Christmas Decor Ideas: Our 1st Christmas (kinda)

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Hearth and Hand Wrapping Paper House Gift Wrap and Herringbone Gift Wrap and Ribbon

Target Christmas Trees (old) | Madewell Mountain Sage Candle

Photo by Madison Katlin Photography

It's December, friends! Our Christmas decor has actually been up for a couple of weeks, buuuut that's just because I needed to shoot it for y'all. Last year was mine and Nick's first Christmas, BUT we got married October 28 and ran full speed into Thanksgiving and Christmas. Try including moving Nick in all at the same time. It was insane! I think we went and got a Christmas tree the week before Christmas? Andddd that was the extent of our decor. So, that's why this is our first Christmas Decor, but only kinda because this is technically our second married Christmas ;)

We live in a 2 bedroom apartment that's a little under 1500 square feet, so we have room to decorate, but not a lot of storage (unless we wanted to never park a car in the garage again;).  I wanted to share how we decorate, with what, and some questions I asked myself, before decorating for the season.


I don't have a fireplace or hearth, where do I put my stockings?

We don't have a fireplace either! I really wanted to hang mine from the bar cart, but the stockings I bought are knitted and I knew the cats would LOVE to scratch at them, so I went back to the drawing board. I had seen some people hang them from a TV center, but our TV is bolted to the wall, so that was a no. A couple months ago, Nick made some awesome floating shelves, so that's where the ended up going. They are "held" by industrial pipes, so that was the perfect place to "loop" them on.


I live in a small apartment, so how do I make my place decorative, w/o having a ton of stuff? I don't have storage?

We don't live in a tiny apartment, but we don't have a lot of storage. We do have a garage, but try to just use that for cars. Here are some ways we decorate, without having a lot of "stuff" to put up at the end of the season.

-real christmas tree. This is a big one, literally. We buy one every year, so we don't have that to store. I have seen people who keep the tree decorated year round and just wheel it away when their done. Unfortunately, we don't have room for that right now.

-bar cart. I LOVE having a bar cart. They are super cute for decor, even if you don't drink alcohol. You can decorate them for every season and the Christmasy adds don't have to be huge.

-tables-capes. Use your tables for more than just eating! This goes for your bars, too! Switch out your centerpiece maybe just add something to it, to make it more "in season"

-candles. Scent is such great thing for the holidays. Buy some candles and that will immediately add a homey holiday feel. My favorite Christmas candles are Nest Holiday and Rewined Spiked Cider. There are cheaper candles, but they burn out so quickly.

-pot and pan chandelier. One of my favorite apartment buys has been a pot and pan chandelier! It allows us to use our kitchen storage for other things and just looks cool. It's the perfect place to hang garland and/or mistletoe.

-shelves. Our floating shelves are super cool and my favorite, but we also have other shelving that works just as well to display things. They are kind of like a bar cart in the sense that you can add tiny things to them (ie pine cones, sprigs of greenery) and they look like the season.


I don't have a lot of wall space, but want to hang things, what should I do?

I learned this from my mom. She has certain things she switches out/trades spaces with during the holidays. In my parents' living room, there are large windows, where she hangs certain things during the year. For Christmastime, she replaces them with holiday themed decor. Here's some examples of things I do.

-mug wall. Nick made me a mug wall in our kitchen. I have holiday themed mugs that I display during the winter months that serve a functional purpose and are pretty!

-oven handle. Hang decorative tea towels! Of course have some out that guests can actually use, but show a little spirit, in the room where most of the Christmas magic happens! I switch out my oven tea towels every season! In the fall and winter, it's more like every month though;)

-embroidery. I have a heart shaped embroidery that my mom made me. For all the other months, It's on display, but for December, I have a Christmas wreath one. It's easy to switch out similar things that already fit your decor, with holiday themed ones!

-garland and swag. Hang greenery or garland on items that are already hanging. Go classic so it's always in style and you'll have decor for years to come! We put felt garland on the floating shelves, as well as our couch and chandelier.


Where should I put the Christmas tree?

The short answer is out of the way, but where people can still enjoy / see it. Ours is in the back corner of our living / dining room. You can see it from the front door, but you don't have to step over it or anything. Also, our neighbors across the way can see it, because it's right by out patio windows. If you don't have room, just get several tiny ones. They are still fun!


I want to decorate, but don't have a big budget. 

-lights. Lights are relatively inexpensive and a super easy add. I really like these LED Christmas lights because you can control them with a remote and they bend and stay put!

-shop 12/26. Stock up on items the day after Christmas. They will all be on sale, so you can get more bang for your buck.

-start collecting. Don't buy new things every year - start collecting your year to year items! Use large tupperware containers to store.


I want to decorate, but have Cats. What should I do?

Good luck! They will drink the water out of the bottom if it's live and knock around all the gifts and ornaments. Just love them;)


Do you have any Christmas decorating tips or hacks? Hope you're enjoying the season! Stay warm. XOXO

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