit of fashion icon respect, but the stirrup pant? I really never understoond it. Oh I had several pair, but I can still remember how they felt underfoot and how the paints stretched in such a weird unnatural kind of way. Those I don't think I ever would ressurect from the early 90's :-), On your house tour, my favorite stop was this mantel. It is simply beautiful and I LOVE how you used the boxwood wreath as your "O!" You simply rock KariAnne, Christmas sweater and all! Have a great Saturday!

  5. Image for Mary Ann Mary Ann

    Oh, so funny. I never had one of those sweaters (would have actually been a luxury for me at that time), but boy my sister had some incredible Christmas sweaters. I will be working on my front door greenery today and your mantel has given me some ideas for different greenery. Thanks!

  6. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Absolutely stunning! So peaceful, clean & pure looking with all the white and green. I love your mantle! Strangely...I've never had a Christmas sweater... Debbie :)

  7. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    I have a venue for your Christmas sweater - one where it could shine again. our high school is holding an ugliest Christmas sweater contest - you could revive your sweater and stirrup pants and enter - I am sure you would at least place and oh how proud your sweater would be. Or on the other hand you could felt it and make wonderful Christmas balls so the memory could live on while you are going "green" or maybe red.

  8. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Ah, such sweet memories you have shared this morning, KariAnne. I, too, have Christmas sweater memories. We did think we were stunning, didn't we? And, we were. Right???!!! Speaking of something to love, this is a mantel to love. A lot.♥♥♥

  9. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I am not sure I want to remember any of my old Christmas sweaters and I am absolutely positive I don't wanna see any photos of me from the 80's or 90's in stirrup pants!!! That vision is better left to the way I *think* they made me look. Bliss

  10. Image for andrea andrea

    I had a sweater like that....given to me by my mother in law. Not in 1992, in 2010. Not as a joke, as in I have to wear it around her or else I'll hurt her feelings. I did, however, wear that jolly sweater in public. A New Year's Eve party, actually. Of course, it was an Ugly Christmas Sweater themed party, so it fit right in =) Now, in the great purge of my closet, where I admitted defeat and let go of my when-I-was-in-college-sized-clothes, I put that sweater in the donation bag so someone else can enjoy it in all its festive glory. Have a very Merry Day!!

  11. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    You did an amazing job on your mantel! I love the placement of the topiary! Your "Noel" letters are so pretty! What a peaceful vignette!

  12. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    Aqua Net, baby--I used to use it on my horse's manes when I was showing them to keep them all beautiful, then I'd use some on me, too :) Aqua Net is also the friend of the theatre actor, who goes through can by can during a run of a show. Those were the days, my friend! I love your mantel--what a clever use of the ivy topiary, and I love the little white birds, too (I always love bird decorations ). Take care, KariAnne, and have a great weekend!

  13. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Oh, yeah, 1992 was a very good year! My boys were 4, 8 & 9....and I lived in stirrup pants! Your mantel is so the ivy! I don't have a mantel, been wanting one for a long time...have a fireplace, but no mantel, *sigh*. If I did have a mantel, I would hope it would grow up to be just like yours! ;)

  14. Image for Pat@BPM Pat@BPM

    Gorgeous mantel!!! I had forgotten about stirrup pants! I still have one Christmas sweater. I don't know why, but I have hung onto it! We are touring Christmas homes, here in town and around tomorrow. In place of my dear old Christmas sweater, I am wearing my brand new Christmas attire...bright red vest with just a peek of cheetah.:-) chic...of course, I will wear it with my usual...basic black. :-)

  15. Image for Regena Fickes Regena Fickes

    Your mantel is beautiful. We need a picture of the sweater! :} jIust joking. I remember making a bunch of puff painted Christmas sweatshirts in '92. Please don't let them become popular again! Once was enough. Merry Christmas.

  16. Image for CAS CAS

    Just when did the wearing of Christmasy clothing become so "uncool?" I guess I'm just a way "uncool" person, because I still have a couple of items in my wardrobe that I so enjoy donning at least once during the season. Oh, and what about Christmas jewelry? I have, and yes, I still wear, several sets of earring, necklaces and bracelets. Don't judge! At least my "Grands" think I'm a pretty cool Nana -- well, at least those under the age of!

