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wmsimons85

Show your Xmas Trees/Decorations Here!! 2019 :)

wmsimons85
2 years ago

it will be weeks for me but there are a few early birds amongst us. :) A little birdie in my ear suggested starting the Christmas thread early this year. Before Thanksgiving! :0.


So as the title states, please show/discuss and share your Christmas decorations or plans. Love everyone’s different styles, so no right or wrong. Just pure pleasure! ❤️


Since this is early, please share any Thanksgiving plans/ decorations. I personally would love to see them.


BTW, no negative Nancy’s allowed or Scrooge’s on the thread later on please! For those that want to start early, have fun! :)


Cant wait to see how everyone decorates and celebrates again this year.


Merry Christmas!!



Comments (1.2K)

  • Janet
    2 years ago

    My daughter in law made reusable wrapping “paper” this year.

  • Molly
    2 years ago

    Very resourceful Janet!

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  • pink_peony
    2 years ago

    I will be the REALLY odd man out. Asking someone they want as a gift isn’t a gift. It’s then a request. The art of giving doesn’t include someone giving me or anyone else a list. For me going down a list doesn’t. Ring me a joyful heart. Receiving then becomes expected and quite honestly routine. THAT IS CALLED CONSUMERISM. To me that is personally not what Christmas, Birthdays, Easter etc. Is about. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing something and thinking “oh Jane would love that” or “this just says John to me”. If nothing is found, and that has happened before then I have been known to tuck envelopes in the tree with the persons name on it and donate to a charity in their name. Or of course the GC to somewhere I know they enjoy is also an option.


    As far as wrapping I am queen of ribbon. Real ribbon . The more lavish the better. Everyone knows and it’s become a ongoing joke that you better it the ribbon in the “ribbon box” during unwrapping gifts because I do recycle. I have an entire bin of gross grain, satin, tartan, and printed ribbons. Boxes.....nothing is prettier than a good quality solid coloured box. Target has sold some beautiful ones for about the past 7 years. Solid with a gold edging. Sturdy. Not cheap but recycled and used year after year they pay for themselves.

  • wmsimons85
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I am shocked to hear this! I hope that y’all are wrong! I thought any item returned was re sold and we only have so many days to return. Thought they had to be in original package etc.. I thought clothing must not be worn, have original tags or again non clothing original packaging because the store will re sell the item. :/

  • wmsimons85
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I agree with that Pink. That is the fun of it. Can you imagine an office Secret Santa not being so secret anymore. It would be pretty boring. I also have a thing about wrapped gifts and beautiful ribbons. But I still am shocked about what has been said about returns! ://

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Regarding gifts, I understand where pink peony is coming from but I know there have been times when I am at a complete loss as to what to gift someone I’m obligated to give to. In particular, my middle and high school age kids. Their interests change pretty quickly and we don’t buy for them throughout the year; other than necessities and small indulgences like the odd ice cream trip or book, we buy at birthdays and Christmas and that’s it. Anything else they want, they purchase with their own money or put on their Christmas list. I follow a guideline I read somewhere when my oldest was small: one they want, one they need, one to wear, one to read. I noticed this year that my gifts tend to be extremely practical haha (example this year our four eldest each got 7 face cloths and a hand towel, in four different patterns so they know which is whose).

    For my husband’s siblings I do identical presents for each family, usually homemade and almost always consumable like food or drink (this year was campfire starters) and a homemade Christmas tree ornament for each niece and nephew until graduation. After graduation they get a card with a family photo and that’s all.

    For my sis I order a CD of an artist that I’ve discovered that year, shipped directly to her house. So if it’s wrapped, it’s because she did it for herself :-D

    I find my parents and my father in law and sadly, my husband, to be the tough ones. Mom gets a photo calendar of the kids, sometimes all dad gets is money (which is what he’d prefer anyway tbh) and father-in-law gets...chocolates. Boring. I would love if he would tell us what he would like to get, because by now it seems like he must have everything he wants or needs. Since he’s also technically my employer it would be very strange to give him cash or even a gift card!!

    Overall I’d rather get nothing than a token gift because someone felt obligated, and I’d rather give nothing than just any old thing I picked up.

  • talaveran
    2 years ago

    This is such an interesting conversation. Thanks all, for sharing ideas. I do agree with you, Pink, and it was my husband who refused to be assigned gifts, and instead wanted to pick out something on his own volition, and this was right about the time gift cards were coming into common use. Lucky for me he has excellent taste in jewelry. One sibling wanted only those so her kids wouldn't get anything they didn't want. No surprise then, and that to me is the epitome of gift (and I hate the use of that word as a verb, especially since it doesn't save any space - 'give' works so much better!! off my soapbox now!). And yes, let's consider the waste stream. We give so much less now in our family, and need even less. But yes, finding the just right gift and watching the surprise is an enduring human pleasure.

