Monday, December 7, 2015

simple christmas decorating

My Christmas decorating is minimal this year. I'm just not feeling the whole deck the halls thing. Could be part of my whole "less is more" attitude this year. Brian brought up the boxes of Christmas decorations from the basement and I started digging through everything. As I started placing Santas and snowmen and candles and other assorted Christmas tchotchkes around the house, I found that I'd be walking around with a decorative item in my hand wondering where to put it...or I'd make an arrangement on a shelf or tabletop and think, "Nah, doesn't look right". And then I realized how much time I was spending trying to decide where to put Christmas decorations - and that's not how I wanted to be spending my time. As Sweet Brown says, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

(I'll let Crate and Barrel take over the decorating duties)

The only new Christmas decor item I bought this year was a real boxwood wreath for the front door. Again, being in a more minimal mind-frame, I don't want any new Christmas stuff coming into this house. There is absolutely nothing we need and more stuff only ends up being one more thing to take up storage room. Doesn't make any sense when you're working on decluttering all the accumulated stuff in storage as it is! Anyway, I had always admired boxwood wreaths but yet never bought one. Silly, when they're only $10 (at Trader Joes). I hung the wreath on the front door and then started laughing. It was only then that I remembered our front door was stripped of its stain this fall and never repainted before the cold weather set in. So I certainly don't want to draw attention to our "lovely" front door with an elaborate wreath! Another thing I realized when I hung up the wreath, was that it didn't have any pine cones on it. It was supposed to. I guess they fell off in the display box at the store and I never noticed. Oh well - I got my boxwood wreath this year. ;-)

On to the decorating. Most of it happened in the living room and kitchen. I use the mirror on the living room wall to tape up the Christmas cards that we receive. Umm...we've only received two cards so far this year. I took this photo before I hung up the second card. The two small owl cards are just extra ones I had that I thought were cute. I know it's still early - that people send out cards at the last minute, but still...I don't think too many people mail out cards anymore. I remember the days when we received so many cards, they'd be taped up all over the back of our front door and onto the walls.

Kitties are always part of my decor...

though Clementine looks like she is purposely part of the vignette on the buffet.
The little tree is our official Christmas tree. We don't put up a big one anymore. No desire and too much trouble. I displayed some of the boy's ornaments on this little tree. I still buy a Christmas ornament for Tim every year. I know the window still needs something more...greenery or a garland of some sort around the window, but I "played" with what I had and nothing looked right. Martha Stewart is not coming to my house, so it's all good.

Moving into the kitchen...have to keep it simple on the kitchen table because of the cats. Anything elaborate, and they're up there nosing around, having to check things out. Notice my two new white chairs? And the cream-colored rug? I found the rug at Walmart, of all places. Was inexpensive, seems durable (which is a must in a well-used kitchen), and made in the USA. I'd been looking for new kitchen chairs for a long time and finally ordered the white ones from Overstock. We only ordered two to see if we liked the quality and how they looked in the kitchen. We're happy with them, so we'll order two more. The red chairs are just cheap IKEA chairs that I found at Goodwill this past year.

A peek into the china cabinet...keeping it simple.

Top of the fridge. I love my Debbie Mumm snowman print plates that I got at Target oh, about 15 years ago.

This is it in the main bath - a silver angel on the top shelf and some baubles on the bottom shelf.

The table at the end of the hall got a gold tree to match the gold mirrors on the wall and some vintage Christmas cards pinned to the tree. Easy and done!

Did you go all out with Christmas decorating this year, or were you more of a minimalist like me?


  1. Hi Melanie, working on mine this week - just finished the outside of the cottage and will start inside tomorrow.
    Trying to gradually cut back each year on Christmas decor like you - trying not to buy anything additional which will require another big storage box to haul into the attic. Gifted all the Dickens Village houses etc. to a daughter as I couldn't handle them any longer - some are collector's pieces now and worth something so she took them with no hesitation! No real tree. . . .med. size faux one in the gazebo out back, love it out there as it can stay longer and not be in the way, small vintage looking metal one in dining room for my collection of bird ornaments.

    I'll be posting later in the week - hope you will stop by and see what I come up with - then I'll start the baking!
    Never a dull moment
    Happy holidays - Mary x

  2. I think everything looks lovely. Have been keeping it minimal around here for a few years now. I just love that picture of the pretty little tree and Clementine.

  3. I adore your wreath on your front door, Melanie! Our house faces south, so real wreaths turn brown within 2 weeks, so my real wreath hangs on the back door. I cut way down on my holiday decorating this year, and what I didn't use is going out the door!

    You've got lots of cuties on your kitchen shelves, and your kitties make your living room warm and fuzzy! We've only received 2 cards, too.

  4. I'm definitely a minimalist, especially this year! We'll have the small white tree up and a wreath on the door and some outdoor lights, and that's it. Love your decorating, Melanie. I do think less is more. Christmas decorations need some breathing space!

