Christmas decor (and sneak peek house tour!)

I’m excited to be participating in The Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes!  I haven’t really shown any pictures of our new house yet because I wanted to get some decorations up.  Well, I still don’t have curtains in most rooms, pictures on the wall, or even all the furniture I want, so still no full house tour yet, but I do have our Christmas decorations up and I want to show you those.

(P.S. If you want to see my home apartment tour from last year, check it out here)

So, step into our home.  Enjoy the Christmas music and this cup of hot chocolate I made you…I mean, turn on Pandora to a Christmas station and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and take a virtual peek into our home :).

living roomAs you walk in the front door you’ll see our living room.  This is the main area that I decorate for Christmas.

tulle and lightsI used the all-inspiring Pinterest for many of my Christmas decorations this year…including my tulle and lights.  I just cut strips of tulle and tied them in between the lights on a strand of white lights.  This would be beautiful on a mantle but we don’t have a mantle so…the sofa table it is.

Christmas treeI already showed you all the details of our Christmas tree, but here it is again.

garland 1This garland I made it probably my favorite Christmas decoration this year.  It was super easy to do (another Pinterest find), I cut circles of various sizes out of Christmas-y scrapbook paper, and sewed them together into a long strand.  An easy and cheap way to add some Christmas pretties!  It can be done in any color combination too…so I’m definitely going to be using this for other holidays and events!

pie safeI used some of the extra branches from our Christmas tree and my Merry Christmas blocks to decorate the top of the pie safe.

stockingsThe stockings were hung on the barstools with care…

Christmas cardsI used a similar method to last year and hung the Christmas cards with clothespins.  I’d love to make a cute Christmas card display thing that I can use year to year, but so far that hasn’t happened so twine and clothespins are working for us right now.

Christmas countdownWe have this funny little alcove in the living room next to the bathroom, and this bookcase fits just perfectly.  I’m using it to hold Michael’s Christmas Countdown bags.

Willow Tree nativityMy Willow Tree nativity is on top.

tablescapeIn the dining room we have a centerpiece (see more about how I made it here) on the table.

china cabinetAnd the china cabinet hold Michael’s collection of Santa’s that he had from when he was little.

Michael's tree

And then finally in our bedroom, we have Michael’s little Christmas tree.

A few simple decorations this year, nothing huge since we just moved in, but still beautiful and festive and very us.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas countdown

I’m really big on traditions.  One that we’ve done for about as long as I can remember is a Christmas countdown.  There have been a few different types but the one we (when I say we, I mean my parents and siblings) have used for that past several years has little drawers in which Mom puts candy, little presents, or clues to find bigger presents.  That’s right, last year at ages 25, 23, 20, and 18 we still checked the boxes for our gifts.  For Michael and me that meant when we got to Springfield Christmas Eve we got to open all 24 little boxes since we hadn’t been there to open them on the correct days.  And I believe that tradition will continue – and I don’t even care that we are probably too old for all this – I love it!  And I love that Mom still does this for us.

Like I said, somedays there are pieces of candy or the like, but somedays there are clues.  Mom is an awesome clue-maker.  She writes them in riddles (they always rhyme – I don’t know how she does that!) so you have to figure out the riddle and then go to that place in the house to find your gift.  The scavenger hunt around the house is my favorite part about our countdown box.

This is the countdown box at my parents house with our loot from last year – those little slips of paper are some of Mom’s clues.

So since I love this tradition so much I decided to create a Christmas countdown for Michael at our house.  At some point I would like a reusable thing like Mom’s box but for this year I decided just to use paper bags.

I numbered each bag, strung twine up in the little hallway that goes from the living room to the kitchen, and tied the bags to the twine.  I can’t tell you what all is in the bags since Michael hasn’t opened them yet but there are things like favorite candy or homemade coupons.  I didn’t do any clues like Mom, although I plan to do that in coming years, but for this year all the presents are in the bags.

They were made very quickly and aren’t super fancy but they work for us this year.  It was a fast and pretty cheap project if you are looking for something to do for your sweetie this Christmas.