My living room feeds child Carlee and my belief Santa is actually real... if you just believe!
This theme is my absolute FAVORITE! There is a lot going on - and a lot to decorate in this room! But it's not finished yet!
1. The Tree
Each Christmas, Harrison and I exchange ornaments that reminds us of each other or something we did that year! Because of this... the tree's theme is a little blurred with all the colors and different style of ornaments we have collected.
Harrison and I have collected ornaments for the past 13 years everywhere we traveled - that is what we would buy as a momento (not some dinky shot glass or t-shirt)!
But each ornament is very important to us - and a wonderful trip down memory lane as we decorate the tree each year! I highly suggest you to start this tradition with your husband or kids NOW!
Because of the variety - the ribbons and picks for this tree was very important to try and ground the tree. I chose to pull in green, red and gold basic color scheme for Christmas that I knew all ornaments would blend in with!
Then I added small sections of a sparkly Santa ribbon that helped to tie in all the glass traveling Santa's we've collected scattered around the tree! With this ribbon - I didn't want it going everywhere around the tree | it would get too busy and draw your attention away from the ornaments. So I cut 24" pieces and placed the ends inside the tree, and the loop on the outside. This way you can control placement and you don't have to have it everywhere!
Keys to a beautiful "random" tree? Lots and lots of lights... the tree is pre-lit.... then we added about 12 strands of "twinkling" lights on top of it. The random twinkling lights really make it special! 3-4 different width ribbons/mesh! See the Winter Wonderland post for more information on this! Raise the tree on a stand! This really creates DRAMA in the living room! This tree is about 13" tall now! It's huge! It also provides a beautiful home for the gifts to have space and stack up under the tree!! This stand we made - but there are LOTS of tutorials on Pinterest to follow!
What I would change? This year the ribbon I chose for the tree, didn't have wire on the edges. So I each time I created a bow... it would fall down and look TERRIBLE! So I had to use tree picks - which just get lost. Next year... I'll work on doing a better (dramatic) tree topper.
2. The Mantle
This mantle I don't love yet. I love the garland and Mark Roberts Elves. The poinsettias were a big add this year that really helped pull in the reds and draw the eye up to the Lifeway 2018 Christmas In-store Signage.
I think more stockings would help... my family has a tradition of someone else cross stitching a stocking for you. My grandma made my oldest sister Ashleys, My memaw made Kristins, and my mom made mine! I thought - how nice to include Harrison in the family... I'll make his. BIG MISTAKE... it took about 2 and 1/2 years... It turned out beautiful... but making one for my dogs... has been a lot slower moving. Not a lot of motivation there. I told Harrison he has to make it for our child (if we ever have one).
I'd love to get a big painting of Santa over the fireplace (which we all know I'll have to hate-paint), and another nutcracker on the right side of the fireplace.
Again here - I only used 2 of the ribbons from the Christmas tree... then I used 2 others from the garland up the stairs. Don't make everything so matchy! This way you can add year to year and not need extra ribbons!
3. The Garland and Dickens Village
This is hard to photograph. Looks better in person, I promise!
The biggest question I get here is how do I store all that garland? To be honest.... we take out the picks... put them in a plastic bin... then put large hooks all around the ceiling in the attic - and just hang them up! This way, each year... we just bring it down and add back the picks! Easyyyyy!!! I do need Harrison to bring it all down with me as its all 1 piece (its permanently connected)!
This is the $29.99 pre-lit garland from Hobby Lobby ($14.99 before Thanksgiving). 5 strands going up the stairs, and 1 on the other side! Due to the length - you need a lot of picks, ribbons and ornaments. For this one - I use almost ALL shatterproof, with a couple of Santas and Nutcrackers to tie it into the tree and mantle! I bought the big tube of different color ornaments (glittery, solids and mattes) from TJ Maxx and another set from Home Depot of shatterproof outdoor ornaments in a tube. This is the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to fillers! I used these in almost all decor around the house to fill in!
The Dickens village I purchased about 10 from the Red Collection in Greensboro (thrift store) for $5 each. I added 4 more this year from Ebay and Facebook marketplace (people basically give them away). I love them. I have built a village with school, church, theater, inn, dentist office, and a pub! It is a great way to add lights above our built in and give a frame to our Christmas card collection! This is my FAVORITE part about Christmas! We LOVE getting cards! Please don't forget to send us your cards each year!
Which theme do you like better? Winter Wonderland or Santa's Village!?