Jessica Rayome

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

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So the first year Aaron and I were married and living on our own was probably one of the best Christmas' I've had. We were so giddy, like kids in a candy store. It pretty much took all of our will power to not decorate until after Thanksgiving. We got so excited that we ran out to the store that night and bought our tree, and then proceeded to stay up until about 3 in the morning, decorating our tiny, 700 square foot (divided by two floors) apartment. 

I have been very blessed growing up being able to have a wonderful time over the holidays with my family. I want to create that same happy environment for my future children. Part of that, I would argue, involves decorating your home for Christmas. I love how warm and cozy homes feel with all the decorations, especially if this weather ever gets cold!

I want a house that feels lived in. I want to feel like you can flop on the couch or put your elbows on the counter, and I think my style reflects that. When it comes to holiday decor, you run the risk of being cheesy, so I like classic pieces that are neutral colors. I like to bring in elements of nature like this centerpiece, or greenery. I like to convey as much warmth as possible, whether from candles and Christmas lights, to wood and burlap. 

One of my favorite things about our house is that we have a fireplace. This wood insert is wonderful for wintertime, and easy to move for when we want to actually use the fireplace. You can check out my DIY on how to make it here!

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So this was a super fun glittery mess that I made when we didn't have much money to buy actual decorations. Unfortunately, I was not blogging at the time so I don't have a DIY on how to make it. To give you the basics I cut out a design online, traced it, covered it with glue, and covered with glitter. LET IT FULLY DRY BEFORE SITTING IT UPRIGHT. (No one likes a droopy reindeer)  

Of all of our Christmas decorations, this nativity is my favorite. Aaron's great grandfather built this nativity for us and my grandma got us the Christmas figures for our first Christmas together. I love having bits and pieces of family memorabilia scattered around our home, especially for the holidays. (Now if I can just keep my dogs from eating the hay). 

I absolutely love our tree. I made the pinecone garland (again back when we were college newlyweds) and the ornaments are mostly from our childhood and an awesome engagement ornament party our friends threw us. The tree skirt makes me happy every time though, it's the one my parents used for our tree when I was a kid. I'm not exactly sure how I was lucky enough to get it, but I'm not complaining! One of the most relaxing experiences in the world is sitting by the glow of your Christmas tree lights, candles burning, fire lit, and drinking cider. So peaceful, and it just screams Christmas.

How fun are these goofy little trees? I figure I'll keep them in pots for the winter and then put them in my yard when spring decides to show up!

One of the biggest decorating themes I have for my home is making sure that it feels comfortable and lived in. Part of that includes lighting and scents, so of course I needed some holiday candles. Kroger was my one stop shop this year for food and my (Glade®) candles. The Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection scents aim to embody the special moments with friends and family that make the holidays so special. These fragrances, such as the SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ Vanilla Biscotti™ and CHERISH THE PRESENT™ Apple Cinnamon, help bring the scents of holidays into my home.

I am all about the burlap banners, so this "Give Thanks" pumpkin/banner combo is one of my favorites. A few years ago I bought dollar store pumpkins, painted them white, and stenciled the letters. Pair that with the banner, and it's a fun little hint of the holidays. The holidays are all about family and being thankful, so I think this fun piece transcends both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So that's my holiday decor this year! It may not be the most glamorous, but it's simple and it's sweet. Which is forever my goal of the holidays! With three families and typically at least 7 events in two days it can get a little crazy. But it is so nice to sit back and relax, feet up and candles lit, and reminisce on all that we have to be thankful for. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle of the holidays, with the shopping, the presents, and all of the events. I prefer to hide from the shoppers, cram as many family members as we can into one house, and eat a ridiculously intense amount of food.  We play games late into the night, and just laugh. We are genuinely THANKFUL to be together. For me and my family, the holiday season is a time to celebrate what we have been blessed with and to reflect on the love and joy around us and memories of Christmas's past. We sit around the table, surrounded by family and friends, with lit candles, presents under the tree, and food, and are thankful for one another.  

Spread a little bit of your own holiday cheer this season; check out (Glade®) for ideas! I'd love to hear about your holiday traditions, decor & DIY ideas, and more!