Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Decorating Underway

December is a busy month every year but this year promises to be busier than any I can remember. I decided to get a head start on my Christmas decorating early. This past weekend we had warmer weather and the sun was out. I had a couple of hours to spare so I decided to seize the opportunity and string the holiday lights outside and I also brought down the boxes of indoor decorations from the attic. I have never done this in November, ever. Definitely a first!

I do not buy many new decorations every Christmas..sometimes just a couple of ornaments for the tree or a new candleholder. Decorations are collected over the years.. a few at a time or when something breaks and has to be replaced. The one big (size-wise) purchase is the real tree which we pick up at our local Stew Leonard's. I wanted to make something this year. Last week I had also paid a visit to The Container Store. It was the day before Thanksgiving so I thought it was highly likely there would be no crowds. I was right. I love to look at their selection of gift wrap. There is something for everyone. I picked up a few rolls of some interesting paper which I thought were quite beautiful and these were made from recycled cotton. The patterns are stunning. My thought was to do something decorative with them.

Gold and silver and greys and the red one looked like fabric from afar. These will last a while because I will use them only for special projects. I also picked up a couple of packs of patterned tissue paper. I found some rolls of leftover wrapping in the attic which I wanted to incorporate in a festive decorative item I had in mind. 

This is all across the table in the dining room right now. I also began setting up the Nativity set. I had purchased it at Treasure Island many years ago.
I got it at 50% off but it still cost me over $100. It is a very special set - good size figurines (some glasswork) with a lot of detail. It was definitely an investment - these sets should really last many, many years. I have not  brought it out for at least 3 years as we have had littler kids running around the house and this was set up on a lower table. I was worried about breaking the fragile parts. Now I have a higher piece of furniture on which to display it.

I also bought a couple of these from Joann's last week and am incorporating them into this setup.

And I am also working on my mantle. We did not use stockings on the mantle growing up as far as I can remember. If we did they were purely decorative and not functional (believe it or not, stocking stuffers were new to me until I came to this country). I looked up the history of stocking stuffers and it is a little unclear but has something to do with poor sisters hanging up their washing (socks) to dry by the fireplace and coins being dropped down the chimney and falling into them - or so the story goes! I do not hang a stocking for every person in the family although last year I did fill two stockings up for the girls but they would not have missed it had I not. Are they an essential part of the celebrations?

I shall share more pictures with you over the next few days. Have you started your decorating yet? We plan on picking up our tree this weekend and I will have to get started on decorating it almost immediately. I know the girls would love to help me - it is about tradition and creating memories, right? A lot to do but all fun stuff.

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Please Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this post.


  1. The paper you found is gorgeous. What projects do you have planned for it? I'm like you and don't buy lots of new decor....I prefer to collect things with meaning over time. Some of my favorites are crafts the girls and I have created. Stockings are a must in my house. They are always filled with little gifts and a giant orange. I'm not sure what the orange symbolizes, but they were always in there during my childhood, so we've continued that tradition.

  2. I love the paper you found and it's recycled cotton..I can't wait to see what you're going to do with it. Sounds like you have a lot of projects under way. We don't hang stockings, we used to but we like lighting the fireplace and it gets hot along with the stockings and it made me nervous. No real decorating yet just our wreaths outside and I planted up some paperwhites last night. I did however wrap several packages today and I'm so excited to give them away!

    Enjoy your projects!

  3. We didn't do stockings growing up either, and still haven't since I've "grown up." I think it still qualifies as Christmas without them. :)

  4. I've been itching to get to The Container Store - good to know they have a nice selection of pretty paper. I love what you chose!

  5. You are way ahead of me. Your paper is so pretty as I search for a nice neutral paper. We are going to pick & cut our tree this weekend. So excited.

  6. I have begun the decorations and plan to get the tree this weekend. Can't wait!! Happy Friday to you! xo

  7. Don't be jealous, but I'm all done :)
    I like to get it done Thanksgiving weekend so that I have as much time as possible to enjoy it.

  8. The Container store is one of my favorite places to go! The wrapping paper is awesome! Can't wait to see what else you will pull out!