My (sort of) Simple Christmas

I originally wanted to adorn this wreath with an owl having fallen in love with all the owls in the shop windows this Christmas, but I’m wary of trends lest come next year owls are so last year. Imagine my excitement upon finding another decorative woodland creature that never gets old around here.

The snowflakes are made from some card stock I was going to declutter and a snowflake punch I bought last year when I decided to take on papercrafting.

What is it with me and Christmas and papercrafting? You think I’d learn. This year I saw a “how to” for making paper ornaments and decided immediately that I had to have fifty of them in white hanging from my ceiling.

They covered my table and window sills for a week. My hands were never idle. In an incident I hardly care to relive, Squirrel even sat on a bag of small ones.

That evening as he teetered precariously on the ladder (the great irony of my “Squirrel” is that he’s 6’6″ 230 lbs), I wondered if I was taking this craft a little too far. After the circus feat of installing the second row, I called him down. In the end I decided that I could live with twenty-five ornaments. My compromise sparked the beginning of a family tradition.

When I slipped an LED tea light into one, just to see what it looked like, my oldest son exclaimed:

It looks beautiful, just like a glowing snowball.

And the tradition of the Advent Snowballs was born. We (I should say, I) decided to light one snowball in the window every evening leading up to Christmas every single year because that was the most painstaking, paper cutting, tedious, tangling craft I have ever attempted and I will need to squeeze years of joy from it just to get over it. Happy Holidays!

To continue with the snowy theme that will be the family theme for years to come, my kids allowed me to adorn our tree with white lights this year. My youngest encouraged me as I strung hundreds of cotton balls onto translucent thread to give it a wintry look.

Now you might be wondering, as I am, how I found time to declutter amidst Β this decorating flurry, but I did. Here’s the first 9 things I got rid of:

The tenth was a decorating casualty.

Off to the thrift shop with the frame. Someone who hasn’t drained all their creative juices papercrafting might have a vision for it.

Are you keeping it simple this season? Or not?


22 thoughts on “My (sort of) Simple Christmas

  1. Love your personalized wreath, the squirrel is perfect! And the snowballs look lovely. I rarely have the patience for crafts.

    I’m keeping the christmas decor pretty simple this year (need to do a post soon to show it). I use the same stuff every year pretty much, but have limited it to one room, and went a little lighter than usually. It still looks festive, but was quicker to put up (and more importantly will be easier to take down!).

    My problem is making myself declutter some unloved xmas decs. I got a major case of the “but I might want to go back to the traditional green and red someday!”

  2. Nice wreath! Good call on the owl— they already seem post-trendy to me. Not that I can talk, since I live a steady ten years behind the times.

    I don’t decorate for Christmas and my family rarely exchanges presents. I think we’re going to Oregon to see Ian’s mom, though, so I should probably start figuring out a few presents, and fast….

  3. Love the snowballs so artistically hung, and the squirrel in his wreath would be right at home on our front door.

    As for our Christmas tree, it will be another trip down memory lane, we call our decorations eclectic. You know Strawberry Shortcake, the Smurfs, Luke Skywalker, Frank Sinatra, who with a little help, breaks out in a chorus of My Way, serenading Marilyn Monroe. Then there are ornaments from many of our travels, Anne of Green Gables next to the Eiffel Tower. Yes we do hang lights and beautiful garlands on the tree.
    We love our memories, and so do the family.

    Chris and family are coming home this year. He is very nostalgic about our family Christmases, so it will be a glorious repeat. Trevor is the artistic being in this home. The decor is lovely. Guess that’s why Frank and Marilyn return each year.

    Christine, I am hoping that your Blog will ring in the New Year with us, and that you will continue to share your wisdom and wit with us.

    It is my wish that your Blog will be a stepping stone to some exciting opportunities for you. It is my hope and my prediction.

    Wishing you and your family and wonderful Christmas, and a most exciting and Happy New Year.

