Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas! (Christmas Decor - Day 3)

Welcome back to day 3 of Christmas Week!

Yesterday I shared some of my most favorite family Christmas traditions, but I forgot to mention one....


Every year before Thanksgiving, I take the boys to Hobby Lobby to sift through the vast assortment of ornaments before they're all picked over {Hobby Lobby for the's just the easiest.  HUGE assortment and they're always half off...which really means that's probably the real price, but whatever.  It's easy!}  I let the boys choose 2-3 ornaments a piece.  They have no restrictions on what they can choose.  Basically, anything goes.  As gaudy and ridiculous as the ornament might be, everything is fair game.  I absolutely love to see what they choose because the ornaments tend to reflect their interests and things that are on their hearts at that particular moment in time.  I like to think I have frozen moments of time hanging on my tree.  One day those moments won't be on my tree anymore.  I'll give them to the boys when they get married and they can use them to decorate their own tree.  Their wives may hate me for it, but I think it's a pretty sweet and sentimental idea...and it sure will give them a head start on tree decor!

That to be said, today we're taking a tour of our Christmas decor and while we're on the subject of ornaments, let's start with my trees.  This year, we have 2 1/2 trees.  1 at the front of the house, 1 in the kitchen, and a tiny tree in the boys' room.

Here's the tree in the front room....
Stuffed with lots of "filler" and sentimental ornaments.  I'd love to have a "catalog perfect" tree with matching ornaments, but that's just not my life.  I love the random variety.  I love that each ornament has a little story to tell.  That's what I used to love most about my grandma's tree and the tree my mom put up every year.  I hope that's something my boys love about ours, too!

Here's the tree in our breakfast nook...

This one is a little more matchy-matchy.  I didn't intend for it to be that way, it just sorta happened.   I absolutely love this tree!  It's teeny and flocked and it reminds me of a tree my Grandma Gloria used to have in her house.  

Now let's head back into the front of the house.  This is the space you see when you walk in the front door...
I always struggle to decorate this space.  It's just a bunch of Christmas greenery, some chalk art, and a random assortment of apothecary jars filled with ornaments, pinecones, and tree beads.  
Chalkboard - Marshall's last year {I wrote the wording}
Apothecary jars - all from Marshall's, collected over the last 5ish years {give or take}
Baskets on the bottom shelf - Ross { within the last month}

On the opposite side of that couch table is our living room.  Is this what's referred to as a "great room" up north?!  I can never remember.  Anyway...moving right's our fireplace and mantle this year...
I LOVE the way it turned out!!  Mostly because I'm in love with my print from Lindsay Letters :)  (I got the 32x36" just in case you're wondering!)
O, Holy Night Canvas - 32x36 - Lindsay Letters
Stockings - Hobby Lobby {last year}
White pitchers - part of my ever growing collection, from Marshall's/HomeGoods (I've been collecting these for about 2 years now!)
Artichoke finials - Ross {within the last week, always hit or miss!}

Here's a bigger view of that space.  I have bookcases flanking either side of the fireplace and they are the BANE of my exisitence!!!  Such a BEAST to decorate!  I decided to keep it really, REALLY simple this year.  

                                                      Here's the shelf to the left of the fireplace.  

All of my Santa figurines are Possible Dreams and they're gifts from my mother-in-law (it's a tradition!  We get them every year!!!}
My Willow Tree nativity set is also a gift from my mother-in-law.  It's my most favorite piece of Christmas decor.  They freak my husband out because they have no faces.  Bless him.
The two Christmas trees on either side of the nativity are from Hobby Lobby {$5 each!}
The Santa Claus sign is from Marshall's {last year} and so is the "Get Your Jingle On" sign {this year}

These are the top two shelves of the bookcases to the right of the fireplace.  The bottom two shelves are blocked by the TV {praise Jesus!! Less to worry about!}
My mother-in-law used to own the most darling little shop.  She's an AMAZING florist and she has a KILLER eye for decorating.  She had tons of the most amazing Christmas goodies a few years back and that's where I scored the trees, Santa bucket with berries, the two glittery fat Santas, and the funky old Santa to the left of the barnhouse on top. (Speaking of the barnhouse, I love that thing.  It was made with the wood from the barn my husband grew up with.  My in-laws recently had the barn torn down and rebuilt and they used some of the wood to make these little bird/barnhouses. LOVE.}
The "Have Yourself a Merry little Christmas" sign is from Hobby Lobby {this year} and the Santa next to it is from Marshall's {this year}.
The subway art from "Elf" is from Ross {this year} and the Santa to the left of that is from Marshall's {a few years back}.  

