Come on in from the cold and look around!
There’s nothing like decorating for Christmas. It seems like everything looks different inside and outside during this time of the year. The Christmas lights seem to make regular life more magical than other times of the year, even when looking at the same scenery. And nothing makes me realize how special holiday decorations are then having a toddler. Which is why I am excited to be a part of the Christmas Sparkle Home tour!
Last year was the first time R really understood that Christmas was different than others days of the year. Most evenings we would drive through other neighborhoods to see as many decorated homes as we could! If we found a neighborhood that had better lights than others we would go there as often as we could! We didn’t have to spend any money to bring joy to our little girl. She loved every light she saw (even if her mommy thought many were “tacky” because let’s be honest, her mom is particular about many things but especially about Christmas decorations!)
This year R is 3 and has been asking about decorations every time we drive through the neighborhood. Halloween decorations were just the start of the season in her eyes! She thought that seeing Halloween decor meant the Christmas decor should be out as well!
As much as she loves decorations, I knew I had to step up my game this year. No more hoping and wishing for the decor fairy to show up. I needed to bite the bullet and decorate completely. This included buying some new ornaments, the garland I’ve been eyeing for over a year, and finally sew the tree skirt I planned to make last year.
Of course, as I’ve been planning and decorating, I had to keep the reality of being a toddler mom in mind.
I love my glass ornaments, and so does my toddler. But I couldn’t bring myself to replacing them with cheesy plastic ones completely but did need to make sure my decor was safe enough for her. This is where my tour may be slightly different from some of the others on this wonderful Christmas Sparkle Home Tour! I have small children and need to find that balance of decorating the way I want with decorating with and for littles at the same time! My hope is that I have found that balance and if not… there’s always next year!
Without further ado, I welcome you to The Domestic Realist’s installment of the Christmas Sparkle Home tour!
But please make sure to wipe your feet first! The baby is now crawling and I want to keep it clean!
Every year after Christmas, the only store I run to directly after Christmas is Pottery Barn. I can usually find an item or two I’ve been drooling over in the catalog on clearance. This centerpiece is one of my finds! I added some LED candles to it! Simple but the candles give me the flame effect without the worry of fire in arms reach from the kiddos!
Speaking of Pottery Barn, which is what I wished my home looked like, I found adorable tree cones in the kids catalog. They didn’t match my decor or my budget, soooo I created my own version using the same fabric from my tree skirt and very subtle gold polka dots. I grabbed a metal tray and berry garland from Target to make the centerpiece complete.
My decorating style tends to be very neutral and subtle. I have a love for rosemary plants and this Christmas tree shaped plant was a perfect choice! I added some Christmas to the kitchen all while being practical. Rosemary is right at my fingertips when cooking! To dress it up, and cover the ugly plastic container, I bought miniature accessories.
Basic red ribbon cover the prominent cabinets to display the Christmas cards we receive from friends and family. I use these small clothespins to hold them. I love the look of the clips but also how easy it is to use them to attach each card.
TIP: No glittery ribbon. It will make a mess of your kitchen and end up in the greasy spot you didn’t know was on the counter. I may or may not know this from experience, *wink, wink*.
Kid Friendly Christmas Decor
Everyone that has small children or grandchildren should have this Little People Nativity set in their home. I love how cute it is but it will keep the children entertained and away from your other decorations. Distraction is key my friends!
The best part is my 3-year-old and 8 month old both love playing with this toy. Kiddo #1 sings Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and Kiddo #2 chews on the wise men. So many possibilities for them to have fun!
As a former elementary teacher, felt boards hold a special place in my heart. Which is why I had to make girlie a felt Christmas tree.
It’s another great distraction from the real tree and keeps her busy! Felt sticks to itself easily and she can reposition it as many times as she desires! And no judgment, please! We had to fold the sides around the corners! This was the only space it would work that wasn’t over a vent! Where we would have lost the pieces forever!
To fully appreciate the after, I felt you should see the before. Stuff everywhere, furniture moved out of the way, baby in the pack n play, toddler playing and wearing her Christmas headbands, Hubby doing the preliminary lighting on the tree, and of course the only Christmas movie that matters, Christmas Vacation is on.
This is the after! The tree is up, lights and ornaments are on, the mantle is decorated, and furniture has found a new configuration to accommodate the tree!
Forgive the ugly cable box, but here is our fireplace and mantle. Garland with lights, lantern with LED lights (again for safety), oversized stockings (another item I needed from PB), and LED branches and berries to the right. If you are noticing the trend, I love neutral and understated decor. I am way too indecisive to do more!
If you know me and my family, we have been known to quote SNL regularly, usually as a way to communicate with one another. So it made sense that my sister would create a mug using one of our favorite quotes from one of our favorite skits. This coffee mug is AMAZING and the perfect size for holding my hot cocoa as I admire my tree! (AND hand painted by my talented sister!) It says #sweataweatha, which diehard fans will know is from the Bronx Beat skit with Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.
If you don’t know this skit, watch it. You won’t regret it and it will explain so much about me and my family! And if you want this mug or some of the other fun gifts, check out SHOPBUTTERMILK on Etsy.
And the Main Attraction…
When it comes to my tree I love a classic* tree and classic* decor. It’s an eight-foot Fraser fir with gold, silver, and white ornaments.
*By classic, I mean neutral all the way! Nothing crazy! It was hard enough to decide on the items I have!
When buying new ornaments we only found one of these adorable birds. We still wanted to add it to the collection but decided to “hide” it in the tree as a fun way to showcase it.
Public Service Announcement, the garland is missing from the other photos. I cheaped out on shipping and it didn’t arrive in time for the tour. But I was able to snap a quick photo for you to become as obsessed with it as I am.
I found this on Amazon last Christmas and dreamed about it for a year. I decided to splurge on this handmade wool ball garland and I am so thankful I did! It’s exactly what the tree was missing!
When it comes to decorating I usually can’t afford what I like or can’t find the item I have made up in my head. After searching high and low for a new tree skirt last year I decided to buy fabric I loved and go from there. And what’s not to love about this french gray buffalo plaid?
NOTE: I in no way consider myself crafty but, with the help of my talented quilting mother, I was able to sew my tree skirt this year! Not only did she coach me through it, but she helped hold the baby while I did it! Which makes any task easier! Thanks, Mom!
Thank you for joining me for the Christmas Home Tour!!!
Walking you through my home was a pleasure! And I hope you found an idea or two that you can use in your home this Christmas season! Or if you are behind like me, next year! Still counts!
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