christmas · home · special days

fa la la la la-ing & deck the halls-ing ~ part one

I just love everything about the Christmas season:  the music, the movies, the decorating, the goodies, the parties, but most of all the general spirit of good will and of course the reason behind it all, the birth of the Saviour–Emmanuel, God with us.

I don’t want this to be a stressful time (although I make it so, sometimes).  I like to take my time to bring out various festive items.  Making something fresh, perhaps even a splurge on a new decoration. Trying this one here, and that one there, attempting to mix it up a bit each year–which is necessary, granted, when you move about a lot!

A couple of years ago, we didn’t have our own home (read some of our story here), our things were mostly in storage so we made do with what we had.  I had found these tin ornaments on clearance at Michaels, I made the ‘Oh Holy Night’ art, we bought the birch candles from the youth group fundraiser, and scrounged some fresh greenery.  It was cute and simple.

Last year was our first year with our own ‘stuff’ for a couple of years, so we had lots of fun going through it (see here). This home is significantly smaller than our last, so we don’t use everything.

As I mentioned in some past posts (here and here), my df girl is just itching to get some Christmas up!  We dragged the totes upstairs, cranked up the Christmas playlist, and got to it.  One of our favourite songs is What a Strange Way to Save the World by the Gardiner Sisters.

One of my most favourite Christmas decorations is the Willow Tree nativity set my kids bought me one year.  I confess I had been coveting one for a very long time.  I love the simplicity of Willow Tree.


My home is mostly done in neutrals *read lots of white*.  I went through a phase years ago where I’d paint anything I could find white, and it’s still kinda true.  Thankfully the sofa and chair left in our rental is also a light taupe. (Sidebar: it’s sagging quite a bit and we’ve been given permission to dispose of it.  So when we can swing it, I’ve got my eye on the affordable Ektorp sofa and love seat from Ikea.)  I appreciate the easy base to work with, then I can play around more as I bring out some seasonal additions.  For Christmas it’s mostly red and silver with touches of green.


I love these vintage globes–a Value Village score.  The metal ‘peace’ came from Michaels, I think, way back when, as well as a matching ‘joy’.  I have always thought I’d make a sign, but I like that I can tuck them in here and there.


I love candles and hurricanes and all manner of candle paraphernalia.  It’s so lovely snuggling with my Love in the candlelight on a cold, wintry evening.  The candle in this hurricane is nestled in amongst some silver jingle bells.  The ‘joy’ decoration was made as a sample for our ladies’ Christmas craft night.


This woven tray sits on my ottoman along with the lantern most of the year.  I love the contrasting textures they add to the space.  I fill the lantern with different items, according to the seasons.  I started with some vintage glass Christmas lightbulbs, but went back to my favourite: red and silver glass balls.  I love Christmas-y books; you’ll find stacks and baskets all around the house.  The dish on top of the books holds some old keys.  It was a gift from my mom; I think it’s the Cameron tartan (my dad’s family).  The magnifying glass is a fun accessory from HomeSense.


I downloaded the Elf (we have an annual viewing of this hilarious movie) printable years ago.  It was on an old computer, so, unfortunately, I don’t know the source. If it is yours, or you know who made it, please let me know.  I have used it year after year, and still love it!  I do not love the picture holder…I need to keep an eye open for a replacement.  And, yup, that’s right…more books.


I made this Ballard inspired Noel with a wooden base that I’d had kicking around (I have no idea what it might have been from). It does double duty: the back says, ‘thankful, grateful, blessed.


The framed printable (also an old favourite) can be found at Yellow Bliss Road.  She has an updated version, too!  Again…I need to improve the stand. The photo of my kids was a gift from them several years ago. We have grown significantly since then!  The apothecary jar was an upcycle:  a couple of years ago, my df girl and I had a Michaels date where you made something at the store.  It was originally in a mason jar.  It’s super easy to do…fill a container of your choice with faux snow, adding a base for your figures, if necessary (I used an empty applesauce container), arrange your figures–I have a deer, a fence and a tree.  Voila.  A pseudo snow globe.

When my littles were…well, little…I collected Christmas books to read only at Christmas time.  I kept them in a basket near a comfy chair, ready for some serious snuggle time.  Confession: I still might buy the odd one.  I got my twin grandlittles their initial installation for their first Christmas, but I dropped the ball last year.  Perhaps I’ll get one for each family this Christmas. The hamster sitting atop the books was also from when the kids were young.  We didn’t have an elf on the shelf, but I would hide or set up silly situations for our Christmas hamster in the evening and the kids would try to find him.  It was such fun.  I do miss having little ones around, though the kids are quite entertaining in different ways now!


You can’t really see it very well, but the large pillow on the sofa says, ‘merry & bright’.  I painted it on an inexpensive pillow cover from Ikea with plans to do a few to sell, but this was my prototype.  I never did make the others.  Maybe next year.  Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments collected on our travels.  I let the kids have full rein on the decorating process.  I even ‘let’ my husband have his multi-coloured lights, when I would choose white. You can read a little about that here.


Well, I hope you enjoyed that little tour…will you join me tomorrow for a look at the rest of our little home?

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I’m linking up here:
The Creative Gallery #260
Home Matters #163
Merry Monday #182
Happiness is Homemade #200
Talk of the Town #102












5 thoughts on “fa la la la la-ing & deck the halls-ing ~ part one

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