Back to December

That's right, Taylor Swift isn't the only girl who gets to go "Back to December." It's that time of year when the world falls in love, and I'm loving every minute of it...Christmastime is always one of the highlights of my year. This year, in my lovely single-lady apartment, I started decorating obscenely early, with nobody to tell me that it was inappropriate to be blasting the Nutcracker Suite on Halloween...newsflash, it's not. 

First, let's start off with the anatomy of building a seven-foot artificial Douglas fir, courtesy of Target (click through!): 

It's one of those trees that really should be foolproof--all the branches are attached, you just flip 'em down, fluff them out and call it a day...but last year, the middle section of the tree must have gotten shoved in the box so hard it bent. So I put my tree up, got it fully decorated, and then noticed that it was leaning at a totally precarious angle. I tried to attach it to the wall with wrapping ribbon, my friend Michael came over and tried to secure it to the exposed ducts, and we ended up propping it in the corner and giving up. The next day, I was totally cranky pants and just undecorated the entire thing, bent the middle section with sheer force of will to straighten it, and redecorated. So, three days later, I had a functional, festive tree! 

Favorites on the ornament wagon this year: Elsa (I'm more obsessed with Frozen than most three-year olds), my hand-painted German ornament from the Minneapolis Holiday Market, this year's Notre Dame collectible (the view of Touchdown Jesus from the stadium), and of course the ND Band globe, which always gets pride of placement right at the front. 


The rest of my apartment is just as decked out! I'm ridiculously excited to have a my stocking is hung by my actual real live chimney with care! 

After our holiday kickoff trip to the Bachman's Ideas House, I stocked up on winter florals and greenery in a big way. There's something about having fresh, growing things that combats the gray-sky blues. I've got my own little windowsill garden and it makes me smile every time I peer out...even if I'm staring out into a blizzard or dense, damp fog. 

My center island plays host to a gorgeous tapestry poinsettia, the most delicious-smelling candle EVER, and a tiny SnowBaby from when I was little. I love bright pops of red for the holidays. 

And my coffee table, which I'm still totally obsessed with, is a bit more eclectic. My rosemary tree has died in recent days and been replaced with a beautiful petite lemon cypress tree that I can keep smell delicious! The WoodWick candle crackles when burning and adds such cozy ambiance, both auditory and olfactory. And the snowman?

My dad's started a bit of an inside joke with my sister about plush holiday toys that sing and move. She has a Halloween owl and dancing treat bag, and this dancing father and son snowman is now at her apartment in Ohio and mine, here in the Cities. It is campy as all get-out and I adore it...they rock back and forth and sing a Christmas-tree-themed version of "Up on the Housetop." Judge's going to be a treasured, warm-fuzzy-creating part of my holiday decor for years to come. 

As for the rest of my place...the holiday candles are all over the place, but my favorite part of the apartment's new holiday trimmings? My plethora of cute Christmas cards! I love getting to see my friends and family first thing as soon as I open the door. It puts such a smile on my face!

I'm a tiny bit anal about wrapping presents. This is the second year I've used my red-and-silver wrapping papers...I can't decide if the chevron pattern or the word search paper is my favorite. I get so irritated if the corners aren't just so or my patterns don't line's an hours-long process to get my gifts wrapped every year!

This year, I did it and rewarded myself with a glass of wine, which helps make everything about the holiday season seem a bit extra merry and bright :) I can't believe Christmas is only four days away! Here's to the season!