Decking the Halls – Personal Post

December 12, 2022

Christmas is a time for joy, celebration, and of course, decorating! There’s something about decking the halls with twinkling lights, glittering ornaments, and festive wreaths that just brings a smile to everyone’s face.

When it comes to Christmas decor, our first choice is usually the Christmas tree.  From the first Christmas Wade and I spent together, we have always purchased a real tree.  It was just one thing he always insisted on.   But with the rising cost of trees and now having a new dog that loves to chew on EVERYTHING, I was leaning towards a fake tree this year.   When my parents offered us their artificial tree because they downsized their decor this year, Em and I were excited to get it home and in place.

Our tree has always been filled with special ornaments – handmade by the kids, passed down from when we were little and the ones I purchased annually for the kids.   I love to pick out special ornaments for them that represent something about them – whether it was a character they loved that year (we have Dora, Cars, and princess ornaments) or just something they were interested in or liked a lot (we have a bacon ornament and a doughnut ornament, among many others).  We also collect ornaments when we travel – these are always my favorite to hang because we can reminisce about the trips as we decorate.

Em and I were a little bit pickier about which ornaments we hung this year.   We tried to choose things that would match the vibe we were going for.   Em is the one that decide she wanted to do a “classic Christmas” theme with traditional red and green colors, so we tried to pick things that went along with that.

Biltmore and Eureka Springs ornaments

Mother / Daughter ornament from my mom and one from when Hayden was a newborn

Disney World and a photo from our Missouri road trip in 2020

Rock City and New York City

Grenada and I always include a little bit of home on my tree – My family and I love anything Mr. Bingle!

Epcot and a New Orleans streetcar

In the last few years, I’ve purchased and incorporated a lot more ornaments that reflect the true meaning of Christmas

We have several of these clear ornaments that my sister made for me. Most of them feature special New Orleans things like this one … is anyone else singing this jingle in their head? The other ornament is from Wade’s First Christmas.

These icicles are especially meaningful and always the last and most special touch on our tree. They are handmade glass icicles that we purchased from a Christmas shop in Old Town Alexandria Virginia when we lived there back in 2006.

Over the years, we have gone back and forth between all-white lights and colored lights.   We have two Tree Dazzlers that we used for several years, but last year, we went back to soft, white lights.  I find that it really just gives the living room such a cozy, comfortable atmosphere.   I love the feel of a home decorated for Christmas!

The nutcrackers are also a tradition that we started a few years ago.   I have a friend who also collects them and has them on every surface of her home, more nutcrackers than you’ll ever see in your life!   My mom gave me one for Christmas one year and from then on, Em and I have picked out one or two new ones every year.  They used to all fit on the mantle, but this year, they’ve started spilling over onto other surfaces.

My favorite Christmas decor to put out is my Willow Tree nativity.  I used to collect Willow Tree figures, so Wade’s mom started giving us pieces for the nativity as gifts until we had the whole set.  It’s a central piece to our Christmas decor every year.

We place some other random Christmas decor that we’ve accumulated over the years around the living room and a new addition is the Christmas village that mom passed to us last year.   Em was really excited to find a place for it this year.

Christmas decorating is a fun and enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit.  We usually start right after Thanksgiving, the weekend that Advent starts.

Do you prefer a classic look with red and green accents, or a more modern approach?