Okay, so in my book if it’s not Halloween then it’s Christmas. I mean literally, the day after Halloween I am already chomping at the bit for Christmas music to be playing on the radio. Thanks to Sirius radio, it was! Totally in the holiday spirit and ready to go I began crafting my holiday game plan which included decorating our house, my cubicle, planning our Christmas card, shopping, presents and all the fun activities we would partake in.
After several trips to some of my favorite stores: Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, Michael’s, the Dollar Tree and the 99 Cent Store I complied some additional decorations to go with some that we already had. Everything combined was just what I needed to go full Christmas this year. Starting even before Thanksgiving, I started decorating my cubicle. My co-worker and I both get really into decorating, so we of course went all out turning our cubicles into Christmas Cottages with a fireplace, mantle and chimney in all! It was an absolute hit!
As for our apartment, well I didn’t skimp there either. We have a small space as we live in a one bedroom apartment but I did what I could to take advantage of every inch and make it something special for us. While every year Jon and I get a fresh cut tree this year I couldn’t pass up a Black Friday deal at Target and picked up a 6.5 foot artificial tree for just $30! We figured to save ourselves some headache (we are still finding pine needles from last year) and to give me the ability to put it up much earlier than we are usually able to, we would just go with the artificial tree. Once we have children though it will definitely be back to fresh tree for us! Anyway, the tree was delivered just two days later and it was time to get it up and decorated. We put on How the Grinch Stole Christmas and got to decorating, it came out beautiful and perfect to us.
With the tree done, it was on to the rest of the house. I started with the collage wall just above our small bar area. I took the wood signs I had bought at Michael’s on Black Friday and arranged them on the wall. To finish it off, I added a wreath I found at the 99 Cent Store for $2.99 and a framed Christmas picture of Jon and I that I ordered off of Shutterfly.
On to the ledge where we normally keep some of our favorite pictures from our past traveling adventures, I hung some traditional pine garland along with the cutest stocking garland I picked up from Michael’s last year. To complete the look I added some poinsettia accents and wood ornaments I received as a gift a few years back. I have to say I am impressed with myself on this one as Jon mentioned he thought the whole thing was one piece and not something I threw together.
After adding some last minute accent pieces to the coffee table and side table, the inside was done.
Now for the outside… I began by re-purposing the bale of hay from our Fall / Halloween display. I used a small tabletop tree we purchased from IKEA a couple years ago, along with some poinsettias we purchased t Costco (a four pack for $19.99, go, go!) to finish off the display. While at Costco we also picked up a wreath for just $17.99 that was big and beautiful and was just what the outside needed to look complete.
During this time of year, I always try to pack in as many fun activities as I can. There never seems to be enough time to do everything we would like but we do as much as we can! Of course one of the first things on the list was Disneyland, while the decorations were fun, I feel like they did a much better job during Halloween. The big highlight though had to be It’s a Small World Holiday, they went all out this year.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one trip to Candy Cane Lane. In our neck of the woods, we have one neighborhood that decorates to the nines every year.
Gingerbread houses are another must during the holiday season. Jon and I had fun with this one. With some keto hot chocolate in hand (recipe coming soon) and a Christmas movie on TV, we went to town. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I think Jon’s favorite part might have been the frosting 🤣. Now, now, it’s not the prettiest thing, but it sure was fun!
Christmas cards are something we have started doing the last two years. I know I love receiving them from my friends and family every year, so I figured we should join in on the fun. We got a great picture during a friend’s wedding and used that for our card. Instead of a short note on the card itself we decided to include a recap of our year in a newsletter format. I searched everywhere for a template but could not find one so I made one of my own in Microsoft Publisher (feel free to copy, if you would like).
And of course, then there were the presents, which I love wrapping. I started early this year and had everything done by the first week! (check out my gifting strategy here)
This holiday season is one for the books. I am so blessed and grateful to be able to enjoy it with the people I hold so dear.
And to you…
Thank you so so much for following along on our journey. From Jon and I, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.