Because my mother was here with us when we moved into the new house, she has a visual of the layout and as soon as I told her we had put up the tree and did some other decorating for Christmas, she had questions about where did we put the tree and how big is it and did we have to move any furniture around and did I have a Christmas tablecloth on my dining room table. I answered all her questions and promised her that I would take some photos so that she could see for herself.
We have 9′ ceilings and Tay really wanted to buy a 9′ tree so that it would reach the ceiling but we couldn’t find one. In fact, when we went shopping for a tree, a lot of places were sold out. We ended up buying a display model from the Bay because that’s all they had left, but it was a beautiful tree and we got it for 50% off. It’s only 7.5′ but we put the tree on a platform that we covered with a red Christmas tablecloth, stacked some presents around it and now the tree reaches the ceiling.
When I was out shopping with Anna Lee a couple of weeks ago, she bought these shiny festive jingle bells at Pier One to attach to her Christmas gifts. I loved the bells so much but didn’t want to copy her idea so I tried to think of another way to use them – I originally planned to use them as napkin holders but I love the way the look just sitting on the plates. The snowflake plates are from Home Outfitters – they were on sale and had a buy one get free promotion so a set of 4 plates that was normally $19.99 cost $14 and we got a second set for free. We also bought snowflake mugs to match.
Jackie couldn’t stop talking about how much she loves how our dining room table looks for the holidays and we started talking about decorating on a budget.The reindeer candle holders cost $8 each at Canadian Tire, the jingle bells were $1 each at Pier One. The silver charger plates ($10 for 4) and red placemats (2 for $4) were bought at Walmart and the centrepiece are inexpensive silver ornaments in a $3 Ikea vase.
I love pointsettas during the holidays and while I prefer to have fresh plants and flowers whenever possible, when I saw the pointsettas at Michael’s on the weekend for 60% off, I couldn’t resist buying a few to place around the house. The regular price was $14.99, after the discount they cost $6.83. When Tay saw them, he didn’t even realize they weren’t real – and I can use them year after year.
I love using ornaments to decorate – it’s inexpensive but simple. The ornament on the top is sitting on a wooden base that holds a potted peace lily (on the subwoofer in the corner of the living room) and the ones on the bottom are in a large glass vase on the table in the entry way.
One of the things I love the most about my parents place is the fireplace in their living room and the stockings that we’d hang every Christmas and how, when we could convince my dad to go through the hassle, he’d light it on Christmas morning. Our fireplace may turn on with the flick of a switch, but it has a mantel to hang stockings from and string garland along and when it’s lit, with just the lights from the Christmas tree, it’s almost as good as the real thing.
We discussed quite a bit about where to put our Christmas tree and I wanted it where it is so that it could be seen from the dining room, living room and the kitchen. The picture on the left was taken from the stairs leading to the second floor and after I took this photo, I realized that it can even be seen from the stairs in the reflection of the mirror over the fireplace.
Our living room has become my most favorite place in the house – even more so during the holidays and especially this week while I’m off work. In the early evening, when the tree is lit and the fireplace is on, and with Christmas carols playing, it’s the perfect place to curl up with a book, a blanket or my knitting and a mug of hot chocolate.
I can’t wait for next week when the room is filled with family and friends, the smell of cinnamon and apple cider and the sound of wrapping paper being torn from gifts. I wish the rest of my family could be here to help us celebrate our first Christmas in our new home, but at least now, they can see what I see this Christmas.