Decorating Our Small Apartment for Christmas

2016 was a tough year to get into the spirit of Christmas. With our wedding looming just over the New Year, decking the halls and fa-la-la-ing kept slipping to the bottom of my to-do list. As you all very well know, I love the holidays, but this year, I struggled to put in the full effort to do a holiday theme and max out my celebrating with cookies, custom gifts and good cheer. However, we did get a chance to decorate our apartment.

The layout of our 650 square foot apartment in San Diego is basically a box, but a few architectural details provided fun decorating opportunities. I didn’t get a chance to decorate my bookcases and dining room like I usually do thanks to a hoard of boxes related to the wedding (ahem – cases of wine), but we did get to experiment with garland throughout the rest of the space. Check it out!

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Santa’s Key

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I love the tradition of Santa Claus. The big jolly man with a large white beard and a stomach that shakes like a bowl full of jelly coming down the chimney to deliver gifts for all the good boys and girls of the world. What’s not to love about this? Really, what?

Well, over the years, I’ve come across people who have a bad taste in their mouths for the tradition of Santa Claus. It’s not that they hate Christmas or dislike the idea of Santa giving gifts, thus taking their credit. No, it’s more of a… logistical or philosophical issue. I’ve found that parents who struggle with Santa tend to fall into two categories:

The No Chimney Parents and The No Intruders Parents.

I have a solution for both of you.

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Free Printable Penguin Christmas Gift Tags

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Tis the season for gift giving! I love picking out the perfect gift and carefully wrapping it in beautiful paper and bows. This year, instead of doing a full Christmas theme (we have a wedding on the front burner), we picked a holiday character instead. PENGUINS!

All of our paper either has penguins on it or is red, black and white, with bows and ribbons to match. Of course, I had to design matching penguin gift tags.

Aren’t they too cute?! The graphics are from ClipArtopia on Etsy.

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To print your own for free, click the link below! Happy Wrapping!

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Christmas Penguin Gift Tags

Wrapping Presents with Ornaments

Every year, I tend to get a little too fancy with the wrapping. We’re talking thick paper, ribbons, and always some type of embellishment. This year, everyone is getting gifts with ornaments on top. I mean, really, it’s super pretty and what’s life without a little whimsy?
As a bonus, adding ornaments to gifts is an inexpensive and incredibly easy way to dress up the packaging.

I got my ornaments and ribbon at Big Lots – on sale. I love the glitter snowflakes! I’ve used them in wrapping and decorating for years. The miniatures bulbs were the perfect touch to the top of the gift.

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Felt Christmas Lightbulb Garland

Christmas lights have always been my favorite part of the holiday season. All of the colors lighting up the night to welcome in the season. My deep love of Christmas lights comes from something my dad used to do for me when I was a kid.

My childhood bedroom faced the front of the house, which meant I got a front row seat to all of the holiday decorations my parents set up in the front yard. My favorite decorations were the large, blinking lights hung from the eaves of the house. When time came to be tucked into bed, my dad always turned the blinds to face downward so I could fall asleep watching the lights blink. The colorful light would flood my dark room as I tried to predict which light was going to blink next. It was magical.

I’ve been wanting to do a felt garland of Christmas lightbulbs for a while now, but it has taken time to find style and technique. I didn’t want to just cut ovals out of the felt and say, “Look! Lightbulbs!” Thankfully, I finally found the right lightbulb image from MakeLearningFun.com and the rest fell into place.
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You’ve Been Elfed

It’s that time of year again to surprise your neighbors and coworkers with a surprise gift! Over the past few years, Elfing has become a holiday tradition in the US. With good reason too! Dropping off an anonymous gift to a neighbor or coworker is sneaky, fun and purely good natured.

This year, I’ve redesigned the You’ve Been Elfed tags for neighbors and work. You now have your choice between a boy or a girl elf on the printable.  As always, the printables are free!
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