Things They Don’t Tell You About Decorating For Christmas

Like many couples, my husband and I had very different opinions about when was an appropriate time to prepare our home, our minds, and our hearts for the Christmas holiday. Max chose to die on the “decorate after Thanksgiving” hill, while I was sneaking in the occasional Christmas song mid-October.

Since my birthday falls around Thanksgiving, I let him know that there would be no greater birthday gift than to allow me creative, decorative reign 2/3 ways through November. He caved.

I am writing this post as the twinkling, glowing lights from the Christmas tree illuminate my face and as buffalo chicken awaits me in the Crock Pot. Irrelevant but I am just super excited to eat it.

Anyways, as new homeowners, we were excited to decorate our house for Christmas. There are few things better in this life than a well-decorated, spirit filled house ready for the holidays.

The view from outside. I took some creeper shots on my run tonight.

However, as we began the process of decorating, I realized there were many things I was not prepared for when it came to preparing a house for the holidays:

  1. The Money

I guess I always just thought the garland and the lights and candles and the adorable figurines and Nativity Scenes would just appear like Christmas magic in my house. It never crossed my mind that I would need to spend real money on Christmas decorations.

Starting from scratch, we had a lot to buy. Besides a few ornaments and things my mom bought after Christmas last year for 90% off hoping I would finally have a man and a house by next December, we were at the mercy of Hobby Lobby.

Why did no one tell me how expensive it would be to decorate? I had visions of a barely-recognizable living room that was totally transformed into a Hallmark Christmas movie set. I would walk into it and feel like I was truly at the North Pole.

This dream quickly vanished when I realized I would have to choose between a Christmas fairyland or braces for my future children.

2. The Work

For a few weeks now, we have had bags of outdoor lights sitting by our front door. They are the twinkling, icicle kind. Our house is going to look so magical with them. But again, somehow this is less magical when you (ok my husband) have to put the work in.

Growing up, my dad would just disappear outside for a few hours some random day and next thing you know, our lights are up and our house is glowing. I didn’t ask questions. They just happened.

But now it makes sense why sometimes my dad would leave the lights stapled to our house for literally the entire year.

It is dark at approximately 2:30 pm these days. Weekends are for sleeping and eating. When on earth will we have time to hang the lights?

Max and I planned to go cut down a real tree and enjoy the whole experience. It rained that entire tire. We put up a fake one. Weekends are precious.

3. The Choices

I love everything Christmas. Everything. There is nothing too tacky, too shiny or too festive. I want it all. But, see #1. It’s a tension I have to live with. Max and I decided to pick out one new ornament each every year. Somehow I picked two so I must have mixed the math up.

Max got a PB&J ornament. I got the donut/coffee one. And the M. Like I said, I mixed up the math.
Who needs to buy ornaments when you have gems like this?

4. The logistics

With adding so much glam to my living room, I realizing that with the new coming in, I had to put the old somewhere. Where do I put all the 64 picture frames that are usually on the mantle? I boxed up our normal pillows and shoved all non-Christmas evidence in closets.

Max and I also don’t agree how to hang things up. I put two random holes in the wall. He brings out a legit leveler thing. No wonder it took us so long. This is him making sure our JOY sign is precisely center and straight #engineer

I write these laments WITHOUT pets pawing at the tree, WITHOUT small children chewing on the wooden nativity scene and BEFORE our first electric bill. I know the best is yet to come, where decorating for Christmas brings a whole new set of exciting challenges.

In all seriousness, I love this time of year. Who doesn’t? Now that my living room is festive and Christmas-y, I am BEYOND happy I spent the money and put in the work, but I do want to warn all you young people that you need to be willing for this commitment.

Merry Christmas, from the Maxwell living room:





LOVE our new nativity scene Max’s mom got us as a Christmas gift! And the amazing stocking his sister Abby made me on the right 🙂





5 Comments Add yours

  1. Colline says:

    Your living room certainly looks festive and worth the time you spent decorating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jennakay says:

      Thank you!! Now it is time to take it down…this shall be fun! ha!


  2. Julie Baar says:

    You did good girl. Remind me to share a few Christmas memories that I think you might enjoy.


  3. Your living room looks beautiful. This is an idea I am trying to spread this holiday season that may help ease the tension. If you like it, please share it. Thanks, Rita


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