Oh yes, I had the finest of intentions. I’m referring to my visions of grandeur for this time of year when we first moved into our house nine months ago. I was gonna festoon our mantel with pom pom garlands! I was gonna haul in an enormous Christmas tree and bling it up with vintage ornaments! I was gonna DIY the coolest wreath for our front door! And I was gonna be a shoo-in for Design*Sponge’s Holiday Contest!

Then reality set in.

Somehow the yuletide season sneaked up on me, and before I could say “egg nog,” we’re now two days away from The Big Day. Maybe it was the multiple deadlines at work that happened to converge in December. Maybe it was some personal stuff that sapped me of my initial enthusiasm. Whatever the cause, I had to dramatically scale down my great decorating expectations to reflect a shoestring budget and “aggressive” new timeline.

I’ll let you be the judge of how I fared. Most importantly, I still had fun slapping it together–and delivered the project on time! (Am I a stellar product manager or what?)

The “before” photo of our living room.

The “after” photo: I focused on decorating the mantel in a super simple and easy way. It gives the most bang for your buck.

Less is more: objects on display include a red WoodWick Candle which sounds like a crackling fire when lit (a gift from a family friend), a reindeer stocking hanger from my mom, and a Frasier Fir candle from Thymes which smells like freshly-cut evergreen ($30). (Hey, I’m a big believer in the motto “Fake it till ya make it.”)

I bought the paper garland ($4), white felt wreath ($30), and silver glitter snowflake ($4) on sale at West Elm. I found our mini tree at Whole Foods for 50% off ($11). Most of the ornaments were passed down from my mom.

Close-up: our realtor gave us the 2012 White House Christmas ornament which I paired with a glass chariot.

My late father bought this German-made nutcracker many years ago for a whopping $25 at the now-defunct John Wanamaker department store.

Some of you may have noticed that our little Tannenbaum is missing a proper topper. Well, I tried. I really tried. Cheerfully optimistic at the prospect of finding the perfect angel or modern sculptural star, I drove to one store. Then another. Five in total. Guess what? They were sold out everywhere. So bah humbug! The tree goes topless.

Resources: WoodWick candles, Thymes fragrance, West Elm, The White House Historical Association.

P.S. A few weeks ago at Home Depot, I bought a plain wreath and tiny pine trees to adorn our front stoop.

A trio of festive green.

I added the glittery bow. Makes me smile when I come home.

Nothing fancy but decent. Next year, we vow to hang some lights!


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Merry Christmas Jennifer, You have many years to collect additional holiday decorations. AND you will probably collect too many. Love what you have so far. Enjoy the holidays. Love Carole and David


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