Ever since the calendar flipped to December, the House (Apartment) of Domesticait (me only) has been chaotically preparing for Christmas.

Since we are newly husband and wife, I feel like there is this expectation to keep an outward appearance of properly celebrating holidays. From nabbing a tree to attempting to decorate, these past weeks have been a bit of a trial.   As in, standing in a check-out line clutching an ornament for A that depicted a hippo bathing itself.  We have already established I am a lunatic, so we can move on.

The first weekend of December I proclaimed to be a magical Christmas outing day!  Thanksgiving had officially passed (*sniff *sniff) and I felt permitted to prepare for the next one.

I had visions of gaily marching through the NEWLY FALLEN snow with my tropical Scrooge husband dragging behind to chop down our first tree as marrieds.

lying in wait ...

I made homemade hot chocolate from my Mother’s recipe (see below, it’s perfection) and homemade cinnamon rolls from my Mother’s recipe (re-heated from Thanksgiving, shhh) and we set out to select our perfect Christmas tree.

That beautiful snow made the trip a bit treacherous, and we ended up picking out our already cut tree from a cold warehouse instead of tromping out to slice down our very own, but NONETHELESS, THIS IS NORMAN ROCKWELL-LIKE, PEOPLE.

We trimmed the tree together that night, painstakingly placing each ornament on our poofy tree, and shooing Toona away from the (apparently delicious) new acquisition. Wham! Christmas carols merrily accompanied our progress, naturally.

We also plopped the giant Christmas Mickey on the couch, which Beef did not appreciate. What is it with animals and the birth of Jesus?

In the weeks after the tree-getting excursion,  I started to panic about the state of the rest of the apartment.

We now had a large tree sitting in the corner, but nothing else to suggest we have noticed it is the yuletide.

And by panic, I mean stopping by stores every day last week to try to find Christmas decorations to perk up the apartment a little, without adding to what we will attempt to shove into our storage space and completely going into debt.

floppy DIY bow and 40 cent candlesticks

What resulted is an attempt at practical and pretty decor, with plenty of holiday cheer.

The table in front of our door has become the setting for seasonal decorations, including our holiday candlesticks.  Unfortunately, Toona likes to maneuver his big, curious ass onto this table, Godzilla-ing the candlesticks in his constant quest to sneak out the door.  The candlesticks were $4 for five of them at a consignment store in the town I work in, and mysteriously were also half off.  Yay!  I figure these puppies can pull double duty throughout the year, cutting down on storage.

On another table, an old green jar we got at a garage sale was stuffed with ribbon from my wedding dress and strands of decorative cranberries.

Also in the living room, I finally put used the glittery ribbon I bought last year and NEVER OPENED.  Each doorway got an improvised bow, to try to recall the beautiful garland my Mom would string around the kitchen of our childhood home.  I tried to watch a YouTube video of a woman making real bows, but gave up.  She was a little high and mighty with her elaborate wrapping and therefore, had to go.

The kitchen received some beloved garland on the windowsill, a big, fat velvet bow above the sink.  Some new, cheap kitchen linens were bought, including a new tablecloth, also bought at the consignment store, and also weirdly on sale?  Our “centerpiece” became a set of appetizer plates that spells, “Noel”.  I figure they are cute and flat and have a double use, if need be.

However, my pride and joy, is the wreath I MADE that is now haughtily swinging from our front door.

ingenious way to hang a wreath

While Pinterest told me you can make a wreath form from pool noodles or some mysterious product at Menards for only pennies, I was unsuccessful in finding either of those things, and broke down to buy a damn wreath form.  The whole project took about 15 minutes, amazingly.  I just wrapped the form in some fabric from a failed wedding project, overlapping it a little so I could hide the staples and shoved in some more cranberry strands bought at a craft store.  I tied a wooden “H” to the wreath with some more ribbon from my wedding dress and attached it to a plastic hook on the other side of the door, turned upside down to enlist physics in the project’s success (again, thanks Pinterest).

And I think it looks pretty cute!  Phew!  Because I can re-use fabric from a failed craft mission, but I’m pretty sure the styrofoam wreath would have been re-purposed into an uncomfortable pillow, or something.


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