Friday, December 22

Our 2017 Christmas Tree + "I Am" Ornaments

It's almost Christmas, and I wanted to welcome you into our home for a peek at our Christmas decorations. This year I was trying to channel a "winter wonderland" vibe, and after spending some time on Pinterest, my vision started to come together. My main source of inspiration was the tree Bre from Rooms for Rent decorated last year - I loved the gray and silver ribbons with metallic ornaments.

Before I share a million close-ups of the tree, here's a look at this year's Christmas card wall - I used washi tape again since I don't have a bulletin board or display big enough to hold all the cards we receive!

As I started decorating the tree, so many of my favorite ornaments and decorations came out of storage - gold, champagne, and clear glass bulbs went on first after the silvery-gray ribbon I found at Michael's, followed by the glittery pinecones I found at KMart for our "Peace on Earth" tree two years ago. I added a mix of plastic snowflakes and the antique crochet ones that are a favorite family heirloom, and the icicle ornaments I brought from my childhood home. I also broke up a flocked floral pick to give the tree a more wintry look.

Every year I make at least one DIY ornament for the tree, and this year I made seven. We have been studying the book of John in our Bible study, and I have been journaling a lot about the seven "I AM" statements Jesus makes in that book. It's been an interesting parallel to follow Jesus' journey to the cross in scripture as we also prepare to celebrate His birth in the advent season.

The "I AM" statement ornaments were easy to make - I found the plain wood ornaments at Michael's and painted them with two coats of gray Folk Art acrylic paint. I used a gold Painters pen to add the text and also went around the edges of each ornament with the paint pen. The final touch was a loop of gold ribbon.

The last ornaments to go on the tree are the personal and sentimental ones. Sticking with the gold, white, and gray color scheme, you can find a resin Nativity ornament from my college Sunday School teachers, a wedding cake ornament, brass versions of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and Mr. Q's alma mater Virginia Tech (I have yet to find the perfect UVa ornament), a paper church, and brass ornaments featuring the three wise men and other Christmas story figures that were some of Mr. Q's favorite childhood decorations.

This year's tree is one of my favorites yet - I love choosing a new theme or source of inspiration every year and combining heirloom decorations with handcrafted ornaments. It was really special to host Bible study here a few weeks ago with our friends gathered around the Christmas tree and Jesus' words coming off the page and into our lives. Spending the holiday with these friends that have become so dear to us is such a gift, and I know that next year will be the most special yet when we can celebrate our baby's first Christmas. I hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday!

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