Personalized Decorating!

How many of you have finished decorating for Christmas?  How many of you have not even started?!?  If you haven’t started, I want you to start decorating tomorrow night.  Let’s get going!  Christmas is less than 20 days away now….what are you waiting for!   And if you are finished decorating, I have a few more ideas for you!

One thing I love to do is incorporate my own pictures into my Christmas decorating.  I frame and display pictures of my kids with Santa from over the years.  I take images from previous years of The Nutcracker that my daughters have danced in for about 8 years now,  put them in little silver frames from Hobby Lobby and hang them on the garland I put on my stairway…like this…

I get these frames when Hobby Lobby has their 50% sale on all Christmas ornaments, so I get them for about $2.50 each!  They are heavy and have glass, so they are very elegant.  The images have to be very small (about 2×2) so you have to have a program like Adobe Elements or something like that.  Every year, I add images of whatever character they were from that year.  Thus far, I’ve had 3 Claras, 2 Sugar Plum Fairies, 1 Snow Queen, 1 Dew Drop, 2 Party Boys (yes, my youngest 2 started out as Party Boys!), several Dolls, a few Ribbons, an Arabian or two, 1 Soldier (yes, another boy role for one of my girls!) and 2 Merlitons!  I love to see how much they have changed over the years, so it’s always a real treat for me to open the box of these ornaments. I also put a few of these on my tree!  You could hang them anywhere—on the fireplace mantel;  you could grab a branch off a tree, stick it in a vase and hang them from the branches; Have a special smaller tree dedicated to these frames.  You could even make a wreath and hang the frames on them! Don’t limit your imagination!

This year I wanted to do something different with my fireplace mantel.  I usually do the same old thing, and this year I just wanted to change it up a bit.  I think sometimes we just get into a habit of doing the same decorations in the same place every year because we don’t have time to do something different.  Well, this year, let’s do something different!  As a professional photographer, I occasionally get a chance to go to some local performances and shoot images at them.  A few years back, I got to shoot a wonderful Christmas program at one of our larger churches here in Colorado Springs and I remembered that I took some images of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.  Since my faith is very important to me, and I want Christ to be the center of the holiday, I found the image, added one of my favorite Bible verses,  had it blown up and framed it in a rustic frame I purchased a few years ago for something else.  Tonight I hung it over my fireplace and fell in love with it!

I’m not quite finished with the mantel because I wanted to see what it would look like with the print hung up.  I plan to add a few candles, too!  Look around your house and see what you could refurbish for Christmas decorating.  Go to a local art store and look for some Christmas prints to frame and hang on your walls (you can find frames similar to this one at Michaels).  Or you can order this print here 🙂 (A similar frame at Fine Art America is the Espresso Gold).

A little close up….

So, let’s finish up our decorating so we can move on to the food, fun and festivities!!

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