Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Bungalow Christmas {Better Late Than Never}

I realize Christmas is over, and we're well on our way into a fabulous New Year, but I still wanted to share some of our Christmas photos with you. School was hectic this term {and I only got a four day break between classes}, so I've been extra busy and extra sleep deprived, but I managed to squeeze a little Christmas cheer into our space. Take a look, but keep in mind that my cell phone is still the only working camera I own...

I was going for a natural, slightly handmade, inspiring tree this year. Adding jute twine to all of my bulbs was one of the ways I accomplished this look! I typically decorate in red and white for Christmas, but we needed a change around here, and I LOVE the green, ivory, gold and bronze color pallet!

Our table decor was simple this year. I used a new poinsettia and accessories from around the house.

Next, I hung some fake garland above the living room window, made a paper chain from book pages and hung a coordinating green ornament at each end. It was a nice frame for the tree...

The topper was an economical choice that did the job. It's made up of a $2 cluster of gold embellishments from Target. I just secured it to the top with a green, satin ribbon.

The tree skirt is just three yards of cream burlap wrapped around the tree stand {that I'll reuse for later projects}. It was another necessary economical choice, because my only tree skirt happens to be red and white! No sewing for this project either. Bonus!

Another handmade element to the tree was my burlap garland. It took just one night to complete and was super easy, but it added great texture to the tree. I simply cut burlap strips and tied them on a long piece of jute. Well worth it!

Of course, my wrapping had to coordinate too! I bought that stripe paper at Walmart and the green, satin ribbon too. The jute I had on hand, and the green snowflake ornaments were 4/$2 at Target. I made the initial "gift tags" myself. Thank goodness my gift giving was minimal this year, and no one had the same first initial. Note: For family gifts, I just did their last name initial. I first cut some reusable shopping bag material I had on hand into squares {originally purchased 1/2 yard at Jo-Ann}. Next, I used glitter glue to write the letters. Glitter glue is thick and doesn't run, so it worked great. Lastly, I poured on the glitter. After they were dry, I tapped the glitter off and attached them to the proper packages.

Here's a couple more shots of some random decor around the house. Because of school and work, I didn't put out an excessive amount. I wanted a quick clean up process, to minimize stress on my O.C.D. tendencies! By the way, our tree is STILL up, because I have a somewhat attached toddler on my hands. Every morning, he insists we plug in the "yight" for the "tee" and give the "tee" a "dink"!

I happened to score a GREAT Christmas gift for myself on clearance too...

It's from Kmart, and was a discontinued piece! There's a story there, but I'll save it. Isn't she pretty?!?! It's the perfect solution to my not-enough-living-room-seating scenario too...

Preston helped make his own gifts for family, this year! He LOVES to paint, so this was a great activity for him to do. He also painted a wooden car for papa that I added a string to {to make it an ornament} and a wooden snowflake ornament for grammie. Ornaments are a sentimental thing in our family and the most important Christmas element. They're our Christmas Story-a sort of Christmas timeline! Santa also has a newly painted cookie plate {a pre-made white plate on clearance at Michaels for $1}. To make the ornament above, I gave Preston a pre-cut wooden circle from Michaels and some red and green paint. I encouraged him to paint it, and when it was dry I just mod podged a photo of him on top. Lastly, I hot glued a jute string for hanging!

December ended with a visit from Santa! It was Preston's second Christmas, and I kept the traditions going that we started last year. That was important to me. Christmas Eve, he opened two gifts. One was a pair of Christmas pajamas and one was a Christmas movie. We ended the night cuddling on the couch watching our movie, and he fell asleep in my arms. It was perfect.

His daddy came over Christmas Eve night to help put toys together and set up for the BIG morning. I know this isn't realistically going to happen every year, but I felt it was important for Preston to have that special time together with his parents on Christmas morning. He's so little, and it had been too long, and he loved the attention from both of us. The visit, though somewhat uncomfortable for me, went pretty well. He slept on the couch and was able to be there when Preston woke up. This arrangement worked best, since he lives an hour away now.

In my family growing up, Santa always used one special wrapping paper for me and one for my brother. It was usually something that matched our personalities, and part of the fun Christmas morning was to see our special wrapping paper. It was always different each year, and I think it helped keep the magic of Santa alive, because there would have been no way possible for him to use one of our wrapping paper rolls on our gifts if he prepared them in his workshop! I have and will continue the same tradition. We're in a serious tractor phase right now, and I couldn't find John Deere wrapping paper, but I did find a green one with deer on it! He was SO much fun Christmas morning and unwrapped his gifts like a champ with little coaxing!

I hope your Christmas was Merry & Bright! It was very memorable for me and something that I consider a hurdle. Each one of this year's firsts is going to be a challenge, but I am making the best of it and trying to keep traditions going. Preston and I went to the same tree lot to get our tree this year, but it was just us. I was somewhat emotional that night, but really proud of myself for doing it alone {can you tell I had been crying here}. Preston enjoyed looking at the trees and had serious input in the one we got. I asked the same man to take our picture as before, and he even gave me $2 off for asking him to take the picture! Sweet man.

Whew! I know that was long, so thank you for your patience. That should just about bring us up to speed. I am so grateful for each and every one of you and cannot wait to see what this year unfolds. Hurry back! "There are still good times to be had." {Name that movie line. It's a favorite of mine.}

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