Last night, before going out to scarf down a plate of fried pickles (an extended celebration of my birthday, of course), I decorated the inside of my house for Christmas.
If it were all up to me, I would describe my decorating style as modern organic. This inspiration board by Joy Thigpen is a nice visual definition of that. (I often joke that Joy Thigpen is my spirit animal. She is such an inspiration.)
However, since I share my life and home with three other people - two of whom are children-types - it really isn't all up to me. Only so much of my "holly days" pinboard is ever actually going to make it into my life. So this year, the first time I have really been able to map out a decorating plan for our house, is all about balance. I'm finding ways to mix my fondness for white and snowy and cold with the warm and fuzzy and homespun feeling that Christmas with little ones demands. It's actually working out quite sweetly.
The one part I'm struggling with is styling the top of my bookshelves. We don't have a mantle on our fireplace (we decided that we liked the sleekness of it without one) so I'm trying to work some holiday spirit around the rest of the room and it's not really coming together the way I'd like.
Is it too minimal? Does it need garland or something? Maybe more of the pompoms that are on the stockings? Or some knickknacks or bowls of sparkly ornaments? I don't know. I like my surfaces bare. Seasonal maximalism is a challenge and every time I go into Hobby Lobby or Michael's I start to itch and almost always flee the scene empty-handed.
This is our fifth year doing Elf on the Shelf. Ours is called MerryGold and she has never made messes or gotten into mischief or done much besides sit on a shelf or occasionally peek over the top of one of the stockings. I know my limits.
Our poor tree ended up in the corner of the dining room this year, on an overturned bucket from Home Depot, with a silver tablecloth for a skirt. There just really wasn't any other place because the floor plan of our house is so insistently open. There are no good tree-hungry corners. But I have to say it actually is kind of cute there…at night. I'll take a picture later when everything is twinkly and blurry and magical-looking. In the light of day it's a bit underwhelming. The star on top is a paper cutout that my daughter made at school last year and the ornaments are a crazy mishmash of homemade, Pottery Barn, and travel souvenirs.