It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

I know just about everyone says they are surprised by how quickly Christmas comes each year, but this year it really snuck up on me. Especially considering the fact that it’s a few short days away and I don’t feel ready at all.

I may not have all my presents wrapped yet – heck, I just finished shopping today – but I do have one thing in order… Christmas decorations! Let me start off by saying my favorite thing about our decorations this year: I hardly paid for anything. Everything else was either decorations we already had, something that was given to us, or something I made and was therefore cheaper than what the store-bought equivalent would have cost me.

Where to start? The tree of course! This is the second year we’ve gone out to cut down our own tree, and this is the first year it did not go so well. Let’s just say we spent a lot of time walking in circles and not agreeing on a tree. I have a really difficult time making decisions and I was literally a field of hundreds of potential trees. But in the end, we got a tree and everything worked out fine, so my indecisiveness was for no good reason, as usual.

xmas tree

When it comes to choosing lights on the tree, I would really like all white lights one year, but Matt loves the multicolored lights. We compromised and the multicolored have gone on the tree, while the outdoor lights have stayed white. And in addition to the white icicle lights out front, we’ve got another pink feathered friend. We just keep taking in strays.


outdoor lights

flamingo

Inside, things are a little more festive looking. Since I wasn’t planning on buying anything new this year, there’s nothing over the top. You guys should already know Awreatha…

wreath2

And just inside the doorway is probably the most festive part of the house – the frame wall. The frame wall is still probably one of my favorite parts of the house, and I love decorating it whenever I can. On Halloween I covered it in fake cobwebs, spiders and bats and switched a lot of the pictures out for more spooky images. I also filled a tall, skinny vase with some real mini pumpkins.

halloween wall 2012

For Christmas, I decided to tackle the frame wall again. This time I simply wrapped all the frames with wrapping paper I had picked up on clearance last year after the holidays were over.

wrapped wallI also filled the same vase with some ornaments I also picked up last year. Those three wine bottle are also decorations – they’re filled with strings of white Christmas lights. My intention was to also use ribbons and bows on the wrapped frames, but after I was done with the first step, I realized it was pretty festive as is and was just easier to leave it as is.

Over on the bookshelf are a few more other festive touches. I used some of the same ornaments in one of my thrift store bowls and in the frog votive holder. I also draped the garland around the large framed picture. Again, I was planning on trying to make it a little prettier, or something, but in the end I decided it looked fine as is.

big picture garland

I also had some plans to make an advent calendar this year, buuuuut (are you sensing a theme here?) I went with something simpler. I just scribbled something on the chalkboard door and called it a day.

advent door

And finally, something we did this year that I haven’t done in years was to build a gingerbread house. We used one of the kits you can buy, because if we’ve learned anything from this post so far, it’s that we’re doing things the easy way this year.

gingerbread

So, with the Christmas decorations having been up for a while now, you would think I would have all my other Christmas stuff in order, but no. Gotta wait until the last minute!

How about everyone else – do you go minimal or all out when decorating? And are you all squared away for the holidays ahead of time, or do you wait until the last minute like me?