Yay, it’s December! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I have been so excited for the Christmas decorations! I actually made most of them last year, I was really busy and productive last November. But I love the changes that I made this year even more. Also, be warned, there are lots of pictures.
I love boxwood and wanted to use it around the mantle, but I haven’t ever seen any boxwood garlands. So I bought a wreath from Trader Joe’s and then took it apart. My friend Wendy also let me get some free holly clippings from her dad’s property, which was so nice. I love the holly and boxwood together. (When I told Vu we were going to get the holly he said “What is that?” seriously? How do you not know what holly is?)
This Olive wood nativity is from Jerusalem. It was my first nativity. It was a gift Vu gave me long before we were married. He went to a lot of work to get it for me. The wood comes from 1 of 4 olive groves that could be the garden of Gethsemane. Of the 4 groves there are 2 that have a much higher likelihood of being the actual grove. And then of those 2 one is a little more likely than the other. This wood comes from that 1, the one believed to be the most likely to be the garden of Gethsemane. As I understand it, it takes years and lots and lots of work to get wood from this grove. Vu knew someone who managed to get one, and was making it into a piano. Vu asked him if could buy the cut off pieces. And then found a carver in Jerusalem that could then turn them into this nativity. And each step required some intense kind of documentation to make sure it is still the same wood from that original olive tree from that one grove. To me, it is kind of like the ultimate nativity. It is very special to me, not just for it’s individual value, but also because of the effort and thought Vu put into it, and the representation of how much he loves me. And because Christmas is my favorite. After this, I decided to start collecting nativities from around the world, to represent my love of travel and my love of Christmas.
The star wreath I made last year as well. I cut some small pieces of wood and nailed them together in the star shape. Which was a HUGE pain because the nail was longer than the wood and I thought I could just push the extending piece of the nail to the side. Not so easily done. Then I drilled some holes into the wood and attached the greenery and berries to the star frame with some brown covered wire, pulling the wire through the holes.
Here is another of my nativities from Cozumel, Mexico.
And this one is from Costa Maya, Mexico.
The December pillow cases were the first ones that I made, last November. I ended up making my own green polka dot fabric because I wanted to have silver dots, and everything I found used gold.
This tree makes me a little sad. Because it is a fake tree. I am a real tree girl. I have had a real tree every year of my life until last year when we bought this one. The problem is that Vu is a fake tree kind of guy. And I just don’t enjoy doing the whole thing on my own. I can’t really. So I broke down and let Vu talk me into buying a fake one last year. I do have to say though. When we decided to put up the tree this year, it was done 10 minutes later, lights and all. That is pretty nice… but I keep reminding Vu that we are not going to use it every year. We are sometimes going to get a real tree.
My parent’s (aka mom) started getting us ornaments every year since we were born. It was a tradition her parent’s did with her. And it is so fun to have all of these reminders of our vacations, and past Christmases. I also love making new ornaments each year. I love the homemade ones from my Grandma. The little wooden stocking was one my mom made when I was 7. It was for a family reunion with my dad’s family that we hosted and she cut out the wood and hand painted one for every single person. I think it was 40+ ornaments. Also in case you are wondering, Germany makes beautiful ornaments. Our “adopted” brother, Thomas, that stayed with us for a year when he was in high school, is from Germany and sends us a new one almost every year. He is getting married in May and we are planning on going out for the wedding, so I am really hoping I can pick up a German Nativity while I am there. I LOVE their nativities.
I made the tree skirt 4 or 5 years ago. And there is the gold polka dot fabric… My polka dots are less formal… (as in much less evenly spaced).
The “forest” of white and mint trees on the piano is mostly what was new this year, and it is my FAVORITE!
The zig zag slat wood ombre tree I made last year. I saw a picture on Pinterest and wanted to buy it, but the connecting site is for businesses, and I couldn’t even access the site and see a picture of it let alone buy it. Plus it was in turquoise, which I didn’t want. And it was all random ombre instead of in color order. So of course, I made one instead. You couldn’t have guessed that I am sure…
I used this tutorial for the seed bead tree.
I wanted to make some mint ornaments to put on the wooden slat tree, but didn’t quite get there. Next year.
Instead of a garland on the bannister I made these twig sprays (I saw here on Pinterest).
And I finally got around to extending the décor to the entry way and porch. I have been trying to get there all year.
This cute Santa, and the sparkly jingle all the way sign, were projects I made at a girls crafting weekend a couple of weeks ago. I am glad that I can’t see the others next to mine, because I was a little sad at some of the differences they did on theirs that I wish I had done. I love it now it isn’t next to the other, better ones. 🙂
The Joy sign was another project we did.
I found this cute advent calendar at the gift shop in the hospital last year. The advent is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. And yes I do it, even though I don’t have any kids…
I found this silver striped fabric at Goodwill last year and made it into a table runner.
I filled the little hutch/butler’s pantry with more holly and boxwood, lights and a bunch of my nativities. These ones are from South Africa, North Carolina, Italy, Peru, Thailand (via Deseret Book), Chili and Australia.
Yay Christmas!!! And that’s it, all 12 done! I made it!