It’s no secret I live for holiday decorating, and Christmas is definitely my favorite. Honestly, this type of post seems really vain and boring to write, but these are always my favorite type of posts to read from others. I think we all enjoy peeking into someone else’s house and see what they’ve done.
But, I feel like I need to give you the disclaimer that I had a house cleaner come the day I took these pictures (which was the deciding factor in doing this post). My kids were also out of the house for a few hours. In the name of full transparency, all the junk on the counter was pushed just outside the frame and any other day, my kids would have rearranged everything within reach.
Does that wreath on the pantry door look familiar? It’s the one I made at Gather a few weeks ago at the wreath making class!
I’ve definitely passed my love of decorating onto the kids. They were beyond excited to help me decorate the house this year, and had a lot of opinions about where things go. Normally, I try and take a stand. This year, I decided to let it go. Decorate the tree how you want, put out your cheesy singing reindeer, let’s display the LEGO advent calendar pieces (Ok, I have to admit, I kinda love those!)- basically, I surrendered. They are just so excited and this holiday is nothing if not for them, so I figured I’d try out giving them some ownership of all the magic.
I didn’t give up everything. Basically, everything that would crush me if it were to break is up high on a shelf or branch. I used to think that every Christmas decoration I purchased would be something I used every single year and therefore, needed to be kept pristine. But, now that I’ve had things for a few years, I’m realizing I get tired of things after a few seasons and want to mix new stuff in. This all made me realize, aside from a few decorations I’ll share below, I don’t really care if the kids break it. Let me tell you, it has been very freeing. It feels like a really good balance of things we both love and I’m not yelling to “STOP TOUCHING!!” every two seconds. It doesn’t make for the most picturesque tree, but whatever. There are many more years ahead with gorgeous trees and kids who have no interest in decorating with me.
See that big box under the tree? That is a fake present. Isla was all pumped to wrap a present, except all of my shopping is still in transit and I had nothing to wrap. So she got an Amazon box, filled it with random toys and insisted we wrap it. And she was beyond overjoyed. The tree just wasn’t complete to her without a present under it! That’s the kind of magic I’m trying to say yes to.
My absolute favorite decorations are these houses. They were my grandma’s and she gave them to me a few Christmas ago. She claims they weren’t anything special, but to me they were. She babysat me while my mom was at work up until I was in 5th grade, so I spent a lot of time at her house. I always remember these houses sitting on the window sills at her house and every night as it would get dark, she would let me turn them on. As an adult, I can see now how they were no big deal to my grandma, but as a kid I just thought it was the best thing that I got to do something I normally wouldn’t be allowed to do like touch fragile things. I’m trying to recreate that with my kids because their joy at Christmas really isn’t worth the effort to control it. Which is why our inflatables in the front yard are basically on 24/7!
Needless to say, the houses are up high on a shelf, out of reach. Something I started last year was to frame the Santa pictures and use them as decor. It’s so fun to pull them out and look back at past pictures and to add the new one. The empty frame is for this year’s picture. We’ve got a date with the big guy this weekend.
We got LEGO advent calendars for both kids this year. I wasn’t sure they’d be that into them, but they are such a hit! Up until now, we’ve mostly played with Duplos, but suddenly I have these two big kids who are building with regular LEGOs all on their own. Isla has the Friends version and each day has such a cute thing to build, which she can do by herself! Nolan has this one and he loves it too. I’m pleasantly surprised that both kids have not fought once to open multiple windows. Waiting is not their strong suit, and them going with the program is definitely adding to the fun of the calendars!
I have to warn though, if building practically microscope, vaguely holiday related LEGO structures before the sun rises isn’t your jam, skip these. The first thing I hear every morning before I’ve even put my contacts in is, “Oh! We have to go get our LEGOs!”
I did add a few kid free touches around the house. I’ve been burning this cedar balsam candle from Trader Joe’s nonstop now that we have a fake tree. The live garlands with some tiny lights mixed in are my favorites.
The basket to the left holds Christmas cards from last year. I’ve always saved Christmas cards we’ve received, but I usually just throw them in the bin, flip through them the next year, then toss them. But, Isla really enjoys flipping through and looking at everyone, so this year I punched holes in them and connected them with one of those rings to hold flashcards. Definitely something I plan to do every year! I also have saved the Christmas cards we have sent out each year since we were newlyweds. I want to do something with them too, but I’m not sure what yet. For now they’re just stacked on the other end.
What is your favorite holiday decoration? Tell me in the comments below!