Christmas in July
I know, I know…Christmas in July?!? A lot of people think that it’s way too early to even think about Christmas but judging from all the social media posts and the Hallmark Channel it’s a real thing. And since I realized I never shared my decorations from last Christmas, July seems like a great time to do it!
Personally, I work on ideas for Christmas all year long…even if it’s just pinning decorating ideas or looking for ways to earn extra gift money. It’s never really too early to start planning a little and the more you plan; the faster and easier things will go when the Holidays get here.
Decorating starts pretty early here, but there are a lot of spaces that get decorated. I also tend to do extra cleaning as I go–wipe down walls, shampoo carpets, sometimes I even paint–so it’s not unheard of for decorating to start at the beginning of November.
One of my very favorite spaces to decorate is our hallway. It’s really a little bit of a wasted space for anything but decorating or a maybe a piano. Luckily, we have the Hoosier Cabinet that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It was in the house when we moved in, so I decided to use it as part of our decor. It’s been in the kitchen, a bedroom, and the hallway. It fits fairly well in the hall and it lets me get creative!
The theme I chose for 2018 was North Pole Sorting Office. I originally wanted to do Santa’s workshop, but the cost of decorations and craft supplies was more than I wanted to spend.
The biggest expense I had for decorations was ribbon and some fabric I used for the tree skirt. Most everything else came out of the Christmas decoration and/or craft “hoard”! My daughter generally does whatever chalk work I ask for (my hands aren’t very steady) and she kindly lets me use her typewriter any time I want as well.
The “gifts” are empty boxes that were wrapped with leftover paper and also some extra gift card boxes from years gone by. They make excellent decorations because they will fit just about anywhere there is an empty space!
The large jingle bell was an ornament that I bought on clearance, but the smaller ones I brushed with glue and dipped in glitter. That’s a super quick and easy craft if you ever need one!
This ribbon was originally supposed to go on our tree, but it just didn’t look right. It worked perfectly in the North Pole Sorting Office though. Where else would Santa go to find requests from all the good boys and girls?!?
Obviously, the North Pole wouldn’t be much without the elves, but even they can get distracted sometimes. A little schedule is a pretty helpful thing to have. Elves would be pretty helpful to have too, but I can’t get Santa to share!
Let’s look a little closer…
The books came out of the closet. The homemade snow globe is one of many I made several years ago. The scrolls are scrap pieces of wrapping paper. Just roll them up and tie them with a ribbon!
We can’t really have a North Pole Sorting Office without letters to Santa. Most of those are just blank cards in envelopes. The smallest one in the front is for a scrapbook that I haven’t gotten around to scrapbooking. Oops!
Straws, colored pencils, miniature basket of blocks…I seriously just went around the house looking for anything whimsical enough to be in Santa’s office.
Just a view of the shelves…I seriously hated to take it all down it was so cute.
A tip to remember: Anything can be a decoration! The picture in the frame on top is actually a leftover Christmas card.
The “From the Desk of Santa Claus” letterhead was pretty simple to make on Picmonkey. It was actually harder to get it loaded right in the typewriter than it was to design it! (Am I the only one who has issues with turning paper the right way??)
Again, these are all things I already had. The chair belonged to my great-grandmother. The wooden coal bucket was a gift from my mother. I’ve had that Santa forever and the letter behind him is actually a gift bag with the handles cut off. I’m telling you…anything can be a decoration if you use a little imagination. Including the syrup jar that I stuck scrapbook letters to and filled with snow!
I did break down and buy the Mail Bag. I’ve been wanting one forever and I found it pretty cheap, so I bought it. We keep a box of blank cards handy, so I just emptied the box into the bag and voila! Now Santa has lots of mail to go through!
“Dear Santa: Define Good”!! This letter has been in a frame and in the typewriter. Now it’s hanging above the Santa keys. Notice he has two…one for the front door and one for the back!!
Living Room Decorations
The Living Room is usually my second space to attack when I decorate. For the most part, I do all of the inside and don’t start the porch until after Thanksgiving. I get a lot less complaints that way. Although, why people care when you decorate for Christmas is really beyond me. It’s actually the time of year when my house is prettiest. You’d think everybody would want that to happen!!
Decorating the living room consists of three shelves, a couple of flat surfaces, and the tree. We used to have an entertainment center that I decorated, but it was old and broken and brown, and I finally got rid of it. Yay me!!
There was a lot more ribbon on the tree this year. This flocked tree is much bigger than my old one and with the flocking, it’s hard to make things stand out. I decided to try adding ribbon and everybody loved it! I’ll honestly be adding more next time. I’ll also need to either buy new curly picks or try to fix them somehow. I noticed they were looking pretty dingy. Anybody have any ideas on how to whiten them up??
Because this tree is so massive, we needed some bigger decorations to add to it. Some of the gourds my Momma has painted, a lantern, a giant letter, and a few little signs did the trick. I believe there might be room for more though!