My brother just built me this AMAZING coffee table and it's the perfect space for my little tray filled with Christmas greens, pinecones, candles, and a random reindeer :)

The tray is from Ross {this year}.
I've had the candles and hurricanes since we got married 10 years ago and I have NO clue where I got the random reindeer.  He's like a little gnome.  He just follows us wherever we go.

Sitting right on the fireplace are a little collection of trees that were gifted to me by my mom...I think. 
We also have this ridiculously hilarious "Santa bust" that a friend of mine laughed and laughed about every time she saw it.  I think of her every time I look at it!  I've had him for at least 6 years and he was an after-Christmas find at Hobby Lobby.
The Santa wish list was a fun find at The Nutcracker Market this year and I got it from The Round Top Collection.  One of my FAVORITE booths there!!! 
My boys are OBSESSED with it and they're constantly wanting to draw pictures on it for Santa.  It might not be in the "cutest" condition, but it's pretty darn precious to me...their hearts are all over it!

On the wall opposite the built-in bookcases is this little gallery wall and buffet.  Pretty simple.  Nothing too exciting.

Again with the white pitchers.  I have so many in my collection that I wanted to use a few as part of my decor this year.  They're sitting on top of an old distressed shutter.  The red jingle bell garland-y stuff was also another fun find at the Nutcracker Market and that was from The Round Top Collection as well.  I had NO clue what I was going to do with it when I bought it, but it was only $5 so I knew I'd find somewhere to put it!  HA!!!  
The little Santas were from Marshall's {this year}.  Can you see a theme here?!?!

These bookcases are far from finished...and a little scary...and they're in the same room as the Christmas tree.  Another little space for all the Santas from my mother-in-law.  Now if I could just finish decorating, I'd be pumped.

I still haven't tackled the dining table...and I'm not 100% sure I know what I'm doing with it this year...but here's a little nook in the dining room.

I got those amazing little trees from Kirkland's in Indiana about 5-6 years ago.  
The "believe" sign was a fun little find at Marshall's {this year}.
The basket on the bottom shelf of the table is from Ross {within the last month} and it's holding a bunch of Christmas greenery.

This little set-up is right across from the table above.
The subway art is from Marshall's {this year} and that little Santa is my MOST favorite in my collection.  I'd also like to tell you that about 10 minutes after I snapped this picture, my boys were running through the house {after I told them 15 times to stop} and they knocked my favorite Santa off the table....and it broke :(  I might have overreacted.  About a Santa.  Not proud of my Mommy Dearest moment at all.  I yelled.  LOUDLY.  And the boys felt awful.  And then so did I.  Because really.  It's a Santa.  A MATERIAL THING.  I get it.  But gosh darnit...I told them about 15 times to stop running!!!  They know better!!!  A little E600 fixed that Santa right up and he's just as good as new.  And I'm pretty sure the boys will never run in the house again...until the next time anyway ;)

Now we're in the kitchen.  We just had the cabinets painted and I got rid of all my top-of-the-cabinet decor so this room is still a work in progress.  I haven't really decorated this space for Christmas other than my little coffee tray.

And really, I didn't even do this.  I came home from the grocery store one day to find it "styled".  Ha.  I did the chalk art and added the Santa {again, from Marshall's this year...I LOVE that place!}, but Mr. Spouse decided to add our ONLY two Christmas mugs to the mix to finish it all off.  I had a couple of my favorite mugs sitting there beforehand and he hid those from me.  He's a living Clark Griswold I tell ya.
The other little tray on the top right is sitting on a different counter.  That "Merry Christmas" sign {Marshall's, this year} is covering an outlet.  That Santa is from WAL MART!!!!!  Yes, WAL MART!  I got that about 8 years ago.  It was one of our first Christmas decorations as a married couple.  I wish they still carried stuff that cute!!!  The apothecary jar is filled with some kind of potpourri business I got from Illuminations when they were going out of business and that little tree is from Hobby Lobby {several years ago}.

Moving right through the kitchen and going back to the breakfast nook is this little random centerpiece in the middle of my tiny table.  SO simple.
I found that ball at Marshall's {shocker!} and filled it with pinecones and set it on top of some Christmas greenery.  The stand is a flea market find and it's sitting on top of a charger I recently found at Target.

To the right of that centerpiece is a wall and on that wall are these shelves {built by my husband}.  
I can't remember where I got those Merry Christmas bocks, but I've had them for YEARS!  The little finnials on either side of that are from Hobby Lobby and I've had them just as long.   That tall Santa on the far right on the top shelf was another find at WAL MART about 8 years ago.  Y'all...I LOVE that Santa.  Every year I pull him out I wish I would've been able to afford to have bought about 10 more at the time.  They had several different varieties.  I just LOVE him!!!  The Santa next to him was a Marshall's find a couple of years ago and the Santa next to the chalk art was from Hobby Lobby last year.

