If we’re in the car driving around at night and we see a house or a yard all decorated with Christmas lights, there’s one guarantee, and that is that a tiny 2 year old voice will shout “It’s Christmastime!” from the back seat. Yup, it’s hilarious. And it can happen fifteen times within the course of a minute. And we still laugh and cheer every time. Christmas is in fact upon us. And as someone who resists the urge to drag the decorations out for a while and then finally gets the bug and CAN’T FREAKING WAIT, well, that happened yet again, and the house transitioned from “waiting to
exhale be festive” to “so ridicccccculously festive” in a matter of days. And I’m like, “It’s CHRISTMASTIME!”
So I thought I’d take you guys on a little holiday house tour to show you what it’s looking like around here. First, we have the tree in the living room which is so awesome to get to see from the kitchen now that we opened everything up and renovated that space.
Here’s that glorious view through our new kitchen into the living room. It’s so crazy to think that there was a big old wall (and a big old wet bar) blocking all of that openness.
Sometimes I just sit at the island and beam at the tree. Like a goon. #Imacoolmom
Gone are the days of a theme tree and here are the days of popsicle stick reindeer and bells made of paper that come home from school and hang beside everything from a ceramic hamburger ornament to some hand-me-down ornaments from our childhood, as well as other random things we’ve picked up over the years (chihuahuas, our initials, little red bikes). There are even a few ornaments that were homemade-by-grown-ups (read: me) from the days of our first house… like this snow-capped creation and this feather-filled one.
And things like these homemade silhouette ornaments (C’s on the left and T’s on the right). I also have their little hand prints that I traced when they were both small enough for them to fit on a tiny round ornament (more on making both here).
As I mentioned on last week’s podcast (Episode 27), I’m a weirdo, so I filled our random thrifted birdcage next to the fireplace with some old fake presents that used to be stacked on the mantel (the things you have time to make before having two mobile children – now I don’t even wrap real presents and have turned into a gift bag hoarder). There’s really no further explanation for putting fake presents in jail, other than it makes us laugh. The stocking situation is the same as last year. Just one for each kid (Burger gets a big ol’ gift bag full of treats and we don’t typically give each other stocking stuffers) and those cute little strands of elephants are just two of these that I cut down (I made a bunch of ornaments with the rest).
We got a few questions about where the armchair goes when the tree takes over that corner of the living room. As you can see below, we just shift it over to sit in front of the built-ins and it’s nice and cozy. Sometimes I’m even tempted to get a second chair so we can have one there year-round (it’s so sweet to sit in front of the bookcase and flip through a book or a magazine) but then we’d be dragging one of the chairs somewhere a lot further away (maybe in the corner of the office?) every time the tree comes out so I’m staying lazy for now and sticking with one.
Speaking of the built-ins, they are where all of my Christmas miniatures have taken up residence. You may remember when I made these glass boxes full of snow and little ceramic dogs & trees (so easy and so much fun!) and the little angel and Santa & Mrs. Claus figurines that you see are from my childhood. My sweet mom gave them to me this year (there are three more angels and two little mice carrying presents too) and since they’re so small and so fragile I thought that putting them out of reach around the built-ins would be a way to enjoy them without fearing for their imminent peril. I don’t want to jinx myself, but so far, so good.
succulent candle / gifty home book ;)
I also added a little holiday cheer to the kitchen shelves thanks to a few small white ceramic houses and some old ornaments in a bowl (and in a dome-covered cake stand). Oh and see that framed print of the tree? Just a page I tore out of Real Simple’s Christmas issue. It also had a really cute illustration of a fireplace with stockings all hung up. Isn’t it cute? I try to Insta Story those tips when I find something like that, so feel free to follow along.
