We are surrounded by Christmas - in the store, on the radio, on television. The past few years we've lived in small apartments, but this year we are living with my parents, which means that we will have a large Christmas tree and a whole house to decorate. I'm looking forward to it, but my mind keeps wandering to decorating our future home for the holidays. There is something about the holidays that makes me pine for owning our own house and making it warm and cozy for our little family.
Here are some of the ideas I have for our future home during the holiday season:
1. A live Christmas tree. I've never, ever, not once had a fake tree. Even when I was in college, my parents would bring over a live tree for us. (My brother was a Boy Scout and their big fundraiser was selling Christmas trees.) Now, my dad cuts ones down from his mountain property. They aren't the full Christmas trees you see at a lot, but I love the smell of a real tree and the fact that they look, well, real.
2. Christmas decorations for the littles. I think it's really important to get little ones involved in the holidays as well and to me this includes child-friendly decorations that they can have in their own rooms. You know, ones they can actually play with. Thanks to Pinterest, I've seen several different varieties of "toddler-friendly" trees, including felt trees you can put on their wall and let them decorate with felt ornaments. And then there is this one. Seriously, you have to check it out! Unfortunately the creator doesn't make these to sell (and I checked, no one on etsy does either!). If you are crafty and could make these, I bet you could make a ton of money (I know I would buy one!). Another crafty Christmas money making suggestion: felt Advent wreaths for little ones. I bought one of these, but it wasn't very high quality. I would have loved to have purchased a high-quality handmade one off etsy instead.
3. A combination of "pretty" and "personal" ornaments. I've always envied those that had beautifully decorated and color coordinated Christmas trees. But that's just not me. My childhood trees were a mismatch of a million different ornaments. As a child I loved putting "my" ornaments on the tree. My grandparents would get me a special (usually Hallmark) ornament every year, and I also had those I made myself throughout school. When I went off to college, my mom helped me sort out my Christmas ornaments so I would have them for my own family. I love the idea of having a large number of coordinating ornaments, with personal and homemade ones mixed in. Some ornaments I'm loving this year:
Globe Ornaments from Land of Nod
4. Christmas dishes. I love the idea of having special holiday dishes. I saw this set the other day and fell in love:
Threshold Silver Snowflake Collection from Target
I'm sure this exact set won't be around by the time I'm ready to buy (and have a place to store) these, but I love the simple, classy design. We actually registered for dishes similar to these when were engaged (not snowflakes, flowers) but they went out of production before our wedding and we had to register for a different set. I think it's a bit silly to get dishes only for Christmas dinner; these are great because they aren't specifically Christmas themed, so they can be used all winter long. I've (surprisingly) found that I love entertaining, so I'm sure these would get a ton of use.
5. An Advent calendar. I'm not a huge fan of Advent calendars that start on Dec. 1st, since the season of Advent is a different length every year, so I'd love to make one that I could customize each year (maybe make the number of days for the longest possible Advent and just cut out the last one for shorter years?). I'd especially love it to be faith-centered (at least in part). Here are some of my favorite ideas that I could mix/match for our family: experiences instead of gifts, muffin tin Advent calendar, Advent calendar above the fireplace, and unwrapping a book and/or prayer card(!) every night.
6. Mantle. My dream is to own a home with a fireplace that has a traditional mantle. I love the classic Christmas mantle decorated with stockings and garland. There are so many ways to personalize it with pictures of your family or your favorite Christmas decorations. I can't wait to dream up all the ways to decorate ours one day!
7. Matching stockings. I really like cute, vintage-y, matching stockings for our home, personalized with each family member's name. This is really difficult right now since we don't know the names of our future family members and I'm not sure how many extras I should order. I definitely don't want to get a whole new set with each new addition. These are my favorites right now:
Monogram Vintage Stocking from Red Envelope
Another option is to get unpersonalized stockings and personalized stocking holders.