Like many people, we love to decorate our living room early in the Christmas season. We think we manage to strike a respectable balance between maintaining a consistent aesthetic and adding in some personal touches with deeper meaning. Let me show you:
I was always a must-have-a-real-Christmas-tree kind of guy, but a couple of years ago my girlfriend finally persuaded me that the convenience and consistency of an artifical tree outweighed the sentimental value of a real one. Also, I no longer have to worry about scratching up the top of my car or borrowing a truck from someone.
Several years ago, we decided on a red-and-gold motif for the tree, and we’ve stuck with that. But this year we traded our usual gold tinsel for gold ribbon, and we’re quite pleased with the result.
Our mantle is topped with white tinsel, glitter stars of red and gold, a lighthearted Santa Claus figurine / wax melter, and bronze snowflake stocking holders. This is the part that we always feel brings the whole area together visually.
We struggled for quite awhile to find stockings with the initials of all of our family members, both two- and four-legged. Last year, we finally found these: D for Derek, C for Crystal, A for Admiral (our St. Bernard / Great Pyrenees mix), L for Linus (our dachshund / pug mix), and G for Gong-Ju (“Princess” in Korean - our toy poodle).
We keep the more unusual stuff at the bottom of our fireplace. There’s the Hallmark winter character sets that play music and bob back-and-forth in a sort of dance (or at least they used to). And the little white Christmas tree with the topper that was part of a gift tag in a former life.
This little tree was actually our first together. Back in 2010, our first Christmas as a couple was spent in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ where we were visiting Crystal’s family. We were actually there the day after Christmas, and that tree was the only one we could find in the nearest department store. We’ve used it every year since to commemorate that time.
The PEZ dispensers started as a little joke when I brought a couple of them to Crystal as a sort of gag gift. But the fun of it never quite wore off, and we’ve added many others in the years since.