If you spin around to face the stove, we have two wood trees up there (they were extras from our project with the Children’s Hospital Of Richmond a few years back), and that red bottle brush tree is a Target find since I apparently don’t have enough feather trees and bottle brush trees already. Same for the white one on the counter in the background. Yup, and a few more ornaments in a bowl. I think at this point you can call that my signature move (along with The Carlton). I also broke out the green cloth napkins. #wildwoman
I always like to have a little holiday flavor (flava?) in the foyer, but this year I kept it super simple. Just one of my favorite old white feather trees and some red rubber boots with little faux evergreen sprigs in them. Last year they were out on the porch but I didn’t get to goony-grin at them enough since we always come in the garage. Problem solved. Also, I still giggle-shout BOOTS WITH THE FIR every time I see them. Come to think about it, I think I know where our son gets his gleeful spontaneous outbursts from.
Oh and see those pretty paper flowers? I bought them from a local craft fair here in Richmond, but Carrie, the girl who makes them, sells them online too. I love that they’ll never need water and they look so sweet. And the real Christmas miracle is that they haven’t been crushed by little hands yet (so far there has only been one harmless attempt to very gently sniff them).
similar feather tree / paper flowers
We also did a little faux greenery down the railing, which we have done for a few years now. I always almost skip it (there are some cable ties involved under the ribbons to get it to stay) but once it’s up I’m all “don’t be such a Christmas wimp, self.” It’s really festive coming down the stairs and seeing it come into view.
We also have a little tree in our daughter’s room that we picked up last year, just to give her something entirely her own (she helps us decorate ours, but said she would love to have a little one glowing in her room too – and we had some fun picking up some felt ornaments for it). It came with a little metal stand, but I took that off and I just shove it into this hand-painted basket every year, which I think looks so cute in the corner of her room.
And as we mentioned on the ol’ podcast, we added a mini tree to the bonus room this year. And we’re in love! As soon as you get to the top of the stairs, you can see it glowing down the hall, and it looks so sweet in front of that window, between our homemade shelves. The cool thing is that our driveway/garage is right under this window, so we get to see it glowing from outside, which is nice since we rarely get a view of our living room tree through the back window (unless we’re out there running after Burger).
Side note: I hear myself saying “on the podcast” a lot these days – so if you wanna learn how to listen, it just takes a few clicks – and we share a ton about our house/life/DIY over there, so it’s a nice way to get a little extra while washing dishes or driving or cleaning or doing anything else that could be more fun with two over-excited home-obsessed Virginians in your ears.
Isn’t this tree sweet? Here’s where we found it, and it looks pretty real. I love that we filled it with a bunch of ornaments we already had and let the kids pick out a few new ones when we grabbed it (like this one and this one). The felted hot chocolate mug might be my thing ever – and seeing your kids skip up to the tree and pretend to take a sip from it is pretty adorable.
big Mooshka doll / smaller Mooshka doll / hot cocoa ornament / Robo-Sauce book
Oh and as for outside, we juuuuust finished this weekend. We keep things pretty simple (my favorite things are the red lanterns that we fill with lights for some extra glow on the steps).
Oh and I made another homemade wreath at this fun event with the girls (remember I did it last year too?). It’s called a Wine & Wreath at this vineyard in VA called Rassawek, so that’s on the front door looking all lush and shiny as only magnolia leaves can.
Random aside: For anyone asking what jeans these are on FB/IG, they’re these and I’m obsessed with them because the fit is so good. Didn’t even have to hem them, which never happens (short girl problems). The coat’s a TJ Maxx find so it’s probably a season or two old (it’s Kenneth Cole), but this one’s super similar.
Back to our outdoor decor. We got a little lazy and opted not to hang the wreaths that we used to hang on every window. Now that we have some pretty landscape lighting, that adds some nice glowing ambiance along with the candles in the windows (the wreaths weren’t lit so you couldn’t really see them at night much anyway).
But to make up for the Skipping Of The Wreaths, we hung our Moravian stars on the back porch and they’re so pretty! They’re one of my favorite Christmas decorations to break out because they feel sort of special and different yet super classic at the same time. They go with anything and everything. Even an egg chair. And they just plug in and we swag them with three little white cup hooks – so setting them up each year takes like four minutes, tops.
Overall, I’d diagnose us as 100% done decorating, and 110% excited. In case you’re wondering, that’s Will-Ferrell-in-Elf level excited. IT’S CHRISTMASTIME!!!
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