Welcome to the Holiday Home Blog Hop. I’m thrilled to once again join a very talented group of bloggers. Christmas is everywhere, in every room, creating a festive and cheerful holiday scene. Thanks to Chloe of Celebrate and Decorate for being such a gracious hostess. I love decorating every room in our home for the holidays (I might have omitted the laundry room.) and today I’m sharing one of the focal points of our home, especially at Christmas. Decorating the mantle with lights and garland is a tradition at Christmas.
Besides decorating the mantle with lights and garland, reindeer and stockings always make an appearance. The ingredients may be the same, but each year I try to mix it up and add something new.
Decorating the Mantle with Lights and Garland
We have a huge fireplace and mantle with large moldings that reach almost to the ceiling. Last year Sweet Shark suggested that we place garland on the very top. It was a great suggestion that added needed color, light and a focal point at the top of the fireplace. I think the garland is about 20 feet long.
Decorating the Mantle with New Lights
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We made one change this year. Before we put up the garland this year, we plugged in the lights (always a good thing to check the lights) and they didn’t come on. You know how Christmas lights are? Designed not to last. Our decorator Pam, who comes over to help me put up the garland, suggested that we try battery operated lights on a timer. Well, I fell in love with battery operated lights a couple of years ago, but I didn’t know that there were ones with a timer. I made a quick trip to Target and bought several boxes. These lights come in warm and cool, clear and colored. I bought the clear warm lights. I thought the price was great. When I went back for more, they were on sale for $4.99. If you don’t have a Target near you, here are almost the exact same ones I bought.
After removing the old lights (not a fun chore), we added the new lights and placed the garland on the top of the mantle. It takes both Pam and I on 2 ladders to do this, but so worth it. Using the timer lights will eliminate plugging and unplugging. All you do is turn the lights to timer at the time you want them to come on (5:30 for us) and they will stay on for 6 hours. Then they come back on the next day. The bows stay on the garland and just need some fluffing up to look their Christmas best.
TIP: We store our garland in big clear plastic bags with zippers. I learned a few years ago to label each bag with where the garland goes. Makes decorating so much easier.
I added a simple piece of garland across the mantle and added some gold pine cones that I’ve had for a long time. This time I used the battery operated lights that you just turn on since they are easy to reach.
A New Christmas Sign for the Mantle
My big new addition for this Christmas was a sign. Instead of the painting that always hangs above the mantle, I wanted something definitely Christmas and definitely gold. I made this sign with “Joyful” letters spray~painted gold on a white wood background (I’ll share the how~to in my next post.) Several gold stars finish off the sign. Sweet Shark and I hung the sign as the focal point of the mantle.
Finishing Touches to Decorate the Mantle
I placed the gold reindeer stocking hangers we bought the first Christmas we were married (Pottery Barn) and added all the stockings. Even though all the kids are grown and on their own, I haven’t yet relinquished their stockings.
Our tall candlesticks got a gold candle.
I took away my aqua sea glass bottles that have been on the mantle all spring, summer and fall. Then I put them back for some pop of color and added some gold and glittery branches.
On the hearth below the fireplace, I placed the crate (Jo~ann) that I made a few years ago and filled with glitter~enhanced birch logs. The twig reindeer got new bows this year.
My vision for the mantle this year was simple and clean but with sparkle and shine. I’m loving my joy~ful sign
And Let There Be Light
As pretty as the mantle looks during the day, the real magic happens at night when the lights come on (as if by magic!) and the entire mantle sparkles.
It’s fun to watch the lights on the garland come on. I’m sold on the timer. Plus I love that there are no plugs or wires hanging down. No extension cords either.
Even candlelight adds such a wonderful glow. (Step ladder required.)
With the lamp on, the shadow of the reindeer is created.
Decorating the mantle with lights and garland is a simple decorating treatment. We don’t add Christmas ornaments to the garland, although I might next year. For now, the lights and garland provide the look I’m after.
There is so much more to our Christmas decorations (It took us 4 days to decorate the house, and that doesn’t include the tree.) and I can’t wait to share next week (Christmas Tablescape Blog Hop and 2 Christmas Home Tour Blog Hop!).
Isn’t this the wonderful time of the year? Whether you decorate a little or a lot, expressing our faith in a festive way is a joyous labor of love.
Please visit the other bloggers sharing today’s Christmas decorating with me. Enjoy the beautiful decorations. I’ll be sharing and Pinning. I hope you will, too.