Growing up, the day after Thanksgiving, our family would load up in the car and head to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. It was one of my favorite traditions.
Kevin and I did this the first 5 years of our marriage (before we had kids) And we have have done it about 3 times since having kids. There is nothing like going into the mountains & chopping down your tree. So fun. Last year we were going to head back to the mountains to cut down a tree because we hadn't gone since 2010, but because of the California drought (and dry trees) we didn't go last year and we are still in a drought this year (it's an even bigger drought) so we decided to postpone again (nothing worse than cutting down a tree that sheds tons and tons of pine needles)
When we don't go to the mountains to cut down a tree, we go to Home Depot (ugh).
Last year we had a bad tree from there, so ended up getting a 2nd tree at Lucky (which is a grocery store) It was an awesome tree, so we decided to go to Lucky again this year.
I can't tell you how much it pains me that we got our tree from a grocery store parking lot.
It pains me even more that it LITERALLY took us 30 seconds to pick out our tree.
What pains me EVEN more than that is that the guy helping us in the tree lot was the guy from the DELI COUNTER at the grocery store.
Seriously, he was wearing his white deli coat.
But, let me tell you this...the tree we got this year at Lucky is probably the best tree we have ever gotten. It smells amazing, is full, symmetrical and...it was only $50. Sweet!
But, even though it was the best tree we have had, I still want to head up to the mountains next year and cut one down. I just loved that tradition growing up and want my kids to experience that also, even if it's just every few years.
The girls were all about decorating the tree. Kevin and I put on the lights and then the girls put on every single ornament. I let them have 100% free reign of the decorating. I just stood back and watched. They did a really great job.
Sure, there are a few spots that have clumps of ornaments, but I let them be. In fact, every few days, the girls will re-arrange some of the ornaments and change up where they put them.
Here is the finished tree, courtesy of Kate & Claire:
I have our Christmas cards displayed on the window by our dining room table. I love seeing all my friends beautiful families!
One of my favorite decorations is our Willow Tree Nativity Set that we got for a wedding gift 12 years ago. I love it.
For the kids, we have the Little People Nativity Set. They love playing with it!
Kevin's mom made this Advent Calendar for us when Kate was born. It is all handmade with felt & burlap.
Love our new French Doors also. I will post some Before & Afters of this project!
Other Decorations around our house (I like to keep things very simple because I don't like a lot of clutter!)
In our family room, I just have a glass Christmas tree on a side table:
And some JOY letters above our TV:
As you can tell, I love using ornaments as decorations :)
And, of course another main decoration we have in our house during Christmas is our Elf on the Shelf, named Candle.
Candle arrives every year the first Sunday of Advent.
Our Elf shows up by the time we get home from church & he is always in the same spot on day 1....in the bowl of ornaments on the coffee table in the living room.
And, our Elf always brings the kids their Christmas Book Advent.
Our elf (named Candle) also brings the kids a note reminding them about the true reason for the season.
We do Elf on the Shelf slightly different in our house. Our elf does not "watch" the girls and report back to Santa. That is just not our style. Our Elf just likes to move around each night & the girls look forward to finding his new hiding spots. It is the first thing they do each morning.
And, I don't really do elaborate Elf ideas. Most of the places our Elf hides are simple. Maybe 1-2 times a week I will do something more elaborate, like a snow angel with flour, fill the sink with marshmellows in their bathroom like the Elf is taking a bath, but mostly we just move him around.
And, because I have forgotten to move him in years past, last year I started setting an alarm on my phone...anyone else have an alarm for their elf? Every night at 10:30 it goes off :)
Most of the places I have to put our Elf are up high. The first day he arrived he was on the coffee table and Luke almost grabbed him. The girls FREAKED out. Luke is only 2 and doesn't understand that you can't touch him, so Candle the Elf will be out of Luke's reach this holiday season.
And, I am pretty sure this will be Kate's last year believing in Santa/the Elf.
She is in 2nd grade...I feel like I found out when I was in 3rd grade.
Cue tears.....from me!
Thanks for taking a peek into our simply decorated house.
I love the way our home feels during Christmas.
The twinkle lights, the warmth, the anticipation of Christ's birth.December is just a magical month, don't you agree?