Friday, December 4, 2015

An easy Christmas centerpiece for the book lover

The art of simple isn't one I'm exceptionally good at practicing.

It's a direction I can feel myself being pulled, like the tuggings of little hands on a mother's skirt, but not something that comes naturally to me.

My natural tendency is to embrace that old adage about going big or going home, doing things to 110%, and giving it all you've got.

{I may have been a child of the 90's, aka the era of the motivational poster.}

It is only recently that simple has become a deep longing of my heart.

It's true that I revamped our Christmas tree a little this year.  You'll spy new stockings on our mantel and new pillows on our couch.  Those small touches are the first we've embraced to change our Christmas look in years, and they make things feel so much more pulled together and harmonious.

But really, I'm all about using what we've got.  Nowhere is that more evident than on my dining room table, which looks like this:

Nothing fancy, and created with items we've loved forever.  And yes, you can see fingerprints all over my dining room chairs.  You've met my three small children, right?  Tiny fingerprints are a decorating staple in my house!

Pledge, you say?  Aintnobodygottimeforthat!

To make this Christmas centerpiece, we used three beloved Christmas books, a metal serving tray, an assortment of candles and some pinecones that years ago I spray-painted gold.

The books are some of our Christmas favorites: The Polar Express (my childhood copy, complete with the taped-up, well-loved cover), One Wintry Night (also my childhood copy) and Elf on the Shelf (a favorite of my sweet ones).  Those candle holders and reindeer tray were part of my mom's collection, and she had them displayed throughout my home growing up.  My favorite part about them is that they cast the most wonderful shadows.

It would be particularly cute to line the tray with evergreen or boxwood clippings, berry sprigs or even a string of small beads.  Instead of candles, you could substitute a Christmas flower arrangement, ornaments  in a glass container, or other beloved family treasures.  But --- we're sticking with that simple theme and using only what we have on hand.

It's pretty clear won't be moving to a tiny house any time soon, but we're enjoying keeping things in perspective.  Besides, this makes it so easy to grab one of those classics to enjoy together in front of the Christmas tree!

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