Tis The Season To Sparkle

I LOVE Christmas!  It’s my favorite time of the year!  Christmas carols, cold weather, twinkle lights, glitter, garland, oh it’s all wonderful!

I like to enjoy my Christmas as long as possible, so I decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving, and this year was definitely no exception.

And I wanted to share my holiday world with you!  And just so you know ahead of time, for every “crafty” thing I show you, I’ll post a tutorial over the next few days including a few recipes and LOTS of hot glue 🙂

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a cute wreath… I got the idea from The Eclectic Owl & her adorable Alabama wreath.

Close-up.  Love it!

My bare lil’ Christmas tree.  To explain, yes, I own a HUGE 7 foot pre-lit artificial tree.  Yes, I have the space to store it as well as the space to put it up.  No, I didn’t put it up this year.  Why?  Well, mostly cause I’m lazy and didn’t wanna haul the whole thing out, decorate it, and then have to un-decorate it and put it away.  And partly cause I’m lazy and didn’t wanna have to haul the whole thing out, etc….

So instead I have this lil’ baby adorable tree ($29 at Hobby Lobby, folks!).  It wasn’t pre-lit, so I went ahead and strung up a Dollar Store strand of lights.  How do you do your lights?  I zig-zagged back and forth and missed the back of the tree.  Growing up, we wrapped all the way around.  Again, I’m lazy.  I do things my way.

My colors are gold, cream, and crimson…

But this just looked a smidge boring & so I pulled out some of my lime green ornaments from my “bright” colored days….

And we ended up with this!  Now, I’ve still got some major tweaking to do (which will include adding some burlap birdie ornaments!!!), but I have to say, I absolutely love artificial Christmas trees because I get to position the branches where I want them.  No offense to God & His Divine wisdom, but it’s durn near impossible to make a real tree bend where you want it.  Plus, they make me sneeze.

I pretty much hate that bow at the top.  The ribbon is adorable, but it didn’t make a very good bow.  I’m thinking about ordering this…

Burlap ribbon from Ballard Designs.  Hi, my name is Ashleigh, and I’m a burlap addict.  (P.s. Thanks, April, for showing this to me!)

Wouldn’t that make a beautiful bow?

And of course, there’s the GORGEOUS tree skirt that Sister made for me.

Yeah, it’s a little big for this tiny tree (and tiny table), but it’s still cute & will be perfectly perfect for years to come!
Let’s get one thing straight, I hate ornament hangers.  They’re just not pretty.  So I was inspired by our baby’s first ornaments at work, and this year, I hung all of my ornaments with ribbon…
Like this!  Shimmery, glittery gold for red (and green!) ornaments, and a pretty red grosgrain for gold ornaments. 
And if you look at that picture of my tree + skirt, you can see some presents hanging out under there (!!!!).  I’m a simple Christmas paper kinda gal, so I used basic craft paper from Hobby Lobby ($3.99 for the BIG roll & it was half off!) with some red velvet ribbon (the kind most people use for bows) and this is what I came up with…
Sweet and simple Christmas gifts (after I took this picture, I added ribbon down the side of the package you see here… made it look precious!).  I’ll tell you how to make this bow later (it involves hot glue…) and I’ll even show you my fool-proof way of wrapping boxes (trust me on this one, I wrap more gifts on a daily basis than you wrap for Christmas!)…
One last thing to show you and then I’ll end this longest post ever…
I live in an apartment (I’m sure we’ve talked about this before) and so I don’t have a mantle.  I’m making do this year (like every other year) with my hall tree…
It feels very Pottery Barn-esque, doesn’t it? (Apart from the yoga mat/ work mess on the right… sorry, it’ll be gone tomorrow when I head back to work!)  And don’t you LOVE that window pane up there at the top?  Thanks, Sister, for hanging it.  And thanks, again, to April for going to the Antique Store with me to find it!
The Christmas trees at the top used to light up different colors, but now that they no longer work, I’m considering spray painting them a creamy white & bedazzling them in cream glitter.  What can I say, I love some sparkle! 
And there you have it.  My Christmas decorating is done.  Well, I lied.  Of course, I have some other pretty things to add around the apartment (coffee table, bar in kitchen, dining table, etc.), but these are my big ones!
How are you decorating this year?  Anything new or all the same traditions you’ve always had?  Share & link to your pictures so I can get some good ideas!
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