Deck the House with Boughs of Holly...

By hbhentschel | Dec. 13, 2012

We have been very busy working to make our house festive for Christmas, our first Christmas in the new house!

The first step was to put up the wreath that Jeff’s mom made for us for Jeff’s first Christmas in the apartment. Then we put up the pre-lit tree that we’ve used for the last two Christmases in our family room. Unfortunately, we discovered that a whole section of lights was no longer working. We purchased an extra string of lights to fix the dark patch…and while we were at it, we scooped up a great deal on a second tree for our living room, along with enough lights to keep Nova up at night.

Christmas Nova

With two trees, we decided to split the ornaments by theme. Jeff’s grandmother gave him a Noah’s ark ornament every Christmas while he was growing up, and now we have enough to fill up our skinny 6.5-foot tree pretty well. The rest of the ornaments, mostly purple, silver, and gold, adorn the taller tree in our living room. We are pretty proud of them both.

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

Also indoors, we set up some Christmas-y decor on the buffet in the living room and throughout the house. The other major indoor Christmas decor project was a large wreath for over the fireplace. Michael’s was having a 50% off sale on all of their Christmas items one weekend, so we scooped up the wreath, some ribbon, and some pine cones and tiny ornaments to make our own design to compliment the family room. I wrapped the wreath in ribbon, attached a large bow, and tied on the sprigs of pinecones and ornaments for a pretty simple project that we think makes a nice statement. And it cost us less than $40!

Family Room

Christmas Wreath

We were probably most excited about getting to put up Christmas lights outside, since that was something we couldn’t do at the apartment. Fortunately, we have a flat roof line, so it was pretty easy to get the lights up there, and I didn’t have to worry about Jeff moving around on the roof (though he did climb up there to clean out the gutters one last time before we started stringing lights).

Jeff on the Roof

We stuck with a pretty simple design: we ran lights along the roof line, as well as around the columns on our front porch. We also put lights around the windows in two of the bedrooms, from the inside, but they look great from the outside too. The LED lights might be more expensive to purchase, but they are much more energy efficient and are supposed to last much longer than traditional lights. They also give off quite a glow. I love coming home every night to a house lit up for the holidays!

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

We may shop a few after-Christmas sales to stock up on a few more holiday items for subsequent years, but we’re happy with the amount we were able to accomplish this first year, especially since we will be hosting Christmas for Jeff’s family this year. Does anyone else out there have a fun DIY Christmas project to share? Or a tree or house trimmed with lights to be proud of? We’d love to hear your holiday decorating stories too!