Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

That right there is a mistletoe. I searched the Internet for what mistletoes traditionally look like and I found this interesting article on their history and evolution. My mistletoe is not a real mistletoe, but I made it out of plants in the yard. I tied them together with twine and voilà.

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Do you recognize this from Thanksgiving? The good news about Christmas decorations is you can use your fall decorations as a base and just change the colors. Pine cones and white candles are equally Christmas-y as they are Thanksgiving-y. I took out the yellow-beaded leaves from my Thanksgiving centerpiece and added in more red. And I replaced the fall-colored flowers with red and white flowers. (Josh conveniently got me flowers that are precisely those colors!)

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But I wanted WAY more than a centerpiece for Christmas. We’re hosting Josh’s office holiday party this weekend, so I want to make sure the house looks gracefully festive and cozy, as we sip eggnog in front of the wood-burning stove and munch on turkey and ham cooked on our smoker.

These are pecans in their shells that I got at the farmer's market.

These are pecans in their shells that I got at the farmer’s market.

To help me prepare, my mom brought over a big box of her leftover Christmas decorations: Ornaments, red bows for inside and outside, a pine branch for wrapping around the staircase–all of that good stuff. So I got to decorating.

Not all ornaments have to go on the tree.

Not all ornaments have to go on the tree.

I love this. My mom gave this to me, but you can always try making one with natural things you find in your yard.

I love this. My mom gave this to me, but you can always try making one with natural things you find in your yard.

Red ribbons are instantly festive. And they go with my red painting, too.

Red ribbons are instantly festive. And they go with my red painting, too.

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Another cute idea is to put a bunch of mini candy canes in a big mason jar. I put two of them next to each other and I really like the look. You have to work harder to get to the candy, too, which is probably good.

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My mom also gave me a big glass vase and instead of putting flowers in it, I put a tall red candle in it. It looks beautiful when it’s lit.

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And of course, there is our Christmas tree. I had gotten this little guy at Michael’s after Christmas last year. First, I thought that would serve as our Christmas tree this year. But it was just too tiny for all of our ornaments. So Josh and I went to Loews and picked up a Norfolk Island Pine.

We named him Ferguson.

We named him Ferguson.

Don’t let anyone tell you you have to get a traditional Christmas tree! Ferguson is alive and tropical so he can stay inside all winter and we can put him on our front porch in the summer. Then we can decorate him again next year.

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Isn’t he adorable?

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And we cannot forget: Our menorah. I just got this little menorah for Hanukkah this year, and I learned the prayer that you sing when you light the candles. Josh is Jewish but he’s never owned his own menorah before. It’s time to begin our family traditions together!