Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas House 2013

For a week now, Anna Kate and I have been trying to resist decorating for Christmas. We finally caved two days ago, bit by bit, as we started sprinkling the house with the few decorations that we store inside. This year we can't have a big tree. Malachi would pull it right over. We can't even hang the stockings. We tried, and that lasted about five minutes. But the other night I got so excited, thinking about the delight of a little child at Christmas. The line "Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow will find it hard to sleep tonight," filled me with gratitude for our tiny tot. He's busy, messy, and loud, and he still doesn't let me sleep much. But he's the best little guy in the world, and we are so thankful for him. So what if everything beautiful will have to be above shoulder-height this year? Totally worth it.

Here's a short tour of what we've done so far:

Julia will be home this weekend. She will eat these in no time flat. In the mean time, they're gorgeous in vintage silver urns.

I snapped a quick foto of the linen stockings on their antlers.
Moments later, I had to put them away.
Too hazardous with little grabbing hands.

Some of the presents are on top of the cabinet.
We watched a family movie from Christmas 2010, and I was struck by how much I like the way I wrapped presents that year. Simple and cheap, and they match my house. So I dug out those supplies and we're doing the same look again.

Our cabinet. The lower shelf has been re-displayed so as not to appear interesting to a toddler.
This piece is one-of-a-kind, but our piano bars have the same look. And they're both still for sale!
If you forget how nice they are, see them here.

The dining room centerpiece.
I got the rosemary tree at Trader Joe's. It was supposed to be for my son, to help with concentration during his endless studying. But it's so lovely on our table. I think he'll only get a few sprigs. 

I covered up the tiny Christmas balls with acorns.
I prefer the acorns. In fact, the reds and purples of the ornaments aren't my colors,
and if anyone wants them, they're yours.

Here's what I use for wrapping:
Butcher paper from my Gramma
A giant roll of brown kraft paper, about 3 inches wide (from Goodwill, I think)
Brown and silver labels from the dollar section at Target
Home-made tags with burlap string

I like packaging very simple.
I don't go for anything patterned or expensive.
But after wrapping about eight presents, I decided I could branch out a tiny bit.
I scalloped the ends of the kraft paper for the girls' gifts, you can see one on the left.
I started tearing the kraft paper length-wise for some presents.
For the little gift on top, I made a "bow" by curling strips of paper and stapling them together in the middle.

In our living room, I was inspired by the printable we found  here.
Anna Kate and I have been reading Jess and Monica's blog at East Coast Creative,
that's where we found this. As soon as I realized how much printer ink it would take (look at all the background!) I decided to freehand it. It worked out great. It's not as perfect-looking as the printable, and not everybody has a little chalkboard just sitting around, but for me this was fun and easy.

I wonder how long the candy canes will last?

Have a peaceful, simple and joy-filled month, everyone.
And let me know if you have any more ideas for a toddler-friendly Christmas house.


  1. When my girls were about Malachi's age, we got to go home for Christmas. Before we got to my parents' house, my dad hung their Christmas tree upside down from the ceiling. It was unconventional and slightly odd looking, but safe FROM and FOR those busy little toddlers! (And the girls loved looking at it!) :)

    1. Oh that is funny! Any ornaments or lights? Or just the upside-down tree?

  2. Lights, ornaments…the whole works!

  3. Oh Jamie, what a great memory of your amazing dad.

  4. I think you did very well considering. I remember when my kids were around that age. You couldn't put anything hanging within their reach or it would get pulled down or ripped apart. Your home looks very festive and I will be sure to bookmark this page for inspiration. As your son gets older you will be able to have more decorations.