True beauty in a simplified Christmas

by RaeLynn Callaway

Kevin and Netta Thomas decided Christmas was going to be different. Instead of being caught up in the hustle, bustle and commercialization of the season, they decided to simplify.

“I’ve spent many Christmases decorating every inch of space and keeping up with all the new color trends and themes,” Netta said. “This year I decided to keep it simple, traditional and focus on the true meaning for the season, the birth of Christ.”

Kevin and Netta live in Heber Springs with their two children, Hannah, 11, and Zach, 7. Kevin is a regional manager for Nobel Biocare, and Netta is a financial planner with ING Financial Partners.

Entering the Thomas’ Heber Springs home, guests are welcomed by a large 10-foot tree. “The ornaments I pulled out this year reflect who we are,” Netta said.

She used ornaments they started with their first Christmas – plastic balls, glitter balls and soft, fluffy snowflakes. “They bring back fond memories of a simpler time. I wanted to add some that were made by the kids and of course the paws to show our Panther Pride,” Netta said with a smile and a chuckle.

Looking beyond the tree, guests can’t help but be drawn to the crackling of the warm, cozy fire. Above the mantle an Ellen Hobgood original print of Old St. Nick is nestled between glittery wood trees. Mixed greens with glitter balls, snowflakes and red crabapple sprays adorn the mantle. “Even though we don’t focus on Santa, I love using the beautiful Santa print painted by a local Heber Springs artist and given to us by dear friends.”

The glitter and fluff is all fun, but Netta is most excited about her beautiful nativity scene and a huge Biblica Bible atlas opened to the birth of Jesus. “We wanted to share with all of our holiday guests that we keep Christ in Christmas. We want to focus on the true gift of Christmas – not just our Savior’s birth, but that He gave His life so everyone would have the opportunity to receive His gift of salvation.”