Thursday, December 15

Decking the Halls

We put our trees up the weekend before Thanksgiving. And then I very slowly decorated them over next few weeks. Might as well drag out the Christmas festivities, right? But, they are finally up and I finally have pictures, and here we go. My Christmas trees and various other decorations. 2011.

We have a big, beastly tree in our living room. As in touch the ceiling, can't see around big. And it is wonderful. Even more wonderful, this tree was gifted to us as a hand-me-down a few years ago. And yes, we put it up in our 600 sq ft rental the last few years. We had to move half our living room furniture to the basement during the Christmas season to make room for this whale of a tree. True story. Totally worth it. :) Anyway, now it has a new home in our front window.

I always start with lights and recently learned the trick of pushing lights back in near the trunk in addition to having them farther out on the branches. It gives it a whole new dimension of light. After lights I put on a red bead garland (I found it after Christmas on clearance at Michael's a couple years ago). It's kind of a play on traditional tinsel or garland, but a much cleaner look. And I like the smooth texture and bright color it adds.

Then I stand back to admire my work. Ahhhh...twinkly goodness.

Then thank Baby B for his help. Thanks, Baby B.

This is where things got really slow for me. The decorations. I pretty much had the box by the tree for a straight week and put a couple ornaments on it everyday. It as slow, but I think it actually kept me sane. It was kind of fun to make the decorating last so long, and I could work on it for 30 seconds at a time while Baby B was distracted by whatever I could find to distract him with. :)

But I finally finished and then added some presents underneath. But more on that later. :)

I don't have any specific theme for this tree, just a mix of ornaments I love that have special meaning to me. I will say, there are a lot of birds. They are my favorites. My sister gave me this little birdcage last year. 

Most of my decorating happens in the living room, since that is where we spend most of our time. I gave the top of the entertainment center some love this year and documented it with these badly lit photos. You are welcome. I put my nativity in the space above the tv, complete with little bitty Christmas trees I found at a yard sale. There were Christmas trees in Bethlehem, right? It even has a bunch of animals and a baby Jesus that comes out of the manger, which is a very important detail for me. I don't know why. Interesting story about the nativity. I got this nativity as a wedding present from a good friend, but since we were married right after Christmas we actually got several nativities and such. Not needing so many, we returned several along with some of the other many decorations we received. That probably sounds terrible. But back to the story... one of the sets we returned was none other than this beautiful, favorite, from a best friend set. And since it was after Christmas, we got like $5 back for it. I seriously spent the entire next year regretting that decision. And planning to go back after Christmas the next year to try to find it again. And thank goodness we found it (at least a very similar one) the next year on clearance for like $5. I was SO happy. I went straight home to check it out and make sure it had all the pieces and nothing was broken. I was taking the pieces out ooohing and aaaahing the whole time...when it happened.... Baby Jesus took a dive. Yes, I dropped the most important part within minutes of opening the box. And I broke his arm off. Fail. Moral of the story = don't return the nativity in the first place. But don't worry, I glued it back on and you can hardly tell.

What's that? Less talking and more pictures? Right.  I also have a garland with lights ($1 at a yard sale) and stocking holders (2 reindeer & a Christmas tree, $5 each from Target & Menards after Christmas sales) up there.

The newest addition is the berry wreath from last years after Christmas sale at Target. I think it was about $5 too? You many have noticed, I never buy anything before Christmas. I wait until after and buy things cheaper for next year, including back up lights!

This space is finished off with a mini tree ($0.25 from a yard sale last weekend. It was covered in gold decorations that I pulled off to keep it looking more natural. I say as I put up my fake trees. Ha.) I also stuck the vases of sticks from our progressive dinner centerpieces up there to fill in the space.

The extent of my bathroom decorating = festive washcloths & a sprig of berries. You win some and you lose some. :)

Of course Baby B has a tree (another hand-me-down) in his room too! I took the colorful approach here with fun lights and I have felt to make him some colorful (unbreakable!) ornaments...which may or may not happen before Christmas. But it still looks good without them. Pictures show us a lot of things we don't normally see, like when I look at this and go "Oh, I guess I didn't put any lights at the top of the tree."

And the final tree (our newest hand-me-down. We've been blessed to never have to buy a tree!) is upstairs in our master suit. This is the closet to a theme tree we have just because I used all white lights and pulled all the white decorations from our collection to put up there, including a whole pile of ceramic angel ornaments I made in college.

There are also some white balls, snowball garland, and a big white bow on top. The lights are have cool big round bulbs instead of the traditional shape. They look like party lights. :)

That pretty much sums up our decorations thus far. Are you finished decorating? What do you like to do? Do you go all out or keep it simple? Do you do themes or mix it up? Tell me all about it!

And it's not too late to enter my giveaway to win a pair of handmade fabric button earrings!

Find the details and enter here!


  1. I am keeping things simple this year since I haven't been home much. I have a small tree with some older ornaments and some basic sliver ones that add the sparkle. I also have my little nativity, Christmas sign, snowmen, dolls, pillows, towels, etc. around. I will probably leave everything up until at least the end of January :) Your trees look beautiful!

  2. Beautiful!!!!! I especially like the baby ornament. Around here, all three trees are up and decorated and there's a rosemary tree on the island. By the time I finish the rest of it, if I finish, it'll be time to pack everything away.

  3. Haha, Thanks Rhetta! That's my favorite too! :) I hear you about the time, too. I just took somethings back to the basement that I knew wouldn't make it up. :) Is the rosemary tree made of actual rosemary? I've never heard of that before, but I bet is smells great!
    Anna, sparkle is important! And I'm definitely with - keeping things up until the end of January! :)