A DIY Christmas

I am a Scrooge until December 1st. My mother instilled this value in my at an early age using, believe it or not, Scrooge! We had a cassette tape recording of A Christmas Carol and I loved it. I would listen to it incessantly the whole season long. There may also have been times I asked to listen to it in, oh, July. But my mother was firm. No Scrooge until December 1st. Come mid-November, when the rest of the world was swinging headlong into Christmas, decorating, shoving Christmas crap down our throats every which way we turned, I would start waiting with heightened anticipation for Scrooge. Come December 1st, it was all the sweeter, listening to the smooth voice of the storyteller, because of that anticipation.

So, I stand by this: Christmas belongs in December. Looking forward to Christmas? That’s definitely a November thing. But Christmas itself, the way it feels, the way it looks, that belongs fully in December. You will not see a Christmas decoration, a set of lights, a Christmas tree, even a recording of A Christmas Carol in my home until December 1st.

However, I have come to realize that this whole Christmas decorating thing may require some planning. As with other years, I hope to DIY most of our decorations. As with other years, I can’t guarantee this will actually happen. But, this is the first year the Husband, the puppies, the kitty and I are all sticking around close to home for most of Christmas. I actually want my house decked out this year. So, I need a plan. What do I need to make? When should I have it done?


Martha Stewart, every single one. 
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The Husband wants to pick up a real tree as soon as I allow Christmas in the house. That means December 1st. Which means if I want to decorate the tree with handmade ornaments, I better get cracking. Thank goodness for Martha Stewart and her tutorials. 
A Christmas Wreath

I’ve never hung a wreath before. I think Christmas time is a good time to break my no-wreath-hanging streak. 
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I’ll likely aim for the second week of December for this. We’ll see.


Specifically, for the shelf above our dining room table. We don’t have a mantle, but this is close enough.

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* Presumably. Her images appear to be broken, but I’m relatively certain this is the original source.
Originally, I had lofty thoughts about five stockings, one for the Husband, each of the puppies, the kitty and, of course, me. I even had lofty ideas about stuffing them! With bits and bobs, squeakers, treats, human things for the Husband and myself. I have a feeling it’s not going to happen for this year unless I actually buy the stockings, which would not be in keeping with the DIY Christmas thing. We’ll see.
Of course, all of this is probably just dreaming. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to actually completing the DIYs I muse about doing. So, I guess we’ll see? I have 3,000 more words to write for NaNoWriMo before I can even start thinking about Christmas!
Where do you focus your decorating energies at Christmas time? Do you DIY or buy your Christmasy bits and bobs? Please tell me that not a single garland has already found its way around your banister .. Please tell me I’m not alone in my November Scrooge-ness!

0 thoughts on “A DIY Christmas

  1. I had the opposite childhood. My father started christmas shopping in JULY. and because we had sooo many decorations and trees we had to start in Nov or it would never get done. Soooo I have a Nov 15th rule. hahaha I am certainly not done decorating, but I did bust out the tree.

    and I think a mix of DIY and buying is best. DIY takes forever and if you try to do it all in one month it may feel like NaNoWriMo again! Just DIY your favourites and buy a few things to fill it in

  2. Yay to a fellow 'no Christmas until December first' holdout!
    Like you I've been mentally plotting what I might do at home, but I live alone so I won't be decorating too much – maybe a fake little tree like last year with some DIY decorations. I MAY also bake some Christmas treats, but that will be a littel dangerous as I tend to then eat them all myself (that whole living alone thing again . . .)

  3. I tried to do burlap garland last year. It was an unmitigated disaster … and the burlap smelled terrible.

    Traditionally, I get my home ready for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving. When I was working crazy hours at insane jobs, that long weekend was the only time I had to devote myself to it. Even though I'm in a much saner place now, I keep that tradition going. Strangely, Thanksgiving was a week earlier this year (I'm still not sure how that happened) so everything went up a week early. I still need to decorate with live greenery, but I don't know when I'll get to the tree lot to pick it up.

  4. The only DIYing I do during the holidays are baking goodies, gift tags, and if I have time, I like to make gift bags. I never attempted making an ornament – maybe I should think about doing that for next year.
    Most of my decorations are up. I do have one rule though – no tree, real or artificial, goes up until we are officially in December!

  5. I don't think anything will feel like NaNoWriMo! You're definitely right, a mix is the best, so I'll definitely be using the few things we still have from last year. But, part of the purpose of DIYing is to avoid buying. Hopefully, I won't buy too much new this year!

  6. Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Being in the middle of the blogosphere, it kind of feels like I'm the ONLY blogger avoiding Christmas until December!

    In past years, our house hasn't gotten much decorating either because we're never around for Christmas itself. Since we will be home for December 25 this year, I figure I might as well!

  7. Ooh… noted… I was thinking of doing something with burlap. Might reconsider…

    While I think the American Thanksgiving happens WAY too late, I do think you guys have it made when it comes to keeping most people from decorating for Christmas too early. If we Canadians had Thanksgiving so late, I could accept decorating for Christmas as soon as the turkey is consumed. But… we don't have that seasonal send off. So, nope! December it is.

  8. Our tree was up the day after Thanksgiving. Sacrilege but I love the holidays too much to wait for it. We have lots of clearance decor from years past but we can only put out wooden or sturdy things as the kittens knock everything down. Even the tree skirt isn't safe from them. We had a horrible real tree last year that died and shed all its needles even though we got it in mid-December. Our 75% fake tree probably won't get decorated as the kittens climb it constantly (despite taking them off sternly when we are home, they jump right back in when we leave).

    Stockings, however, are such an easy DIY. I whipped up two kitten ones this weekend, just tracing another one we had and sewing the edges up on my machine. My mom made detailed felt ones for each family member, year after year each new cousin got their own, but mine were much simpler. However, again the kittens tear them down. Maybe they don't want to celebrate until the 1st…

  9. My mum has always been very good at creating a festive mood in her household. I had assumed that I would be the same–but the first year G and I lived together we spent all of our Christmas break at my Mum's place and the wee tree we bought we barely enjoyed and it died. Last Christmas was the first year we were in our house and we put lights up outside and a few decorations up inside, but as we were painting and still trying to figure out how to organize a house with no closets we had crap everywhere…not very Christmassy. This year we are doing more renovations and most of our upstairs is residing downstairs. And I am thinking if we get a tree our new puppy will just pee under it. SO…I have decided to do our planters out front to be more festive and perhaps get a wreath? High hopes for a fully decorated house next year. I have also wanted to make stockings, but as Christmas is so soon do I see myself getting around to it? Likely not. (Must say though that your links to the home made decorations is really getting my crafty nerves a-tingling.

  10. I totally agree with the Dec 1 rule, especially with the warmer fall weather. It just doesn't feel like Christmas until it gets cold outside!

  11. Hello! Found your blog via your Liebster nomination at Pike's Place. 🙂 Congrats! I'm your newest follower!

    LOVE your house and what you have done to it! Super cute!

    I agree that Christmas decor planning starts early. Best of luck as you plan your Christmas decorations! Feel free to pop over to our blog @toddlindsey.com for ideas. We have done a DIY Christmas tree this year!

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