As Christmas draws to a close, I thought I would share some of our decorations from this year.

On our front doors, I used the same wreaths that I have been using for years. I took out the red berries, starts, and the rusty bells that I had bought years ago and change them for some new picks that I bought at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. The pinecones are ones I added originally.

Inside the door, I put up a little tree on our entry table that my mom gave us last year. It was prelit and I just left the ornaments on it that she had for this year.

On the mirror behind the tree (a $20 garage sale find) I hung another wreath I have had for years, changing out only the ribbon this year.

A little past the entryway, I have another small table. This year, I put some faux amaryllis and faux rosehips that I have had for a few years together into the vase that is there.

I put together several tiny bottle brush trees that I had previously used throughout the house together. I put them on a candle stand that my mom was getting rid of earlier this year along with some Epsom salt for snow. Several of the trees, all of the bushes, and the two clocks came from a garage sale purchase.

Across from this table is our piano. I changed this up this year by putting our nativity on the table, removing the thrift store clock (which no longer runs), placing the two reindeer here (a gift from a reader a few years ago), and filling a bowl with pinecones and bells.

The pinecones are from the house of a friend of my mother’s, and the bells (save one old bell) are from the Dollar Tree. I bought three packages this year as a new addition to our Christmas decor. I like this new setup a lot and plan to leave the piano as for a little while past Christmas. I like the bowl (a find at Home Goods a few years back) in this spot and will leave it here for a while. I hope to grow enough flowers to arrange flowers often (always, if possible!) in the urns next year. (The urns are not water-tight; I put pint-sized canning jars in them for arrangements.)

In the living room, I hung the two wreaths in the windows that I have had for years. I changed out the ribbon this year to match the new ribbon I used on our Christmas tree.

Our Christmas tree was our big change this year. We’ve had this tree for fifteen years. It was the display model at the store. It was a pre-lit tree. When several of the light strands went out years ago, we took them off (a pre-lit tree just has strings of lights stapled to the branches) and replaced them with new lights that we left on the tree.

This year, we changed it all up. We removed those lights to put on more lights that were larger and also a cooler white. Since we changed the house lights out to white led bulbs in March of 2020, the tree was the only source of a warmer, more yellow light. We decided to have it match in color temperature and chose new, larger bulbs, bought on sale at Hobby Lobby.

We have had the same ornaments for twenty years, with just a few inexpensive additions in the same style and color to replace broken ornaments over the years. We were ready for a change this year.

We found new mercury glass ornaments for sale at 50% off at Target and Hobby Lobby in early November. We found the large glass ball ornaments and one package of mercury-glass ornaments at Home Goods. I found a mercury glass tree topper on Overstock. The red birds (there are six of them) were a gift to my husband from a work colleague a few years ago. I am not sure I will hang them on the tree next year, but I still like them and may use them in a different place next year.

I changed the ribbon this year to a four-inch-wide wired gold ribbon from Amazon. I cut it into short sections about three feet long and tucked it into the tree after putting on the large ball ornaments. This is a new technique that I read about on a couple of blogs and is very different than the way I have always done ribbon on my tree before.

We hung the ornaments with a 3/8-inch wide ivory velvet ribbon that I sourced from Amazon.

Our tree stand is screwed down to a short table (that we got for free twenty years ago). This makes it impossible to tip over, makes a six-foot tree fill the space more, keeps the tree higher from toddlers, and gives more room underneath it for presents. We don’t hang ornaments on the bottom branches as well to prevent breakage.

The tree skirt is a drop cloth that I cut and hemmed a few years ago to fit around the table, with a hole in the middle for the tree to come through.

The gold and white reusable boxes came from Target a few years ago. I used the ribbon we had on hand this year to close them, which meant using a lot of red ribbon still. I plan to look for ribbon in gold, silver and possibly black next year to change up the colors.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

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39 Comments

  1. How lovely Brandy – thank you for the tour and some ideas for next year.

    I hope that you and your family had a lovely Christmas. It is now Boxing Day morning and I am about to head out for a walk along the lake with a friend. We are once again being asked to cut back on contacts and stores are back to 50% capacity so it is back to nature – which I truly appreciate and am so grateful to have on my doorstep – even in a large city.

    I hope all your readers had a lovely Christmas and I’m sure we will all be ready for a frugal New Year.

  2. Very clever of you to fasten the tree to a table to make it steadier.

    Also, I notice you seem to have a corner shaped bookcase. I have a number of bookcases in every corner, but have never seen one shaped that way. May I ask where you purchased it?

