Bluesky at Home » Holidays » Christmas » Decorating the Mantle with Lights and Garland

Decorating the Mantle with Lights and Garland

Christmas is everywhere, in every room, creating a festive and cheerful holiday scene.  I love decorating every room in our home for the holidays (I might have omitted the laundry room.). While Sweet Shark and I are still in the throws of holiday decorating and I’ve taken a quick trip to Atlanta, today I’m sharing one of the focal points of our home, especially at Christmas, from last year. 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

This post contains affiliate links to products that I love and use. If you order any product from this site, I may receive compensation, but you don’t pay one penny more.

We made one change last 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 that I bought.

battery-operated lights

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.

Christmas mantle decorations

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.

Decorating the Mantle with Lights and Garland for Christmas provides sparkle and magic. Reindeer and stockings add to the festive feel.

A New Christmas Sign for the Mantle

My big new addition for last 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.

Christmas mantle decorations

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.

Christmas mantle decorations

Our tall candlesticks got a gold candle.

Christmas mantle decorations

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.

Christmas mantle decorations

On the hearth below the fireplace, I placed a wood crate (Joann) that I made a few years ago and filled with glitter~enhanced birch logs. The twig reindeer got new bows last year.

Christmas mantle decorations

My vision for the mantle this year was simple and clean but with sparkle and shine. I’m loving my joy~ful sign.

Christmas mantle decorations

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.

Christmas mantle decorations

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.

Christmas mantle decorations

Even candlelight adds such a wonderful glow. (Step ladder required.)

candles on mantle lit

Joyful, joyful.

Christmas mantle decorations

Decorating the mantle with lights and garland (and a few reindeer) is a simple decorating treatment. For now, the lights and garland provide the look I’m after.

There is so much more to our Christmas decorations (It took us 5 days to decorate the house, and that doesn’t include the tree.) and I can’t wait to share this year’s Christmas decorations next week. I’m changing up the mantle a bit for next year.

Isn’t this the most 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.

Have a happy first weekend in December.

blog signature with red stocking

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Just perfect! How fun it must be to just sit in that room in the evening and enjoy those little lights. I love those battery operated lights with timers, they are fantastic, aren’t they? I didn’t add lights to my mantel this year, but thinking I should have after seeing your display. Thank you so much for being a part of another blog hop, and Merry Christmas!

    1. Chloe, my philosophy is the more lights, the better. We’ve already spotted a few areas that we will switch to the timer lights next year. It’s a hassle to get out the step~ladder every evening to turn so high places on and off. Always a pleasure to be with you.

  2. The mantle looks beautiful, Carol. I, too, love the battery lights for the mantle and other tricky places where there is no easy outlet. I’m not familiar with the Philips so thanks for the tip. I like the timer idea. All the tidbits are perfect — the logs and crate, your lovely stockings, the sign — everything. Very merry!

  3. Beautiful Carol! I love to use the mini lights and did find some with timers last year, so handy! The garland framing your mantel looks gorgeous and love the JOY FUL sign and needlepoint stockings, did you stitch them? Such wonderful memories they must bring back! I love the vignettes on your hearth too, especially the holiday crate with birch logs guarded by the festive reindeer~ Merry Christmas Carol, I wish you a very merry season!

    1. Jenna, I made the stockings for my kids and me years ago. When Sweet Shark and I met, his sister had made the ones for him and his son. Of course, they (the kids) are all grown now, but I love those stockings. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. You have a Merry Christmas too.

  4. Your white fireplace is gorgeous and such a beautiful backdrop to the garland and lights and your Joyful sign! I like the simplicity of the lights in the garland and you can’t beat that there are no cords or plug-ins! The gold reindeer stocking holders look so regal and love the shadows they create when you had the lamp on. The birch in the crate on the hearth speaks of warm fires and cozy times. I especially liked hearing that you decorate every room in your home and how it takes you days to do it as that is exactly like me only yes…I do the laundry room too! 🙂 So enjoyed my stop here on the Blog Hop!

    1. Lori, you’re ahead of me on the laundry room! Thanks so much for all your compliments. I wish that I could streamline the “decking the halls” to fewer days, but it’s a labor of love and we are not the White House with hundreds of people to help. But maybe a couple of elves to assist would be nice.

  5. Your mantel looks great! I like how all your lights shimmer off the gold deer and and bows. Joyful is such a wonderful sentiment for the season, how nice to feature it on your sign.

    1. Jennifer, I wasn’t sure about adding the blue vases, but I think it did work well. I bought those candle sticks at a design resale shop a few years ago. One of my best finds ever.

  6. Very nice, Carol, and don’t little lights just make everything so much better?! I’ve been using those little lights for about 5 yrs now, and I just keep adding to my stash, loving the auto timers on them (but I have a steep investment in batteries!). I use tricks for keeping the decor organized too, much like you do. And, I even decorate my laundry room, hahaha.
    I love the look of your mantel and fireplace, especially with the night glow. Happy Holidays, Carol.

    1. Rita C, we spent a fortune on batteries! I hope we have stock in battery companies. We’ll be adding more times next year. It just makes life easier at this busy time of year. Maybe next year, I’ll do the laundry room.

  7. Carol, your mantel is just beautiful! The garland and deer along with your JOYFUL sign are perfect. The needlepoint stockings are stunning against the white. You have created a lovely focal point for your room!

  8. Hi Carol,
    Your mantel is perfect for the holidays! I love the personalized stockings for each family member. We have something very similar at our house and have been using them for years. Now they are a family tradition!!

    1. Tammy, those stockings are a tradition and I never tire of them. Hundreds of hours to make them years ago and thousands of stitches ~ worth every one!

  9. Beautiful Carol….Joyful is the word. I have been using timers for years and foot push buttons for turning on the lights to vignettes and Christmas trees and it is definitely a game changer. I love the statement your lovely fireplace makes and the lights at night are magical. Merry Christmas.

  10. I love the grand scale of your fireplace. I might just have to copy your Joyful sign! And those stockings are precious. I have seen those little lights around, but didn’t except that they would give such a beautiful glow. I love the simplicity of the garland with no decorations, especially when it is all lit up. Beautiful! Merriest of Christmas’s to you and your family!

  11. Wow, Carol! Your mantle is a stunning focal point. Your sign is meaningful and pretty. You have really been busy!
    Those needlepoint stockings are gorgeous and have so many memories for you. You might want to pick up a few more reindeer holders for future family members if they are still available. I’ve learned that lesson.
    Thanks for the tips on the lights. Timers are wonderful.
    Enjoy blog hopping with you.

    1. Bonnie, that’s a great idea about the reindeer holders, but I don’t think we have room for any more. they would be a great gift for my daughters’ homes.

  12. Carol, what a gorgeous fireplace and mantel! It creates such a wonderful focal point for your room. Your holiday decor is just beautiful! It is always so much fun blog hopping with you! I hope that you have a happy and blessed holiday season!

    1. Shannon, thanks so much friend. Although our living room/den/family room is a nice size, that fireplace is definitely a large element in the room, even when it’s not decorated. Always enjoy hopping with you!

    1. Thanks, Joanie. I made the bows for the reindeer with a bit of ribbon left from bows made for the staircase and kitchen (That will be in posts this week.) I bought the ribbon at one of our local designer stores, Ballard & Blakely in Dallas.