Deck the Halls…and walls…and floors…and such…

There’s nothing that warms a home quite like Christmas decorations do, is there? Here’s what we’ve got in our house this year:

1. A Tree

I’m a big believer in real Christmas trees, but for the 3rd year in a row we opted to go with our artificial little friend. His fragrance isn’t nearly as lovely as a real tree’s would be, but he’s a lot simpler to assemble and decorate, and — with 2 tiny ones around — I’m not as worried about someone pulling it over on him/herself or eating some needles or me being so scatterbrained that I forget to turn the Christmas lights off and our house burns down. So, fake tree it was this year. It was sort of an impulsive decision that we are already feeling a bit bad about. We do love them balsams (*name that movie). Oh well…”maybe yater” (as W would say :)).

Fake tree or real, the ornaments that adorn it are my favorite part. Our ornaments are a collection comprised of ornaments from our childhoods…and more recently too, I suppose. My family was *big* on ornaments as I grew up. My 4 siblings and I each had a box of our own ornaments, along with an itemized list of our ornaments reminding us of what year we got each one and who/where they were from. It sounds SO “type A”, but I am really thankful for it, and it’s a tradition I’d love to pass down to our kids. I love how so many of my ornaments bring back glimmers of memories from different times in my life. On our tree we’ve got pasta wreaths spray-painted gold and beaded pipe cleaner candy canes and loosely stitched stockings…and I love it.  Those “department store” type trees are beautiful — with the matching glass ornaments and ribbon and all that — but in my home I’ll take a personalized tree any year.

W had a great time helping us decorate the tree. As you can see, he decided that all the ornaments would look good on one branch 🙂 :

2. Nativity Scene

This was my “dream” nativity scene — I first eyed it while I was working at a Christian bookstore…and finally it became mine! It’s original home during the holiday season was in our bay window, with a lovely lighted garland behind it giving it just the right solemn glow.

However now that we’ve got a 2-year-old it’s new home is way up high on top of my china cabinet. 🙂

3. Advent Calendar(s)

Last year I set out on a quest for the perfect advent calendar — something that would tell the Christmas story in a simple yet fun (yet not overly cutesy) way. I didn’t come up with much. So far the best I’ve been able to do is find the cheap little cardboard kind with the perforated “doors” to open each day, along with this little number I scored after Christmas at Marshall’s last year:

It’s basically just a hanging tapestry with 25 square pockets on it and a little wooden thing-a-ma-jig that you move to a new pocket each day. It doesn’t do anything to tell the Christmas/advent story at all, and M has nicknamed it “house of the rising sun”…but W likes it, it’s a fun little way to count down the days til Christmas, and — I have to admit — it’s growing on me.

Those are the big decorations we’ve got going on in our house this year — what about you?

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4 responses to “Deck the Halls…and walls…and floors…and such…

  1. Hey Nikki! Your house looks beautiful – that is exactly my type of tree! Although I did have to go with a real one. 😉 Anyway, I wanted to ask you if you’ve ever heard of the Advent calendars created by Noel Piper. We had one growing up (odd coincidence, I know) and it was really special for us; also, it helps kids memorize the Christmas story in a natural way. Basically, each night you add one piece to the story, and a sentence or two, and Baby Jesus is the last piece on Christmas Day.
    Unfortunately, Desiring God Ministries doesn’t have any to sell this year, but you could check it out for next year. Here’s the only good-sized image I could find – it’s from some blog so I don’t know who the kids are. 🙂

  2. Sarah, That’s so funny because I just saw the same one on Molly Piper’s blog last week and asked her about it because I loved it! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. I guess they don’t make them anymore — but there’s talk of maybe another one coming out someday…? So I’ll be keepin’ a look out for it, for sure.
    Hope you & Mike are doing well!

  3. I love your photography, Nikki. Your home looks so inviting! Personally, my boys are just too unpredictable (putting it nicely) this year….. I’m thinking I’ll put up our tree 2 days before Christmas…. otherwise I’d never be able to leave them alone in the same room with it! My eldest is just a liiiiiittle too creative in his spare time…. he’d probably try to scale the thing…. 🙂

  4. So fun to get a peek into your home! I do love the advent calendar! So cute! Much cuter than the paper chain in my kitchen( & the 2 cardboard & chocolate calenenders Stacked on my fridge) 🙂

    Did Will get his own ornament this year to start his box? Very cool tradition!

    Better get moving (I could spend a long time going through your posts! I am hosting Christmas Eve & Christmas Day (2 dif sides of the fams) & kel has been in Canada all week…laundry mountain is calling while the kids watch Eloise at Christmastime 🙂

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