Simple/Country Christmas Tree Decorating

Hey guys! I hate to even admit this, but last year I didn't even put up a Christmas tree! I used to be the girl who had at least one or two trees up by the 1st of November no matter what, and I didn't put up the first decoration last year. I have changed over time, and I just really don't get into the decorating much anymore. I decided this year that I HAD to decorate, at least some, and it has brought me such peace and joy. Sometimes you have to throw yourself into the season to make you feel the spirit of things, you know? So anyways, I have just started but I am not doing much and am not doing anything elaborate. But I thought I would share with you what I have done in the hopes that it can bring you a little holiday joy as well. I guess we can start with my tree. I am only putting up one this year, keeping it really simple. As far as ornaments and decorations, I enjoy country/rustic looking trees. I don't do colors or schemes or anything like that. I like simple, handmade looking ornaments. For years I used ornaments I handmade. I actually went and picked pinecones out of my grandmother's yard and made those into ornaments, and I made a cinnamon dough and made homemade gingerbread men and women (that I also hand-painted). I spent months popping popcorn and hand stringing it, which actually kept for several Christmases. But through the years those have broke and had to be trashed, and almost everything I use now has been bought from a store. I pick up stuff for my tree at lots of places, most of which are from "The Incredible Christmas Place" in Pigeon Forge, TN. I think your tree should be full of things you love. Unique to you. Back to the whole popcorn thing, a Christmas tree is not a Christmas tree without some popcorn.

This is professionally strung real popcorn from Stephen Douglas. Mine are the 9 ft basic/plain popcorn strands. It is coated with a preservative and lasts for years. I pack this away in freezer bags and it still looks like new.

Like I said above, most everything I use is bought and not made. The only exceptions are a couple of old ornaments and a couple of feed-sack quilted items. The idea of having a star on top of my tree is really special to me. That or an angel. But I still really believe in putting one of those on top of your tree. I wanted it to be rustic/country though, and I found this one on Etsy. It is made from a feed-sack and is on this big rusty spiral holder. I totally love it. I found this feed-sack quilted star at the Gingerbread Festival in Knott County. I also bought a quilted mitten at that festival, but it hangs on the door of my linen closet, not on my tree.

The only handmade ornament on my tree I think. I made this in 2nd grade at school when we learned to cross-stitch. This was one of the first things I had ever done that I remember being proud of. It's nice that my mom gave it to me to hang on my tree. Beside it is an ornament that hung on our tree when I was a little girl. It's a real book (just really small) - A Christmas Carol. I usually buy my ornaments individually. When I see one I like I get it, and over the years it adds up. I don't put plain glass balls on my tree. I want to love every ornament on it. As a background filler I use these "snowballs".

I have a whole box of these, and I never use them all. The single ones are cottony, with slight glitter/iridescence. The string of 3 is hard, like plastic, with the same shimmer effect. I place these near the trunk of the tree, wherever there are gaps between branches, etc. They were really expensive, orginally $7/piece. My mom got them on sale for me after Christmas several years ago. I love them so.

A few random shots of some of my favorite ornaments:

There's always elves on my tree (and in my house. I loveeee elves).

...and gingerbread men!

...and Nutcrackers!

Smores Santa & Snowman! <3

I love a nativity. The reason for the season.

My elf on a jingle-bell!

You have to have a Christmas mouse!

From my granny.

What else in a sushi lovin house??? lol

Through the years I have on occasion had these made.

Music box ornaments. These are so pretty!

Random ornaments from traveling: Disney World, Biltmore, Texas, etc.

Large, wooden ornaments I use for fillers.

I use several of these to store most of my ornaments. LOVE these.

I hang real candy canes on my tree, and all through the season when I want one I just walk over and take one. My favorite hard candy is cinnamon, so these are PERRRRFECT.

The finished product with my beautiful carolers my mom got me last year. I LOVE CAROLERS!!!

These carolers are beautiful! Definitely the main attraction of my tree.
A few other decorations I have put out:

My Jim Shore Carolers!

My giant elves from The Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. They are the CUTEST.

Cracker Barrel lighted gingerbread house. This is over a foot tall. Prettiest one I've ever seen.

Charlie Brown nativity and tree. I just put these on an end table by a chair. Looks so sweet.

All I've done outside at the moment. Loved this big ornament door mat I found at the dollar store! (Smile....you're on candid camera!)

Well, I hope that inspires some of you to get into the Christmas spirit! I waited till 2 days before Thanksgiving, so, not that bad. Anyways, have any of you got your tree up? Send me a pic and let me know what styles you enjoy when it comes to decorating your house. I hope this Christmas finds you full of happiness and surrounded by loved ones to keep you warm on the cold nights. Thanks for stopping by everybody. Happy Holidays and Merry CHRISTmas! xoxo
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