Christmas is hands down, my favorite holiday and time of year. The meaning behind Christmas, traditions, decor, gift giving and of course, Christmas cookies, are just a few reasons why I love it.
Last year, I was so sad because we were in temporary housing and all of our Christmas decor was put in storage, so we didn’t have a very spirited holiday in our apartment. This year, however, we have a whole house to decorate!
As I said a few years ago, real trees are my personal favorite, but Kevin grew up with fake trees. In our apartment in Des Moines, we couldn’t have a real tree so I was really banking on having a real tree this year and for years to come. But marriage is all about compromise right? So we compromised this year. We decided to get a fake tree to last us for a few years, and when we have children, we’ll start a tradition of going out and cutting down a real tree together as a family. Part of the reason for this compromise was to save money (1 fake tree/a bunch of years = cheaper than 1 real tree each year), and seeing the front page of the Home Depot Black Friday ad sealed the compromise for us. We had a 6′ pre-lit tree that I found for $30 on Black Friday two years ago, but in our two-story living room it looked so dinky and we definitely wanted to upgrade. Home Depot had a 7.5′ pre-lit Martha Stewart tree that changes from white lights to color with the flip of the switch. I don’t think I could have found a better tree, and for $69 (regularly $199)? SOLD! This was why I was in line at Home Depot at 4:30 a.m. and I grabbed one of the last ones. Worth it.
I spy already-wrapped presents! I wonder who they’re for…
We currently have the white lights on, but with the flip of a switch we can change it to color. We’ve been alternating each day. I like them both!
Some of our favorite ornaments this year are new to us!
The one below contains our wedding invitation! My good friend Julia gave it to us as a wedding gift.
This was one of our only souvenirs we got from Disney World. We got one last year that we put on my parent’s tree (we need to get it back from them!), so I think we’ll make it a tradition to grab an ornament each time we go to Disney World so we can remember the years we went. (It has the year on top of the ring.)
This Valpo ornament is an old one, but it’s front and center. Valpo love!
This one we got for Christmas last year and I think it’s adorable for some reason.
There are many, many more favorites! Most of which are hand-me-down ornaments from mine and Kevin’s childhood (think: Disney ornaments galore for me, and soccer ornaments everywhere for Kevin), and I know our collection will get better as we add to it each year.
This year is also our first year with real stockings for our house! My grandma embroidered them and gave them to us last year for Christmas. I was so excited to get them hung! (Yep – Grace’s stocking is in the middle.)
We put up a couple other decorations around the house, like these pine cones in a cute little basket on our kitchen table. (I made these (real) pine cones out of a little bit of glue and Epson salt!)
I also added a bit of sparkle to the bar.
The outside of our house isn’t quite done, but it’s getting there! We have a few more things to do still, and then I’ll post some photos of it.
Today, we hit 70 degrees. WOW! We took advantage and went for a nice long walk with Gracie this evening. We’re supposed to get terrible snow/ice soon (as is most of the Midwest apparently), so stay warm and safe everyone!
Tell me: real tree or fake tree in your household?