You guys, I’m not sure if my holiday spirit has ever come out so early — which is saying a lot for a girl who routinely plays Christmas music in early November. Just imagine if Buddy the Elf suddenly moved to a forest and embraced a neutral color palette and natural holiday decor; that’s me this year.
After the last nine months, I know I’m not alone when I say that I need a reason to get festive — we all do. And what better time to unreservedly embrace a celebratory spirit than the holiday season?
Even if you’re the only one appreciating the strand of twinkly lights above your bed or the new Christmas mug filled with your morning coffee, the joy these little details can spark is reason enough to deck the halls – a little or a lot.
This year is the first time that I’ve ever decorated before Thanksgiving , and I’ve got to say that it’s already been filling our house with so much holiday cheer that the early bird schedule might become our new tradition. My holiday decor always has a few common denominators: lots of snowy white and metallics, greenery, and twinkly lights. But every year I also get inspired to run a unique thread through it all that’s based on what’s. inspiring me lately.
For this look, I was definitely going for a natural, woodsy vibe: lots of real greenery studded with pinecones, cozy sheepskins, and birch-wrapped candles to cast a magical glow when we settle in front of the fireplace in the evening.
Garlands and Wreaths
My friend, Elle Worsham, who owns the company Gracious Garlands, helped me bring the vision to life — her incredible garlands not only bring the most organic, woodsy feel; they also impart the most heavenly scent of pine that perfumes the air with Christmas the moment you walk through the door.
We had the best afternoon playing with greenery to drape across the front entrance, mantle, and dining table, creating the wreath above the fireplace (DIY details to come), and of course – cranking up the Christmas tunes. I definitely learned a few things from Elle when it came to simple solutions for hanging garlands, too. She used clear jumbo suction cups to hang everything from garlands to wreaths on windows — and green floral wire wrapped around railings to hang just about everything else.
Scroll on for more details on how it all came together — plus my tips and shopping sources for a creating a natural, woodsy, holiday decor look at home.
The Evergreen Dining Table
This garland across the dining table – made of leyland cypress – will live on our table through the entire season – it smells incredible. I upped the scent factor by tucking in some cinnamon pine cones throughout the branches.
I’ve always loved birch bark candles, and I stocked up on a few of these in various sizes to spread across the dining table and living room and create a woodsy, natural feel. To make the room feel even cozier I added a couple of sheepskin throws to my collection to drape over our dining bench — TBH these aren’t the best quality ever, but for less than $20 a piece, they get the job done without breaking the bank.
The Fireplace Mantel
My holiday decor this year feels more cohesive with my true style than it ever has before — instead of totally reinventing our living room, I made use of what we already had in the space and then enhanced it with greenery and lights, staying within the neutral color palette that feels most “me.” Even if your style slants way more colorful or you’re a prints lover, consider how your own personal style can be reflected through your holiday decor, rather than being guided by trends.
White & Kraft Paper Gifts
Every year I choose a color palette or theme for my wrapping paper, and 2020 is all about white, kraft paper, jute ribbon, and touches of black. Not only is it an affordable way to make everything look beautiful – it also allows me to streamline my wrapping so it doesn’t become overwhelming. I setup a station in our guest bedroom with 2 – 3 rolls of paper, a couple rolls of ribbon, scissors, tape, and tags – and then when gifts arrive in the mail, I head back to the bedroom and try to knockout wrapping them that day.
I also stocked up on these little faux greenery stems that I’m planning to tuck under the ribbon on each package, bringing the woodsy vibes under the tree, too.
The Ornament Exchange
Our tree ornaments are a mix of woodland inspired animals, family photos, and sentimental objects we’ve collected through the years. One of my favorite holiday traditions – passed down from my own childhood – is that everyone in the family gets a new ornament of their own to hang on the tree each year. We designate one night of the season to make hot cocoa and let everyone unwrap their new ornaments, and they create such special memories when we get them out year after year.
I cannot wait to show you guys the DIY details for how Elle made the gorgeous natural greenery wreath above the mantel! It is definitely one of my favorite holiday projects ever. If you’re interested in getting one of Gracious Garlands’ beautiful greenery pieces for your own home this holiday season, you’re in luck because they ship nationwide. And if you live in Austin, stop by the ByGeorge holiday pop-up where you can last-minute snag one of Elle’s garlands locally.
Okay, what do y’all think of this year’s decor — how did it stack up compared to 2018 or 2019? Next up this week: I’ll share how I decked out my front door entrance this year – no surprise it is allll about the garlands and wreaths!