Tonje Lilleås

How we decorate for Christmas – Blogmas Day 4

You can’t compare our decorations to the ones you see at Pinterest, but today I’m going to show you how we decorate for Christmas.

Childhood memories

My mum is the master of Christmas decorations. She creates perfect scenes around the house that really sets you up for finding the Christmas spirits.

I loved coming back inside from playing in the snow on the day mum decorated the house for Christmas. As I got out of my snowsuit I could see the familiar Santa and wife in the hallway. Santa had these small wrapped gifts in his bag, and I was so curios what was inside. I never opened to check though. In the entrance to our living room mum had hung a Christmas wreath with lights in it. Our living room was filled with Santas, angles and other decorations, and in the sofa the pillows were all Christmas themed.

I had this one favorite pillow with an image of a child looking into a toy store decorated for Christmas. I used to look at it and imagine what the child wished for the most for Christmas. It varied from day to day.

It truly was something special sitting in the decorated living room watching TV at night. My dad had made a fire, and I loved the crackling sound of it. To complete it all my mum used to serve Christmas cookies when the TV Christmas calendar started, and let’s just say I loved Christmas cookies. I had a ton of them. With a glass of milk on the side.

Making traditions of our own

As my wife and I moved in together we started making some traditions of our own when decorating our spaces. The first years we were students with a limited budget, but we still made the best of it with the decorations we had and could afford. I remember when we splurged on these two amazingly beautiful red Christmas ornaments intended for hanging on a Christmas tree. We didn’t have a tree, so we ended up hanging them in the windows. And we kept talking about how they would one day hang on our family Christmas tree. That one day is now.

Apart from the odd ornament and a few Santas, we’ve found our style of decorations mostly involving  bringing nature inside our house. Obviously following our outdoorsy lifestyle some would say. But we have a few pieces that have to be part of our decorations even if they aren’t a part of the nature theme.

A nativity set, lamps and homemade decorations

My wife and I have a few pieces of decorations that just needs to be up in order for us to feel like it’s Christmas. The first is a nativity set we bought years ago. It’s gotten it’s very own place inside our beautiful, green display cabinet. Now we aren’t members of any church, we signed out years ago. However we still find the story about the birth of Jesus a beautiful one, and the nativity set is now a part of our traditions nevertheless.

For special birthdays and other occasions we have gotten some beautiful lamps from my brother and his family. They’re a set of three, and these are so important for us during the winter season in general and for Christmas especially. They look like trees, and gives the most beautiful evocative light. We love them and move them around the house to light up the dark corner of our choice.

Lastly we have a few homemade decorations that have to be present for us to find the right mood. This was so obvious as I was decorating the house in the end of November this year. I just couldn’t find the right mood, and didn’t think the decorations were complete or gave me the right Christmas spirit. And I just couldn’t figure out why. Until I a few days later went down to the basement to check on our drying lamb ribs (we are preparing our own for the holidays). On a shelf I spotted our “Christmas village” as Big Brother calls it. As I had placed it in its window sill, and rearranged the rest of the decorations accordingly, I found balance and the right feeling of having decorated for Christmas.

This is not a show home

How do you manage to have a home looking like that with two small children you might ask. Well, truth is we don’t. The images in this post are staged. The clutter and kids toys are all stacked behind me once I shoot. We can’t have a photo ready home all the time, it has to accommodate life with small children. And so most of the time our house is tidy, yes, but also full of toys and snacks and traces of family fun time.

I love decorating for Christmas, and I hope my kids will have fond memories of our decorated house once they grow up. Just like I have. But more than that I hope they won’t feel like they lived in a show home where they needed to tiptoe around mums decorations. It’s their home as well, and that’s why we this year have added a home made robot to our decorations. And why baby boy gets to play with some of the small and cuddly Santas, even if he doesn’t get to carry around the bigger one as he pleases.

The Christmas tree to top it all off

We usually don’t spend Christmas at our house. Our main tradition is going back home to my parents and spend the whole Holiday at their houses. However this year is different for the most of us, and we’re actually going to stay at home this year. Meaning I (I mean we) get to have a grand Christmas tree this year. You won’t see any images of our tree in this post. We don’t put it up until a few days before Christmas. But I promise you I’ll share images of it later. After all it is the icing on the Christmas decorations cake, isn’t it?

I hope you liked this fourth post of Blogmas! If you did, make sure to pop back tomorrow for some tips on how you can give the gift of an image this Christmas! And if you do want to see more of my images, please head on over to my Instagram or visit my portfolio page right here on the site! 



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