Simple Christmas Decor for small apartments

simple christmas decor for small spaces I am finally allowed to listen to Christmas music! Not that I haven't been since October. But no longer am I shunned and shamed and told how horrible I am. And to that I respond: why not? Why can I not be merry and bright for more than 25 days? Why can I not associate Christmas cheer with the entirety of November and December, including Thanksgiving and how much I love that day just as well?

December 1st, we got our tree, we drove straight home, we unpacked the Christmas bin. Because we are such little toddlers when it comes to life together (just over 2 years), we have a single bin of Christmas decor and a single shoe box of ornaments. Isn't that wonderful? I think so. We also live in a cozy home that happens to be on the smaller side. Here are my nifty ways of bringing Christmas into an apartment, making it home:

DIY Picket Fence: stocking hanger $8 We bought floor boards for $0.25/foot at an old barn that is overflowing with...stuff. Loren cut the longest one into two 20'' pieces for the backing. Then we painted them with red spray paint, sand papered them, screwed together and walla!

diy stocking hangerMy writing desk as my mantel. I don't have a fun fire place or mantel to display all things cute: so I use the top of my desk! The greenery is literally from the forest ground. I made the gingerbread house for $3. The santa that looks a little...sleepy?..he is from my grandma! The candle was purchased last Christmas season on sale for $2.99 at Jo Annes :)

I also spray painted pine cones with gold glitter, and set them on old candle holders painted black.

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Window welcomes I am all about welcoming the neighbors and passer by's with warm windows! So we added lights to our two windows that face the sidewalk. I also added a strand of plastic candy canes! $1 at the good ole Dollar Store.

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Wreaths on the walls. Because space is limited, I use the white walls as much as possible! Also, thanks to Grama, this little beauty hangs above our kitchen sink and mugs.

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Jo Anne's has their seasonal sales right about two weeks before each holiday. Which is great. So last year I purchased this little beauty for a whopping $1.99. Because their mega cute decor is spendy, I hung it up to spruce up my oven. No big deal, folks. We can be cheery for inexpensive! The use of towels and pot holders is widely encouraged by this gal.

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Side table, simple decor, by the couch & blanket basket.

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And of course, MISTLETOE. Because I love to have an excuse to stand in one place waiting for my husband to kiss me. I bought this beauty for $5 from a scruffy man off the side of the road. He was great, we are friends, this was his favorite, naturally I knew Loren would appreciate it.

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Just saying, I like to decorate my bathroom. And this was the best way I could think of doing so with such a small space!

Again, tree clippings from our tree and the forest. The tins and vase I already had! Pine cones are a bag for $2.50 at Jo Annes. (I am their neighbor and current roommate). Also, towels are super cheap there, ($1.99-2.99)

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Candles & gold accents in the walkway, on any ledge I have!

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The wrapped door...totally did this. 12 feet of ribbon (at Jo Annes) was $4. I wrapped the door on the inside, hot glued a little bow heart together, and there was Christmas! Out front I have a welcome sign, greenery and red & gold ribbons in a tin, and three tree stumps with candles. We plan to decorate the apartment walkway with lights like last year!

simple christmas decor for small spaces

As soon as you walk in or leave, you can grab (or set down) your hats and gloves! I have had this basket out for almost two months, since the cold entered our life. It sure helps when we are heading out in a flurry!

hats and gloves by the door

Well friends, the home is cozied and She and Him Holiday vinyl is almost always playing. I still need to set time aside to sit and knit and watch a few Christmas movies. Relax and soak in the cheer this holiday brings! Hopefully have some middle/high school girls over to bake and decorate some cookies!

How do you decorate for Christmas? What do you look forward to?

Merry Christmas from the Brenners

I used to wish I was Mary. Yes, Mary the wife of Joseph and mother of Jesus. I grew up thinking what an honor it would have been to carry the Savior of the world, inside of my body. To have been counted as worthy somewhere between 14 & 16 years old, to carry God's Son, to feel God in the flesh kicking around and growing inside of me. I will forever see Mary as honorable; what a beautiful young lady. Now, as a 21 year young lady, that dream has slowly vanished and been replaced with an utmost respect for Mary. She could have been stoned to death among other horrific events to "ruin a life" at such a young age; and yet, she decided to trust The Lord God and say "I am yours. Your will be done, Lord, not mine." The reverence for The Lord she had, must have been deep and powerful: it moved her to be willing to sacrifice her future, her life. Something we {even still} place so much emphasis on: it tends to define us.

The words written in the Bible illustrating the birth of our KING mean so much more to me today than they did just 2 years ago. Two years ago {and even still today} I talked about the story so flippantly. But it's not flippant. It isn't "no big deal." It is not fiction. It is not solely a historical event. It is real and it is soul shaking. If you "dare to" allow the Truth to penetrate your soul.

Last night during Christmas Eve service, I was so stirred by thinking of the night Jesus was born. I was struck with awe as I imagined being there. What a holy night. A true night of glory, honor, magnificence. I mean, can you imagine the presence of angels?! Heavenly hosts?! Jesus Christ himself?! There are no words to describe it, I am sure. I recently had the privilege of being a Doula-In-Training for a friends labor/birth...the honor I had from that rocked my soul. I cannot even dream of the honor it would have been the night of Jesus' first breath in this world. 20131225-152308.jpg

Have you ever stopped to let the words of Christmas carols sink in? They're beautiful. The picture the lyrics paint are glorious:

"Son of God, love's pure light Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace ... heavenly hosts sing alleluia." {Silent Night}

"No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground: He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found.

He rules the earth with truth and grace." {Joy To The World}

These carols pierced my heart last night and I pray, I pray that they may pierce yours. That this year, today, songs of old would be renewed in your heart, livening your Spirit as they did mine.

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We Christians often ask "non Christians" to "take a leap of faith" towards God. You know what I mean? {Whether you think you need Jesus or not, whether you see Him as Lord of your heart or just some far off idea for other people...I want you to consider something}. What if for a moment, we instead slowed down to see the leap God made towards us. Re read it & pause.

He leaped further than any of us could even dare to imagine. He, God the Creator, sent His own self in the flesh, His Son just to be with us. To reconcile. To offer grace. Grace and redemption as a gift. To offer peace when it makes no sense. To bring joy when sorrowful. To present hope when all is hopeless.

That is the gift I want to continuously receive and also the gift I pray to perpetually give.

Merry Christmas, folks. Be blessed. 20131225-161158.jpg

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