    1. I bought it many, many years ago. It was three pieces including the center armoire. It was from Horchow. We saved up and bought it on sale.

  3. Merry Christmas! Your home and updated decorations are beautiful. I like the new ribbon on the tree. We have snow in Oregon. We rarely have snow so it is beautiful outside. Glad I have no where to go and the relatives made it home safe last night.

  4. Just beautiful Brandy! I too have old vases that are not completely waterproof anymore. Because most are quite narrow, I cut the top of small PET plastic water/soft drink bottles and use these as “liners” to save my wooden surfaces. Because the plastic is so thin they “squish” into the vases easily. I can put them in the dishwasher after use, which means fewer bacteria to affect future flowers, and they are easily replaced when necessary.

  5. What exquisite decorations! I love the sculpture on the piano and she’s wearing a necklace!
    All of your updates are brilliant. Not buying anything at the Boxing Day sales. Staying offline!
    It is minus 35 with the windchill so I’m staying inside and am thankful for heat, electricity and lovely ham leftovers from yesterday. Happy holidays to everyone.

  6. I think your home picture and decorations are lovely. I think your blue bowl would look wonderful with paperwhites growing in it with moss climbing over the sides. You have so many gorgeous flowers you will probably have no trouble filling the urns and bowl and won’t need to buy paperwhites.

    Yes, we had a wonderful Christmas. However, our Christmas decor got off to a rather late start. We like to bring an evergreen tree into the house. The fragrance and the freshness cheer up gray days for a while. The grandchildren arrived Tuesday, so we took them out looking for a tree that evening. The place where we bought last year’s tree was sold out for the season, but my husband remembered a place in a town 30+ miles away that he said tends to have trees long after everyone else. On the way there we stopped at a nursery. No one seemed to be around, but a sign said their trees cost $60 for a 5-6 foot tree and $200 for a tall flocked fir that the girls turned up their noses at and said was ugly. Finally in the distant town we stopped at an old house crouched on a small lot with semi-scraggly Christmas trees tied to metal fence posts planted here and there about the tiny front lawn. It was dark and raining with a bit of a wind. No one came out to greet us; we wandered about the lawn analyzing Christmas tree features until the girls selected a suitable specimen. The chosen tree had an area with squashed branches, and they discussed whether those could be fluffed out again, but in the end they said we could put that side next to the wall. My husband went the door to pay for the tree; a sign said to leave $30 cash or whatever we could afford to donate. The price $40 had been Xed out. We drove to the bank for cash; the ATM would only greet us with a “Happy Holidays” message, but fortunately the bank was still open. Cash in hand we drove back to the Christmas tree lot where my husband put the money in the box, cut the tree loose from its post with his pocket knife, and loaded it into the car trunk. He had the girls pull the middle of the back seat down, so that he could stick the butt of the tree partially inside the car, so less hung out of the trunk. Then with the trunk lid open we drove the 35 miles home, listening to Handel’s Messiah, the windshield wiper blades on the front window, and the girls comments about the butt of the tree between them. It was still raining, and we were all somewhat wet but content. At home the girls strung the tree with lights and sorted through the homemade ornaments their mother and uncles had “crafted” when they were small and decorated the tree with the smashed side to the wall. The tree smells wonderful. On Christmas morning we drove to church and participated in Bible study and Christmas carol singing. Back at home we ate a nice dinner together. The table we found on Craigslist was extended with all its leaves, covered with a long red damask tablecloth with the woven-in poinsettias that I bought at Goodwill, and decorated with candle houses I bought at the grocery store when the girls’ mother was four and the Lenox candle lamp I bought last year at Goodwill. Later on Christmas night one of the girls read the Christmas story aloud from the gospel of Luke; their father played his guitar, and we all sang Christmas carols until his fingers were sore, and we prayed together and thanked God for His blessings to our family this year. This year especially we are aware that not all families have their all of their loved with them and healthy still. Then we opened the presents. At Thanksgiving we wrote on small pieces of paper our names and small lists of possible, affordable gifts and drew names. Then on Christmas night to start the present opening, one of the children picked up a wrapped present that had my name on it. After I unwrapped my present, I gave the present I bought to the person whose name I had drawn. That person unwrapped their present and then gave the present they had bought to the person whose name they had drawn. We went around like that until everyone had unwrapped their gift. There were a few extra gifts for the grandchildren. The kids said it was kind of fun to see who got whose name and what they picked out for their person, and the grandchildren seemed delighted with everything. So we had a wonderful Christmas.

  7. Brandy, it all looks wonderful! You said you took off the bells. They are HUGE this year, especially rusty crusty ones. I know you have the velvet ribbon and if you have the bells I’d tie them on the velvet ribbon and let dangle from your wreaths or a doorknob.

    1. I thought about doing that with the silver ones from the Dollar Tree but ended up putting them in the bowl instead. I’ve done bells on the door before and I do like them. I just didn’t want the rusty ones this year. I do like the idea of using the velvet ribbon to hang them. Maybe next year I will hang some that way.

  8. Thanks for the fun tour! I love the whole thing but I’ve always loved wreaths in the windows. How do you get away with no window coverings?
    We only had 2 inside decorations up this year. Our white nativity was on the mantle and my husband set up the Christmas village on the hutch shelves. I was in my 20s when I started painting them. They were from a company called California Creations. My parents were going through a horrible divorce and I started painting the village as therapy!!! I painted a total of 12 and they remained in a box for some 25 years. My husband found them and was in love with them. This has become his pet project every Thanksgiving weekend….put up the village. The shops and houses have strings of little white lights in them, there are sheets of “snow”, and added things like trees, bushes, street lights etc. We like strings of lights in the living room from October thru March to warm things up. So, the village serves that purpose from Dec thru early March. It looks cozy in that little village! Who would’ve known that I’d paint my husband’s favorite Christmas decoration 5 yrs. before I met him lol?!

    1. I finally have curtains for these windows but I haven’t had a chance to hem them yet. The sun only comes in the room in the winter (windows face south). In the summer the sun is higher in the sky and it only comes to the window, but not all the way across the room.

      Personally, I prefer no curtains, but the winter sun does get a bit bright across the table in winter, so I need to get the curtains hemmed and hung soon.

  9. What lovely decorations! As someone who has always had many animals in the house as well as children, the idea of screwing the tree stand to a table is brilliant. I remember my Dad tying the tree to the wall with heavy-duty fishing line to keep it from tumbling down. We have done the same but I think I am going to keep my eye out for an inexpensive table and do the same as you. Thanks for the idea!
    Merry Christmas to one and all!

  10. What wonderful Christmas decorations.

    Our decorations remain the same as they have done for the past 13 years, when we bought our first Christmas tree (except for 3 boxes of baubles I got about 2 years ago to replace broken ones and fill in the tree a bit more. These baubles came to a total of under $1 for all 3 boxes).

    Christmas day our food contribution to the family lunch we hosted was the homemade and decorated Buche de Noël and a vegan chocolate and raspberry cake to meet a particular family members requirements but was enjoyed by all. We are now enjoying leftover meats, salads, pasta and fruit.

    Presents were around $350 total for about 27 people. I shop year round and mega clearance.

    My children received, from a family member, brand new bicycles which were needed as they were too small for their bicycles.

    Next year I have a $150 budget total for all birthday and Christmas presents. I’m going to get creative in 2022. Looking forward to the challenge. 2022 is going to be a minimal spend year with no buying of shoes, clothes and non-essentials. I am also going to try harder with stretching our dinner meals and aim to get to Aldi more often for groceries (we often go to other grocery stores as they are more convenient and we are time poor).

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Brandy, I love your decorations.! We had a nice Christmas with family. We are eating leftover ham that we got for a great price, 95 cents a lb. This morning my husband is making ham and cheese croissants. Yum!

  12. Your pictures are beautiful as always. This is a suggestion the nect year ehy don’t u display more photos. I have gone to a lot of homes and always the joy of the lady of the house strikes me above all. our interests and loves make our home. mine is painting and i have been blessed with a home with lots of wall dpace having the high ceilings. we have entertsined this Christmas n my guests spend time looking at it like u eould in an art gallery.

  13. Thank you, Brandy, for sharing your home at Christmas.
    I just wanted to “like” every picture.
    We didn’t decorate for Christmas this year. My daughter and grandchildren have all been sick. They tested negative for Covid-19. What a blessing. Yet they have been coughing for weeks and are so very tired. We just didn’t bother with anything, but food. All of this babbling on is to say your home looks lovely. I enjoyed the tour very much.
    My first Christmas without decorations. I now understand why “old folks” don’t put up a tree. *laughing*
    God bless you all.

  14. Brandy, your Christmas decorations are very elegant and lovely. We had a very simple Christmas this year; only two of the three were able to come home, but my DIL and husband set up a zoom call on Christmas morning which helped my heart a lot. First year in many that I put the ornaments on the tree (enjoyed going through the boxes and sorted out ones that belong to various kids who have their own homes now), and made chocolate peanut butter fudge (one of the girls always makes it). Very different, but still enjoyed…especially the simplicity this year.