  17. Image for JuneA** JuneA**

    OH.MY.GOSH. I feel your pain...only mine was 1985...with shoulder pads..and BIG hair of the 80s..and I am talking HUGE! *shudder* Loved your ode to Christmas past and love your NOEL!

  18. Image for Becca Becca

    So, tell me ... did you wear your amazing Christmas sweater while styling your incredible Noel mantelscape? Once again, I'm blown away ... YOU are the rock star.

  19. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I had a vest. Ok, I had three . . . But my favorite was bright blue and white, with SNOWMEN on it, paired with my white turtleneck and snowflake earrings, it was always a hit . . . And then I started watching "What Not to Wear," and got rid of them, my eyes having been opened to the truth of holiday sweaters. The end of innocence, I call it . . . . sigh . . . BUT, the Noel is SPECTACULAR!! I love funky letters. Have fun today - I'm in full-on party-prep mode! Ack!

  20. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Giddy-up! Here's to growing up and losing those hideous pants. I bought some boots and for the first time thought...hmmm... I need some skinny jeans for these. Then, I realized, I need to find the skinny first. Then maybe I can go look for the jeans! haha...

  21. Image for Marty Walden Marty Walden

    As us Southern girls say, "I about peed my pants" at this post! Stirrup pants? What were we thinking? And hair bows and sweaters with bells that jingle? Funny stuff, my friend, as always.

  22. Image for Peggy Peggy

    I had to laugh because I think my mom might still have that sweater... or at least one similar to it that she LOVEs to bring out, bless her heart! :) I do love your Noel mantel! You would be so proud of my... I'm decorating today! Can you tell? :) And you should see the white fluff all over our house... from a pompom explosion! ha ha! Have a wonderful day my friend! Thank you so very much for opening your home to us! (i better get a move on or i won't have the house ready for the linky party for jenn's home tour... i am so excited with all the awesomeness of our house this year!!) (even if there isn't a lick of snow outside and its 50 with fog...) Thank you for all your inspiration and encouragement. Between you and a number of girls I'm finally stepping out and decorating our home for us!! :)

  23. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    I did all those things I must confess - pink lipstick, stirrup pants, Christmas sweater (just one) . . . but I NEVER and I mean NEVER wore a hair bow that said HO HO HO on it. You just have to draw the line somewhere. Of course I was much older than you so I had to be more grown up! I am loving this series. Thanks!

  24. Image for Laura Laura

    Ahhh the good old days, when fashion was........what was it? Well, i still have a tacky Christmas sweater I drag it out for my granddaughter who loves it. Of course she is seven now so there is the possibility she has developed some fashion sense. Love the mantle :)

  25. Image for tara tara

    do i ever remember the christmas sweaters that i wore in 1992. they were something, weren't they? only, i used Aussie hair spray in the purple bottle. i used it until i permanently changed the ozone layer. for real. love your mantle....beautiful and creative and seemingly one of a kind.

  26. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    We don't have Christmas sweaters/jumpers well I don't have Christmas sweaters/jumpers what does that say about me or about my family, ok it says that we live in Australia and it is bloody hot during the Christmas season so no need for sweaters/jumpers at least I knew what a sweater was it is a jumper right............or am I all wrong and mixed up here.............

  27. Image for sheila harmon sheila harmon

    I kept wanting someone else to ask you where you got those beautiful letters in Noel but no one has so I guess I'll have to. So where did you get those beautiful letters especially the N? I checked all over Hobby Lobby and Michaels. No luck. Nothing even close. Any suggestions?

  28. Image for Michael Wurm, Jr Michael Wurm, Jr

    This is adorable. I love that all the letters are different. My favorite would have to be the "O"! I also love how you incorporated the mirror behind it too! Fabulous as always.

  29. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Sadly I am of an age where stirrup pants passed me by...please don't hate! Though I hear they (and gasp) shoulder pads are set to return. I'm scared but determined to have photographic proof to frighten and amuse my future children with...

  30. Image for Amy Amy

    Bless you heart!!!! My favorite embellished nutcracker sweater has been borrowed for several ugly sweater parties. No one seems to care that it cost a fortune. It has come in second place twice. I am happy to say it has never won the " ugly" title.

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