Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post brought to you by Joann. All opinions are 100% my own.
Our theme this year for Christmas decor – at least the mantle and Christmas tree – is Home for the Holidays! It is so fun to pick a theme and in the past we have done everything from Dr. Seuss to Blue & Orange Alphabet to Woodland Wonderland. My mom teases me that I used to complain that she switched up her theme every year but I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…the Christmas tree 🙂 The theme this year is one that we showed off on our mantle and it really sets the tone for the tree too! I love when our mantle and tree are partners in themed crime! Here is what Home for the Holidays looks like near the fireplace….
Love that wintery garland and mixing that with red and white and metal finishes! The homes are both literal (those are actual light up houses) and figurative…nothing invokes a more homey holiday feel of warmth and relaxation than a traditional color scheme. So we definitely wanted to transfer that same feel to the christmas tree.
Last year we set up our 12 foot tree(VIDEO HERE) in our living room and it was a BEAST. After decorating it, I felt like it took WAY too long (considering we have so many small children….anything that takes longer than a Paw Patrol episode is too long.) so this year I convinced Jeremy to set it up without some of the middle sections. This made it ten feet and it feels way more manageable if I can do the majority of it with only a step stool.
Then we headed to JOANN to get our Home for the Holidays decorations! I am so excited to partner with them on our tree because I’m OBSESSED with their ornaments. This year I wanted to avoid traditional christmas ornaments (the ones that are balls) because well, frankly, I am always nursing Ella and Max’s two year old hands can NOT resist them. He must touch. He wants to throw. And because I know I can’t be consistent enough to get up and touch his hand every time he reaches for an ornament, I simply decided to just eliminate them completely. This allows me to be a better mom (I hate yelling across a room repeatedly because it literally slaughters the Christmas spirit) and keeps his toes safe from sharp glass Christmas shrapnel.
All the boys were excited to get to pick out their own ornaments. It is a Christmas tradition and one that Weston got really excited about this year 🙂
All the boys were so excited to see the ornaments that we looked at every.single.one. This aisle endcap had personalized ornaments and William was the only one that could find his name!
Max immediately liked the Santa ornaments in the fun youthful collection.
And then when we got to the figurine ornaments, the boys were OVER THE MOON.
All the boys were so excited to recognize their favorite things. The little old ladies in the aisle next to us laughed about the shrieks over FOOTBALL! GI-WAFFE! A HAMBOOGER!
We did encourage them to pick something that they really loved….and steered them AWAY from the breakable ones.
LJ got my favorite – the metal robot. Of course it is in his signature color 🙂 And Weston was adamant about getting the airplane. He said that now he can fly to Texas. We have no idea why he said that. Ha!
Will picked an angel ornament because he said that he wanted to have something that reminded him of Jesus. And Max wanted the donut….until he realized that we said DO-NOT lick or bite it….then he promptly went back to the Santa ornament.
After each kiddo had made their decisions, I decided that I need a few more homes for our tree – and headed back to the birdhouse section of the store to snag five….one for each kid! I love that they can reuse these later for their own little boyish plans!
After picking up some more tree decorations, I went to check out with a big bundle. Thankfully JOANN always has amazing coupons so I saved more than half on everything!
Once I got home, it was straight to work. A tree definitely has a certain order in which you do things….
- Ornaments from big to small
I did it a little different this year….the gold went around the tree and the red ones came vertically from the top. Ribbon can be tucked into the tree now and tweaked later. It just gives you a good framework for when it comes to filling the rest of the tree up.
Next came the garland. It was the same garland that I used on the mantle and I just tucked it horizontally around the tree at 2′ spacing. Then came the sprays of berries. I loved seeing the berries on the mantle so this translated well to the tree too. I take the sprays and bend each long support stem into a half moon shape before sticking it into the tree.
That gentle curve makes them look so real.
My best tip at this point is to turn the lights off on the tree so that you can see where you are alternating the pops of red.
Then came the some champagne colored berries….this time the sprays were big bundles that I had to clip apart. This meant that I had six stems for each bundle!
Same with the white peony flower bundles. I simply clipped those apart with wire clippers.
All of those picks then were stuck into the tree at random.
Time for the topper! I made three big bows of ribbon and used a bit of twine to make a tie for the back.
The star was a wall decor item but it was so sweet that I knew it would be PERFECT as our tree topper. My kids love the christmas star….they think it’s very important…so I didn’t want a small one (even a normal sized star looks itty bitty on a big ten footer of a tree!). This one was very big and it matched the houses on the mantle so it was a great fit. I hot glued some ribbon on the back to make it really easy to attach.
Once the ribbon was up and the star securely fastened, I used some additional sprays to decorate the top to make it look more glorious.
Then came time for the ornaments. Remember the birdhouses that I picked up at JOANN? These were so beautiful that I could have left them plain….how cute would that look on a midcentury modern type tree! SO adorable! But for our situation I decided to whip out the craft paint and go at it!
Now they look like this….
Max was able to be such a big helper – he got most of the red on his house instead of his clothing so that is a huge win! I popped those on the tree after they dried and they were the perfect size! They perfectly complimented the little galvanized metal luminary houses that were from JOANN….can you spot them? They are aluminum and red colored!
With such a tall tree, it’s important to vary the sizes of ornaments and the houses were big enough to make a statement without looking out of place. I also turned a string of bell garland into individual ornaments.
And I love how the tree ties into the mantle….totally like a curated look that screams Christmas!
And speaking of varied sizes of ornaments….I found some of the vintage ornaments that my mom handed down to me from when I was really little and we dug out all the little ‘house’ themed ones.
Max LOVED the tiny little ones and since they are wooden, they aren’t breakable. It helps that they don’t look like a baseball either….no temptation!
LJ also got into the itty bitty ornament fun after he hung his robot on the tree. He has been switching it from the big tree to his little kid tree every night. It’s like a traveling robot in our home 🙂
And here is the view from below. I always loved laying under the tree and looking up at it so this vantage point is so welcomed to me!
So that is our Christmas tree….one filled with flowers and berries and homes and ribbon and memories! I love that we did a tree without the balls for once and proved that you can fill up a big tree and still get that traditional look. So that leads me to my next question – do you guys do themed trees? Or maybe you do a memory ornament tree? Or a separate tree for the kids? Or maybe you fill yours to the brim with balls? Or maybe its simple with just lots of lights? I’d love to hear all about it! I’d also love to hear what your FAVORITE ornament is….maybe something old or new or just special to you?
And if you’re still looking for gift for the family, you can check out some of our Christmas Gift Guides below: