Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do!

It wasn’t always like that. I used to get overwhelmed with the clutter caused by the decorations, and couldn’t wait to take everything down! I finally realized one year, that I was decorating on top of my everyday decorations, instead of completely replacing my decorations with Christmas ones.

I never saw my mom put away any of her everyday decorations during Christmas, instead, she would just add the Christmas ones. In my opinion, this caused for visual clutter, so when I finally realized the key was to switch everything out, it was a game changer for me!

I now love Christmas decorations, and can’t wait every year to put them up! It is a little more work since I do have to put away a lot of things, but it’s definitely worth it.

We Get Started Early

In our home, we start decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween!

christmas stockings handing on the mantel in the livingroom

I know it sounds early, but it just gives us more time to add things, move things around, and of course enjoy the cheer that comes with the decorations.

Ryan takes all our red and green Christmas storage totes down from the attic and away we go! We first clear the rooms we will decorate of any everyday decorations, throw pillows, etc. Once we’ve cleared the room, we then place the Christmas decor and use the empty Christmas totes to put away the decorations we took down. This way, we know exactly where everything is when it’s time to take Christmas down and go back to everyday decor.

Quick Tip: Keep up With Holiday Decor by Storing It in Totes

Have you ever had trouble locating all your Christmas decor when it was time to start decorating? I certainly used to. Ryan would venture into the attic to bring down box after box filled with a hodgepodge of seasonal decor. So, I always ended up with lots of stuff I didn’t need and also felt like I was missing half of my Christmas decorations. I’d then have to send Ryan on numerous trips back to the attic to find it all.

To solve this problem, we now use color-coded plastic totes for storing our seasonal decor. That way, with only a quick glance, we know what to grab. And nothing gets left in the attic anymore. This makes it so much easier to take down exactly what we need for each holiday.

We use red and green storage totes for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween, light green and burnt orange for Thanksgiving, and light blue for Easter.

Decorating the Tree

A couple years ago, on a trip to Cracker Barrel, we saw a flocked tree with candy cane decorations and fell in love!

We had always used a green Christmas tree, so it was a little scary at the time to change it for a snowy one, but now I see these flocked trees are all the rage so I’m glad we took a chance!

We got a lot of the decorations from Cracker Barrel that same day, and we also got many from Hobby Lobby. Every year we re-flock the tree. That’s a job I leave to Ryan of course! It’s a little messy but much needed! And every year we add a few more decorations. This year, though, I can finally say the tree is done, and full!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Decorating the Focal Point: The Living Room Mantel

My mantel is my favorite part of the living room!

living room mantel decorated for Christmas

I came up with the idea of placing different sizes and types of wreaths on it, and I’m thrilled with how it looks. I added some mini Christmas trees, a JOY sign, made by my sweet friend, and a few other decorative pieces.

I just mixed and matched different textures for added visual interest.

Adding a Simple Centerpiece

It took me forever to come up with a centerpiece for my coffee table. I don’t know what happened, but the table was empty for weeks, I just didn’t have anything that seemed adequate (and I tried a lot of stuff out!!) and I couldn’t find anything in the stores that inspired me!

Finally, this last week, it all came together.

It’s simple, but I’m happy with how it turned out. It took long enough!

I already owned the basket, so that was my starting piece. I got these beautiful peppermint candles at Marshalls. The silver vase is from Target, as well as the glass vase filled with frosted berries.

I still felt like the table looked a little bare, so when I found this round tablecloth at Hobby Lobby, I thought it would be the perfect finishing touch!

I simply scrunched it up and placed the basket on top!

Done!

Wrapping Gifts And Placing Them Under The Tree

For the Christmas presents, I went with two types of wrapping paper. I used a candy cane design to match the tree, but I didn’t want it to be overwhelming, so I also wrapped some of them in plain brown craft paper.

I topped them off with a pretty ribbon bow, and ready!

Simplifying Gift Giving This Year – Want, Need, Wear & Read

On a side note, we’re doing the 4 gift method this year. I saw this idea online and thought it was perfect for us! With 5 kids, shopping for gifts can get expensive, and we end up with so much stuff when all is said and done. So this year, the kids are each getting 4 gifts, one WANT, one NEED, one WEAR, and one READ, .

wrapped Christmas gifts

They are actually excited about trying this out, and I’m happy with the savings!!

Adding Some Christmas Spirit To Our Bedroom

Now, to our bedroom!

I keep it simple in the bedroom. Ryan loves when I dress up the bed for Christmas. It just makes it look so cozy.

I added this tray for effect of course 😉

In our room, all I do is change the bed covers, and place a couple simple Christmas decorations on our nightstands.

A couple Christmas throw pillows on our couch and that’s it. Next year, I’m hoping to place a wreath or sign above our headboard.

Our Dining Room Winter Wonderland

In our dining room, we decided to go with an entirely different theme. We usually decorate for Christmas with red and white in our whole home, but this year, we decided on a Winter Wonderland look for our dining room, using only whites, silvers, creams, and browns.

dining table and buffet for christmas dining room decor

The dining room is right off the entrance to our home and completely separate from the living room. It’s nice to come in the house and see the Wonderland dining room and then walk down the hall to the living room and get a completely different feel.

To see the entire dining room, see my post on how to create a Winter Wonderland in your home.

I hope you guys enjoyed the mini tour of our Christmas home!