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!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

I’ve never been one for themed trees….or I guess I am if the theme is colored-lights-meets-country-meets-sentimental-ornaments-of-all-types-and-colors….’cause that’s basically what our tree consists of and I love it!  I like the idea of all white lights or a tree decorated with a color scheme, and someday if we ever have a second tree I might do one like that, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without my colorful, crazy tree.

Christmas tree 1

Our beautiful tree – I love it!  Someday I’m going to have a real tree skirt, but until I get around to making one, I just use some fabric (with small white stars on it) draped around the bottom.

burlap garland

I really wanted to have a garland of some sort on our tree this year.  Most of the ribbon I found was too shiny for what I wanted and I couldn’t find exactly what I had in mind.  You can actually buy burlap ribbon, but I couldn’t find any in the stores, I was too impatient to order some and wait for it to arrive, and I new I could make my own for much cheaper.  So I ended up just cutting strips of burlap and draping the around the tree like ribbon.  The edges aren’t nice and neat, but that’s ok with me.

burlap bowI also used the burlap and make a bow for the top of the tree.  I’ve never had a tree topper because I’ve never been able to find or make one that I like, so this is our first one and I really like how it turned out (I need to get my handy husband to trim of that top branch though, huh?)

star cinnamon ornamentGrowing up my mom made some cinnamon ornaments that smelled so amazing year after year.  I found out it is really easy (mix equal parts applesauce and cinnamon, roll out like dough, cut with cookie cutters, and bake on a cookie sheet at 200* until dry) and they made our house smell amazing!  I made a bunch of little stars.

barn star ornamentI also found these great paper ornaments at Hobby Lobby that looked like barn stars (stars are kinda my thing, if you haven’t noticed) so I gave them a turquoise base coat and then dabbed some red on top with a paper towel.

Of course I had to play around and practice taking pictures of the tree (I never can quite capture in a picture the way the tree looks in real life).

Christmas tree 2I love looking at all the beautiful lights twinkling in the dark.

Christmas tree 3It looks like the tree is glowing

bokehLovely bokeh (and coincidentally, exactly what the tree looks like to me when I don’t have my contacts in….)

A Christmas tree is definitely my favorite Christmas decoration!

Christmas decorations

I’m super excited to be linking up my Christmas decor to The Nester‘s Christmas Tour of Homes!

I’ve never gone all out for Christmas (we’re hardly around to enjoy it, I’m usually super busy with wrapping up the end of the semester, I don’t have lots Christmas decorations, I have very little place to store them, etc. etc.) but this year I went even more minimalist.  Since we’re renting a little townhouse until we can sell our old house in Lexington we have a houseful of stuff in a small little space.  I left several things in the boxes and just got out some of our stuff.  We also got a teensy baby tree because we have no where to put a big tree.  At first that made me a little sad but now I’ve come to like our little tree and I especially like that it looks like it’s decorated with a bajillion ornaments since they’re all squished together rather than spread out all over a big tree.

the yarn wreath I made for the front door

(p.s. I went outside in shorts and a t-shirt to take this picture and wasn’t even cold because it’s 65 degrees right now – not exactly Christmasy weather)

(p.p.s. last year on this same day -the Wednesday before Christmas break- it was cold and snowy, so much that we got out of school on Thursday and Friday – the only time in my life I can remember having any snow days before Christmas.  Amazing how different the temperatures can be from year to year)

See the teensy baby tree – it makes a cute little coffee table decoration

Someday I’ll have a real tree skirt but for the past few years I’ve just used a piece of fabric with stars on it

See those 3D looking glasses on top of the Christmas books?  Those were bought at Cracker Barrel a few years ago and when you put them on and look at Christmas lights it makes them look like snowmen.  Probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever bought for less than a dollar!

(try not to notice how there are no presents under the tree – it’s definitely not because I have less than half of my present bought and none of the presents wrapped…)

my Willow Tree Nativity set – I love the simplicity and rusticness of Willow Tree figurines

jingle bell wreath on the bathroom door

I might actually use the cute red chalkboard there in the hallway if I knew where the chalk and the pushpins went to after we moved *facepalm*

on the other side of the hallway facing the little chalkboard is the countdown I made Michael

Because our tree was so small (and we’ve had big trees in the past) I had a ton of Christmas lights that I didn’t need for the tree.  I draped one strand over my favorite decoration, the fence.

The china cabinet (yes, in the living room – lack of space, remember?)

the reversible Merry Christmas blocks I made recently

jingle bell garland – I love the tiny stars cut out of the jingle bells!

This Charlie Brown snow globe was given to me my senior year of high school by my student council advisor.  I believe that our food drive theme that year was A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Michael was given these Santas sometime before we were married (by whom I am not quite sure)

a little awkward with our kissing wedding picture in the background

The nesting Santas were also Michael’s from childhood

our stockings – since we don’t have a mantle this is working for us this year

These are from Cracker Barrel but someday I want us to have personalized stockings (maybe now that I’ve learned how to sew I can make some for next year!)

fun little boxes from HomeGoods

my favorite Christmas decoration – as long as I have a tree (preferably live) I’m happy

no tree topper this year (I have one but it’s way too big for this tree) but this ornament hangs perfectly on the tall pointy branch on the top

It says “Family: my favorite Christmas tradition is spending the season with you” – I think I’ve mentioned before that I love traditions so this ornament is perfect for me

Ok I’m not going to show you all my ornaments but I have to show off my newest one from this year – a little clipboard with a star.  Eek so cute!

That’s pretty much it.

We do have Michael’s Christmas tree in our bedroom, but that’s it.  Maybe someday I’ll have the time/space/desire to decorate all over the house but for now, this is perfect for us.

Michael’s Christmas tree

We started dating in July.  That meant that Michael’s 18th birthday in November was the first gift-giving event of our relationship.  I was clueless about what to get a boy – a boyfriend, no less- for his birthday.  Thankfully I have a creative mom who helped me out (and a dad who has similar interests to Michael who helped me with Christmas ideas).  Mom suggested that I make Michael a little personalized Christmas tree.

It wasn’t the fanciest but it was made with love and has lots of meaning.  Michael’s parents used to put it up every year at their house until we got married and then we started putting it in our house/apartment/townhouse.  For several years after that first year I would give Michael some more ornaments for the little tree but it’s finally gotten quite full so now I just buy ornaments for our big tree.  At the time that I made the tree there weren’t tons and tons of small ornaments to choose from so several of the “ornaments” were dollhouse pieces or other random things that I attached to the tree.

Here’s his little tree sitting in our bedroom

The “present” is a full-sized ornament but it is much too big to go on the tree so I just set it under the tree.  Michael’s dog is a black lab, hence the ornament.

I just love that rifle ornament up at the top of the picture

Another black lab ornament and some construction ornaments

fishing ornaments, tools, and bullet casings


a trumpet (he played in our high school marching band)

you can see in the background how I glued string around the bullet to turn it into an ornament

more tools – isn’t that drill the cutest?

This was a fun little project.  I really loved picking out and making ornaments that were meaningful to Michael.  And every year I love getting it out and looking back at that very first gift from 8 years ago.