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The house I grew up in didn't have a fireplace. This was normally no big deal, but during Christmas, it always worried me. How would Santa get in? How would he find our stockings? He managed just fine every year, but I vowed that as a grown up I'd have a house with a big beautiful mantle. My house now has a great mantle, and it's my favorite thing to decorate for Christmas. I love to come up with a new theme every year and make it a special focal point in our house, but I don't want to make it overly complicated or spend a ton of money. This year I am just in love with my woodland decor and it was really easy to do!
I normally wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating, but when I heard that Big Lots declared the week of November 16-22 as National Decorate Your Home for the Holidays Week I thought it was a great idea to get a jump start on my mantle. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so jam packed with activities that planning ahead and decorating earlier can make things a little less stressful (plus I can enjoy my decorations longer!). I took advantage of a chance to do some kid-free shopping and headed to Big Lots.
I could not believe the amazing selection of holiday and seasonal decor that I found! Big Lots has everything you need for inside and outside your home (styles and assortment vary by store). The quality and price was awesome - I knew I had found the perfect place to get what I needed to transform my mantle into a Winter Wonderland.
I wasn't quite sure what my theme was going to be until I found their Woodland Collection. I absolutely fell in love with EVERYTHING - the colors were perfect for my house and I love the cozy, natural feel of the collection. I filled up my cart and couldn't wait to get home to decorate.
I started with this chalkboard style Merry Christmas sign as the centerpiece of my mantle. This piece actually does double duty as a serving tray (be sure to stop in the housewares section so you don't miss anything!) I also found this great three piece tray and filled it with cute burlap and twine balls, pine cones, and greenery for a natural look (this all came together in one set of bowl filler).
I added these pieces to the left of the sign. The adorable little raccoon in a sweater was the first thing I fell in love with so he is close to the center. With the Woodland Collection it was easy to coordinate all the pieces - notice how the pine cones and greenery accent the tree and the package. The package also ties in the burlap and twine from the bowl filler so everything is coordinated. I love the red, cream, and brown palette for an understated but still festive Christmas look.
To the right of the Merry Christmas sign, I added these two snowmen. I love decorating with snowmen because I can keep them up all winter long! I wanted to have two that were coordinated but not exactly the same, to represent my twins (they're fraternal). I love how the snowman on the left is so white and bright to lighten up the scene, while the snowman on the right ties in the colors and fabrics of the pieces on the other side.
The finished product! I love how put together everything looks. It's simple and natural yet festive and fun, perfect for our home and our family Christmas.
There was one more piece that I just had to add. Since the fireplace is Santa's front door, I wanted to make sure he would feel welcome and be able to find his cookies and milk.
This wooden Santa sign is the perfect finishing touch - I put him right in front of the fireplace. I also picked up a special plate and mug for his cookies and milk. I love the chalkboard sign that he's holding - it ties into the chalkboard style sign on the mantle, and also allows me to personalize it. Right now, it says "Cookies & Milk," but I have a feeling that Santa himself might write a thank you note to the boys there on Christmas morning.
I am so happy with how our mantle turned out - and how easy it was to put together! By shopping at Big Lots I was able to get everything that I needed in one stop, and since I don't get too many kid free shopping trips that is a huge plus. And since my decorating is done early, I have more time to enjoy the holiday things that matter most (like baking more cookies!).
What room are you going to decorate for National Decorate Your Home for the Holidays Week? For inspiration, tips, and ideas check out the Big Lots Christmas catalog here!