Seasons greetings! I’m the kind of person who starts listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. (Don’t judge.) I also like to start decorating the home for Christmas around Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving was late this year, I pulled out the bins the week before Thanksgiving. My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled because he prefers his holidays to be in the normal order. I have a process that takes time, so I wanted to get started.
I like to decorate my home a little differently every year for Christmas and I’m a visual person so I’ll probably decorate an area two or three times before it feels perfect to me.
I don’t tend to buy too many new things each year, but instead I use the decorations I have in a different room or a different arrangement. For example I placed Santa Clause in the foyer this year instead of in the family room. I feel like I have a brand new decoration because of that simple move.
I’m not big of labeling what kind of “theme” I used for my decor but I can say that in general I went for a simple wintery feel. I don’t like to use too many things because it tends to look or feel crowded. I don’t think that you need a lot to have a great impact on a room (whether that’s for the holidays or in the middle of summer).
I used live and faux greenery with pine cones, candles, blankets, and a few couple of Christmas decorations. The banister is lined with multiple strands of faux garland. My husband attaches them to the banisters with clear zip ties to make it easy to put up and take down in a way that holds firm and doesn’t damage anything. I added a few sprigs of different branches to make it fuller and give it variety.
I used live garland once or twice on the railings for the stairs and it was a massive mess taking it down so I probably won’t do that again. Plus, once you invest in the fake garland you can use over and over and it ends up being cheaper than buying the live stuff every season. I bought my garland from Michael’s store a couple of years ago and it still looks new.
I took the picture down that was hanging on the wall and replaced it with a live wreath. You can do that in any room in the house to give it a quick and easy seasonal update.
I added a few touches of red ribbon to give it more of a holiday feel.
When you walk into our family room, the first thing you see is our Christmas tree. With the exception of what color lights we use, our tree is the one thing that we decorate the same every year. We use ornaments that were given to us and that we’ve bought over the years. While a themed tree sounds lovely, I’m partial to ours which represents a lot of memories and love.
As you can see, this year was a colored lights year (over 1400 lights!) and the tree is a little smaller than the monsters we’ve gotten for the past few years. While I feel like the smaller tree (still 8 feet tall though) is a little bit of a let down compared to a 10 or 11 foot tree, I have to admit it was MUCH easier to decorate and that it has a nearly perfect shape that the big trees tend to loose as they get bigger. The fact that the top branch is bending a little holding up our large star is just going to be filed under the category of “character” and we’ll leave it at that.
The manger is something very special to me because it was parents’. They handed it down to me a few years ago and I cherish it very much. This year it’s back in front of the tree. Other years it was on display on tables in various places instead.
I love how the fireplace turned out this year. I wanted a white winter scene that I could keep up all winter long.
I bought the wall art from the Home Goods store. I’ve been looking for a white village for a couple of years and I finally found one that I loved from Crate & Barrel. I decided that the village should be the spotlight this year, so I placed it on the mantel. There is a convenient spot in each of the buildings to place a votive candle inside it, which lights them up at night. I recommend battery operated candles to keep the inside of the buildings clean. We use these flameless candles from Amazon for the village.
I added a faux garland, a few little trees, candles, and a string of lights to give the mantel more dimension and interest.
As much as I loved a tree full of lights and ornaments, I also love the complete opposite, a tree with no ornaments. There is something simple and beautiful about a mini tree decorated with one strand of mini lights and a ribbon bow. Plus, it’s an inexpensive way to add some holiday charm to a random corner of a room.
As incentive to wrap all of the gifts, I wrap them up early and use them as part of the decor too. (Yes, there are real gifts inside those boxes.) While this wrapping paper is super pretty with its glitter trees, it’s SUPER messy. Let’s just say that I’ll never get glitter wrapping paper again. Ever. Seriously.
I kept this nook of the family room very simple, with just a couple of added holiday touches. I used the box and book that I already had there but I added some ornaments and a faux green branch inside the box, and a cute brass reindeer next to it.
We spend most of our time in our family room so I like to keep the side tables and coffee table with as little stuff as possible so that we can use them. I added some mini ornaments to a brass bowl, a red candle for a pop of color, and faux greenery to one of my favorite vases.
I stayed with neutral colors for this corner of the family room. I added pillows for warmth and trees for the holiday theme. Do you like the heart garland on the little tree? It’s actually a Valentine garland. I like to think outside of the box with my holiday decorations. I think it works well even for Christmas. The secret appears to be to try to get things for other holidays that are neutral colors. If those hearts were pink it wouldn’t work as well, but white ones make it so you can’t even tell they aren’t just for Christmas.
I might keep this little guy up through February because it’s already decorated for Valentine’s Day. 😉
I bought new fall/winter pillow cases from H&M. I got a variety of neutral colors and textures, which also add warmth to the room. I did a lot of comparison shopping and H&M and Home Goods are the two best places to find good quality for not a lot of money. It’s nice to treat yourself to a new home decor item, but you don’t want to break the bank, especially when you have to buy gifts too. It also helps if you try to buy just pillow cases instead of whole pillows. They are easier to store and you can swap them whenever you like as long as you buy them in the right size.
I added a variety of candles to the coffee table because I love lit candles at night. The warm glow from the candles makes me happy. 🙂 You can’t tell from the picture, but my bigger candles are all scented. I highly recommend only lighting one scent at a time and then use unscented tea lights with it.
Have a happy holidays from my family to yours!
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