Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas decorations

Since I'm just beginning this blog, and still trying to figure out what I will be writing about, there's been a few "shoot maybe I should have taken photos of that!" moments.  And those have resulted in 'after' shots...which I guess is better than nothing.  So, here we go.  Christmas!

My little family (mom, dad, me, and the recent addition of husband) have traveled to Severna Park, MD, every year since I was maybe 9 or 10 for Christmas.  We go up Christmas Eve and stay with my Aunt Carol and Uncle Larry, mom's only sister.  There's always a great crowd with lots of food, wine, and laughs.  In September, Aunt Carol had triple bypass surgery, and luckily is recovering very well.  But with this, she said she was taking this Christmas off.  My cousin Kristin would be the next logical hostess, but she and husband Steve took their kids on a cruise for Christmas.  So, I offered!  More on that later...

Because this would be the first time ever hosting my extended family for anything, and I had very large shoes to fill, I wanted it to be perfect.  And that started with the decorations

I saw an add in the Crate and Barrel catalog and off I went to the store to track down that exact look.  As did every one else in VA - I almost had to fight one woman for the last reindeer stocking holders!  And they were out of some of the elements, so I had to make do - and I think it really turned out lovely!

I cleaned off everything that's usually on our mantle, so I had a clean slate to work with.   I used some fake garland which I doubled up to run along the top, and then an extra piece of red beaded garland that we didn't use on our tree this year.

I had this mirror that was just sitting around, so I thought I'd give it a shot - and it really worked out perfectly.  The usual mantle art was way too busy for the Christmas decorations.  It was about time for us to get some new stockings, so I ordered these from PotteryBarn.com - they were pretty inexpensive and came in about a week.  We even got Cady her own! 

Just a few other decorations around the house, besides the tree:

My mother in law has given us pieces of this nativity set for the last few years, and since she was joining us for Christmas, I wanted to make sure I set it out in a prominent location.  It's fairly large, and since we don't have a lot of extra tables in our townhouse, this space right at our built-ins seemed perfect.

I wanted to bring in some fresh pine, but when I looked at purchasing bunches of it, it was very expensive!  So, Cady and I went on a little walk around our neighborhood with our clippers!  I just snipped a few branches from some of the huge pine trees around the community, and Voila!

I put some on top of the china cabinet in the dinning room, and then paired some with beautiful red roses in both the powder room and on the drink table.  I got lots of compliments on both, and they were super easy.

I got the idea for the roses, pine, and silver vase from a recent Southern Living article.

I love my Target trees!  I saw them at the beginning of December but just thought they were too expensive to buy a group of them.  I went back the week of Christmas, somewhat frantic for a centerpiece, and there they were...on clearance!  So instead of $20 and $10 for the different sizes, I paid $20 total for the 3!  They were a perfect touch to our table - and didn't take up too much room!
Well that's all for now - more later about the Christmas dinner, menu, table settings, and a fun kid activity!

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