Christmas Mantel Before & After

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here! It’s time to bring out all that sparkles and shines, all the red and the green, all that smells like gingerbread and pine… I can’t help it, I love this stuff. So when I was contacted by Wayfair to share the transformation of our mantel from drab to fab, plain to off-the-chain (or in reality- just everyday to holiday), I was like, “Count me in!”

I really wish I could have shown you an awesome shot of my autumn-themed mantel, (that wasn’t in existence) before our Christmas transformation. We technically did have a couple small pumpkins that sat on the mantel that I removed right before my youngest son’s birthday party. Actually, I also had to remove the “Minion” balloons to get the following picture. But it gives you an idea of what our mantel might look like on any given day.

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I’ll admit, it looks a little minimalist.

And now with a sprinkling of Christmas cheer! (Drumroll please…)

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You know those picturesque Christmas cards that feature the stockings hung by the chimney with care? Of course, I have to do that too. (Side note: I actually didn’t grow up with a fireplace in our home, and my mother always made it feel like a Christmas card.) Our mantel is a collage of new and old. It’s playful and colorful for the kids, but holds nostalgia for the adults in the house. (I could probably give a small historical account of each item.) Mostly what I love about this decorated area is the sentimental attachment, starting with the fact that my grandpa made this mantel for my grandmother with his own two hands. And I love that this fireplace is a part of all of my childhood Christmas memories and now I get to share that with my children.

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My mom used to hang this plate in our house during the Christmas season over 30 years ago. It actually was in a set of three Christmas dishes that made a regular appearance. I always thought it was so cute. Every dish told it’s own story (in not so many words), the kind of imaginative story you create in your head. There’s no reason not to keep that custom alive. If you’re looking to start one, check out the dishes found here!

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The wooden nutcrackers are part of a tradition my husband and I have started with our children. My oldest son loves to change the numbers for the Christmas countdown. Of course all of the kids love to open their mouths (pull their beards) and adjust all moveable pieces. Classic.

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I know you remember those Santa Bears from the 80’s. We had them. That’s what this bear reminds me of, except the originals were white with those red knitted hats, but every bit as cute and fluffy. This little drummer bear belonged to my husband’s family. I honestly don’t know how the bear became so intertwined with Christmas… but it’s a thing.

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My in-laws gifted us this globe last year. It was an instant favorite. Everyone needs a Christmas globe that comes to snowy life after you tip it upside-down and place it backside-right. If you don’t have one yet, click on the link to check out this must-have! (And if you look closely at the one in this picture, you can see our pool closed for the winter. Like magic… but not.)

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My great-aunt Shirley made this a few years back. She used to make quilts, and had given one to our family when I was young. When I went away to college, it was the only blanket I wanted to bring with me. I guess it just reminded me of family. So, this little handmade tree is priceless; it embodies the spirit of Christmas that just can’t be bought.

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I’ve always loved the Charlie Brown Christmas story (hence all of the stuffed characters). It’s just such a part of my Christmas heritage. (And by the way, Wayfair has a plethora of related options… I’m particularly crazy about the painting of Linus with a wreath.) My parents recorded their voices reading  A Charlie Brown Christmas a couple years ago. It’s the most wonderful/awful gift they have ever given. Of course they had in mind that it will live on after they are gone; so I cry every time we listen to it. (They are still alive and well. I’m ridiculous, I know.) I’m also scared to death that my kids are going to accidentally push a button and erase the whole thing. So on the mantel, out-of-reach, it stays.

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Thank you Wayfair for allowing me to share our Christmas mantel transformation with you! Season’s Greetings!

17 comments

  1. What a beautiful transformation Sadie! I want to sit in front of your fireplace and have hot cocoa and open gifts. So wonderful and inviting! What a special plate. Merry Christmas!!!

    1. It’s such a great movie! I’m glad my kids like it too. It seems like whenever I want to share a “treasure” from my childhood, the kids can’t even pretend they’re interested. Somehow Charlie Brown’ Christmas transcends. Hurray!

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