I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m a big fan of Christmas and the holidays. The music, the Christmas movies, the sugar cookies and surprises are just the best in my book. So it wasn’t long after Thanksgiving – like, maybe a few hours into the next day – before I was ready to start trimming the tree.

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Since we have our house this year too, it added a whole other level of fun. Getting to decorate outside and have it be more than just an apartment porch created all sorts of new opportunities. And there’s just something about having a house that feels more “official” I guess.

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There is something kind of intimidating about decorating the mantel though. Especially when it’s a mantel I like as much as this one. I still haven’t found the perfect piece to hang above it, so that would probably have helped, but at any rate I kept it simple for the holidays as is kind of my MO. Every year I add a few new pieces to my holiday decor collection, but somehow it always seems like I’m still missing something I need. Or is that just me?

I had kind of wanted to go all neutral on the mantel, but I didn’t have anything strong enough to anchor it, especially without a piece above. So I went with my little red tree picked up years ago at an after Christmas sale in the center, flanked by two new little “mercury glass trees,” and capped off with gold tree stocking hangers given to me by my mom a few years ago.

I bucked the symmetry with the pieces on the end (the two new candlesticks I bought ended up on the dining room table – they didn’t work here) and went with simple clear glass pieces that I use in our decor all year round. Since our stockings are red, I do kind of like the brightness and cheeriness they brought in paired with the red tree in the center. I plan to go after Christmas shopping for some prettier ornaments to tuck into the greenery next year. These are just some plain ole ones I had left over.

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I do have lights tucked into the greenery too. They are battery operated and actually came with a timer, so I love that they are on when I get home.

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I tried to get a decent shot of the Christmas tree – you know, one of those beautiful perfectly lit ones that don’t seem like they should be that hard. But alas, I’m not a photographer, and those lovely shots elude me still.

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Our tree is all about the sentimental and definitely not tricked out Southern Living style or anything. But that’s exactly how I like it – pretty and thoughtful and very unique to us. What kind of holiday decorating do you do?

Wishing you a happy holiday this week! We will be closed from Christmas Eve until January 5th, so we’ll see you back here after the New year.