Like so many of you, I have so many wonderful memories of the traditions that once existed in my family. I say once existed because after my mom's death everything changed and so did the traditions. While I'm embracing the new traditions, especially the ones I've made with Mike's family and my dad, my heart always craves Mom's Traditions.
At one point in my teens my mom decided that there was no more real Christmas tree and that all of the old ornaments and decorations were going into storage to make way for a brand new artificial tree and shiny new ornaments and decorations. I didn't understand it at first, I felt like she was taking away everything that had ever been sacred to us in years past. Now that I'm older, I not only totally understand, but I now intend to carry this tradition. Growing up, everything in our house during the Christmas season was silver, white, and gold. We had a whole set of decorations that came out to replace the everyday decor for just that short period of time. There was something magical about it. And so the new traditions started.
This is the perfect time to share with you one of my favorite memories of my mom: After she got sick, she had to sit out the Christmas tree decorating because she couldn't stand long enough, let alone sit. So she'd lay on the couch and we'd position her so she could watch us. She would have us lay all of the ornaments out on the carpet and we'd pick them up one by one and she would direct us to the exact place she wanted it on the tree. Sounds like it was the perfect situation, but I would always tease her about her "exact specifications" the following morning. Why? Every year after decorating the tree, you would wake the next morning to find multiple ornaments rearranged. She would always tell me that when she couldn't sleep at night, she would start thinking about the tree and second guessing where she had us put certain ones. So in an effort to make the tree perfect, she would drag herself out of bed in the middle of the night like a little elf, and move ornaments. I always smile when I think of this memory and how I once thought her to be out of her mind.
Now I find myself in her shoes with that exact need for holiday perfection. So I'd love to share with you guys my first year of making those traditions, and my own, come true!
I chose our holiday colors last year and that was kind of the start to making Christmas our own. Everything you'll see is white, silver, and a soft purple color. So let's start with the mantel!
My mom always had reindeer figurines up during the holiday, so when I saw these stocking holders, my heart just melted!
I've been reading a lot of really great blogs and articles online about thinking outside of the box for the holidays and ways to save money while making your house look amazing! So with that in mind, I fell into a trap at Michaels one day and found these awesome picture holders, but thought they'd look awesome by themselves on the mantel.
I'm so in love with them! And all of that fuss in the background of the photo was also part of the trap! I found garland that was on sale and couldn't say no. It's this fantastic white garland that looks like thin branches and sparkles everywhere! :)
Stockings were a pretty stressful event in my life this holiday, as these were the first I've ever bought. I've been on this huge up-cycling kick in life and these stockings were perfect for that purpose! Both of our stockings were up-cycled from old wool sweaters, super-cool right?! Then I had this idea to get vintage brooches for each of our stockings to class them up a bit. So here's my stocking and brooch ( I had to take a couple shots of my brooch since it's so wonderful!):
And here's Mikes:
Before getting to my favorite part, the presents under the tree, here are a couple of the neat tips I learned this year.
I tied some ribbon around our pillows just to give them a little holiday flare. The best part is, I already had this ribbon from last year's gifts.
This was a pretty inexpensive addition as well. It looks great on the coffee table, especially when all the candles are lit!
For the time being, I'm only allowing myself to get a couple tree ornaments a year. Since I went a little crazy on other items this year, I balanced it out with only one new addition. Thank you Pier 1 for this lovely!
And how realistic do those branches look on our tree? Mike gets all the credit for picking this one out! :)
Now there's nothing I love more than wrapping presents in preparation for the holiday. My favorite thing in the world is putting them under the tree and arranging them so I can rearrange them later! Here's a few shots of what's going on under our tree!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with the ones you love and I can't wait to share our holiday fun with you afterwards!