• Mrs Morning Coffee

The OMC Christmas Decorations tour!

I thought I would take a slightly different approach to the blog post this week.

Over a Morning Coffee is about sharing, about having a conversation with others, just like you would a friend. You have a cup of tea or coffee and exchange ideas and handy tips. Something I love to talk about and share with friends is Christmas – everything Christmas! If you've not figured it out yet I am a total Christmas enthusiast. I think about it all year long and by October I'm almost ready to burst from excitement, but for the sake of my very patient and lovely friends I try to keep a lid on it for as long as possible!

This week I thought I would share with you one of the best parts of my Christmas this year...our decorations. Every year we take the decorations out the loft and put them up in exactly the same place, we are total creatures of habit and actually I quite like it this way! But every year, although I’m always generally pleased with how we decorate, I am usually a little underwhelmed so last year I decided that this year my mission was going to be to overhaul the decorations.

I’ve found myself binge watching you tube videos of tours of Christmas decorated homes. I'd like to say I found myself doing this in November but lets face it if I'm honest it was July - no that's not a joke. It can be a scorching hot summer day and there I am enjoying nothing more than watching someone show me their Christmassy house!

I found these videos great for getting a bit of inspiration but my house will never look like most of them do. They are all so beautifully decorated it's almost as if you're looking through a John Lewis Christmas brochure and my house never looks like you've walked into the showroom of an upmarket department store. My house is lived in! It has kids toys in it, theres always something thats been left cluttering up the surfaces and despite the constant hoovering theres usually a stray rice crispy or raisin to be found on the living room floor that the Coffee Beans have dragged in from the kitchen after breakfast!

Never the less this year I was determined in my own little way to make my home look a bit more Christmas spirited, even if it wasn't going to look professional!

The reason I started thinking about overhauling the decorations last Christmas was because Christmas decorations in the sale are always so much cheaper and second in line to my Christmas obsession is my need for wanting everything to be a bargain find! So the collection of things started last year...well in fact it started a couple of years back. Have you ever heard that saying 'I have come to the conclusion that buying craft supplies and actually using them are two separate hobbies'...well thats me! So this year, I halted 'most' of my buying (it was hard!) and made a start on planning how I was going to use all the things I had in my craft box in my Christmas decorations.

You'll probably come to realise that my holiday decor isn't matching. It doesn't colour co-ordinate or follow a theme like country farmhouse or shabby chic. It's an eclectic mix and not everything is always used for the purpose its supposed to, but then again you might pick up some handy tips of achieving a Christmas look without having to break the bank!

I love our Christmas tree in all its colourful glory. I like it to look like our childhood family Christmas tree - like the 80's descended on it and never left! I don't like individually designed baubles (well not on the tree I save those for decorating other spaces) I prefer to use plain coloured baubles and just use as many as I can fit on. This year I counted them all, we have 175 baubles on our tree. Honestly I'm not sure how many branches the tree has but judging by how difficult it was to find a spare branch I'm guessing not many more?! I desperately want a Christmas train to run around underneath it but the tree skirt was one I made the first year Mr OMC and I bought a house together and the train track won't fit with it. So as much as I want one for now I am sticking with the sentimental values of the skirt.

This year I wanted a garland to go across our ceiling but knowing how expensive they are I thought I'd make one. I watched a brilliant you tube video where the lady made it look so simple and I thought 'Yeah I can do that' - oh how wrong I was! This was quite possibly the hardest craft I have ever done. Not that the concept was difficult it was just that the garland was so big and cumbersome! It wouldn't fit on the table and every time I tried to find a space to attach the ribbon I'd loose it again. After about 2 hours I'd finally got the ribbon attached and added a few bells and at that point I totally lost interest, so I actually added a few cheap red baubles on once it was put up to finish it off. It also didn't go across the ceiling, my initial ideas rarely got to plan! It was so heavy that we weren't entirely sure how to fix it up so instead it went above the doors, but actually it worked out quite well and as of yet its not fallen down either!

About 8 years ago I made ribbon to go around our mirror in the living room and I've never been quite happy with it. Every year I mean to replace it with something that looked less 'crappy' and every year I'd pull it out the box and hang it straight back up again - that was until this year. I was determined to make a new one with some nicer ribbon that I had, but it was still lacking something. In a last ditch attempt to save it I found some green foliage tinsel in Wilko's and added that in to make it a bit fuller and it worked a treat. Now I have matching bows on my photo frames and matching ribbon on the mirror above the fireplace.

