My Green & White Christmas Mantel
Ever since we transformed our basement family room this summer, including painting and redoing our fireplace and mantel, I’ve been so looking forward to this moment. There’s nothing quite like hanging treasured family stockings on a mantel that makes you smile, and that was certainly not the case last year. I didn’t even show you our fireplace or mantel at Christmas last year because it was that bad. This year, I can safely say this space makes my heart dance within my chest, and fills me with all of the joy of the season. Today I am joining several friends in sharing our holiday mantels with you, and I know they will all leave you inspired. You can find all of their links at the bottom of this post. First, let me show you what I’ve come up with, and, naturally, it features upcycled thrifted finds paired with special handmade stockings (not by me, I should add… I am not that patient or talented!)
Before we go on, I do want to add that we now have one more stocking… there are five of us! I just didn’t yet have it at the time I was shooting.
OK, now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest and you know that Wilder is indeed still a part of our family, let’s talk about the mantle and how I decorated this year. As soon as we painted the brick green, I knew I wanted to style it with my white Christmas village houses.
These Christmas villages can be quite the collector’s item and can cost a load of money over the years. However, I stumbled upon a truckload of them a few years ago at my local Goodwill when I lived in Maryland. They were unfinished and ready to paint, but I wanted to keep them white to pop against our then black fireplace. I gave them a fresh coat of white spray paint, and they were ready to go! I loved them against the black brick, and they work just as well today with the green brick fireplace.
I also sprinkled in vintage deer found at a yard sale years ago, and white and green bottle brush trees found on after-holiday clearance over the years. To give it a little more whimsy, I wove a white glittery ball garland my parents gave me one year throughout the houses and across the mantle.
As for the greenery hanging, I decided to purchase a couple of artificial strands of greenery to reuse year after year. I am not yet sure if that was the right decision, to be honest, because this girl loves some fresh greenery. I found these garlands on sale at Michael’s and they really aren’t bad at all for the price, but they just don’t compare to the real thing. I wove some string lights throughout to bring it some sparkle.
I did try out the asymmetrical look this Christmas, and I have to say, I do love that. The left side of our mantel is where all of the weight is, including stockings, longer garland, and bells.
These bells typically hang in my entry, but I love how the the gold plays against the green here. I wanted to bring that gold in to tie into the mirror I added to the mantel as well. This gorgeous mirror was new when we moved into this house, but when I added shelves above my desk, I removed it and had nowhere to hang it. It’s been hiding in our basement, waiting for its moment to shine… pun intended.
I kept everything rather simple with the white village houses maintained a green, gold, white and wood color palette because I wanted to let the real pièce de résistance take the stage… and that would be the stockings!
Years ago, my mother-in-law began needlepointing, and Chris’ stocking is among the first that she did. She continued making them for each of her other two children as they entered the world. In 2003, I was the first to join the family as an “in-law” and I received that gorgeous stocking to the right of his. As each sibling of his has married and had children of their own over the years, she’s worked her tired fingers hard to make sure that each new addition has a family heirloom stocking. Wilder’s stocking has been the latest addition, and it will hang with these soon.
When I look at our stockings all together, the five of us a family, I think about how hard it must have been for my mother-in-law to watch her own mantel dwindle down over the years as the stockings she lovingly crafted for her children traveled with them to hang on their own fireplaces in their own home that wasn’t hers. Maybe it’s because my own children are growing, my oldest two now both teenagers, but I feel those years being pulled out from under me. I know that one day my children will take these stockings with them to their new homes to start families, and I will be left here with a quiet house, mine and Chris’ stockings hanging side by side.
As I type this post, all five of us are in this house. Emmy is in her room, giggling with a friend on FaceTime; Sawyer is downstairs playing on the Xbox with a friend, and talking loudly because he doesn’t know any other volume level; Wilder is napping, which brings us some relief; the dogs are running around and starting to bark about dinner time. Chris is watching football on the sofa, and I am trying to ignore the noise and focus on this post. With two teenagers, a toddler and two vociferous dogs, our house can sometimes feel like so much to handle, like there isn’t a corner in which I can escape unless I hide in the bathroom (which I’ve been known to do!). We’re all living in this time of Covid, and feeling like we can’t escape the noise of our families, or the chaos and constant mess of our homes. It’s a struggle to carve out a moment alone, but these years are fleeting. I am going to look at these stockings hanging on my fireplace and hold on to this treasured time when all five are hanging together, and do my best not to wish it away when it feels like too much.
I know that I am not alone in these feelings, but I just want to assure you that this time at home is precious. Let’s try not to wish it away. One day, the house will be still and quiet, there will be no messes or piles of little socks missing their mates, and the mantel will once again hold two stockings, maybe just one. While you still can, fill those kids’ stockings with love, acceptance, encouragement and a little chocolate.
Wishing you a most joyous season surrounded by the noise and chaos of those you hold dear. I will be back to share the rest of our family room next week, and be sure to check out my first holiday tour featuring my kitche, living and dining rooms here. My second comes Friday!
Today I’m joining some of my talented blogging friends for the Christmas Seasonal Simplicity Series. We’re all sharing our holiday mantel decor with you – be sure to check out these fabulous Christmas mantel decor ideas by clicking on the links below each image.
Cozy Cabin Christmas Mantel Decor with Pops of Red at The Happy Housie
Fresh Cedar Christmas Mantel at A Pretty Life
Bright Colourful Merry Mantel at Tatertots and Jello
Red, White, and Gold Christmas Mantel at This is Our Bliss
Cozy Traditional Christmas Mantle at JoAnna Anastasia
Natural and Cozy Christmas Mantel at Modern Glam
Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas at Craftberry Bush
Merry and Bright Christmas Mantle at The Handmade Home
Assymetrical Christmas Mantel with Fresh Greenery and Blue Accents at The DIY Mommy
How to Hang a Garland on a Shelf for a Christmas Vignette at Fynes Designs
Elegant Holiday Living Room and Mantel at House by Hoff
Traditional Christmas Mantel at Rambling Renovators
Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas at Jennifer Maune
Christmas Mantel Mixing Faux and Fresh Greenery with Grey Accents at Deeply Southern Home
How to Decorate a Mantel for Christmas at She Gave it a Go
How to Decorate a Mantel with a TV Above It for Christmas at Home Made Lovely
My Classic Christmas Mantel with White and Red at Life is Better at Home
How to Style Your Shelves for the Holidays at My Sweet Savannah
Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas at Clean & Scentsible
Modern Minimalist Shelf Styling for the Holidays at This is Simplicite
Christmas Mantel Decor with Lighted Garland at Grace in My Space
Rustic Luxe Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas at Cherished Bliss
My Green and White Christmas Mantel at Cassie Bustamante
Holiday Mantel at Life is a Party
Asymmetrical Garland Mantel at Taryn Whiteaker Designs