Decorating: Getting In The Christmas Spirit

My house has been slowly decorated for Christmas over the past 2 weeks. I don't like to go overboard, but I like to have the basics covered.

First on my agenda was getting stockings. In previous apartments the hubby and I never had a fireplace so we never got around to buying any. But this year we have a fireplace with an honest-to-goodness mantle so some cheerful stockings were in order. I picked up two of these green and white beauties from Amazon, and I love them. I especially love that they're simple yet still festive. I'm a sucker for felt, buttons and top stitching!

Our next bit of Christmas spirit was our tree. Again, having only lived in apartments we never had the room for a real tree. This year we bought a live tree from a local lot and stood her up in the front corner, next to the fireplace. We weren't sure how the cats would react to a real tree in the house* so this year we stuck to lights and a topper only. This way if cats + real tree = tragic mess, none of our family ornaments will get broken. The tree has been up for over a week and so far, so good.

Under the tree, I placed our three winter village houses. They were a gift from the hubby's grandmother, and I have to admit I thought they were a bit tacky when I first saw them. But I hate to waste a gift so I put them out anyway - and now, I love them! They look so cute nestled on our white tree skirt!** Even though our ornament-less look was done out of necessity, I am really loving the white and silver theme we have going on. Less is always more in my book.

My finishing touch was a wreath for the door. I bought a plain wreath when we bought our tree and then worked some crafty magic.
I bought a bag of loose sleigh bells from a craft store and tied them to my wreath. I used monofilament, but you could just as easily use twine, floral wire or anything you might have on hand. I chose not to use glue so that I can remove the bells, unharmed, and re-use them next year. Seriously, this project took me less than 30 minutes, so it's super easy to do every year. I love coming home to the smell of fresh pine and the sound of jingle bells!

This will most likely be my last post for 2009. We have lots of family to see and lots of food to eat, so posting will be light (if not non-existant). The hubby and I have the week between Christmas and New Year's off - we plan to do some furniture buying/assembling over the break, including a trip to Ikea - so I will have lots to share as we begin 2010. Happy holidays!
*I have heard horror stories of cats climbing trees, knocking them over, breaking ornaments, etc and my cats are more devious than most.

**Cheapskate Decorating Tip: That's not actually a tree skirt. It's a fuzzy white blanket from Target. A tree skirt (made of cheaper material) would have cost me $40 but the blanket was only $25. So not only did I save money, but I can use the blanket for its intended purpose the rest of the year to add some cozy texture around the house. If I wanted more coverage I could have bought 2 blankets, but I stuck with 1 for the first go 'round.

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