This vintage traditional blogger home might be the perfect Christmas house

A Christmas miracle! Ruthie Jackson's gorgeous 1934 Colonial is even on Thirty-Fourth Street.

traditional boys room
(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

If you love stately old homes, repurposed thrifted finds, and classic-with-a-twist interior design, you'll want to first make sure you're following Ruthie Jackson's Instagram account @MiracleonThirtyFourth. We stumbled upon it a few years back, and have excitedly watched on as she transformed her once-dated, now lovely Iowa colonial into a fresh-traditional masterpiece. Did we mention she does most of it with thrifted or budget finds? 

Not only that, but her brick colonial also happens to be the ideal Christmas house (it is on Thirty-Fourth Street, after all). The Jackson home is a little bit Home Alone, a little bit Father of the Bride, and was basically built to have wreaths hanging from all the windows and plaid everywhere.

If you prefer to deck your halls with classic, vintage Christmas decor, keep scrolling. This year, Ruthie agreed to give us an early peek at how she's decorating for the holidays, and we're excited to share it with you, below.

As is the case with lot of the decisions she makes about her home, Ruthie used her home's history as a starting point for her holiday decor. "Plaids and traditional, holiday colors perfectly suit our colonial, which was built in 1935," she says. "We like to deck our halls with a preppy, vintage vibe."

While Ruthie's decor may look expensive, but the key to achieving her high-end look for less, both during the holiday and year-round, is mixing high and low finds. 

holiday window decor

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

"We bought this big, old house three years ago, our Miracle-on-Thirty-Fourth-Street dream house," she says. "Like most old homes, it continues to require updates, repairs, and maintenance. I keep seasonal, decorating expenses under control by thrifting shiny brights, adding details to basic buys, and embracing décor from nature."

front door of traditional home decorated for christmas with snow

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

The simple pinecone wreath that hangs on the front door (above) was upgraded by adding fat, velvet ribbon to create a copycat, designer look, for example, while the stair landing (top) is decorated with basic wreaths hung from the windows then embellished with ribbon and bird ornaments

holiday fireplace mantle ideas

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

The living room is where the family celebrates much of the season. "One of my favorite traditions is on Christmas Eve," Ruthie says. "After we tuck the littles into bed, my husband and I enjoy fettuccine and bubbly in front of the fire. Then we turn our sights on finishing the last of our wrapping with Christmas movies playing in the background," she says of one of the family's annual traditions.

holiday traditional decor

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

To give the living space a festive feel, Ruthie started out by making a few seasonal swaps. "I traded summery floral artwork for a classic, snowy scene. Over the years, I’ve collected vintage felt and velvet, kit stockings from scouring Ebay listings," she explains. 

Thrifted, brass, horn candle holders find a home grouped on the fireplace mantel. Once lit, the candle reflection shimmers in the DIY, faux mercury glass background. Midcentury garlands and kitschy bow ornaments add to the nostalgic, Christmas vibe.

traditional home tour

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

holiday mantle decor

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

Another budget tip for creating a winter wonderland? The family foregoes store-bought florals in favor of foraged greenery from the yard. "We rely on nature for free, festive décor right outside our front door. The kids and I raided the yard for greenery and gathered baskets of pinecones," Ruthie explains. "And here in Iowa, we can usually rely on a snow show to blanket the exterior, creating a winter wonderland."

holiday decor kids room

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

Finally, Ruthie gave a little extra love to her kids' spaces this year to make a strange holiday season extra special. "Often, holiday decorating focuses on entertaining friends and extended family," she says. "This year, our little household is creating a cozy and cheerful season together. Our kindergarten and second graders are chattering about cookie baking, feverishly writing their lists for Santa, and pulling out piles of Christmas books and movies." 

It doesn't get much better than that!

Kaitlin Madden

Kaitlin Madden Armon is a writer and editor covering all things home. In addition to Real Homes, she's written for Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Refinery29, Modern Luxury Interiors, Wayfair, The Design Network, and lots more. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, two sons, and black lab.