Christmas decorating, for me, starts with picking out that “perfect” tree. I always want the Norman Rockwell experience complete with snowfall, hot chocolate, and cutting down the perfect tree while singing Christmas carols…Peace, Love and Harmony. In reality, my life experiences are more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – – trucking through the woods, frostbitten toes, frozen eyelids, forgetting a saw, and picking a tree that wouldn’t fit in Times Square.
This year I decided to change it up – – I was determined to find a Charlie Brown tree! Our house is small and last year’s tree felt like it was eating the living room. Our first house had 12′ ceilings, so adjusting to our current 7.5′ ceiling height has been done on a learning curve. Well, in searching for my “Charlie-esque” tree, I found them to be quite sad. They were misshapen and small and twiggy (yeah I know, kinda the point). But most importantly, they didn’t feel like Christmas – -not even remotely close to my Norman Rockwell idea…more like Tim Burton. Luckily, the very last tree in a line of sadness was actually perfect! It was 7′ tall in all of its glory. So, with a tree picked out, it was time to decorate! Oh, and as for my Norman Rockwell tree picking experience? It was 40 degrees, raining, and I had a cold. I did get a cup of coffee, though!
This tree turned out to be great. The house feels like Christmas – – warm, cozy, a time and place to spend with family and appreciate what you do have.
About my tree
skirt box – – Year after year I searched for a tree skirt that I could love. Each year I came up empty. Finally, realization struck that I just don’t like tree skirts! I’ve seen galvanized tubs – – love. I’ve seen baskets – – also love. I realized that if it looked rustic, I was drawn to it. Unfortunately, my realization came a few weeks too late, because everywhere I went, the good stuff was sold out. What to do, what to do…make one! I used our leftover hickory hardwood flooring, mitered the corners, and made a super simple 4 sided box. Some glue and nails are all that hold it together. I love it! It coordinates with the floor (obviously, because that is my floor!) and has the perfect rustic touch. No more tree skirts!
Trying to be on top of things, and not shopping on December 23 (which I’ve done, me and all the other men, no offense), I started my shopping early and got to wrapping early, too. I found this simple and rustic wrapping paper that coordinates perfectly with jute and burlap.
To bring the nature in, I used tree branch slices as my name tags. I found a few fallen branches (in my neighbors yard, whatever – – I asked after I took them – – great neighbor I am!) about 1.5″ in diameter, and using a miter saw, I cut off pieces about 1/4″ thick. I used a pilot drill bit to cut a hole at the top to run a piece of jute twine through and complete the wrapping. For the burlap ribbon, I cut off the sewn edges (of a burlap table runner) to give it a frayed and rustic look.
I was so excited to break out my new pillows for Christmas this year! I picked these two up at the Country Living Fair back in September. Next year I’m buying more, because these pillows are just so great! The fabric is so soft and the colors look vintage. These blow my Target pillows out of the water! Sorry Target. Think a deer pillow can stay out all winter? I may need more than just 1 month with this guy!
This year’s tree is still pretty big…granted it’s only 7′ tall, but when you live in a small house, that’s pretty big. In order to make a small home feel festive and happy without feeling cluttered, you must remove to add. In other words, for everything that comes in, something must go out. So, tree in, console table out. Small houses can work!
The old “Happy Fall“ sign was taken down and replaced with a more appropriate “Merry Christmas”. One day I’m going to get pictures into that window…probably.
The little trees are called Euro Christmas Trees. I was told they should last years, and shouldn’t get much more than a few inches bigger. Here’s hoping I can keep them alive!
Moving on from the dining room, we have the entryway with a DIY Advent Calendar Tree.
Where do you put stockings when you don’t have a fireplace? On the stair railing, of course! I used pine rope garland on the stairs to go with my “vintage” stockings.
True story…Over the summer Anthony and I were antique shopping and we walked into this super cute antique store having a Christmas sale. I saw these three stockings hanging on the wall and ripped them down as fast as I could! I had been searching for vintage or grain sack stockings forever. I got my vintage stockings home, and feeling sad I had to put them into storage (it was summer, after all) I ran my hand along them and peered inside. What did I find inside? “Made in China” – – So much for my antique store find! No worries though, I still love them.
And because I’m not known to do things the “normal” way, I’m going to end my Christmas decorating with the front porch…and Gigi, of course.
I love this season and hope your Christmas season is filled with peace, joy and happiness. Merry Christmas!