gradually decorating.

Back when I was a working stiff, I tended to put up my Christmas decorations in one long marathon session on the day after Thanksgiving.  But now that I’m retired, I’m finding that I prefer a more gradual sort of decorating.  Just putting things up here and there and not feeling pressured to have it all up in one day.

I’m also realizing that I’m rather bored with a lot of my Christmas décor.  I still really like the things, but I don’t want to just put them up in the same place and the same way that I’ve done for years.

So I’m taking my time and trying to come up with new ways to use my existing decorations, but also adding a few new items to the mix.

As I mentioned last week, I asked Sue to sew up some more drop cloth stockings for me.  I ended up stenciling four of them to keep myself.

I’m more of a neutral décor sort of gal, so I used Dixie Belle’s French Linen for the stripes and Midnight Sky for the grain sack stencil (these are JRV stencils, fyi).

Unfortunately, we don’t have a fireplace or any sort of faux mantle to hang them on.  Every year around this time I look around our house wondering where I could fit one in, but we really just don’t have the perfect spot for one.

So I decided to make myself a cupboard door sign to hang the stockings from.

Once again, I stuck with neutrals.  I began with a new cupboard door (from the ReStore).  I gave it a base coat of Dixie Belle’s Putty paint mixed with some of their Sea Spray for texture.  Once dry, I painted over it with DB’s Drop Cloth.  Then I sanded heavily to reveal some of the Putty.  I added some stencils using more Putty and Coffee Bean.  Finally I added some wood knobs to the bottom that had also been painted in Putty.

The next step was to find somewhere to hang it.  After carrying it around the house a bit, I ended up deciding to layer it over an old arched window that hangs in our dining room.

It was the perfect fit.

I filled the stockings with some faux greenery …

and I draped a faux evergreen garland around the window.

Finally, to give the whole thing a little more presence, I hung some old chippy shutters on either side.  I purchased four of these shutters at the Bryn Mawr neighborhood garage sale back in 2016.  I’ve used them in a few different locations over the years.

I may still add some battery operated fairy lights to the garland, but I need to stock up on batteries first.

But so far I’m loving this bit of holiday décor in my dining room.  How about you, do you put up your decorations all in one go?  Or do you take your time?  Do you switch it up from year to year, or do you like to keep it the same?  Leave a comment and let me know!

25 thoughts on “gradually decorating.

  1. Love the stockings and the door sign very charming against the wood walls in your dining room.
    I tend to use the same Christmas items I’ve had for several years. I do move them around to reinvent the look.


  2. Love this! As I’ve gotten older I have done the decorating drip by drip and I guarantee I will still be fiddling around with something on Christmas Eve 🤣. I’ve realized that putting it up is a great joy in itself. Taking it down, not so much😑. I agree that fairy lights would look lovely. But even without, it’s still great!


  3. That looks fantastic! I’m with you on trying to use things in a new way. Love how it turned out. I find the more unhurried you are, the more creative you get, enjoy 🙂


  4. FABULOUS! I have begun decorating already too. I make new things to add to old, and am LOVING the gradual approach versus day after thanksgiving, since I, too, retired last year. I love this, and how you used it, so much!! Thank you for the never ending, delightful, inspirations 🫶🏻


    1. It really is nice not feeling pressured to get it all done in a day, isn’t it Paula?! I’m still getting used to this feeling even though my 1st year anniversary of retiring is coming up in just a couple of weeks!


  5. It looks wonderful and you have the perfect spot for it! Loving those drop cloth stockings as the “real” ones are crazy priced but gorgeous! It normally takes me several weeks to decorate as I put up LOTS of trees. A nine foot back porch tree, several 7 foot trees, some smaller trees, a crock tree for the kitchen, etc. etc. I really enjoy doing it and next year I will REALLY enjoy doing it, as I hope to be retired too! I try to do something different each year in certain areas, but still use most of my same stuff. I have recently gotten into Arnett Santas though, so I sometimes buy one for the year as some new decorations. This year will be different though, as our house is torn apart for painting, new carpeting, new bathroom flooring, etc. It’s a total disaster and probably will be thru the holidays too 😦


    1. Oh boy, it would be difficult to decorate with your house torn up. I’m sure in the end it will have been worth it though. I love that you have so many trees. Now that I have more time for decorating I’ve been thinking about getting a tree for my front porch. I can’t imagine why I’ve never put one out there!


  6. Your new sign and stockings look great layered over the arched window! What a creative way to incorporate your holiday decorations! I like your subtle approach and would be tempted to leave at least part of it up for most of the winter! I tend to decorate all at once using mostly the same decorations. Trying to re-use what I have without accumulating very much new stuff. Going to challenge myself to use my same old stuff in a different way this year!


  7. Love your window display – its just so “you”! Sue did a great job on those stockings – the neutral look is great. You always have such great decorating and staging ideas! Just the trick of putting greenery into the hanging socks is great. I’m using that idea for sure!


  8. Since I am hostessing Thanksgiving this year, I am waiting until after Thanksgiving to decorate. I tend to use the same decorations from year to year but I do try to move them around for a fresh look. I have made several new decorations to add to my collection this year and for every new decoration, an old (unloved) one will be donated. I love your stenciled stockings and the display board you made for them. I am waiting for the grain sack stencils I ordered to arrive in the mail so I can make some for myself. Thanks again for sharing all of your wonderful ideas.


  9. Well, I loved what you did Miss Quandie…….and, stocking up on batteries is SO TRUE! I have so many fairy lights that I put here and there for Christmas and am always running out of batteries! Your stockings are just perfect and the board with pegs that you made is perfect for them. The things you create are so cozy that who knew you didn’t have a fireplace/mantle? Never noticed before. Is it possible to break through the wall between the house and the porch (one day?) to make a double-sided fireplace? I mean, you’ve gone through putting a new roof on the house so maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal? Congratulations on all the coziness and beauty that you create 😍👀👍


    1. A double sided fireplace that also opens to the outdoors seems like a very Californian idea to me. I wonder if anyone does that in Minnesota (if anyone reading this knows, be sure to comment). I don’t know how you could possibly insulate it enough to keep the cold out when it’s not in use. That’s pretty much a bummer because it would be fabulous to have otherwise! I’ve always wanted a free-standing brick outdoor fireplace, but it’s one of those things where I realize we’d probably rarely actually use it. We’re lucky if we use our fire pit once a year.


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