Our Christmas Mantel and a Reminder to Enjoy the Season

In our house, we get excited about Christmas. I think most people do. I mean, it’s a joyous season! But something different goes on in my head when I think about this holiday season. I think about decorating.

I feel like that’s not really a surprise.

IMG_9730I’ll be sharing a few Christmas posts over the next few weeks:

  • Decorating the “other” spaces in your home (i.e. end tables and console tables) creatively
  • Our Christmas tree (hint- it’s not as “fancy” as you might think)
  • A holiday craft tutorial
  • My favorite meaningful Christmas decorations

But today I am sharing one of the focal points for Christmas décor in the home- the fireplace mantel.

You already know how I love to decorate our mantel. Remember our everyday mantel (here) and our rustic chic fall mantel (here)? How about last year’s holiday mantel (here)? I loved all of them and lamented taking down the vignette each time. But when the new one goes up, I get so caught up in it I’m not missing the others anymore.

My favorite thing to do when decorating our home is to use something second hand. I am much more drawn to pieces that have patina, so garage sales and thrift stores are right up my alley. And this mantel décor was straight from my favorite places.

While I like Christmas colors, I don’t like pieces that have gaudy designs or are screaming “I bought you from a store in the Christmas aisle and stuck you on the mantel.” I like my pieces to remind you of the holidays because of their color, shine, and accessories.

IMG_9725Remember I said I like vintage and used items from garage sales? Well how about using 4 garage sale vessels in green and silver? That reminds me of the holidays. I gathered two green glass bottles and two silver vessels, a trophy pitcher and a tea kettle.

IMG_9715I used a few bare branches in fall décor, but went crazy for them this time. Since the only thing else that was going to be on the mantel was the chicken wire frame (see how I made it here), I wanted the branches to take up a lot of space and create height and width.

IMG_9712Then, I piled on the ornaments. I love how bright and shiny it looks! The ornaments really glam up the branches. There is a lot of contrast going on here between the vintage-yet-shiny vessels, the natural wood branches, and the bright and glittery ornaments. Right up my alley.

IMG_9713I decided to work with the chicken wire frame on the mantel already but change out our wedding photo for something more holiday inspired. I grabbed my book of scrapbook paper and attempted to paint a large snowflake on the back of the pages. Eh, not so much. They looked like Aztec hieroglyphics.

So, I decided to forgo the snowflakes and paint “joy” on the paper to clip to the chicken wire.

“Joy” is one of my favorite words. I have it on our canvas art in our room…. IMG_9319And on Mod Podge cardboard letters in our living room… (I actually forgot about that until now.) photo 5 (40)Joy is significant to me because it is more than happiness. It reminds us to abide in Christ and have a fulfilled life. Being filled with joy is more than feeling and acting happy, even when you don’t want to. It is a peace that comes from the Holy Spirit which leads us to feel thankful and blessed and to enjoy (ha) every moment.

IMG_9716I’m not saying that life is easy when you have joy or that being joyful is easy. But when we have joy in our lives, we can see a bigger picture. The holidays become more than gifts and parties and impressing others. It is about celebrating Jesus invading our world. It is about spending time with family and friends and making memories. So as a person who struggles with anxiety and being overly-concerned about everything being perfect, a reminder to have joy is good to help make me slow down and enjoy this time of year.

IMG_9728I clipped on the paper and loved its simplicity. Our stocking holders (Hobby Lobby a few years ago) and stockings topped it off. I love the look and how it feels simple. There is not too much visually going on that you get distracted trying to look at so much. There’s not a clash of a ton of bright colors overwhelming your eyes. It feels almost feels understated.

IMG_9724With the ever-important mantel done, it set the tone for the rest of the house. My reminder of what is truly important, having joy, made decorating our home enjoyable and not frenzied. I hope that reminder will resonate with you throughout this busy season as well!

p.s. Did you see yesterday’s post about Makeover Monday? If you want me to help inspire your home decor or a piece of furniture, check out the post and email me at allthingsnewinteriors@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!


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