  • Molly
    2 years ago

    I like to get lists because it gives me ideas (they may not necessarily get what they asked for) and they usually come with sizes included. miss lindsey we send my MIL a real Christmas wreath every year. She lives in FL and appreciates the smell and reminder of where she lived most of her life (MI).

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Molly what a great idea, I think my mom would love that!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Miss Lindsey-hunt this year for the Christmas spirit and spread it around! That post is the sadest thing I have read here. Sorry you are so sad.

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    Oh Flo, I appreciate the sentiment but I’m not sure it was meant for me ??

  • Seajay Sparkles
    2 years ago

    This is quite interesting. Long distance giving is tricky. When we lived in MD, we had good friends who moved to Miami. When we visited them, we ate stone crabs for the first time. Very different from MD blue crabs. One year I sent them MD crab cakes from our favorite restaurant. The next year they sent us stone crabs from Miami. This became a tradition every year. Then one year I thought this is getting really expensive. So, I donated the money to a church charity that gives Christmas dinners to needy families. I was able to feed four families. Well, my friend in Miami thought this was great and did the same gift for me at her church in Miami. This tradition has remained and feels really good.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Spreading joy is great!

  • Kim
    2 years ago

    If there is one thing we've learned on this thread, it's that there are many different ways to celebrate, decorate and communicate Christmas.

  • justcallmepool
    2 years ago

    Oh gosh tru dat, Kim! Hahaha


    The stories of not knowing what to get some people or having a hard tome some years reminds me of growing up. My parents never worried if Xmas was “equal” between my sister and me. Some years I got more and some her. My mom would just shrug and say “it’s just not your year shuug” lol. Which kind of sucked sometimes I’m sure but my sister and I still laugh about it and actually use that line on our own family members. because it can be so true!


    I also am a firm believer that a gift does not have to be a physical item. A gift can be any kind of act of love. My DH sucks at giving gifts. (Oh the stories haha) but I can’t tell you how many years I just asked him to put all my music on my phone. So many things I’d love for him to DO for me that I would appreciate much more than some random crap he bought bc he couldn’t think of anything else. He finally learned plus it’s usually cheaper haha


    Molly I love the fresh wreath idea! I may steal that for my own mom next year. I always struggle with my parents and in laws bc they really don’t need anything.

    Ive given a variety of food products over the years and those usually go over well too. But the wreath is a great idea bc she doesn’t like getting out so much Xmas decor anymore. thanks For the idea!

  • Aphaea
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Those who are interested in reading more about how returned Christmas gifts can end up in the landfills, even when they are unused and brand new, Google helpfully returned these articles. I am aware of environmental issues and care about them but I had never given thought to this so it was a shock to me to read.

    I understand not everyone wants or appreciates lists. However, for me, it heightens the joy of giving because I see the excitement people have when they receive something they truly want. I know that I love it because I usually have a long list going and not knowing what I will get but that I will get something I love. It pains me to be given something, however beautiful, that I really don't want in my home. I recall the last Christmas I think this happened when, among other things, I got a gorgeous crystal vase from my sister. But lovely though it was it just wasn't something I wanted or would have bought for myself because I just see stuff like that as clutter. So, sadly, the day after Christmas, off to the thrift store it went where I am sure it found a good home--but I will admit that had I known where she bought it I would have returned it for cash rather than donate it. But what a waste of her money. I thanked her profusely but then took months to think about how to approach the idea of Christmas shopping the following year. I ended up talking honestly and gently with her about my idea of lists. And so it has been ever since with those whose taste and preferences I am not 100 percent certain of.

  • shwshw
    2 years ago

    I am finding this conversation to be very interesting. I am not sure I have ever openly shared my change in Christmas/Birthday giving. A number of years ago I retired from my 23 year software job. My husband thought it would be a great time to go to college for the first time. LOL, we were both 51. We had many new financial decisions to make. Christmas and BD giving were one of them. I could no longer give presents that cost money. I no longer wanted to give gifts to people to prove that I liked them or to make them like me. I stopped giving gifts to almost everyone. I give money to my niece and nephew. I either make things (currently Ice Cream Lady chocolate sauce) or give gift certificates. The certificates I give are something that I will either do for or with the person that receives it. To me that is the true meaning of gift giving. Something that takes more of an effort than throwing money at something. That first year my husband and I had a $30 limit each. You would be amazed at what you can come up with. My husband would give me a card that said "12 cleanings of the cat box". I would give him "a day of labor for any household task he chose". You get the idea. I take my Mom to events that she likes, such as a cat show or Christmas light viewing that we can do together. Those years have passed, but my philosophy has not. I know this is rather radical compared to everyone else and I don't intend that anyone should ever follow my example. I will say that I love Christmas more now than I ever did and there is very little under my tree..... I do love decorating the house though. HO HO HO

