Even though I’m streamlining the holiday decorating, our family room still gets a lot of attention. It’s where our now solo tree stands and where we’ll hang out to watch movies or hockey. I fell in love with bottle brush trees a couple of years ago and when I updated the mantle from a traditional motif with topiary stocking hangars draped in greenery, ribbon, lights and whatever else I could cram on the tiny space, I knew that the bottle brush trees were just what I wanted–something fun and light-hearted. The stuffed reindeer head is my favorite piece and I’ve been adding pom pom garlands instead of greenery (and no debris to sweep up on the daily!) to keep the vibe irreverent. Even though my kids are teenagers and young adults, I still like the cheeky Santa sign to remind them they better watch out. I pulled our red leather recliner in on the action with a white throw I stole from one of the bedrooms and a black belt for a nod to the jolly old elf. I kept their stockings for sentimental reasons, and, per request, we still decorate the tree with the ornaments accumulated one-by-one over the last twenty-eight years.

I obviously do not have a compulsion about correctly placed ornaments. My only rule is that anything that remotely looks like it has stuffing has to be placed above the dog’s snout reach. Also, our tree has a light that won’t light, so I think next year we’re going to have to supplement our pre-lit tree with a few extra strands of lights.Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

This is why I will always love Christmas decorating. There’s a sparkly reindeer made from one of my kid’s tiny hands, a salt-dough ornament personalized from our first Christmas with four, an engraved ornament from the year my husband and I married, a horn decorated by the kids’ great grandma, and George Washington from a family visit to Mount Vernon (and placed where Oliver can’t reach him #stuffiekiller)Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

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