I've tried for years to get our mantel just right. I wanted something that felt like Christmas, but also felt like us. The first few years I decorated more formal, or as formal as I am able to decorate. I am so not a formal person. The mantel was always pretty, but never felt like us. The past two years I've just done garland and used the mantel as a place to display all of our Christmas cards. It still wasn't just the way I wanted it, but it felt much better than the formal stuff. This year I think I finally got it right. I finally found us.
This year it's kind of a hodge-podge of things. I guess it's like us - we are kind of a hodge-podge of things. I kept the garland that we've always used. It's simple, it's pretty and it has lights. I love lights. I used red trees that I have had for years and still L.O.V.E. I used our window frame that we've kept up since we got it early this year (a jewel from the farm). Across the window I made a tiny little burlap banner that reads JOY.I included two pieces of MK's artwork. One is a canvas with her handprints in the shape of a Christmas tree. We made this together last year and I just think it's perfect. This year we created the strand of lights with her fingerprints. PRECIOUS.
The Santa picture in the middle is a actually a painting that my Uncle Lewis did and gave each of us a copy last year or the year before. I absolutely love it!
I also used a piece of chalkboard and wrote her Christmas list for Santa. So simple, yet so cute.The last piece, the sled, was something I saw at TJ Maxx and just had to have. It was the perfect size for our mantel and I just thought it would be a great addition.
I really do love our mantel. I'm thinking that I may actually leave it up until spring. Don't laugh - last year I loved the lighted garland so much that I left it up until February. No lie.