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    For me, gift giving almost has to be streamlined. My husband has eleven adult siblings and ten of them have significant others; we have 32 nieces and nephews. Buying an individualized gift for each of them would be unbelievably costly in both time and money, and statistically it is inevitable that a certain percentage will not enjoy their gift anyway. That’s why food seems a perfect choice! And why the kids get Christmas ornaments—it’s a tradition they can count on and hopefully will be a remembrance of the times we spend together :)


    I would rather provide Christmas spirit by creating a beautiful atmosphere in my home and welcoming my family into it at any hour of the day, with plenty of board games, hot apple cider, eggnog, and cookies than spend a lot of time and money finding a perfect gift that may be anything but. If I’m out shopping, I’m not able to bake cookies with my nephew and nieces or construct gingerbread houses with my kids!

    I think it all comes down to the five love languages; some people experience love through gift giving and I am not really one of those people. I’d rather have quality time with my loved ones or fatten them up lolol.

  • Kim
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I am loving this discussion. Pool, so hilarious that your mom would say "not your year shuug." hahaha, that must be why you are so frank and easy going and have a great sense of humor. That last one is necessary for survival in this world. ; )

    Shoo shoo, just love all your sentiments. Being creative in the ways we share with each other is important, and sometimes all we want is a little help or acknowledgement, not another candle LOL. When my husband and I were dating, I gave him a quarter for his 25th birthday. I found one that was minted the year he was born and had it gold plated. Cost me about $30 I think. Then I created clues for a treasure hunt for him to find it haha.

    Agree with miss lindsey that it can become exhausting to have to buy for so many people. You have me beat, but there was a time when I was buying for close to 30 people. This might sound selfish, but I changed my attitude toward gift-giving when the whole gift card giving took off. I would spend hours and hours shopping or making a gift for each person only to receive gift cards in return. I envisioned them grabbing them on the way to the check-out line at the grocery store the night before. When it evolved into an exchange of gift cards - which is kind of ridiculous to me - I proposed we only buy for the kids.

    Aphaea, I hear ya. We've all received and probably given gifts that weren't as appreciated as the giver hoped. Finding what works in each family is the key whether it be lists, the element of surprise, baked goods, etc. For me this year, the real surprise was the $100 winning lottery ticket my FIL put in my stocking!

    I suppose our perspectives change as we move through life, but after 30+ years of gift-giving, we start to run out of ideas...especially for the person who has everything because they spend all their free time shopping like my dad! If any of you need anything, let me know. He probably has three of them.

  • Aphaea
    2 years ago

    LOL, Kim. It sounds like your dad could fund a Giving Tree all by himself.


    For myself this year, I requested that no one give me anything. It actually initially surprised me when I said that but right afterward I realized I really meant it. It gave me joy to not get anything other than a few things I bought for myself like new bras in all kinds of delicious colors--underwear, the bane of children everywhere and the joy of adults--and a few more Christmas decorations.


    I did send off packages to some friends and family. My two sisters and brother have and continue to make not particularly smart financial decisions, preferring to live on almost nothing than work. I don't criticize or even make suggestions but what I did this year brought me a lot of pleasure. Each got a box with a lovely tabletop tree, fairy lights, ornaments, a filled stocking, and their one gift. But I realized that while those brought a lot of pleasure I will probably cut them out next year because I only heard thanks from one sister, and start going only with cards and personal messages. My two best friends and one good friend will continue to get gifts; they love them and they let me know how much they appreciate them.


    It's interesting to read how all of you approach this and how your approaches have changed over years. I am watching myself and thinking too. I love the last three months of the year and have and am honing my ways of celebrating it that continue to increase my pleasure in it. I always want to love it as passionately as I ever have so making it work for me is the answer to avoiding cynicism, resentment or burnout.

  • Seajay Sparkles
    2 years ago

    Okay, Kim, inquiring minds want to know. Where, pray tell, did the treasure hunt lead? Someplace sexy? Hahaha
    TICL. My hubby and I usually have something we want together so some years we’ll buy that 65” smart TV and give it to us from us. And during the year if we need something we get it. So putting something under the tree is not something that is important to us.