  5. It all looks festive and beautiful, Melanie. Clementine on the buffet could be a Christmas card. Deb

  6. I like you style, Melanie and I'm right there with you. Less is so much more! (Except when it comes to kitties...I miss my two!) I used to enjoy putting out tons and tons of stuff, but I just don't have it in me anymore. I like clean surfaces and just a few accent pieces here and there. We spent an entire weekend decluttering Christmas bins and it felt great. Enjoy your decorations, they are lovely!

  7. Hi Melanie, I've pared down my decorations for several years now and this year I put out the least amount of things. I love Christmas but there is just too much hoopla that comes with it.
    I do like your simple decorations and I think I like your mug assortment the most.

    You know Sweet Brown is an Okie? Love her!

  8. Your mom has no desire either for Christmas stuff. After all it has to be taken down at some point. Since I don't have a basement that means crawling under stairs and it's ugly and scary under there. I want to drag anything out? Don't think so.

  9. Melanie it looks lovely. The older I get the less stuff I want to put out and then take down. So each year I keep downsizing. Someday I'll look like a normal person! I love small trees and have two of them. They are my favorite decoration each year. With memory ornaments on them. I need to check out Trader Joe's for a real wreath!

  10. Hey that must be the largest happiest Christmas cactus that I have ever seen in one of your photos! :) I still have most of my Christmas stuff out, but not all, gave some of it to the DIL / gave about HALF of the fall stuff to her earlier :)

    I like the mix of red and white chairs...looks cozy / cheery :)

  11. I love what you have done. It looks very nice in its simplicity. A lot less to have to put away after Christmas too. :-)

    Happy Christmas Holidays ~ FlowerLady

  12. Beautiful decorations! I decorate with less each year. Like you, I bring in nothing new. I remind myself that everything I drag out, I will have to put away in a few weeks. Clementine is your best decoration and that photo is wonderful.

  13. That's funny how you think you didn't do much to decorate but you still did more than a lot of people I know!!! It looks wonderful and festive...yet clean and simple at the same time.

    Oh, and the addition of the kitties? Perfection!

  14. Your home is serenely festive.
    I adore your felines ♥

  15. LOVE that beautiful wreath, Melanie. Do they stand up to the cold? I would love to have a pretty one like that! I love all of your decorative touches...the mugs are so cute on the rack and I love your colorful chairs with the charming runner!

  16. And I forgot to mention...your sweet kitties are the best decoration!

  17. You've decorated just right for you. Lots of sweet touches, nothing overwhelming.
    I'm seriously culling ornaments and decor as I unpack the totes. With the baby toddling around, minimalism is the best idea this year. Of course, the grandboys want the house to look like Christmas exploded in here. :)

  18. There's something to be said for the whole minimalist approach...I'm loving it!!! Your home looks perfectly appointed for the warm and welcoming. Your wreath is beautiful, Melanie!
    Mary Alice

  19. Good Morning Sweetie, Your home looks beautiful . . . everything that you did do, you did in such a charming way. I love your vignette on the buffet and what you did with the old window and those few candy canes hanging from the white picture . . . Your boxwood wreath is gorgeous; we cannot see much of the door in that photo but from what I do see I like, the rustic look of not having it finished . . . that wreath with the door has a rustic Country Christmas appeal, and that is one of my favorite looks :)
    Happy Holidays . . . spend time enjoying and not working!
    Connie :)

  20. All of your decorations are elegant and beautiful! Less can often be so much more can't it! xx

  21. I always start out simple, and somehow it gets away from me? Now I'm feeling like i can't take it anymore and by the time I'm done it's time to take it down...ugh. I like your simple Christmas and wish I had done the same.

  22. Are you SURE Clementine was NOT a part of the Vignette? *Winks* It is precious how she Posed so Perfectly for that Shot, you should make it into this year's Christmas Card! I too am attempting to Simplify Life... and the Holidays in particular, now that we have moved into a New Home and can start from scratch with how we want to Live after such an Epic Change already?! I doubt I will ever be considered a Minimalist, but perhaps I can refrain from being such a Maximalist? *Smiles* I'm Enjoying the Freedom of taking Care of Less, that is for sure, so this Simplifying of Life could begin to really grow on me! By getting rid of so much I began to realize how little we really Needed and began to Appreciate what remained all the more! Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  23. Beautiful Decorating. I am enjoying looking at others as this year I just cant bring myself to "get into it" My Dad passed away Dec. 1. You say minimalist this year also. Sometimes we really have to sit back and realize its not the décor, although I usually go all out. Its those we love and having them near.
    New to your beautiful blog. Julie

  24. I completely agree with your first paragraph, I sometimes wonder how many hours were spent in some houses decorating for Christmas. I don't have that much time either, I have a minimalist decoration. You prove here that it can be simple and yet festive.

  25. I'm definitely with you on the whole "less is more" issue. As a matter of fact, that's an article I'm going to be writing for Joanne! But I've taken it to extremes, because I have not put up one single decoration, or the tree. Nothing. I'm using my knee replacement surgery as my excuse, but truthfully, no one is visiting for the holidays this year, so why bother? It just makes more work for me. Just call me Scroogette, I guess! LOL

  26. It's looking good! I like your boxwood wreath very much.


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