If you're not an Alabama fan then I'll offer you up Kenny and Dolly or Amy Grant as a replacement. All Christmas music I grew up on, all Christmas music I still love to do this day. It all makes me so happy. And you're pretty much guaranteed to hear it if you're at my home any time after Thanksgiving!
If I'm being completely honest, Christmas is a little bittersweet for me this year. It's the first year ever - EVER - that my children won't be waking up with me on Christmas morning. They're with their dad from the time they get out of school on the 16th until the afternoon of the 26th. And that just really, really sucks. Really sucks. I've known about this arrangement for well over a year and, in some ways, it actually made me dread Christmas this year.
One thing I have not dreaded though was DECORATING. We moved into our house over Memorial Day weekend and, I swear, I've been excited to decorate it for Christmas since the day we moved in! I'm even joining a link up for the first time in literal years because, gahhhh, I love Christmas decorating.
So here we go . . . how we decked the halls of our new house!
First up, the outside -- which I keep forgetting to take a picture of at night. There are four windows in the front and Mark put lights on all of them and also hung some lighted garland and - of course - our red solo cup lights. When we first began discussing the outside of the house, I told him he could do whatever he wanted. "Clark it up, baby!" We'll add a little more every year and until we have a full on Griswold display . . .
I hung garland and bows on the stair rail which was . . . eh. It looks good but I'm constantly vacuuming up evergreen and the kids WON'T.STOP.TOUCHING.IT. I mean, you know when they're babies that they'll be getting into the tree but you don't expect to constantly have to tell a ten-year-old to stop rearranging your bows!
The living room from the front entryway.
So, we've been here six months and I still don't have the living room the way I want it. The biggest issue is that the TV is too big to fit over the fireplace. We will probably, eventually, mount it in the corner though I hate to "lose" a window by doing that. And, yes, there's another small TV in the living room because the Bears and the Broncos played at the same time on Sunday . . .
A few living room knickknacks:
I LOVE a busy mantle, LOVE it. And you'll notice our stockings are a little mismatched. I thought about buying new matched ones but, I don't know, I love the mismatchedness (totally a word) and how it shows how Brady Bunched up our family is!
My stocking is actually my childhood stocking that my mom made. That thing is more than 25 years old!
When I was a little girl, my grandmother owned a ceramic shop. That Santa Claus was one she painted for me.
We actually have a 9-foot tree but wanna know what we DON'T have? That'd be 9-foot ceilings. In fact, the only room in the whole house we could put up the 9-foot tree would be in my bathroom. So, yeah, that one is still in the garage. Kinda bummed because I planned on having a tree in the living room and another in the dining room. Oh well.
I love our tree! I love the boutique trees too, I think they're beautiful. But I love how so many of our ornaments tell about the people who live in this house. I'm going to start buying a new ornament every year that symbolizes our year -- this year's will be something about our first Christmas in our new home.
I was in Dollar Tree the other day and saw a canister of "old fashioned candy" and I HAD to buy it. I mean, this stuff has to remind everybody of a grandma, right? I told my kids it was "old fashioned" and now they say, "It's candy from the 90's." Ahhhhhh.
Another little corner of the living room . . . this one shows off the most coveted item in the entire house. The Advent calendar. It's another relic from my childhood and the kids fight over who gets to move the mouse each day. Ya know, just like my brother and I did back in the day.
Since there's nothing I enjoy more than grossing our children out . . . I decided to buy a mistletoe to hang between the living room and kitchen. The kids even hug each other if they get caught under it together. Also, I think our elf is going to "come in like a wrecking ball" a la Miley on it one of these days.
I didn't do much to the kitchen (though our elf did put package bows all over the cabinets Sunday night!) I bought a table cloth, too short naturally. And I made both our calendar and Game Day Hog a little more festive.
And that's a wrap!
A few things I plan to do in the years that come:
The kids are painting canvases after school and I plan to hang them in the downstairs hallway. I want them to a canvas every year and eventually they can fill the upstairs hallways too. How fun will it be when they're grown adults to pull out canvases they painted in elementary school?
I'm also going to do a collage frame of Christmas pictures after the season is over. I'll hang it every year, and do a new one every year, so we can remember the fun of years past.
Ahhhhh, Christmas! I know my house and decorating style would never be featured in a magazine but, man, do I love it. Every last bit of it makes me so happy!