But...we pulled it off, and when we were all finished, Justin and I looked around and decided that this was our best work yet. (Yes, we do tend to think that every year. But still...this year is the best!) Let me show you...I'm sure you'll agree!
Let's start at the front door. Though not one single thing here is new...everything here has been repurposed this year making this a "brand new wreath." What I love most about it though isn't how it looks...I love the fact that Logan and Gavin helped me do it all: beads and ornaments!
Next to the front door is our desk...nothing fancy here. It's the last thing I decorated, so it has all the "left overs," but I think it turned out nicely. Best thing here is our Jesse Tree. While the tree itself is not new, the idea of a Jesse Tree is. I topped it off with one of our little wooden crosses, and filled our coffee bean jar with each day's ornament. This little tree here is probably my second favorite Christmas decoration simply because of what it represents (my favorite is coming up later!).
And the tour continues!!!
Up next is the "TV area" of our living room. The TV stand is part of the new furniture we bought this spring. Turns out it is an excellent place to put stockings, and it also provided me with one more little nook to tuck a few Christmas decorations!
This is also where we decided to let the boys put up their little tree this year. We set the tree up, but they (mainly Logan) decorated it all by themselves!
This year I decided to start a new tradition with our Christmas books. I wrapped each one up, numbered them, and put them under the boys' tree. Each night they've gotten to open another book! I like having this tree to put them under, too, because it gives this new tradition a separate home from our main tree (coming soon!).
While the boys' tree sits in the TV area, it also is in front of our sliding glass door. It looked beautiful after it snowed! We also hang a huge garland above this door and decorate it with ornaments (this year I bought new ones - one of my very few splurges this year). Then we hang a wreath on the door - one Logan picked out last year!
The splurge for new ornaments on the garland was well worth it, because I had a few leftover that Justin then turned into a pretty center piece for our table!
Coming up next is the black cabinet I received for Christmas last year. I combined it with an old table cloth, a short strand of lights, and some Pinterest inspiration to get this:
And now we come to the back door. Here is where you find my favorite Christmas decoration: the Nativity. This year we hung a wreath above it, and Justin placed a very special cross inside. The boys helped me set up both Nativity sets, and Logan told me the entire story of the birth of Jesus while we did it!
This area is also where we hung the boys' Advent calendar, and of course, the door was perfect for yet another wreath!
If you haven't noticed (which I wouldn't if I were you and/or had never been in my house before), I'm kind of taking you in a big circle. Really, all this means, is we are now headed back into the "formal" part of the living room (I use the term "formal" very loosely hence the quotes) and back towards the front door where we started. Up first: the book shelf.
And now we come to the Christmas tree:
This year it found a new home in the corner instead of centered in front of our big window, and I have to say that I really like it better this way! Decorating this monster tree is always Justin's job, but he didn't get to go it alone this year. Despite wanting very little to do with helping Logan decorate their tree, Gavin would not be stopped when it came to decorating this tree!
That must be why it turned out so beautifully...
P.S. Enjoy this picture of our tree fully lit. I know I am. It seems that we jinxed ourselves over Thanksgiving by telling our family how awesome our tree was, that after five years of use every single pre-lit bulb still worked. Since then, four strands of light have burned out. We replaced the first, but have since resigned ourselves to the fact that the tippy top, the bottom, and the middle of the back of the tree have gone dark. Come take down time, we will be unwinding every inch of lights so we can replace them next year. Yay... (That "yay" is filled with sarcasm and loathing by the way.)