Over the years the fireplace scene has had more bits added to it and this year I was worried that it might look a little too cluttered. The thing is with little Coffee Bean he can't help but touch stuff and since we have a fireguard over our fireplace this is just the place where I put all the things that I don't want him breaking. He's already asked if he can play with the reindeer!

The Noel sign I've been debating on for a couple of years. I bought it in a clearance sale years ago from Lakeland and was never quite sure if I liked it but as of this year, thanks to my 6 year old Coffee Bean it's a definite keeper. When we put the decorations out he kept saying that I had forgotten the 'f' and the 's' and in that half listening sort of mum mode I didn't take much notice. That was until he was sat in front of the fire telling me about the decorations and he pointed to the NOEL sign and said 'Thats supposed to say NO ELFS but you've forgotten to put the last two letters on'. At this point I was already laughing, I mean I was impressed he realised that the bell was there as a replacement for the 'o' but the fact that he thought it should say 'no elfs' was just so adorable and now every time I look at it I smile thinking of him. It's one of the things I love about Christmas decorations they have a way of holding memories with them.

This is one of my new additions to my decorations this year, my large sleigh, and I am loving it! I first saw it last year in Matalan and I desperately wanted it then but it wasn't something I could find the money for to treat myself to. I had thought I might ask for it as a Christmas present but it went out of stock really quickly, so imagine my delight when I found they had it back in again this year! Although we are still careful with how we spend our money I figured if this was something I had thought about for a whole year (and it was) and I was purposefully keeping an eye out for when Matalan released their Christmas range to see if it would be in, then that would definitely warrant buying it! It's actually not a decoration, its a serving board, the wooden top comes off and is washable but I knew I wanted it as a display. Since the runners are metal I didn't want them to scratch the varnished sideboard so I needed something to put it on and here I used a little trick my mother used to do. A few years back I bought a couple of Christmas tea towels (again in the sales!) but not to use for drying up I wanted them to use as cloths for covering surfaces such as this one.

To this I added a little tree and a miniature sleigh which is actually supposed to be a bauble but I took the string of it. I had intended to put the sleigh and tree in the back of a truck but it didn't quite pan out as I thought. That brings me round to my next part of the display the monster truck!

I've taken quite a little fancy this year to the Walmart little red truck that has the Christmas tree on the back but they were all really expensive (since we're not in the US) so I thought why not create my own! Little Coffee Bean had bought a red monster truck with his pocket money back in the summer and like typical boys they managed to break the internal mechanism for the wheels within a few weeks. Never fear things can always be repurposed! I'd bought the sleigh and the tree to go in the back of the truck but when I fished it out the toy box I realised it was actually a little smaller than I had imagined in my head. Even the wreath I made to go on the front is verging on being too big but this is Christmas on a budget and despite the things not matching in their sizes it still made for a lovely little sideboard display and little Coffee Bean was so excited to see his monster truck had been Christmasified!

I have a second tree that I still need to put up but when we did the decorations it was at the end of a very long week where we had all been ill and I couldn't bring myself to do another. We have other bits and pieces up too but enough of the talking now I'll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves!

The candy canes are acrylic and when the light shines though the window they actually look like lights!
The nativity scene usually has an emergency services vehicle parked with it while Little Coffee Bean shouts 'The baby is here you need to take it to the hospital'!!
Homemade chair covers - they're actually pillowcases with ribbon stuck on!
Question: What do you do with a Christmas apron you don't wear? Answer: You hang it on the door as a decoration. Add a wooden spoon and spatula with some ribbon tied round it for that extra Christmas effect!
This is what we actually ended hanging up on our ceiling beam. Total craft box effort - mini pom poms and felt trees threaded onto some fishing line!
Lastly this is how I hang my individual baubles. Each one is attached to a piece of Christmas twine with a large button on the end to weight it down. I then wind them around each stair spindle, it looks really effective and makes a good alternative to a garland on the stairs.

If you have some Christmas decorations you'd love to share add a photo in the comments below, post them on the Facebook page or find us on twitter. I never get tired of looking at Christmas decorations!

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