Friday, December 9, 2011

Decking The Halls 2011

I keep my Christmas decorating pretty simple. Over the last couple of years, I've pared down my Christmas stuff a LOT. I realized that most of it was handed down or given to me, and didn't reflect my taste - and also, that there was too much of it. So this December, I'm continuing to invest in new Christmas decor that I can enjoy for years to come. 

First order of business: my new Christmas tree! I've had fake trees all my life, except for a couple of Christmases with my college and post-college roommate, Kathy, who grew up with real ones. My most recent fake tree was a Target base model. It was fine, but kind of short and not realistic-looking at all. This fall I started entertaining the idea of a pre-lit tree, because putting lights on the tree is not my forte. I found one I loved at Hobby Lobby, but was aghast at the $200 sale price. So I had given up, and was in the process of taking out my old tree, when I got a Bed Bath & Beyond circular with the exact same tree for $80 (plus 20% off coupon). I was out the door minutes later and snapped up the last one in stock. It's 7.5 feet, pre-lit, and has little pinecones on it. I LOVE IT.

This larger tree is just perfect for this number of ornaments! I don't like the tree to look too cluttery. Oh, and the old tree has found a happy new home at my brother's apartment in Indiana. :)

Inspired by this P. Allen Smith wreath, I did a total overhaul of my fake Christmas wreath (it used to have poinsettias on it). Cost: $3 for the new ribbon. Turns out I have zero bow-tying skills - this was the best I could do after several demonstrations from one of my crafty co-workers.

I'm in a trifle-dish-centerpiece rut, but it's just so easy! Both placemats are from Bed Bath & Beyond. I've looked everywhere for a nice table runner, and now have plans to make a copycat version of a Williams-Sonoma one I saw for next year.

This is the Nativity I grew up with. (My parents gave it to me after my dad bought a hand-carved set in Bethlehem. Seriously.) It's a little rustic, but that seems appropriate. I also think it goes well under my Hope platter. :)

I feel like my mantel needs something extra (garlands?), but at the same time I like the plain look. The Lenox holly votive lamps were gifts. Fake amaryllis; tin vase borrowed from my parents. The cat stockings are from Target, and I found my beautiful velvet stocking for $2 last year at the Pottery Barn outlet. (I bought two as a statement of faith.) I want to get it embroidered with my name or a B.

By the time I bought the stockings, PB Outlet was out of the matching tree skirt. This year I decided that if I didn't track down that tree skirt, I would regret it forever. So I found and bought one on eBay! It was definitely a splurge, but again, I plan to enjoy it for many years.


I wouldn't normally post such a blurry picture, but this one cracks me up. Gandalf was sitting on top of the fridge, and I was trying to get a shot of him with the (fake) mistletoe. Classic. I have lots of cute cat Christmas photos to post another day.