  • dsimber
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    As our family grew to include four generations, a new in-law shared an idea that has been so fun for teens and adults. (The younger children still receive gifts.) The first year, my brother purchased a gift card and wrapped it in multiple layers of paper, string and tape. We all get in a big circle, and one person puts on oven mitts, then tries to unwrap the package. The person next to him throws dice until getting doubles. That ends the turn, and the oven mitts and package move to the next person (the one who just rolled the two di) while the di are passed to the next person. it usually takes 4-5 rounds before someone finally gets to the gift card. So many funny things happen and are said throughout the game! perhaps because we have a lot of fun-loving “comedians“ in the family. The “winner” buys and wraps the gift card the next year. This game brings us all together and is great fun, year after year! It is really the gift of family time and laughter!

  • Kim
    2 years ago

    Very clever!

  • justcallmepool
    2 years ago

    Dsimber, we played that game once with my in-laws and MILs extended family. I domt the “prize” was worth anything but it was a lot of fun playing anyway.

    I have suggested some kind of game for gifts with just DHs family but they aren’t necessarily the most fun people haha

  • Seajay Sparkles
    2 years ago

    Uh, Kim, did you just manage to skim over my question? I’m a very patient person so no hurry.

  • Kim
    2 years ago

    Seajay! OMG, good thing you're patient LOL. I do not see any questions for me. The last post I see from you is the one about you and your friend donating to charities in each other's names. Wonderful, btw. I'm bracing myself for your question, though. ; )

  • xclusive
    2 years ago



  • xclusive
    2 years ago



  • xclusive
    2 years ago



  • dsimber
    2 years ago

    Xclusive, please explain what you did on your staircase. It looks novel and fun, but I can’t quite make it out.

  • xclusive
    2 years ago

    @dsimber it was simple. I wrapped a set of clear lights around the staircase handles. Then add the snow blankets on top of the lights and then tied the penguins to the banisters with pipe cleaner and there you have it...sliding penguins :)

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    That penguin slide is so adorable! Great idea. Saving that one!

  • dsimber
    2 years ago

    I‘m saving it, too! for the day I have young grandchildren.

  • shwshw
    2 years ago

    xclusive, I love the sliding penguins! Now I want a staircase in my house so I can make one next year.

  • Seajay Sparkles
    2 years ago

    Here’s my question Kim.

  • Molly
    2 years ago

    Seajay I still don’t see your question on 1/3. Must be a Houzz glitch.

  • Kim
    2 years ago

    Aha! Seajay, I do not see your comment upthread, but I see it now! Thank you for reposting it. I have no recollection of what that quarter might have been used for.

  • niccidhg
    2 years ago

    Kim, I love the creative and thoughtful gift of the special quarter you gave your husband while you were dating . What a great gift/ idea !! As Seajay implies , there could be so many fun scenarios for the treasure hunt, too. Wonderful !

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    2 years ago

    I know christmas decorations are all put away but I didn’t share with you my favorite new ornament.... we are beyond thrilled!


  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    Kris congrats!!!!! (Houzz won’t let me /like your post but I do in my heart!)

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    (my sil and bil announced their new baby on the way 2020 with knitted bootie ornaments for each of their nieces and nephews)

  • Molly
    2 years ago

    How exciting! Was this how you learned about this or did you already know? (Sounds like the former).

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    2 years ago

    Congrats auntie lindsey!

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    Thanks Grandma!!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Our Christmas stuff is all still up because all our out of town kids and our newest grandchild are arriving Friday. We will be celebrating Christmas, Dec birthdays and anniversaries and the running of the Houston Marathon! S2 is running half marathon but hubby can’t run this year breaking his 17 year record! He feel training in September and broke 4 metatarsal bones in his right foot and it has taken long time to heal. So we love the ornament and collecting ornaments is an important part of memorializing memories for a long time! Enjoy.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    2 years ago

    Molly... I kind of knew, but this was the way It was officially announced.

  • Kris Bruesehoff
    2 years ago

    Oh Flo, how wonderful that you can extend the holidays. Sorry to hear hubby won’t be able to run, but I’m sure he will enjoy cheering on your son. My hubby had a ski injury 2+ years back (8 broken bones and 3 complete ligament tears). many docs said he wouldn’t walk normally again- but he was determined. We went skiing yesterday! Sending your hubby best wishes for complete healing.



  • Kim
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Congratulations, Kris and lindsey!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Mine is secretly planning his return. He thinks I don’t know! Haha! So happy your guy is back doing what he loves. Great rehab effort and mental determination! Awesome.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    My DH says “I thank her very much!”

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