Christmas Home Tour 2018: The Simple and Pregnant Edition

This year our Christmas decorations are rather simple.  And to clarify - that means simple for me.  We all have different levels of extravagant and minimal.  And I have definitely gone more over the top in the past.  But this move and whole parenting gig has changed how I do a lot of things.  Still pursuing beauty and creativity - but on a different level. 

Ultimately, I wanted to gift my eight month pregnant self, come January, the gift of not having to take a ton of stuff down.  I even purged a few items that I had been holding on for a few years and donated them.  It felt good to downsize.  But don't get me wrong I have at least six Christmas bins still! 

As we head into our third holiday season in Virginia I like that I now have designated spots for holiday decor.  No moving things around or storing other decorations away.  I have a few places I like to put things that add to our already existing decor and then it feels done.  It's a new way of thinking for me and I really actually like it better this way. 

Living in a two story style farmhouse with big windows and shutters in the front of our house has been MY DREAM.  And while putting those Christmas wreaths up the last two years have been such a highlight for me, I knew this year I couldn't.  My husband has been so busy with work and I didn't want to add another thing for him to do.  And I usually would hang them up myself.  But I think my mother (and our neighbors) might die if they knew/saw that there was a pregnant woman on the roof by herself!

I've been wanting to hang wreaths on the indoor windows for awhile but couldn't rationalize spending the money on more wreaths.  So this year I hung the outdoor wreaths indoors and I absolutely love it!  I also figured we would be spending more time inside with my big ol' pregnant self, so having them to enjoy indoors this year ended up being perfect.  I even kept the large red ribbons on them and for an all neutrals girl these days, the pop of color is quite lovely.  What a great lesson in contentment!

Inexpensive wreaths and bows from Walmart.

I did purchase a few new things this year.  A simple white and black stocking from Hearth and Hand at Target for our baby girl!  I love our mix of stockings that all began with embellishing those blue striped ones for my husband and I years ago.  I always have had my heart set on Pottery Barn monogrammed stockings once we felt like our family was "complete".  Yet here I am, again, finding contentment in mixing and matching what I already have.  No pressure to "finish up having kids" or whatever to check off something off my list!  The simple glitter monograms are from Walmart and thankfully keep coming back each year.

The galvanized and white houses are also from Target and they are my absolute favorite.  We got battery powered candles that run on a timer so they turn on an off automatically every day.  They are a dream.  I can even see them lit up from outside of our house.  For this year's simple holiday decor I really wanted cozy ambiance.  These add just the right amount of life to go along with our Christmas tree lights.

The candles are Mirage and can be found in the candle section at Target.

My letter board got a simple phrase.  My go to in the past has been "merry and bright" but "peace and joy" seemed more fitting this year.  I glance at it from our couch and it is a good reminder to check where my heart is at for the day.

Close ups of our stockings because I am in love.

Here is what the little houses look like lit up during the day.

Also something pretty exciting - our new electric fireplace is getting it's first blog debut!  We bought it in the fall and it has been such a treat.  I will put together a separate post about what we bought and all the details.  But I run it whenever we are home and it is wonderful.

So I take it back - I did move a lamp we usually have here to put up these trees!  They add a lovely bit of sparkle to our living room.

Here is the reality of my day to day - shuffling my child and toys around while I take pictures from different angles around the house!

Our living room has limited space due to our couch so our artificial tree continues to get put up in my office.  I like that you can see the tree through the window outside and that we can also see it from the couch. 

I don't think I ever put together a post about my office (always a work in progress!).  But I had a very vivid pregnancy dream recently where I moved the office around to make it a joint play room.  It inspired me to move things around - not quite as great as I dreamed up but still much more functional.

Before I had the desk taking up the center of the room.  It looked great but it took up most of the space.  My son kept kitting his head on the edge of the table when he played with his train table that is in here!  So by moving things around it allowed the train table to have more space and I added some more storage baskets to hold toys so that he had more to do when I worked on the computer.  So far it has been a better solution to keeping him busy while I work.

We have SO MANY ornaments.  I don't even know what to do with them all.  Since we have little curious hands this year, I decided to only put out a few ornaments.  I put out whatever was on top of the bin which ended up being most of our newer ornaments.

I really think I need to go through and purge some of our not so sentimental ornaments but just didn't have the energy this year.  I am also trying to buy less ornaments in general.  My goal is one photo ornament for the year, one ornament for each child, and one ornament if we take a big trip.  No more ornaments for my husband and I and no more ornaments from every single new place we go.  I am hoping this will help me with my ornament problem!

Here is another view of the office from the kitchen.  I had hopes of setting up a Christmas town on his train table but decided against it.  Less is more this year!

I purchased a few rolls of wrapping paper after Christmas last year which has been so nice to have on hand the moment we started bringing gifts home (and one less expense right now!).  I also reused some bows I found at Dollar General last year.  The fluffy bows add so much with little work.

Our son gets so spoiled from our family back home and most come via Amazon Prime.  So I have been wrapping presents as they come in the mail.  No need for a tree skirt when you have gifts as decoration!

Here is my little wrapping paper collection.  And another view of my office in case I never post about it once again!

Last year I thought I found my perfect Christmas count down calendar.  It was from Hearth and Hand (just like this new one) but it is large and made of heavy wood.  I would have to move existing decor to make room for it.  So I found this sweet fabric one and it is way more toddler friendly.  So NOW I think I found my perfect calendar!  But the other one is still so beautiful I kept it in case one day I change my mind.  I made the little star to move using felt and sequins.  No advent gifts here - just a countdown because I don't need the responsibility of a whole month of spoiling.

The top of our son's Ikea play kitchen has also become a go to place for holiday decorations.  Decorating this little play space is super fun.  I also will be working on a review post of our kitchen soon giving all the details of the play food we use, etc.

I wasn't completely in love with the kitchen as is but it was the most reasonably priced kitchen in a style I liked.  But with the right accessories it has really grown on me a year later.

In our dining room I have a few little trees scattered around but nothing too crazy.  Just a few pieces of sparkle seem to go a long way!

Please notice the tiny people in one of the mugs below...I will explain in a minute...

Our large window by our dining table usually holds our collection of kid art and updated photos of cousins.  But I cleaned it up to make room to hang Christmas cards this year.

So those tiny people in the mug I just mentioned...

I purchased this little nativity play scene for our son this year to help him better understand the birth of Jesus.  But our little sensitive soul found all the people scary!  I'll admit this is not the most quality nativity ever, but it is pretty cute for inexpensive from Amazon.  I really like it.  Our son on the other hand only likes the animals, stars, and angels.  And he is tolerating baby Jesus!

I like that the hanging scene takes up less space than play figurines that I wasn't quite sure our son would be into. 

For the outside of our house, my husband put up lights and I hung one of our wreaths on the front door.  So easy this year and it feels like just enough for me. 

So that is our simple holiday home this year - decorated by a 30 week pregnant woman.  We are truly enjoying the simplicity this year and I am grateful for the ability to say no to the unnecessary.  I still look back nostalgically at our old house and all the work I would put in to decorate for the holidays.  But I remember how much work it was and I am okay with taking a break from a previous way of doing things.