  15. Lovely decorations! Those red birds on the tree are a nice splash of color.
    I like how you give an explanation of the details – how you did the ribbon on the tree for example, and explaining the snow is Epsom salts. It helps someone like me that is not particularly creative think outside the box.

  16. Thank you for the lovely tour of your lovely home. As several readers have mentioned, thank you too for the explanations of how you created various looks. I’ll be filing away the suggestion about the ribbons on the tree – a look I’ve often admired and never been quite able to accomplish to my own satisfaction. The tiny tableau with trees and clocks in the “snow” made me think longingly of Narnia.

    1. The clocks made me think of Narnia too! (Even though they aren’t lampposts!) When I saw those at a garage sale I was delighted!

      I scoured blogs looking for details on how to do the ribbons like that. It was quite nerve-wracking to cut the ribbon in pieces like that and my children thought it looked horrible until we had everything on the tree. Then they begrudgingly said it looked really nice! 🙂

  17. I’m late to view your home tour but it is still lovely to me, even after Christmas! Thank you for sharing. I love how your home isn’t “farmhouse” (which isn’t true farmhouse) and how it’s clean and crisp with character! I love even more to hear about each item and the low cost purchases or how the item can about to be in your home! Have a wonderful new year! Will you be putting out a “Goals” post for the new year like you used to do? (Long time reader!) Monica

  18. You have an elegant home, beautifully decorated for Christmas! I have been looking for a long time for a fir wreath like the one on the mirror behind the tree but haven’t been able to find one that looks so realistic. Would you know where you purchased it, or if not, do you have a suggestion as to where I might find one? Thank you, and Happy New Year!

  19. It’s all very elegant and lovely. Our decorations are more rustic but we love them still. How you do that with only shopping once a month and buying all of those things on sale? It sounds like you are at the stores a lot but maybe that is wrong. I buy everything at garage sales and thrift stores so I don’t come across those deals. I have some things from Home Goods but have never been there. We always get a live tree but we don’t start celebrating Christmas until Christmas day (we decorate a day or two before.) That’s actually what the 12 days of Christmas are…the days from Christmas until January 6th (the Epiphany when the three Kings came bearing gifts. In some cultures that is the big day and when gifts are shared. I think about doing this sometimes because it would take the pressure off at Christmas and more would be on sale but other people don’t so it probably wouldn’t work.) Anyway, our trees are often free or nearly free since we get them so late. This year the tree was still $30 two days before Christmas but the guy ended up giving it to us and three of the kids gave him a hug which he said was worth so much more. I like your Christmas tree lights. I do not like the very bright, put-out-your-eyes LED ones. I wish I could find more old ones. A lot of people seem to treat lights as disposable now. I see a lot at garage sales still in boxes.

    1. Liz,

      I do not just shop once a month. Years ago, I used to try to shop every two weeks. Lately, the grocery sales are much less; I have found that I am going more often now to pick up just the loss leaders. The stores are all within a mile and a half of me, and I try to always combine errands to save gas, so if my husband is running to the bank for work, we go together and stop at the grocery store as well.

      I usually limit my garage sale shopping to two days a year, when there are community sales near me. Sometimes I will find a community sale on a different weekend and go a third day.

      There were very few items left a week before Christmas in our stores here. I went looking for more boxes and ribbon and it was gone. A frugal friend of mine posted a video yesterday of the Christmas clearance section of a store: almost every shelf was empty. She then posted that she went to Target, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s, and all she could find on clearance to purchase was tape and tissue paper!

      Most of my Christmas decorations have been bought over 15 years, so I did not buy everything all at once. The new decoations that I bought this year were mostly bought in a day: my husband and I went to one Target (I looked online first to see who had stock of what we wanted, but then ended up buying something else! There are three Targets within 5 minutes in three directions from my house) and two Hobby Lobby locations in November one day for the new ornaments and lights, with one return back to Hobby Lobby (which is super close by) for more lights the next day when we realized we needed more. The tree topper and ribbon were ordered online.

  20. Thank you, Brandy. That makes sense. I find the same about sales. They are not as good as they used to be and you have to work harder at it. That makes sense about adding the decorations up over the 15 years. You have such a good eye and work hard at it, I’m sure. I have learned so much from you and I appreciate the encouragement from you and your readers.

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