    • Thanks Linda. I have quite a few fond memories of the season at your place too! I’ll be thinking of you all enjoying the holidays with Chris’s family this year.
      I’m quite envious of your Sinatra ornament and very curious as to who helps Frank serenade Marilyn. Guessing it’s the artistic being. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. At the risk of repeating, *simply* lovely…well done…I am *so* proud of you…not the least of which is for your amazing writing talent and hilarious sense of humour! *hugs* Your eye for house design is also not too shabby at all…just sayin’! :o)

  5. Wow… it looks beautiful. I’m so impressed with all of your lovely decorations and how thoroughly beautiful your house looks

    I just came home from a party at an old friend’s house… it was mostly a “crafting” party, and I felt totally out of my league. There were people sitting around knitting and crocheting, and making all sorts of beautiful Christmas decorations… and I’m looking around her house at all of the beautiful paintings she’s done, and the tasteful and crafty Christmas ornaments… and I’m thinking about my house… which looks like a construction zone because I decided to build my babies a kitty tree for a holiday treat… and I’m really not good at this sort of thing… and at the rate I’m going it may be Easter before the monstrosity is complete.

    Anyhow, I just feel like maybe I’m missing the patience gene, or the crafty gene, or the making things visually appealing gene.

    I guess I’m glad to know that even people who are obviously good at this sort of thing can find it tedious too.

  6. I love the wreath you made! Your house looks very pretty.

    It’s going to be very simple here this year too. No tree. Wreath on the door; I might buy a poinsettia, and maybe I’ll put out the nativity somewhere.

    We aren’t exchanging gifts either, but will get together with family for a Christmas meal.

    No stress and very simple, just the way I’ve come to enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  7. Your hanging snowballs look really nice. Do you light just one candle each evening or do you relight all the preceeding ones also?
    Also your living room looks fabulously decluttered and pretty!

    • Thank-you so much. I love my snowballs and I love that my kids love them even more and that I used paper I would have decluttered to make them. I light one LED tea light each night, they last about 3 days so there is always several lit at a time. It helps remind me to slow down at a time of year that I always seem to be racing around!

  8. Love, love, LOVE your Christmas decor! How brilliant to think of using cotton balls as a tree garland (if I had any of them around here, I would use that idea myself!). I think you are spot on with using white, it looks so nice. I’ll have to keep these ideas in mind for future years of Christmas decorating. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Erin. I just popped over to your blog and I share your desire for a simple Christmas. My completely out-of-character crafting has been a way to keep me busy and away from the malls as much as possible this year. Can’t wait to hear what project you’re taking on next!

  9. Christine:

    I love the squirrel in the wreath. You know, I find it hard to refer to Squirrel by his other name — a good exercise in self-control for me.

    Love the paper snowballs as well. They’re simple and elegant.

    We did our annual trek to the tree farm to pick our tree this weekend and have decorated it. I’m never sure about how to handle my urge to create a more simple Christmas in a family where tradition is EVERYTHING and many of our ornaments have memories attached to them, including my nana’s ornaments from the early part of the 20th century. While we’ve simplified our gift giving, the rest of hubby’s family have not bought in to the idea of a less consumer driven holiday…sigh. Thankfully there’s always the school shopping day for us to donate to each year!

    Keep up the blogging. You bring a smile to my day.


    • Thanks Colleen. The best part about the Squirrel in the wreath is that the kids refer to it as Daddy.
      What a wonderful tradition to visit the tree farm. I think those are the things that kids remember even though it seems they focus singularly on gifts.
      Last year Squirrel picked out an 8 foot Douglas Fir from the tree lot then surfed the internet while I stood on a very tall chair to put the lights on. When I knocked the tree and the whole urn of water over, he looked up and asked accusingly: “What are you doing?” I think my kids will remember the 8′ foot f-ing fir for a long time to come. Is it any wonder I resurrected the artificial tree this year?
      I think the only reason I’m getting away with white lights and “snow” instead of ornaments this year is because we’re actually going to be in Hawaii on Christmas Day.
      I bet your nana’s ornaments are amazing. We have very few ornaments left after the great decluttering but my kids are very attached to the classy ones like the Nascar Racing helmet and wheels (??????)….Oh that I could get rid of everything I wanted to!

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