I usually start decorating for Christmas as soon as we get home from Thanksgiving. But for these rare years when Bo's birthday falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving,
For the most part, our Christmas decorations were identical to last year. With the exception of a few (necessary!) additions...
We both agreed that our most fun new addition this year was the advent calendar. Each morning, one of us pulled out a new ornament to put on the tree. We both grew up with calendars/countdowns so we sort of felt like little kids again. We loved it. I found it at christmascentral.com - they don't seem to have it anymore but they have some similar ones. And since I'm so late on this, here it is fully decorated:
We hung our stockings with care...above the entertainment center.
Bo found this miniature nativity set while we were in Venice this past summer. The little set is so cute! We were happily surprised that Molly did not think they were chew toys.
I finally got an advent wreath this year (another purchase from christmascentral.com), but the candles didn't quite fit (they also did not come with the wreath and were kinda hard to find!). Too bad we never got a reading booklet to go with it. Fail. Maybe next year...
I found this door decoration on sale at Michaels and got it, just because. Now both sides of the front door are festive!
I love receiving Christmas cards each year, and putting them all on display. I am always so sad to take them down - I just love seeing all of our friends and family every time I pass by.
And last, but not least...the TREE!! I can't help it- I love enormous Christmas trees. I get it from my dad :) When we first got home from Blowing Rock and got it up in the stand in our dining room, Bo gave me a look of death and said "Holy shit, you've Griswold'ed us!!" I, on the other hand, thought it was an absolute perfect fit. It is by far the largest tree we've ever had, and I loved it. In fact it was so large that at first, we couldn't even see the tree skirt - we made do and just pulled it out a bit (good thing you don't see all around the tree), but that might be on the shopping list for next year ;)
|hits the ceiling with no room to spare|
First, I put up all the lights...
Then, Bo puts on the star (which had to be tied to the tree, since it couldn't sit on top!)...
Meanwhile, Molly hung out in the other room. She was pretty skeptical of everything.
And then I decorate! My favorite part. I have a pretty good collection by now, largely thanks to the annual ornaments my mom gives us, and my obsession with getting new ones each year. I always put the new ones on first (for prime real estate, of course), and then add the rest.
First up, is my missing ornament from last year! We actually got this fleur-de-lis last year while we were in New Orleans. I couldn't find it anywhere, until we were packing for another trip this year and I found it in a suitcase. Whew!
We received two ornaments as Christmas presents last year - an angel from my Aunt Angie & Uncle Blane and a new Gator ornament from my Grandma.
Every year we add to our crystal collection, and this year was another snowflake. Maybe I'll switch things up next year.
Our travel ornaments from the past year:
|From my trip to Dublin this summer, obviously from the Guinness Factory!|
|A very, very mini ms Nieuw Amsterdam from our cruise this summer!|
|On our last day in Venice, we found a Murano glass gondola ornament, right before we took our own gondola ride!|
Just for fun, this set of 4 ornaments was on sale at Macy's and I couldn't refuse :)
I think we may start collecting Wedgwood ornaments in the future. My mom got me one a few years back and it's one of our favorites, so we added to it this year with a cross.
We added a little Atlanta flare to represent our love for the Braves.
Always love dated ornaments.
Kelly hosted an ornament exchange, and I brought the candy cane ornament below. I liked it so much that I got one for myself, too! And in return, I received the set of two snowmen.
And last, but certainly not least, the annual ornament from my mom. I have quite a snowman collection going. Perhaps, to make up for my lack of actual snow men.
Probably the BEST addition we had this year, though not at all a true decoration, was the tree funnel! Our tree was SO big this year, that it was extremely difficult to water. We literally had to pull apart branches and hope we didn't kill any ornaments in the process. Not to mention that it drank 2 full pitchers of water every single day!! Bo has always been the tree waterer in our family, and I have never argued. This arrangement worked out wonderfully for me, until he was out of town for work the first week we had our tree and I was stuck watering it. Crawling on the floor, spilling water everywhere, nearly knocking my precious ornaments off the tree. No thanks!! After the first night, I went online to find a solution. We did not want an entire siphoning system, so I found this beauty at Sears. I'm sure you could easily make this yourself - it's just a funnel, with a clear pipe, and a small stick inside of it, and the whole thing ties to the tree and branches. The stick goes up and down with the water level, so when the stand is full, you mark on the clear funnel where that is, and then you easily know when it's time to water the tree. It took us a few times to get the measurements just right, but it was pretty easy. Love that we can now water the tree while standing up!
And here is all 9.5 feet of our fully decorated tree! Gorgeous, if I do say so myself :)