“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

christmas decorating.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

decorating the house for christmas!
advent calendardecorating the house for christmas!
decorating the house for christmas!
decorating the house for christmas!
decorating the house for christmas!

I thought I would share some photos of our Christmas decorations. This year I finally put together an Advent calendar! I'm so proud of myself for actually doing one this year. Every year I wanted to make one, even just a little one with numbers on a string or something. Then I would get busy, as I do every year, and I never got it done in time. Well, this time I decided to just buy some little gifts and write some fun notes to my sweetheart. So every day Jed has a little gift to open or a note to read that I wrote to him. Sometimes there are little things and then there are a few larger items. Most of the notes have little ideas that we can do together during the holidays. Simple things like snuggling together while sipping hot cider or going sledding or ice skating. I had so much fun putting it together and I feel like a little kid watching Jed open a gift every day! I know, I'm such a sap! I hope this becomes a tradition, even if I'm only able to only write notes for each day. It's a fun way to make the holidays last a little longer than just one day.

We also picked up a real tree this year! I've never had a real tree, since my parents always got fake trees. We lived with a Charlie Brown looking tree for most of my growing up years. Mom picked it up at a garage sale years and years ago. I think she got it for $5 and we had it all my growing up years. Then one year we all decided it was time to upgrade and we all picked this huge tree out. It was one of those times when we didn't really think about where we would put the tree. But somehow we've managed to cram that big tree in the living room every year. But for Jed and I, we decided we wanted a real tree, so we went to Whole Foods here in town to see what they have. Since we really didn't have time to go out to get a tree somewhere at a tree farm, this was the next best option. They had some really lovely larger trees and some cute smaller trees. We decided this year it might be best to get a smaller one, since we're going back to Iowa to celebrate Christmas with our families. But I love this little one so much! I'll probably try to keep it up for a long time after Christmas!

For the decorations, since we didn't have any ornaments and I haven't had any time to make a lot of things, I simply sliced up a couple of oranges and dried them in the oven. Then I popped a whole bunch of popcorn (you have to make extra so you can eat half of it)! We also got some really wonderfully smelling pine cones at Whole Foods (that place is soooo tempting during the holidays)! I think we did pretty well for not having too much. Now all I need to do is wrap some more gift to put under the tree! Most of the gifts this year we had mailed to our parents' houses so that we don't have to lug a bunch of gifts home on the bus! But I am hand making just a couple this year. I think next year we are going to try to plan ahead and make more gifts. I feel so much better when we don't spend so much money and focus on making things instead. I have a bunch of ideas already. Perhaps I better start making next year's gifts now??

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far! We only have had a light dusting of snow so far, but I am still hoping we'll have a white Christmas!

Here's my Christmas playlist if you need help getting in the mood! xo

20 comments :

  1. I love your advent calendar idea! So cute to just hang the gifts from the doorway. :)

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  2. A homemade Advent calendar hanging from a door sill is so much more romantic than mistletoe. What a lovely idea to make numbered notes and packages for your sweetie. The orange slices on your tree are so pretty, thanks for sharing these photos, they are so cheerful and pretty.

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  3. absolutely beautiful! Anna, you make me green with envy with your creativity! We're getting our Christmas tree here in Norway this weekend, I think I'm going to have to yoink that dried orange idea. :P

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  4. Gorgeous. What a sweet little Christmas in your new apartment. :)

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  5. Cute, cute, cute. Next year I really will make an advent calendar, hold me to it!! Yours is darling, and I love the oranges!

    Have a great holiday,

    Heather

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  6. What a beautiful little Christmas tree you have! I'm also looking for a little Christmas tree, I'm going to see if I can find one this weekend :) I love that you made your own Christmas decorations and the Advent calender looks so pretty too! This post was very inspiring - you are so creative!

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  7. The pretties christmas tree I have ever seen:)

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  8. Anna-

    I love your little tree! :) I hope you don't mind if I borrow your idea for the dried orange slices...how long do you leave them in the oven?

    Martha B.

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  9. hi martha! oh, i don't mind at all! i also read you can dry apple slices too, but i forgot about it and just did oranges. i suppose my little tree couldn't hold any more fruit anyway. ;) i put them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 2.5 hours. i think some of mine got a wee bit over done, but that's because i wasn't too careful about slicing them all exactly the same width. most of them are sliced at about a quarter of an inch. also, my gas oven is only marked down to 250, so that may have been part of the problem. anyway, good luck! i hope you post pictures! i have been thinking of you, martha. hope you have a happy christmas! xo

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  10. p.s. the directions i've read say to put the oranges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. i didn't have any of that and was afraid to put wax paper, so i just greased the pans with a bit of butter. :)

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  11. I love your decor! Especially your advent calendar, it's a lovely idea! Your tree must smell so good...

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  12. Thanks, Anna. I'm going to Trader Joe's right now to pick up more oranges. I'll let you know how they turn out. :)

    Martha B.

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  13. I love the tree and I did little advent boxes for the kids but now they are all out of the house but it never occured to me to continue it with my sweet Mister. Maybe next year - it does help to remind us to slow down the pace a little during this crazy time of year. May you and Jared have a wonderful and blessed holiday with your family and friends.

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  14. Great post. Thanks for all you do. Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

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  15. What a beautiful Christmas tree...and lovely idea of the advent presents a Merry Christmas to you and yours. Blessings, Katie.

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  16. Anna-

    The orange slices came out great! Check your email for a photo of my little kitchen tree.

    Thanks so much for the idea.

    Merry Christmas! :)

    Martha B.

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  17. What a sweet Christmas. I love the oranges garland! I just came across a method of poking cloves in whole oranges and letting them dry for 3 months. I think I'll go for a sliced and whole oranges combo next year!

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  18. Beautiful pictures...warm and inviting. Keep up the great work and Happy New Year.

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  19. Love it Anna! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

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