Here's the powder bath in our main hallway that runs between the front room and the living room.  

I love this little space.  It's seriously the tiniest powder bath you've ever seen, but there's something charming about it that I just love.  The shelves are from Target and we {by we I mean my husband} installed them a few months ago.  I drew the chalk art above the toilet and that little tin Santa in front of it is from Target {no lie, about 13 years ago...I remember because I spent one of my first teacher paychecks buying Christmas stuff the day after Christmas that year.  I was FREAKING out because I spent $45 and that was WAY more than what I had budgeted...but I did get what I thought was a lot that day and I still have most of it in random places around the house!}  The Merry Christmas sign on the top shelf is from Hobby Lobby {this year} and the Santa next to it is from my mother-in-law.  She knows how much I love adding to my Santa collection and this was a fun gift from her shop!   The tree on the bottom shelf was another purchase from my $45 spending spree at Target 13 years ago and that Santa next to it is from Hobby Lobby {this year}.  The swag above the mirror was also from Hobby Lobby and I scored that a few years ago during an after Christmas sale.  I really don't like spending full price on ANYTHING!!!!  

Now that I'm about to post, I'm realizing I didn't take a picture of the tree in the boys room.  Not a big deal.  It's not decorated at all.  In fact, it's not fully decorated until December 24th.  We add a new advent ornament to it every day starting on December 1st.  We use the Meaningful Christmas devotional and we LOVE it!!!!   This has been one of our favorite family traditions for the last 4 years!!!  A tree full of ornaments handmade by some of my most precious friends.  Nothing better!

Anyway, that concludes our tour :)  Ha.
I only decorate the main areas because our house has such an open floor plan...and in all honesty, I'm not about spending a fortune on decor for rooms no one will ever see.  I would LOVE to have a tree in my room, but dang...that seems like a lot of extra work.  And while I know the juice would be worth the squeeze, I sure would be cussing myself during the take-down process :)  That to be said, you can bet I'll be looking for a tree on sale after the holidays are over ;)  

I know my decor isn't "Pinterest pretty".  Sometimes I think it would be amazing to change it all up and switch to all things burlap and rustic, but that's not my life.  And that's not what my boys have grown to love.  And in all honesty, that's not what I love either?! {although I am SO drawn to it and I think it's BEYOND stunning!!!}   We love our simple Christmas decor.  I love everything about it.  It all means something to me.  I love all the bright colors.  I love the sentiment behind a lot of it.  And gosh darnit, I LOVE my growing Santa collection!!!  

In my very unprofessional, humble opinion, there's no right or wrong way to decorate for a holiday.  If you want to decorate at the beginning of November, DO IT {we did!!!!}.  It's not taking any skin off anyone else's back.  If you want to put up a tree in every room in your house {God bless you}, DO IT.  If you like decorating with non-traditional colors...or not decorating at all...DO IT..OR NOT.  WHATEVER!!!!!!

 Whatver brings you JOY, do it.  This truly is the most wonderful time of the year, no matter how you decorate or celebrate!!!  


  1. Very pretty. I am one of those "over the top" decorators for Christmas. We have nine trees in our home with lots of other decorations. I love transforming our home for my family and friends to enjoy. However, I believe everyone should decorate in their own way, from their heart. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. I would LOVE to over-the-top decorate...I just need to add more to my collection first :) Would love to see your home!!! Sounds amazing!

  2. Cara, it is absolutely beautiful! It is going to add so many Christmas memories for your family!

  3. You are crazy girlfriend, this is absolutely Pinterest pretty!! I want your house and all of your decorations!! :) Thanks for sharing where you got everything!

    1. Well you are sweet, Sara! Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Cara, your writing style is just as gorgeous and joyful as your pictures and ideas!

    1. That is so sweet of you to say! You just made my day :) Merry Christmas!

  5. Your house is lovely. It makes me want to get out the Christmas decorations but I always make the family wait until the Friday after turkey day!

    1. I wish I could wait!!! I'm SO impatient!!! Hahaha!!

  6. Cara! I was going to ask you to send me a pic of your fireplace wall, but then I thought "she probably has some on her home blog" and BOY OH BOY did I find what I was looking for and more!!! I LOVE everything about your house! You must have a really nice Ross by you, mine does not carry such cute stuff!! Thank you for your inspiration, candid reviews and real-lifeness in your post! I can't wait till my house is as pretty as yours! :)

    1. You are so sweet, Hadar :) I'm sure your house is BEAUTIFUL!!!! Dying to see more pics!!!!

  7. Very pretty I like all of your Christmas decor.