I’m not sure if you can see the little boy and girl ornaments with the Santa hats and the signs in front. They all say “Mom’s Favorite” and then have oldest, youngest, or middle child on them. My middle and youngest hung theirs and since their big brother wasn’t around, they hid his in the tree. Then they told him if he could find his ornament, he could move it. It was inside the lantern on the other side of the tree, but he liked it so much that he left it there!! I’m honestly surprised at where the other two hung theirs. It’s usually a fight to put them at the top!
Here’s the whole tree! Can you believe I didn’t get one single picture with gifts under it?? At least not that I can find anywhere. (Also, please ignore the bright light at the bottom. Our door has a window with shades and I forgot to close them!)
The stockings were hung…pretty much in the same place as always. I changed up the ribbon and even though he retired last year, The Super Trooper got a new stocking. It’s a tactical stocking, so it has zippers and hooks and other things that I don’t know the purpose of. I also added a “Thin Blue Line Punisher” patch to make it extra special!! Good news is, it holds a lot more than I thought it would. I was a little worried about that!
I put my favorite Christmas book on an easel with a bow and clustered it with one of my Momma’s gorgeous Santa gourds and some favorite pictures of my babies. They are all grown up now. Sometimes I cry a little when I look at those photos.
This Joy to the World printable is a freebie from Home Made Lovely. I printed it out and used it in a black frame for a while. Then I trimmed it down and put it on scrapbook paper. I thought it went well with this frame. (It’s sitting on my new entertainment center. It’s not 1998 brown. I’m very happy.)
I love, love, love my Nativity set. I think they are all beautiful even if my husband threatens to draw faces on them! Mary and Baby Jesus are my most favorite, but I have a special love for the darker colored sheep that is standing. Somehow he got dropped and his left ear went missing. Since we have a child with left ear Microtia, I thought it was pretty fitting. The printable says: You are Wonderful, Little Prince of Peace, Tiny Counselor, Almighty God. I think that’s pretty fitting as well.
The Quilt Rack was a simple fix this time around. My babies and the clay snowman were the focal point. My Momma made the snowman too. She’s the best!!
Everything on the We Believe shelf has been used somewhere else at some point in time. Again, the gourds came from my Momma. She’s so talented!! I actually embroidered the little pillow years and years ago. It’s starting to fray on the edges, but it’s still cute.
Here’s another simple decoration: Buy a lantern (I think that came from Ikea), put an ornament inside, and use filler like pompoms or mini snowballs around it. So simple and so sweet.
My husband has a favorite seat on the couch and it just happens to be under the Kissing Ball and the Mistletoe sign. But that wasn’t intentional or anything…
Again, I’ve had all of these decorations for a while or I made them myself (the printable, snowballs in the bucket, and Let It Snow jar). The only new thing is the piece of ribbon I tied to the Kissing Ball!
Can I be incredibly honest here?? I only decorated my shelves, my kitchen table, and put a few things on top of the fridge. And for some reason, I can’t find pictures of anything but the two things I put on the fridge. I’m really not sure what happened here!!
Anyway, this Santa came from Cracker Barrel some time ago. I added the joy, love, and peace stickers and they stuck! No, literally. They won’t come off!!
The jar of snowballs is a mixture of fake snow, mini snowballs, shimmery pompoms, and the faux Snowballs I made years ago. I’m excited to say that these things have weathered very well. (Pun intended, sorry…)
Last, but certainly not least, is the porch. Like I said before, the porch always gets decorated last because I don’t want to hear the people who tell me I shouldn’t be putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, thank you very much!
This particular design was inspired by a Christmas Tree farm or lot. Again, I just use what I have. Part of these decorations came from the Fall Porch decorations I won a couple of years ago. That was exciting by the way!!
The Super Trooper made me those stars from old tobacco sticks he found in the barn. They’ve been there a while! I have a pretty decent collection of cheap Christmas trees. I’m forever buying those $5 and $10 ones for something or another. When they start getting too ragged for inside, I use them outside. That’s actually why I thought of putting a tree lot on the porch…I wanted the trees out of the way!
Little trees, tobacco stick stars, lots of lights, and a barn…what more could you ask for?? Actually, you could ask for a bargain. I bought the barn at the Dollar General after Christmas a couple of years ago. I paid $2.50 for it. Try to keep a little money back for those after Christmas sales!
And here’s a view of the whole porch minus the front door! The trellis or railing or whatever you call that thing was in the way so I just cropped it out. The door is simple though. Same greenery as around the window and a small wreath with a big red H in the middle. Again, I’m a firm believer in using what you have first!!
That does it for my Christmas in July (Sorry I Missed Actual Christmas) post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and gotten a few new ideas. Are you planning for Christmas now?!?
For more decorating and craft inspiration–as well as a few food ideas–visit my other Christmas posts here at That One Mom!!