Jason and I are spending our first holiday season in our first house. It’s not terribly different from the apartment but there’s just something different. Maybe I’m a little different. Maybe it’s being able to have a real Christmas tree for the first time that’s actually REAL and over 4 feet tall. It’s got me all holiday spirity.

First I made the winter stars for the kitchen window. Then there was the evergreen sprigs on the table under the tv. Last week we actually got our first real Christmas tree. And this week, oh the holiday crafty goodness is commencing and I’m bringing you on for the ride!

For the tree, since we didn’t already own lights, we sprung for the LED christmas lights, three strands did the trick. And they were happily on sale. Excellent. Well, with the tree all lit up, it was time for ornaments. Last year our little tree was overloaded, but this year, it now looks sparse! So later this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ornament tutorials with you along with a new one of my own. We need a few more to round it out, but I don’t want to pack it. I’m kind of looking forward to adding them slowly.

I need to make  a new tree skirt since ours from last year is too small. I want to give the kitties a nice plushy place to sleep under the tree–their new favorite spot in the house.

Garlands will be in order for sure. I’ll be combining some evergreen style garlands with a few handmade touches. And since I’m just now getting around to decorating for the holidays, I’m going to keep it “winter” themed vs. “Christmas,” which works great for us since we like to celebrate the winter solstice at the house since we are always out of town for Christmas. More on that next Monday.

A few other fun handmade touches will be paper snowflakes in the windows, a yule candle set up on the “mantle,” loads of cookie baking starting this weekend, and some festive lighting. On Thursday I’ll be sharing some of the tastiest looking holiday recipes + my baking plan.

I’ve been looking for inspiration around the internet and here are a load of tutorials on holiday decorating that I’ve really enjoyed.

  1. Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt with Fur Trim (via Craft Gossip)
  2. Holiday Decorating on Posie Gets Cozy
  3. Acorn Garland on the Magic Onion (via Craft Gossip)
  4. Reuse Holiday Scraps on Lola Nova (via Whipup.net)
  5. Snowflake Craft Project Round-up on Craft Gossip
  6. Making a Doily Garland on Smile and Wave (via Craftzine)
  7. Paper Snowflakes! on How About Orange
  8. Paper Globes on Tiny Happy
  9. All the Trimmings Stocking from Denyse Schmidt (via Craftzine)

So how do you spruce up your house for the holidays? What’s your winter welcoming tradition?

Happy crafting and happy holidays!
Kristin