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Haul Out The Holly

It is that time of year. The magical time where kids present you with their long list for “Santa” and Christmas catalogs fill up your mailbox. It is also that time of year that you venture into the darkest corners of your house to pull out some of the most spectacular (and sometimes most complicated) decorations that you own. It’s CHRISTMAS!!

I am one of the few left that do not put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, I usually make everybody get decorations down so that over the following days I can put them up. That is at least my intentions, but doesn’t always work out like that.

I am very specific how I decorate my Christmas tree, and while it may seem rather regimental, I am very happy with my results that I felt the need to give a breakdown.

Christmas Tree

The first step is to choose a Christmas tree, and with so many options out there, this can be quite a daunting task. Will it be fresh, pre-lit, or colored?

Pre-lit Christmas Tree is ready for ornaments.  Make sure it is properly fluffed before decorating

Pre-lit Christmas Tree is ready for ornaments. Make sure it is properly fluffed before decorating

I personally went with synthetic pre-lit Christmas trees years ago. Why? Because I like the lights to be perfectly spaced. I once watched a Martha Stewart Special where she showed how to perfectly wrap a live Christmas tree. I do not have a full year or a sleigh full of assistants to wrap a Christmas tree the way she showed.

Butterscotch helps me wrap the lights for the garland

Butterscotch helps me wrap the lights for the garland

Just a handful of kittens, which are not always helpful but sure are cute!

Theme

Just like a room, your Christmas tree should have a color scheme. It can be traditional Christmas colors, jewel tones, pastels, country, the options are abundant. This will help guide your overall theme for ornaments.

Colored Glass Ornaments in my color scheme

Colored Glass Ornaments in my color scheme

I use a rather traditional theme of red with silver and gold.

Ornaments & Placement
Vintage Christmas ornaments & poinsettias adorn the tree.

Vintage Christmas ornaments & poinsettias adorn the tree.

Vintage & delicate ornaments adorn the tree.  Silver icicle ornaments are used in conjunction with glass ornaments, reinforce the theme

Vintage & delicate ornaments adorn the Christmas tree. Silver icicle ornaments are used in conjunction with glass ornaments to reinforce the color scheme

I like my ornaments to share a common theme. I usually decorate with colored glass balls (they have a beautiful shine, but watch out if they break!) Silver & Gold, with Red. I then reinforce that color scheme with other ornaments such as silver icicles, crystals, and delicate ornaments.

I prefer a vintage Christmas. I have paper ornaments that I use, as well as some special ornaments that mark special occasions. I then fill in with gold berry plants, pine cones, and tinsel.

Make sure that the ornaments are spaced out throughout the tree, I layer the ornaments nestling pine cones, floral/berries, and small crystals inside the tree branches.

You want to make sure that your color scheme is reinforced by placing the colored ornaments throughout the tree and not in just one area.

Special ornaments marking memories and special occasions are throughout the tree

Special ornaments marking memories and special occasions are throughout the Christmas tree

Crystal Ornaments

Some of the crystal ornaments I acquired from an old chandelier. Whether you have an old crystal chandelier or pick one up at a yard sale, you can dismantle the crystals, tie a pretty ribbon, and hang. They make great decorations on the Christmas tree, hanging in mantle garland, or any other number of projects.

Beautiful crystal ornaments are made from old chandelier parts

Beautiful crystal ornaments are made from old chandelier parts

Paper Ornaments
Vintage paper ornaments can be made from paper dolls & wrapping paper

Vintage paper ornaments can be made from paper dolls & wrapping paper

I love the look of vintage paper dolls & toys. While these ornaments were acquired, they would also be easy to make from existing paper dolls or pretty wrapping paper. Growing up, we would make ornaments from scraps of pretty wrapping paper and are still some of my favorite ornaments today

Tree Skirt & Accouterments

Tree skirts hide all of the ugly stands, and there is so many different options from a simple tie around to faux fur. Choose one that suits your needs and overall theme. I have a red and gold skirt that reinforces my color scheme.

An antique train, presents, and a tree skirt adorn my tree

An antique train, presents, and a tree skirt adorn my tree

I went all out this year by adding presents and an antique train that chugs around the tree.

Tree Topper

While I save this for the last (just because all of the wonderful Christmas movies make a big show of it going on last) I would highly suggest putting it on first. The last thing you want to do is knock around your carefully placed ornaments while trying to put the topper firmly in place. My ceilings are  very short and I had to modify the top part of the Christmas tree and use a wish and a prayer to make sure everything stays in place. There are options from stars, angels, & ribbons. I use a simple star that reinforces my overall theme and is proportional to the overall tree.

Voila, my finished Christmas tree.

Decorated Christmas tree with lights, ornaments, & tinsel

Decorated Christmas tree with lights, ornaments, & tinsel

Now that the Christmas tree is decorated, I need to dress up the rest of the room and mantle.

I wrapped garland in lights and used similar ornaments from my color scheme.

The decorated mantle is ready for Christmas

The decorated mantle is ready for Christmas

I acquired a vintage house collection that I absolutely love.

Whimsical Vintage House

Whimsical Vintage House

I placed them on my fireplace mantle to create a little vignette. The “snow” is white batting that conveniently hides all of the ugly wires and cords to the houses. We also made the upgrade to use LED lights inside the houses so that they do not burn hot.

Vintage House collection on the fireplace mantle

Vintage House collection on the fireplace mantle

My family room is ready for Christmas and a cozy day by the fire.

The living room is ready for Christmas

The living room is ready for Christmas

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Nina takes great pride in her work. It shows in the intricate attention to detail, and her recommendations/suggestions. On top of all this, she is just the most pleasant person to work with. We could not have been happier with our decision to retain her, and plan on having her assist us with the next phase, as well as other projects. We highly recommend her.

Mike & MJ Kelly

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