This Year’s Christmas Mantle

We’ve started the Christmas decorating at our house- we’ve yet to get the tree, but my daughter and I did the mantle and a few other tabletops and got the Advent things out. I thought I’d share pictures of the mantle because each year I try to add some new things, but still keep the traditional things we love.

We always have the stockings and holders, as well as lights and for the past few years our “Peace” sign. This year we added a rustic urn with a candle and some “word” ornaments among the greenery. We might add some ball ornaments when we get out the tree decorating boxes.

Here it is lit up for the night. I really like lights on the mantle, it just makes the room so festive and cheery.

I made our stockings from vintage fabrics and trims. I only did the “jester” style stocking because my daughter said she liked it, so you can imagine how I felt this year when she declared them “weird.” Arggh.

She gave her brother that stocking.

This picture shows a better view of the letters we use to identify each stocking. I got .25 wood letters (one for each of our names) from the craft store and painted them, sprinkling a bit of clear glitter on each before they dried. Then I just loop a ribbon through them and hang them on top of the stocking.

Making it very easy for my daughter to switch stockings this year.

A close-up of the center of the mantle. I love this little urn. I found it at CS Post and Co. and used some birthday money to buy it (thanks, Lynn!). It looks wonderful with peonies and roses, too.

We have these bookcases on each side of the mantle and they really just extend the mantle. I’m always in a quandary about them: do I treat them like the mantle, or keep them separate?

In the past we’ve used these little houses I painted (yes, I did- I can’t believe it now, but 20 years ago I painted the first one, this cream and green one, and I did one each year after until I got so busy with little kids that I didn’t have the time anymore) and created an elaborate “snow village” with fake snow, people, little trees, lights and the whole thing.

I just wasn’t into it this year, but since I painted these (should I just keep saying that?) I thought they should be out, and now I kinda like the simplicity of them with just a few vintage-inspired bottles brush trees.

Putting a couple of them up on books adds a bit of interest and keeps it from looking just like things-lined-up-in-a-row.

Wondering how many I painted (see- I was able to get it in again!) before my time was no longer my own? Just 6- one for each of the first 6 years of our marriage.

At year six, our son was two and all those holiday traditions I dreamed of having with our children took precedence over me painstakingly painting little apples in front of a little store window.

For which I’m forever grateful.






  1. says

    Love the mantle. Tres cute! We are still lacking a tree, but decorated the rest of the house. Will have to shoot pics cuz it’s so cozy.

    BTW, love the shelves next to the fireplace! I would be in heaven to have shelves like that. :)

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