Last year I made all new ornaments for our tree - and then left them in Haiti. We came home, started unloading our belongings out of the container that had housed them for two years, and I went a little crazy. Fresh home from a third world country will make a person hate all their belongings. I had an epic garage sale a few weeks later. I remember looking at our Christmas stuff and thinking, "Why? Why did I keep these things? Get it all away from me - now." A few weeks ago it dawned on me that it's almost Christmas - and once again, we don't have any ornaments. The idea of an upcycled or reusable Christmas sounded like a fun idea (minus the part where I actually had to physically make stuff). I broke out the glue gun and got busy burning the flesh right off my hands. And arms. And shin.
I loved our wonky stick ornaments last year. I got the idea from Shannan over at Flower Patch Farmgirl. I dig her for so many reasons. The boys were happy to help me paint.
Aren't they cute? You should seriously check out Shannan's tree. It's double dreamy.
I also stole her idea for my garland. I think she uses newspaper - I cut up an old book. Gasp! It was a book about politics, so it's funny to see names like McCain, Clinton, Obama, and Romney circling our tree.
Kirby found these adorable bird ornaments online at Stephanie Lynn's website.
They were simple to reproduce.
Rosette with real chicken feathers
Blue and white striped fabric wrapped around an ugly Santa Claus ornament? Yes. Please.
Is "put a nest on it" the new "put a bird on it?" I hope so.
I'm loving these nests in our tree. They probably have diseases, but whatev.
My sister-in-law found this candelabra (that word has bra in it, hee!) at a resale shop last year. Hello Advent candle holder.
For the mantle, I wanted something simple. I swiped my garage-sale scale and the two white bowls from the kitchen. The middle container is a utensil holder. Don't tell anyone. The bird and white bird house thing, were already on the mantle. The plants - mini fir trees and rosemary. I love the idea of planting them in the ground after Christmas. And - the living room smells like Rosemary. It makes me want potatoes.
The books in the fireplace? This grouping is mostly made up of my enormo college literature books. Aaron has loved - I mean loved - moving those books from house to house over the years. He hasn't complained about that at all. Not at all.
I made the stockings two summers ago from burlap bags. These stockings feel extra special because I made them while staying at our family's farm. When I look at them, I can't help but remember my nieces and boys all up in my business, asking me 100 questions. They all decided to learn to sew pillows that summer. I loved finishing up a stocking and running barefoot across the yard to show my sister-in-law the finished product. Our boys will never forget those sweet times with their cousins.
I bought the burlap bags at a garage sale. The lady sold me about 20 huge, REAL burlap coffee sacks for $1 TOTAL. I could not believe it. I handed her a dollar and have never run faster down a driveway.
It's very simple, but looks so pretty at night. Our boys love being outside, so bringing pieces of the outside in makes this tree feel extra special to them. Besides, when Christmas gets flashy, it starts making very little sense to me.
Having this extra week after Thanksgiving feels so weird. Do you like the extra week or do you wish December would hurry and get here?
Whether you put your tree up early or wait until a week before Christmas - I hope you have a sweet time decorating it with the ones you love most.