Since we're having a California Christmas and not spending 1-2 weeks in Chicago with my family, I felt more compelled to make our home feel festive over the next few weeks. E and I had several discussions about the purchase of a Christmas tree. We were concerned about storage (we don't have much closet space in our house), and we had a very tiny budget. But I really wanted something. We finally compromised on a little three-foot pre-lit cutie. It is the perfect fit for our current living room, and we'll keep using it as decoration even when we start purchasing larger trees.
I set it up on an end table and covered it with a $5 throw blanket I found at Wal-Mart (FAR cheaper than purchasing or even making my own tree skirt!)
On the mantles: lights leftover from our wedding decor, antique silver bowl full of red and white ornaments. Candle trio, and candle centerpiece, both from Kohl's
A few of our favorite ornaments. A Dachshund for Pookie (E's family dog), and the leaning tower of Pisa - one of the few souvenirs we took home from Italy.
Then, this past weekend we had our annual friends Christmas gathering with gingerbread house decorating. My team did a great job with our house. We used homemade gingerbread and I'm now devouring this house at breakfast...Nom nom!