It’s Christmas Time in the City …

Remind me next year to take off the entire month of December. Actually taking off the entire time from Thanksgiving until New Years would be more helpful. This is my absolute favorite time of year, hands down, no questions asked, BUT every year I’m finding that there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to be done. I guess that’s just what happens as you get older and take on more and more responsibilities, right? I’m not complaining here, at all. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything, but I’m sleep-deprived this morning and it’s really for no good reason other than I was up late the past 4 nights designing Christmas cards, doing online Christmas shopping, planning a Christmas party and decorating the house for Christmas. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas … it’s just everywhere. And I love it.

Yes, the house is FINALLY decorated. Why did it take me so long you ask? Well here’s the issue, or at least one of them. I am a sucker for after-Christmas shopping. Every year my Mom and I go the day after, the day after that, and sometimes even the day after that. So when I pull out my stuff to decorate the following Christmas, I have all these new things that have no “home” … so then I spend way too much time finding homes and tweaking this and rearranging that, and really it’s just absolutely ridiculous how long it takes me to decorate sometimes. Having an almost 2-year old might have a little something to do with the speed at which I decorate as well, not to mention all the other tasks that have to get accomplished on a daily basis in this thing we call life. But I know, I know, enough excuses already!

So with all that said, here’s the start of my holiday home tour. Yay! I’ll share our outside today and we’ll move to the inside next week, so be on the lookout!


I kept the mailbox super simple this year with two rosemary ‘trees’ from The Home Depot. At $20 a pop, it might seem like an expensive way to decorate around the mailbox, but I plan on reusing these babies year after year – a long term Christmas decorating investment if you will.



I found these lighted LED branches at Target after Christmas last year. I think I paid about $3. I’m hoping to find some more this year so I can line the other side of the sidewalk, but I love the bit of light they add.


For the past couple of years we’ve decorated our Japanese Maple with various-sized ball ornaments. I used to think stuff like this was tacky but now I can’t imagine the maple without a little Christmas bling – I mean, he’d just be so bare …


Every year we line our steps with miniature Christmas trees (for lack of knowing their scientific name). We always get ours from Home Depot and I plant them in our backyard every year once Spring kicks in. So far 3 have survived. I’m thinking next year I may dig them up and use them instead of buying new ones. I’m just not sure how much stress they can handle from constant re-digging and re-planting. I guess we’ll see …


The metal angel came from my Mom (gotta love Christmas decor hand-me-downs). I spray painted her ivory this year because she never stood out enough (she was originally gold). I did a light layer using Rustoleum Ivory Silk so the gold still peeks through a little in some areas.



I’m happier with the way our front porch turned out this year than I’ve ever been. Most of the decor is the same as in years past, but I did mix things up just a little and it made such a difference.


I always throw a few Christmas pillows on my outdoor bench and call it a Christmas day. The burlap Merry pillow was a hand-me-down from my Mom. The small burlap pillow came from the Target Dollar Spot and the red pillow came from Kohls.




I created a little vignette with the wooden crate I used in my Fall decorating. I was going to move it back inside to the basement where it came from, but then I thought I could probably do something Christmas-y with it. I already had the ‘wish’ dish towel, the wreath, and the tree, so I just had to buy some large red ball ornaments – thanks Dollar Tree.




My snowman was Pinterest-inspired. Just take 3 grapevine wreaths of various sizes (Dollar Tree is a great place to look) and hang them in the shape of a snowman. Don’t you just love simple DIYs? I used some burlap ribbon and some jingle bells to create his scarf.


This Welcome sign was one of my very first Christmas decor purchases a very long time ago. I still love it as much as the day I bought it.


Since I have to take most of my plants and my hummingbird feeders in during the winter months, I like to hang some Christmas things from my plant hooks. It just looks too bare otherwise, you know kinda like the Japanese Maple without all his Christmas bling? All of these fun items came from Cost Plus World Market.


Even my metal rooster gets decked out. As well as our front door handle (and yes, all the jingling gets a lil’ annoying at times but I would have it no other way). And don’t you just love those penguins on the doormat???


Last but not least, I’ve always had candles IN the windows and wreaths ON the windows. I grew up with it and I just feel like there is nothing classier and more timeless. For several years I’ve had the same dark green wreaths with sparkly red bows but I stumbled across some flocking spray powder, as well as some beautiful burlap ribbon with red sparkles, for next to nothing after Christmas last year. So this year my wreaths took on a whole new look. Of course I didn’t take a close-up before the wreaths were hung because that just made too much sense. Here’s the best shot I could get without falling off the porch. I’m pretty sure my neighbors wonder about me sometimes …



And that wraps up the outdoor portion of my Holiday Home Tour. Hope you’ll join in next week as I bring you inside where it’s warm.

I also hope as you go through this week, which I’m sure is crazy busy and possibly crazy stressful for a lot of you, that you try to keep in mind what this time of year is really all about. It’s so easy to get caught-up in all the decorating and shopping and so on and so forth, but at the end of the day I like to remind myself that everything I already have is more than enough, and that there’s an actual meaning behind Christmas besides all this other stuff. I had to remind myself of this (several times) over the weekend so I thought I’d pass it on 🙂 Happy Monday!


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