Etc

Christmas Decorations

I really would like to decorate for Christmas this year, but I’m running into the dual obstacles of having gotten rid of our Christmas tree and the total lack of places to put Christmas decorations. (Truly, the only surfaces in our apartment that can hold decorations are the kitchen table, the kitchen bar, and the TV table (and tv tables have the unfortunate habit of having their tops covered by, you know, a TV. The nerve)).

Bart was not sad to say goodbye to our Christmas tree (he does not enjoy putting it up or taking it down, although he enjoys having it up – the best Christmas gift I can give him each year is to take the entire thing down myself and have it ready to go back in the garage when he gets home from work. I’ll have to think of something new this year. . . ). He did say I could get a small tree and put it on the kitchen table. I plan to take him up on this offer.

And we have a really nice nativity scene from my parents that I’d like to put up, but again. . .where? (Last year, it was on top of our bookshelf, but that bookshelf, along with most of the books it held, stayed behind in Boston). The top of the fridge seems very classy, yes it does.

We also have some excellent stockings that Bart’s sister made us the first Christmas we were married (and a Christmas stocking Bart’s mom started for him when he was about six or so, and just sent him this past summer), but, surprise! We have no fireplace. Should I nail them to the wall? 

I like to have Christmas decorations up since it makes it feel so much more festive and also, hello, it is my baby’s first Christmas and the idea of nothing makes me sad. Because, clearly, she is going to notice and remember if I do nothing.  And also, right now she’s too little to grab things, which surely won’t be the case next year, so I feel like I ought to take advantage of my last Christmas where I don’t have a child trying to break all my heirlooms (by which I mean “things I bought on sale after Christmas a few years ago”).

Yes, these are the kind of questions that plague me. My life is clearly very sad.

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19 Comments

  • Reply Melanie December 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    In college we wrapped our door and pictures on the wall. It's not much, but it's something.

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife December 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Think the door thing would work for a pinch. In Christmas pasts, I've used some garland to wine around lamp posts which is a little bit festive. And things like festive runners or tablecloths can help look pretty without being over done.

  • Reply G December 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    3M hooks are great for things you want up just for a little while but then don't want to deal with a hole afterward. Doesn't really solve the nativity set problem, but might help with stockings and such.

  • Reply Heather December 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I'd definitely try and hang the stockings. Don't worry, your time to shine will come little nativity. Enjoy your first Christmas baby!

  • Reply ACQ December 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    The Apartment Therapy blog http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ has had posts the last few days about how to decorate if you don't have a fireplace/tree. I'm not advertising for them or anything, just thought it might be helpful. Good luck!

  • Reply preethi December 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I have nothing helpful to add, but these are my very favorite kind of posts. Amused, I am.

  • Reply Merrick December 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Check out this blog post: http://alittlelovelyblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/christmas-decoration-ideas.html

    I'm going to use some of these ideas. Pretty much all her stuff came from garage sales and the dollar store, but it looks classy and pretty.

    Also, what if you hang your stockings from the TV table? Just get some of those stocking hanger things.

  • Reply Jess December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Can you hang the stockings from some furniture? I mean, of the few pieces that aren't still in Boston?

    Good luck! I have complete and utter faith that you will find a way to pull this off with class and without major expense.

  • Reply Kimberly December 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    We've always hung our stockings on the wall and they did just fine. Another idea my mom gave me: make a recipe for gingerbread houses (just really firm gingerbread men dough) and drape it on a large-ish oven proof bowl (upside down). Bake in the oven like you would for the gingerbread houses. My mom also said she cut out (small) stars before she baked it. When it cools slightly, you can take if off the bowl an voila–a gingerbread fruit bowl. Supposedly it smells pretty nice. She likes to fill them with oranges studded with cloves (which smell amazing) but since oranges are my very favorite thing to eat, I abhor the waste. Good luck!

    Oh, and ditto the 3M comment. Those things are amazing. Also, Christmas lights (3M even has little tiny hooks for things like that) don't require a surface!

  • Reply Amy Sorensen December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    1. Get a little tree! Even when you have a bigger place and room for a normal-sized tree, you'll use that little one, too. I had one that I bought when i was teaching (because I couldn't bear to have a classroom without some Christmas!) and I think my kids might love it more than our big tree! You can find some really cute TEEEENY TINY ornaments!

    2. Hang your stockings with those Command Adhesive hooks. they come right off the wall when you're finished with them and then you're not committed to random nail holes!

    3. I take down all my everyday pictures and replace them with some Christmas things. Use the walls! 😉

  • Reply craftyashley December 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Just wait for the year Ella is mobile and it is a matter of keeping baby away from decorations! I am going through this again this year. I just don't know if I have the strength to not only put up decorations, but baby proof them as well. (sigh)

  • Reply Carly December 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Yes, hang them on the wall.

    As for your nativity (I have the beginnings of the same nativity! I love it too)… is there anywhere in your room or baby's room you could put it? Or at least the Joseph, Mary, and baby–if not the whole set?

    And yes, get a small tree for the table!! I made all my first ornaments (apple sauce and cinnamon (lots) mixed to a dough and baked as gingerbread cookies cut out with Christmas cookie cutters–I'm sure you could borrow some if you don't have them–and strung with red ribbon. I love that they still smell like cinnamon three years later!)

  • Reply Elsha December 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I actually took down quite a few of our usual decorations so I could put up Christmas stuff. Also, made my husband hang a couple new shelves so I have space for my nativities (I have several.) Good luck!

  • Reply McKinley December 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Ugh I hate that feeling… not knowing where to put your wonderful decorations. I feel your pain! Especially because it's Ellas first Christmas. You want to set a culture for your family and the lack of space is making it difficult. You could do a reath (spell?) and scented candle. Those make a world of a difference. And add some music too. If you can feel Christmas around you, decorations wont even matter. Well there are my two cents. I don't know if it will help or not, or if you even care hhahahaha.

  • Reply Jessamy December 2, 2010 at 2:07 am

    This year we are lucky enough to have a gorgeous tree (thank YOU very much!) but I always think a Christmas-y candle or room spray and Christmas tunes go a looong way.

  • Reply Chelsea December 2, 2010 at 3:48 am

    You can still decorate in a small apartment, just not to the extent you can normally. We used to put our stocking on our kitchen bar. I love the nativity set! Absolutely adorable!

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring December 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    We have a fireplace but no mantle. In the past, I've both duct taped the stockings to the brick over the fireplace (which doesn't work, by the way) and hung them off the handlebars of a bike that was semi-permanently leaning against the fireplace wall. That was actually a not-so-subtle way of saying OH MY GOD MOVE THE BIKE ALREADY, but it actually looked cute with the stockings. Work with what you've got! Tack 'em to the wall or tape them up somewhere!

  • Reply LeAnne December 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    We are in the same predicament. Except our little one is walking and into everything. Putting up decorations this year was much more time intensive and we really had to think about where we put each decoration.

    We have no fireplace either. So ours are hanging from the top edge of our bookcase. Do you have another bookcase?

    Good luck. 🙂

  • Reply Jenn (from HMH) December 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Janssen! I'm on maternity leave but I saw your email the other day..I hope a co-worker got back to you on your request. My son is one month old and wonderful! Hope your new family is doing well…I had to share this idea. I know as a fellow book-lover, you'll enjoy it:

    http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/new-uses-for-old-things/new-uses-for-books-00000000044488/index.html

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