Christmas Home Tour + White Elephant Gift Ideas for EVERYONE
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I know, I’m getting this up a little late in the month, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a Christmas home decor tour at all. After seeing all the dreamy Christmas decoration photos on Instagram, I hesitated to share my own home because I worried that it wasn’t “Instagram worthy.” However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was being ridiculous! Christmas is the ONLY holiday I truly decorate for and I absolutely LOVE putting my decorations up. Also, this is my first year owning a home TO decorate. Before this year, we lived in several tiny apartments and didn’t have a lot of space (or money) to decorate. And even though we have a big beautiful house to decorate this year, decorations are NOT cheap! And as much as I would have loved to deck every corner with flocked trees and festive pillows and garlands, I realized that I would much rather spend that money on Christmas gifts for my loved ones and just work on decorating a few spaces in my house. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Christmas decorations are not collected in one season!
Basically, I’m writing all this to say that it’s OKAY to not have Instagram-worthy decorated homes for the holidays. But it is also okay if you DO have a decked out house. All that matters is that you feel the peace and joy that this season brings when you are home!
So, I’m excited to share a peek into our home and how it is decorated for our FIRST Christmas in it and where I spent my money this year in building up our decoration collection!
About our Living Room Decorations:
- This is the first year we had a REAL tree, so I was excited to deck it out in all of our special ornaments. My mom shipped out all of the ornaments I made when I was little and we also have ornaments from all the places we’ve visited or lived. It’s really fun to pull them out every year and see where we’ve been over the years of our marriage. Dustin was ADAMENT that we go with LED lights this year (for the power bill’s sake) which I was resistant to at first, but they look great! It’s topped with the star we bought our first Christmas
- I decided to focus on decorating our mantel this year and wanted to go with a classic color scheme that would look good year after year. I felt like Silver and Gold would always be classy Christmas colors and I would never worry about it not being on trend. I spent weeks going to Home Goods and picking out trees and reindeer in a variety of textures and patterns to place on my mantel. My mom sent me a beautiful creche set of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus in creamy gold and outlined in silver that fit PERFECTLY in the middle of the mantle as the centerpiece. My gold Merry Christmas garland was at Hobby Lobby and I felt like it would add the perfect amount of sparkle to the front of the mantle. And finally, I found a perfect silver and gold wreath at Home Goods to place right at the center and I love how it ties the whole look together!
- I really wanted to deck my couch out in TONS blankets and festive pillows, along with hanging garlands around my entertainment center but I decided that would have to wait until next year. I picked up two pillows for 10 dollars at Burlington Coat Factory and the DREAMIEST ruby red Sherpa Throw at Costco for $14.99 (if you watch my Instastories, you’ll know I searched HIGH and LOW for them and ended up buying three and I’m NOT sorry about it.)
Front Sitting Room
About our sitting room decorations:
- The white fake tree was our first Christmas tree that we bought when we were married and has been set up in 5 apartments! It’s definitely seen better days, but I always wanted a white Christmas tree growing up and my sweet husband went along with my whims (even though he thought it was a little silly.) I wanted to continue with my silver and gold color scheme, mainly because I inherited some of my grandmother’s 24 Karat gold ornaments and I wanted this tree to be the showcase for them. They are some of my most prized possessions, so I loved being able to dedicate the tree to them. I bought most of my ornaments from Home Goods (which have beautiful and unique ornaments for a great price) and some from Hobby Lobby. Next year, I hope to get a tree skirt and some more floral things to place in the branches!
- My mom also bought me the creche set on my table and I love that it’s on of the first things you see when you walk into our home. I really love having a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas right there on the table and love all the animals in the set!
- I bought one pillow that says “Peace on Earth” in silver lettering for my couch, but next year, I hope to have more pillows to place in the front room!
About our Kitchen Decorations:
- Our BIG home improvement project for 2018 is to completely gut and re-do our kitchen, so I didn’t want to go all out with decorations in the kitchen since our kitchen is going to look a lot different (hopefully) next Christmas. I put out a tile decoration that I made our first year of marriage by our sink, along with a couple trees I snagged last year in the Dollar Spot at Target.
- I opted to put together a little hot chocolate bar for my island. I got the tray and mason jars from Hobby Lobby and the mug set was something Dustin won at a work White Elephant gift swap a couple years ago! It was SUCH a good gift to get from a White Elephant and I love seeing everyone’s reactions when they ask me where we got such a cute set!
Speaking of White Elephant Gifts…
Since I based my Kitchen decorations all around the best White Elephant gift we ever recieved, I thought I would put together a go-to list of white elephant gift ideas for you to pull from. I asked on my Insta stories for your ideas last night and you guys had some of the BEST ideas (and some really funny ones, too!) I’m so excited to use your ideas for the white elephants I have coming up this weekend and next year!
White Elephant Gift Ideas People Actually Want:
- Succulents Idea from Taylor
- Cute Elephant pots FOR the succulents
- Massage gift certificate Idea from Daniel
- Bath & Bodyworks Handsoaps Idea from Joy
- A book & movie combo (Like Cloud Atlas!) Idea from Kathryn
- Seasonal Kitchen Towels
- Selfie Ring Light
White Elephant Gift Ideas that are HYSTERICAL:
- A picture of yourself (my roommate did this one year and it was the funniest thing in the world.)
- Rubber Chickens
- A Christmas Story Leg Lamp (and yes, you can get this on Amazon) Idea from Megan
- Farting Animals Coloring Book
- Nighlight for your Toliet (I actually want one of these)
- An oldie movie (like Space Jam!) Idea from Hannah
- Freeze a 10 dollar bill in a tupperwear (“Cold Hard Cash! HAHAHA) Idea from Kayla
- What do you MeMe Game
- Mermaid Tail Blanket Idea from Rubi
White Elephant Gift Ideas in a pinch (like when you forget and need one before you leave in 5 minutes):
- Board games (you know there is one you never play in your game closet!)
- Toliet Paper (which is funny, but also super practical)
- A can of soup or beans from your pantry
- A throw pillow from your couch (you know you want an excuse to get a new one anyway)
- A scarf or handbag from your collection (see above!)
If you need even more ideas, a bunch of my blogging friends have White Elephant Gift Guides up on their blogs, too!
Abby from The Classy Giraffe has 10 Funny and 10 Practical White Elephant Gift Ideas
Cayli from Night Chayde has over 30 Random White Elephant Gift Ideas
Love to hear about the best White Elephant gift you’ve ever received below so I can add it to my list!