Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! And in the short year and a half that Ryan and I have been married, he's already learned that I'm a sucker for Christmas stuff...especially Christmas stuff on sale! Even if it's the middle of July. :) So he is constantly trying to put blinders on me and steer me clear of the Christmas displays, haha! (I get it from my mother...) I love when Christmas songs come on the radio, I love walking around the mall when it's decorated, I love decorating, but mostly I love the time spent with family and friends treasuring the relationships and the reason for the season and the hope that we have in our Savior who was born!
Welcome to our apartment! I found this cute wreath at Belk for $40 last year, so I waited til after Christmas and bought it for $8! Last year was our first married Christmas (but our 8th together!) and since we were in a pretty small apartment (and turns out we're still here!) and were going to be spending Christmas at home in Georgia, I decided to not go all out decorating and to just wait until decorations went on sale after Christmas. So this year decorating was a little bit more fun! ;) Now, come on inside...
Mr. Snowman on the wall was a find from this year when I was shopping for a baby shower. He had a broken arm, so I got him for $4 and with a drop of super glue, he's all better!
When Ryan and I were home for Thanksgiving, we picked a whole trash bag of holly and magnolia leaves from his parents house with the help of our nephew Samuel and niece Ellie Kate.
Here are a few things I did with the Holly and Magnolia leaves...
Since we have no fireplace...therfore no mantle...we decorate our TV stand instead. $100 to anyone who can find where we hang our stockings... :) I don't have a hundred bucks to give away, so I thought that would be a safe bet. You won't find our stockings because I left them in Georgia over Thanksgiving to have them monogrammed. Besides, I can't really figure out a good place to hang them. So as you look through these pictures and see our apartment, let me know if you have any suggestions!
And here is our tree!
Thanks to Ryan's parents who bought it for our first Christmas, it was one of our only decorations last year and the ornaments from the Cagles filled it up! One day when we have more room, I want to get a live tree - nothing smells better than a Christmas tree! But we will always keep this tree and put it out somewhere since it is special to us and will always bring back so many sweet memories from our first married Christmas living in North Carolina.
And our Christmas dishes!!! You have NO IDEA how much I love these...but oh, Ryan knows! Poor guy... I registered for these dishes and got a couple of pieces surprisingly (with it being a summer wedding) and intended to just add pieces each year until I had completed the set. So last year, I waited until they went WAY, WAY, WAY on sale after Christmas and bought whatever was left, random pieces here and there. Well this year, I planned to do the same, until they started disappearing off the shelves. So, it turns out they have been discontinued, so I have spent the last week searching high and low for anywhere with ANY remainging pieces (Lenox, Macys, Belk, even Replacements.com!) and have had to have dinner plates shipped from New Jersey and accent plates shipped from Atlanta and the bowls from somewhere else. It's been crazy trying to round up the whole set and I think Ryan would be happy to never look at the again at this point, but I FINALLY got all of the ones I needed to complete my set.
And these are the plates I hope to use with kids one day! I think these are just so cute! This was another after Christmas find from last year. Ryan and I went to Wilmington on the North Carolina coast a couple hours from here during the dead time between Christmas and New Years when I was still off work and he was out of school. I found these in a little Christmas shop at the Cotton Exchange there and the lady gave the whole set to me for $10! They had originally been $45.
It sits on the desk in the guest bedroom...
And lastly, also in our guest bedroom, is our beautiful Fontanini Nativity set that my Crossett babies - Ked, Luke & Marigrace - gave us as a wedding gift. I was blessed to spend two of my college summers with these precious kids while helping their busy mom, my dear friend Ashley, with them when they were 3 years old (Ked) and 18 months old (Luke/MG are twins). Crazy life for sure, but a FUN one! :)
This is not only a gorgeous nativity set made by the Fontanini family (family-owned business) from Italy, but it's also such a kid-friendly nativity set as all of the figurines are made of a rubbery-plastic material so they won't break if they're dropped or played with. Leave it to Ashley (supermom) to think ahead like that, haha!
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests"... Luke 2:14
Goodnight y'all - hope you enjoyed the tour!