Gifts As Decor

by HEAB on December 13, 2014

Chris and I are constantly trying to come up with ways to downsize  and simplify our lives.  His method involves never ever buying anything.  Seriously – my husband requires very little to be happy.  It’s one of the things I love and admire about him.  I’m definitely the shopper of the family, and as much as I don’t like clutter, I do enjoy pretty things.  So, ever since we moved into our house over a year and a half ago, I’ve been doing my best to make it feel like a home without filling it with a lot of stuff and or spending a lot of money.  That being said, I still feel like we’re accumulating, as I’m constantly running down to the basement to store something or other.  Most of it is baby items that we’re saving for friends and family (yes, we are done), but every time I go downstairs, I cringe when I see the dusty piles of boxed up…stuff!  I will be cleaning out our basement come spring, but until then, here is fun way to decorate for Christmas that does not involve packing up decorations and storing them away after the holidays.

Use your gifts!

Instead of hiding our gifts under the tree, I displayed them on a bench in our living room.  We try to do one gift per child + a stocking.  So, some of these are for the kids, and some are for extended family and a few friends.  Now, I know spending time wrapping gifts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it.  Chris was out of town earlier this week, and I spread out my wrapping supplies, brewed some hot cocoa, blared the Christmas music, and spent an evening making our presents all Christmasy.  Inspiration came from friends and Pinterest.

Last weekend, Summer, Charlie, and Katie customized some packing paper. (Amazon’s packing paper makes the best canvas for little artists.  We also like to use it as tablecloths when we have friends over for dinner.  Put out some crayons and have your guests, big and small, go to town!)

We then used it to wrap a few presents as well as make snowflakes…

My kids love school buses…

We used recycled craft paper for most of the gifts and added a few personal touches…

like cutting greenery from the bottom of our tree and raiding the cinnamon stick stash…

Another easy but fun way to decorate?  Snowflakes.  Cannot stop making snowflakes out of any and everything this year.  The ones below are from an Anthropologie catalog and the Nashville Scene.

The kraft paper and snowflakes can all be recycled, or you can save the snowflakes for use again next year.  Some other great tips for keeping holiday decor simple and beautiful can be found here (love this blog) and here (never thought I’d fall in love with a fake flocked tree, but I did after reading this).

Happy decorating!


Health Bee January 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Love the creative ideas! Have a great new year, Heather!

Clare @ Happy Eater December 21, 2014 at 9:38 pm

I love the snowflake idea! It’s great that your kids get to be a part of making the decor around the house 🙂

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Thanks Clare. The snowflakes were so fun. We took down our Christmas decorations today, but I left up the snowflakes. I figure I can pass them off as “winter decor” until spring is upon us. 🙂

Katie December 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

We went this route this year too…I love the snowflake, we’ll have to try that one!

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Katie, if we ever move to Colorado, I want to hang out with you and get crafty. 🙂

Tracy December 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm

As always, you’re so creative!! I especially love all the snowflakes!

Will you please come to my house and wrap? Not my favorite part of the holiday! Haha! My daughter and I will babysit for you!

My husband is the same way about buying stuff. He is very simple as well. He definitely helps me keep purchases reined in!

Wishing you and your family a very merry and blessed Christmas!! xoxo

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Yes! Next year, save all your wrapping for me.:)

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Marcia December 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

This is great! I started using old paper with printing only on one side to make snowflakes for our tree.

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Marcia, I’d love a snowflake covered tree. Maybe a little one in the kids’ rooms next year. Great idea!

Lori December 14, 2014 at 6:51 am

Merry Christmas! Blessings to you and your family.

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Same to you Lori, and I hope you have a Happy New Year!

Liz S. December 14, 2014 at 5:18 am

Such a wonderful idea for holiday decor!

Merry (almost) Christmas, dear Heather! xo

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Thanks Liz. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year to you!

Ana December 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

What a fun and great idea, love it all Heather!!!
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!!

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Thanks Ana. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!

Maggie @ say yes to salad December 13, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Reading my tea leaves is one of my faves as well.

Love the snowflake idea!

HEAB December 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I discovered Reading My Tea Leaves through a link on your blog. 🙂
Hope K enjoyed his first Christmas. Happy New Year Maggie!

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