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apartment christmas


Christmas on the Second Floor

December 19, 2017

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir

It’s going home and getting warm by the fire

It’s true wherever you find love,

it feels like C h r i s t m a s.”



It came so fast this year. I hardly had time to blink before Thanksgiving Day was in the rearview mirror and Christmas was pretty much at our door step. Being newlyweds, I knew I had to jump on the game of making our apartment festive this year because we had no past year’s decorations to pull from. I was working from scratch and I was so eager to make some of our own decorations and also start some of our own traditions as a couple.



I had seen a blog post back in the spring from Reading My Tea Leaves which totally inspired my desire to make minimalist + cheap + clutter free Christmas decor for our first year. Like any other small apartment dweller, you have to be creative with space, and storing a ton of Christmas decor wasn’t going to make the cut for our one tiny outdoor “garage” closet. But, with the help of Pinterest and a little creative juice, I couldn’t have been happier with the result!

S t o c k i n g s. I had high hope of purchasing adorable little knit stockings from West Elm for us both … but I waited until after Cyber Monday, no further explanation needed. So, I improvised and cut these out from an awkward fitting sweater. They didn’t quite turn out like I had hoped (they are rather lumpy looking socks) but they work, and will hold memories if nothing else in future years.

G r e e n e r y. As someone who has grown up with a real live fraiser fir in her living room for every Christmas she could remember, I knew without a doubt that we needed a real tree too. It was a win win, because visiting the tree lot, I was quick to scoop up some extra tree boughs that I knew I could use to decorate elsewhere. The smell was heavenly… and the fresh greenery indoors brought beautiful vibrance to our tiny living room. I did find an additional lit garland at Dirt Cheap for literally $2, so that made the cut to store away for next year.






S i g n a g e. I did decide to purchase some “year after year” decorations as well though, something we could keep and remember our first newlywed Christmas by. I was obsessed and reeled in by Magnolia’s Hearth & Hand Christmas collection, so I skipped across town to Target to make a few favorite selections which included our tree skirt and this adorable “Merry & Bright” framed art.

O r n a m e n t s. I didn’t have the huge nostalgia collection from home to pull from, though we did have three special ornaments from moments since our marriage in August. Those plus a few mini ornaments from HomeGoods (the black ones which I decorated with a white Sharpie to mimic the ones I had seen at Target) and some fresh oranges, it was perfect.
Simple really is the most beautiful.









G a r l a n d s.  I intended buying a wooden bead garland like my parents have, but that didn’t happen either. I didn’t just want to go out and buy something for the heck of it… I wanted something that held meaning. So that may just have to happen another year. Or I may just stick to making the garlands that I did this year.. because they were just so much fun and perfectly minimalist!
Dehydrated oranges strung together on cotton twine and little cardstock stars sewn together … they were so super simple to make! And even though, sadly, the oranges will have to be tossed out after New Year’s, I can always remake them again next year.









Lastly, our star. Two newlywed generations (my grandparents and my parents) have made their own Christmas star using a little geometry, posterboard, glue, glitter and fishing line. I always loved our Christmas star as a little girl, and knew someday I wanted to make my own with my husband. So this year, my granddaddy drew up a template and instructions of how to make our very own 3D tree topper, and it only took Luke and me 3 evenings to complete the project. Adopting my grandparents star shape and my parents star color, it really is a special memory I hope to have atop our Christmas trees for years to come.



Small + minimalist + cozy… this is our first married Christmas.

merry christmas!

a b b y