DIY Holiday Decorating

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My family is in full holiday gear over here in Germany. Last year, we moved right at the start of the holiday season, and I feel like I spent most of November and December in a total fog. It’s easy to feel lonely and homesick when you are as far away from home as we are (which is 5823 miles as the crow flies, if you really want to know).

Growing up, my mom outdid herself every year. Our home was always decorated, smelling of cookies and cinnamon and fresh cut Christmas trees. Happy holiday music and movies played all winter long. We had this family tradition of putting on our “dorkiest” Christmas hats (lovingly called “dorkwear” in our home” to go out a pick a Christmas tree. Not any ‘ole tree would do either, our family Christmas tree had to sing to Mama, so we would each stand behind our favorites singing Christmas carols in the hopes that she would pick our favorite tree to go home.

Taking “Dorkwear” to the next level. We’re kind of perfect for each other, don’tchya think?

My Daddy in his “Dorkwear”

Training the younger generations in family traditions

I don’t mean to get all nostalgic, because more often than not Christmas in my home was more like the Griswold’s Family Christmas than anything from a story book (for an idea, my mom’s #1 Christmas request was for there to be not peace on earth, but “peace in the family”… for just that ONE day… phlease!). But- even when the family was in town and acting crazy, even when the oven broke, and the visiting cats (doesn’t every family travel with cats?) were scaling the tree, and the kids had finals, and California was as snow free and sunny as ever-

It felt like Christmas.

My Mama works so hard to bring the holidays home, and this year I am too far away to get my little family home to enjoy it. So- I am going to do my best to channel my Mama (I know many women cringe at the idea of “turning into their mothers”…. But I would be happy for some of my mom’s enthusiasm to have rubbed off on me! And maybe her organizational skills. I did get her dorky side- so that’s good) and make Christmas something to remember for MY kids.

Day 1- Decorating for the Holidays

Pintrest has been my very best friend in getting my home ready for the holidays. As a military family so far from home, I haven’t had the typical option to head down to walmart and load up my cart with low-cost decorations. I’ve had to get a little creative, and pintrest has come to the rescue. I’ve tried to keep the decorations generic enough so I can use them for thanksgiving AND Christmas.

Here are some of my favorite decorations I have made so far:

For this, all I did was arrange a bag of Christmas potpourri in a large, cylinder glass vase. Then, I tied it with a strip of burlap and a piece of ribbon. Easy peasy, and smells good too.

This candle is all over pintrest- I took a vanilla candle, placed Cinnamon sticks all around it, and then tied the whole shebang with ribbon. It smells AMAZING. I’m a little worried that the sticks may catch fire, but man, it would be a yummy smelling fire. Burn with caution?


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  1. Love the Christmas sweaters! LOL I’ve pinned a lot of ideas for holiday decorating etc too, but haven’t followed through on many of them. I’m always impressed to see someone that has done that. 😉 Thanks for the inspiration!

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