The first Christmas after moving into a new home can be equally as exciting as it is daunting. After unpacking, opening Christmas décor might seem like adding one box to the list. However, when the temperatures drop and the holiday spirit begins to stir, it’s difficult to ignore the urge to celebrate. With a helping hand from Hardy Realty, for Kipp and Chris Slicker, their first holiday season in their historic home between the rivers is a lovely one indeed.

“Honestly, it’s the first time in a long time I’ve been excited to decorate for Christmas,” Chris says. “When we lived in Texas we had a cookie-cutter, very generic house. We did a little bit there, but this house really lends itself to doing traditional Christmas decorations, so that’s been fun.”

The couple moved to Rome in February after Kipp accepted a position at Harbin Clinic as one of Rome’s newest Cardiologists, so they had some time to settle in before tackling the wreaths, garlands and lights. Over the past few months, lots of love went into the home. Chris owns her own interior design business, Dovetail Interiors, and put her keen eye into action. From wallpapering to knocking down a wall, the Slickers turned the 1910s house into the home of their dreams.

“This was actually built as the parsonage for the Methodist church. Looking at the layout and the pocket doors, you can imagine weddings and funerals and all that kind of stuff happening here,” Chris says. “I, for one, love the staircase and the big entry.”

Walking through the front door, you find yourself face-to-face with a striking entry, featuring a vintage piano and the beautiful wooden staircase. The piano, once belonging to Kipp’s grandmother, looks right out of a greeting card and has seen many Christmases prior to this one.

“When I was a little kid, that piano was in my grandmother’s living room and I would open my Christmas presents under it, so that holds a neat tradition,” Kipp says.

To the left of the entry is a formal living room. Chris’s penchant for the eclectic is evident in this room, the bright yellow and velvety-blue seating is accented with a sparkling Christmas tree. Moving towards the rear of the house, the formal dining room is fit for a holiday extravaganza with Christmastime table settings, and small tarts and cakes in the kitchen just waiting to be munched.

“Food is always a big part of Christmas, making a big breakfast or a big dinner is always a part of the festivities,” Chris says. “On Christmas Eve, my family would always host a fondue dinner and then go to the midnight Mass. Kipp’s family lives here, so we’ll also go have Christmas dinner with them.

Entertaining has always been a priority to the Slickers, but it gains a whole new meaning during the holiday season. Chris speaks fondly of Thanksgivings and Christmases when her family would open their doors to friends and members of their community.

“We spend most of our time in the kitchen. It’s not that big, but people tend to gravitate towards it. So we wanted that to be part of the entertaining space. And during the holidays, we like inviting friends over if they don’t have anywhere to go,” she says. “To me, that’s really what the holidays are all about, sharing it with other people.”

The home has plenty to offer in terms of entertaining. The kitchen opens to a screened-in porch, which is where the Slickers and their pets spend their time in warmer weather.

“This is our third home that we’ve owned, and this is definitely my favorite house so far,” Chris says. “I love the architecture, all the details of older homes, like the hardwood floors and high ceilings that you just don’t see in newer homes. Also, with the ability to walk downtown and having great neighbors, it’s just a really fun neighborhood.”

The Historic District is known for their older constructions full of charm. As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is carved, it’s not long before the neighborhood begins to resemble an assembly of gingerbread houses. The Slicker residence is no exception.

“I definitely got the decorating stuff from my mom; she was always really good at decorating for Christmas,” Chris says, pointing out a few metallic birds tucked in the centerpiece on the dining table. “Like these, we always had birds in the tree. We had an Aunt Birdie, so we always liked to do things for her.”

Moving into a new house, carrying on holiday traditions past is a wonderful way to make a place feel like home. However, it also offers an opportunity to start new traditions as well. “We don’t have kids, so Christmas morning isn’t as big as it would be if we did. So, I like the tradition of sleeping in!” Chris laughs.

Though the songs call the holidays “merry and bright”, the stresses of planning and gift buying can cloud an otherwise cheerful time. However, with a little elbow grease and string lights, the first Christmas in a new home can be a memory to hold dear for years to come.

“The holidays can be hectic, you know, but our life is good,” Kipp says, gesturing to the walls around him.

After all, it’s hard to be stressed out when you’re living in a home as stunning as this.

For additional information about the property or to schedule a showing, act Hardy Realty at 706-291-4321.