Hello! It is that time of year again. I was looking back on my past Christmas tree decorations as I opened up the boxes and it was fun to see how far we have come. Cody and I’s first Christmas I had big plans for creating a designer tree. I picked the color theme and bought the ornaments and ribbon. The problem was that Cody was used to cutting down a pinion pine in the middle of the desert and these trees are not magnificent, they are small stubby and not at all symmetrical. I went to decorating the tree and we both stepped back and started to laugh. Cody was trying to be nice, but we both knew that it looked ridiculous. We pulled it all down and started with the few ornaments that looked decent and enjoyed the light and smell of a real Christmas tree.
I say the tree was a problem, but I am glad that I knew from the very first Christmas that we were going to have to mix our traditions and expectations for the holiday decorating. Since then, we have blended Cody’s love for very traditional and my love for design. Now that we have five kids, we have made more concessions for decorations…breakable decor cannot be where the kids can reach them and most everything should be able to withstand little hands exploring. Since I also want it to look nice, I have spent some time creating a tree that I am proud to look at and represents our family well.
Christmas Tree Decorations
It is my greatest hope that your Christmas tree decorations and Christmas traditions tell a story of your life and the wonderful memories you have created during the holiday season. As I share photos of some of our decorations I will tell you some of our story. I will also add some tips on creating a cohesive Christmas tree.
I will link what I can.
This is a small tree I bought at Target so that the girls could hang their homemade ornaments. This is not the most stylish spot in the home, but this image brings so much joy to my heart. Maurie made the Jesus ornament without any direction. She also made Jesus as a baby as well. For our family Christmas is a time to focus on Jesus Christ and his loving example and service. TIP: If you love your children’s handmade ornaments, but you want to keep the main tree cohesive by a smaller one that is “theirs”.
Music is a big part of our home. Cody and I love to sing and the piano was a central point in both of our homes since both of our mothers taught piano lessons in our home communities. The flowers were given to one of our daughters for their performance in The Nutcracker this year. The advent tree is from my mom and represents the fun that my mother brings to every holiday. Olive wood nativity
I am big on Santa. How many Santas do you count in this image? TIP: Pick a theme in color and even topic. Red, white and green are my colors and Santa is the topic. Everything else is neutral.
This tree skirt is a new addition this year and I think it pairs perfectly with my red beaded garland. I love a vintage Christmas feeling. TIP: Pick a tree skirt that matches the theme of your tree. This is the first year I finally just got one that I knew I would love for a long time.
Santa again. We tell our children every year that the spirit of Santa is real. The LED candles are bring added light and warmth to the mantle. TIP: Candles are an easy way to decorate and they make everything more magical in the evening.
The Snow Queen is special to us and she is from 2017. Anyone else get her at Target that year? I add red berry sprigs to my Afloral garland. TIP: Get artificial greenery that will keep others guessing if it is real or not. Measure your mantle and make sure the length of the garland will fit. If you want the real stuff, it is a great way to add the Christmas tree smell. Costco usually has plenty real garland at a good price.
Merry Everything indeed! I love little houses that light up and these are super simple. TIP: Don’t overdo the decorations on your shelf. Remember that space gives your decor space to shine. If you pack everything in, it can get overwhelming and hard to enjoy. For all you maximalists out there, just ignore me.
I have wanted lanterns for years and these from Walmart are so good! TIP: Use varying heights in your decor. There is actually one more height of these lamps, but I was too scared to buy the third for fear of my husband who only sees money spent and not the design principle of grouping in threes.
Baker Santa and cowboy santa…of course, in honor of my cowboy husband.
We got these traditional Swedish straw ornaments from Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Door County during our last family Christmas trip. The food is so good and the gift shop is magical!
2021 Christmas tree and mantle at night
2021 Christmas tree and mantle during the day!
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Christmas Traditions That Bring Families Together!
Two Christmas traditions that positively impact our family the most are reading Christmas stories every night and going on a post Christmas trip with our whole family.
To honor our tradition of reading Christmas stories every night here is a list of Christmas stories that are very popular.
Next, a post Christmas trip is so fun. We keep our destinations within 1-2 hours of our home. We have five kids so we keep the traveling part simple. It allows us to discover the beauty that is around us instead of feeling like the fun or beauty is not near. We stay at a resort or hotel that has a kitchen so we can take care of eating when we don’t feel like taking everyone out to eat. We plan all the activities and the most important one is swimming indoors. We want to go on a horse sleigh ride this year as well. It is a change of scene that allows us to be close, play games, eat yummy food, watch movies and explore Wisconsin. I hope to be able to share more about where we are going to this year. Last year we stayed in Door County.
What traditions bring you together as a family or bring you the most joy?
If you plan to entertain this Christmas here is my entertaining ideas.
I hope your Christmas season is filled with magic and peace!