Jessica Webb grew up in parsonages owned by churches, like the one she and her family live in now. She distinctly remembers her mother taking those plain houses, full of finishes she did not choose, and making them the perfect backdrop for family memories. Making a house a home is a talent Webb inherited.
Webb shares her Baldwyn home with her husband, Jason, and their two children, Eva Kate and Easton. They moved there five and a half years ago when Jason became the pastor at Ingram Baptist Church. The home is a cozy three bedroom and two bath.
“The house was beautiful when we moved in, but the church has been very gracious to let us change a few things,” Webb said. “I really enjoy living in a small house, because I don’t like unused space.”
Webb’s design scheme allows a dedicated place for everything. Her self-described style is polished casual, with neutral tones and white accents.
“My aim is to always have a home that is pleasing to the eye, but still comfortable and livable,” said Webb. “My kids can sack out on the couch, my husband can sit in his big man chair and I can sip coffee and be able to enjoy the view.”
Webb has become known among her friends and family not only for her hospitable home, but for her absolute obsession with Christmas and holiday décor.
“It’s always sweet to me when people say they saw something and it made them think of me,” she said. “I like that people know that about me. I feel like Christmas is part of who I am.”
Because of her reputation, Webb has accumulated quite the stash of holiday memorabilia in the form of gifts and finds.
Webb says that she began collecting when she left for college. She recalls returning home for the Christmas holiday and decorating her own room with lights and garland. She admits that her love of Christmas is yet another of her inherited traits and one she shares with her two sisters.
“My love for Christmas is from my folks. Each year, on December 23, we all get together and watch Christmas movies my mother recorded on VHS tapes. We play Christmas games, which I’m in charge of, and eat lots of food. It’s one of my favorite days of the whole year,” Webb said.
Webb’s favorite Christmas decorations have sentimental value. She especially loves a set of wooden toy ornaments that hung on her parents tree when she was a child. When she got married, her mother gifted them to her to start her own ornament collection. Webb is also very fond of her snowman collection, supplied mostly in gifts from her husband. And then there’s Jingle and Jangle, two little elves given to her children by her grandmother.
“There were toy elves that sat on her tree for as long as I can remember. She decided to give an elf to each great-grandchild,” she said.
Other favorites include a mid-century vintage set of Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers and a Department 56 figurine from a church member’s personal collection.
“It’s a little boy and girl looking at a melted snowman. It’s called ‘where did he go?’ She said it reminded her of Eva Kate and Easton, and it was special to me that she thought to give it to us,” Webb said.
In keeping with tradition, Webb is teaching her children a love for the holiday. Each year, they bake Christmas cookies together, “grow” candy canes, enjoy the Christmas parade and ride around to look at the decorations. Eva Kate and Eason even have their very own trees in their rooms—Eva’s in shades of pink and Easton’s with toy robot ornaments.
“When I was growing up, it wasn’t about spending money. It was about the time our parents spent with us. They made us feel special and close-knit,” Webb said.
She hopes to create the same magical experiences for them that her parents created for her.