Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Everyone that knows me, knows... I have a serious Christmas problem.
Go ahead and begin praying for Harrison the day after Halloween. Matter of fact - we threw a Christmas party last week and a husband of a friend said "I'm glad my wife doesn't go this crazy for Christmas". Truth be told - Harrisons contributions consist of 1 basic job (plus 2 he gave himself)... bringing the boxes down from the attic (he gives his unwanted opinion of my decor and tells me when I've spent too much $$).
This year... he left me up on a ladder in front of the house to go play pickleball (unexpectedly to me)!! But we will go into that when we talk about the outside decor!
Each year, I add to my Christmas decor. So I'm no where near being done (shh don't tell Harrison!) But, it is getting there! This year, we added a Christmas tree to the Dining room decor and finalized the dining room mantel (which was started last year).
The best advice I have for all those out there who are either starting purchasing their Christmas decor in their new homes is that it all doesn't have to look perfect the first year!
This is GREAT advice - that I naturally didn't really follow! Harrison does a great job balancing out my "I need it now" with his "we need to purchase nice things, not cheap things we will have to buy again next year". In doing this - I have learned great ways to get nice things... cheaper. Not to save money necessarily... but to be able to buy more before I hit my yearly Christmas budget.
1. O' Christmas Tree
We have been looking for a "real" looking Christmas tree for years now. We weren't willing to spend the $1000+ on the Balsam Hill Tree that we both adored. Thankfully - our patience paid off... and this year Lowes had a small selection of "real" looking trees for a fraction of the cost! We purchased this tree, which also had a $50 rebate at the time! If you can wait it out - purchase the day after Christmas for a great discount!
The decor we purchased almost 100% this year from Hobby Lobby, Pier 1, and Old Time Pottery. The key to a BEAUTIFUL tree is to make sure you add items that give it dimension and select a color theme you want to stick with in the room! Your whole house doesn't have to be the same theme!
1. Use multiple ribbons at different widths to create interest - I used 4 different ribbon types, at 4 different widths! Widest is the mesh, then a 5" ribbon with writing, a 3" glitter netting, 2.5" design ribbon, 1" glitter mesh! All ribbons on this tree were from Hobby Lobby (50% off starting before Thanksgiving!) Tip: Get your ribbons first - they are the first thing to sell out and they don't replenish them!
2. Add the ornaments next! With dogs and kids around the house at Christmas almost ALL of these ornaments are shatterproof and came in sets of 4-6 balls. The breakable ornaments I placed near the top of the tree for safety and they are typically the most beautiful, so you want to showcase them! Try not to buy too many of the exact same ornaments. 4 of the same ornament is plenty! Make sure to start placing the largest ornaments first to balance the tree and fill in any larger holes in the tree - you want to also add your "favorite" ornaments at this point also - even if they are smaller! For me - these were the squirrels, owls, and moose ornaments! Work your way down to the smallest/least important ornaments - and then finally fillers (solid colored basic ornaments).
3. Lastly, you want to fill in with tree picks! This is when the tree REALLY starts to shift from a basic tree - to a Frontgate tree quickly! If the pick is large - Buy 3-5 - if it smaller try 6-10! Make sure to have varying picks with heights, colors, and decor! I think I have about 12 DIFFERENT styles of picks in the tree! The waterfall picks were the most fun and beautiful this year! Make sure to add some of those! I added picks that I found at various places for weeks after the initial tree was "done"! Adding is a great thing! Also - if you aren't sure if an item will work into your theme or tree - buy it and try it! I took over $250 back to Hobby Lobby this year that just didn't look right on my tree or mantle! It's okay!
Don't get disappointed if you don't LOVE your tree when you start decorating! I hated my tree until I added the very last pick! It takes awhile for all the holes to be filled in and really create interest!
If you have a tree and mantle in the same room - they don't have to be an exact same!! I repeat!!! Do not make the whole room the exact same!
The trick here is to take aspects from each piece and carry some throughout! I'll explain!
I got the mantle garland from the Frontgate outlet in Atlanta for $20!! That's right... Retail for their garland is anywhere from $300-$600! I highly suggest getting wide garland for your mantle! The wider the garland (mine are 12"-15") - the more items you can stuff inside! The garland at Hobby Lobby/Old Time Pottery is very thin 3"-5" - if this is your only option - try getting 2 and twisting them together to make it thicker! The quality of garland really isn't that imporant, as you cover most of it with Christmas Joy and can hardly see the greenery!
Same as you start with the tree... place with the ribbon first! Bunch random spacing - do NOT evenly space even though it goes against all of your OCD instincts! You need to create INTEREST! I used 2 of the same ribbons from the tree and then 2 new ones that were "similar"! This is useful - if you decide to add items to the room another year - you aren't stuck needing the same ribbon which might be discontinued!
You don't need wiring or anything if your greenery is built with wire inside the greens! You can just twist two branches together around the ribbon to hold it down! Don't worry about the twisty greens! That is the places you will hot glue ornaments to hide!
Remember to use HIGH TEMPERATURE hot glue gun and sticks if it truly will be above a fireplace! We learned this the hard way last year when all our glass Santas glue reheated from the fire and smashed down onto the stone floor! (YIKES!!)
Then come up with groupings of ornaments for each major spot that you twisted down mesh! Make sure to do different arrangements of 2-5 ornaments. Again do NOT make them the same! Make sure to get fillers and decorative ornaments in varying sizes to keep interest!
Lastly again - but most importantly... add picks! Add them coming out of all sides - towards you, down, up, to the side! Create as much dimension as you can!!!
I got the sign and glitter tree from Lifeway Christian Resources last Christmas and the Deer from a garage sale!
I then carried the ribbon from the tree and mantle to hold the REAL wreaths from Trader Joes ($7.99) to hang on all the windows in the room! This gives the Christmas smell everyone loves so much, without the mess and watering of a real tree! I left the wreaths exactly how they were purchased! Easy peasy!
Stay tuned for our Santa themed living room and nutcracker exterior!!! Merry Christmas!