File this under “better late than never.” After a long, unintended hiatus, I’m excited to dive back into the blog and record all the progress we’ve made this fall and winter. Keeping up with memory-keeping, both for our house on the blog and for Kate in her scrapbook, are high on my lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions.
We were excited and a little stressed about decorating this house for the holidays for the first time. I was over the moon to have a fireplace and a mantel (!!) and a picture window high up in the foyer, but with all these new areas and configurations, we were constantly debating how to re-appropriate our Christmas decorations from our old house and when to buy new things to fit a different space.
Putting the Christmas tree in the family room was a no-brainer. It’s the first time — either in our old house or my house growing up — that the tree was in our primary gathering space and not the “living room.” We removed both end tables and the oversized ottoman to make it work. Next to the fireplace with our stockings, it felt so cheery and cozy! For the mantel, we got a new wreath from Pier One, a silver reindeer and glass tree from Home Goods and filled in some spaces with candles I had.
In the foyer, we used a small tree that previously sat outside on our old front stoop and, since it was indoors, decorated it with my half of Mom’s collection of S’mores snowmen ornaments and a plush gingerbread man garland that she used to make me hang (begrudgingly) like bunting across the top of our family room built-ins growing up. It felt like a subtle little tribute to her 🙂 Up above the front door, Chris hoisted a seven-foot, pre-lit artificial Christmas tree that Kate controlled with a remote switch from the hallway every evening, much to her delight!
The hutch in the dining room got a little functional decor using my Christmas serving pieces and some new red taper candles that I got for our first Christmas dinner in this house! (A photographer, I am not. Learning to use my camera is another resolution!)
At the last minute, I decided to set up my Mom’s Department 56 “Christmas in the City” village. The location, the folding table and even the layout aren’t likely to be repeated next year, but since I put it up the day before Christmas Eve, I was just happy to see it. We never set it up last year due to house showings throughout December and it pained me to think of going two years in a row without it… Plus, the adorable Joseph Edward Tea Shoppe from my sister got to make its debut!
Outside, we really aimed to keep things simple. We lit the two bushes flanking the front door, hung the festive wreath we already owned and bought a snowflake projection light to shine on the front door area. With the tree in the foyer window above, that actually looked like a nice amount of decor…although I somehow never snapped a photo of it! Since we have this big corner lot right near the entrance to the development, we put our mama/baby polar bears in the side yard and added this igloo with fishing penguins that quickly became a family favorite 🙂
In future years, we’ll probably hang more outdoor lights and maybe add candles to the windows and a bow or lights to the stone mailbox. Inside, I’d like to wrap lit garland around the banisters and do something a little less sparse across the mantel. In any event, we were just so grateful to be settled in our new house and able to start making new holiday memories 🙂