outdoor christmas decorating ideasToday was rough. If you are like me, you have thought constantly about the families in Connecticut. I had a straight-forward talk with my three older kids tonight. I wanted them to hear what had happened from me and hear the facts, and I didn’t want them to get an incorrect story from their friends. I asked Oaklyn {my 9-year-old daughter} if she heard what happened today, and the first thing she said was, “100 people got shot today.” So, that confirmed the kids had heard bits and pieces about this tragedy from their friends . I snuggled with the kids and told them how hard it will be for the families who lost loved ones. We shed some tears together. We told them that their school is safe, and then we discussed a plan of attack if something like this happened to them. But, we emphasized that it would MOST LIKELY never ever happen to them. I’m glad we had our family talk because it gave us the chance to listen to our kids.
My son Connelly who is in 2nd grade said, “Well, Mom, I could attack the shooter,” and I told him that wasn’t a great idea. But, he was adamant. He wasn’t scared. He wanted to tackle the guy and trip him, or throw something at him. Who knows, maybe he will be a police officer someday. I am grateful for my knowledge of life after death and for my Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness. I don’t often talk about my religion on my blog, but it truly gives me and my family hope especially on a somber day like today. I am so sad that this tragedy happened, and RIGHT before Christmas nonetheless.

In order to feel the spirit of Christmas I think there are things that all families can do. Decorating your home for Christmas is one of those things. In fact involving the kids in the process can be a BLAST! It doesn’t have to be extravagant to bring the Christmas magic. In fact, I’m going to give you a tip {in just a minute} on how you can add some fun elements to your home FOR FREE!!! So, even though today was somber around our house, we still took the time to decorate a small area for the holidays. It kept our mind off the tragedy.

As a part of the Home Depot Blogging Network, I was excited for the chance to do a project inspired by the Fall Style Guide.

seasonalOur first Home Depot Blogger project was also inspired by the Fall Style Guide and was really fun! WE made our DIY holiday wreath for our front door for that project! We stayed with the theme of making your home inviting for the holidays, and we took the inspiration photo to the right and created a fun and festive outdoor entryway.
Of course instead of pumpkins and corn husks, we used other seasonal items to decorate the space. I started by gathering supplies and went to the Home Depot and the amazing associate in the garden center gave me ALL of their Christmas tree clippings! My car was FULL with cut Christmas tree branches.

The best part!?! THEY. WERE. FREE!!! The second best part!?!? They made my car SMELL like Christmas! So, head on over to your local Home Depot and just ask them if they have any spare clippings. They should give them to you for FREE!
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Next I gathered pine cones {from a neighbor’s pine tree, and I already had some giant ones from a thrift store in the past} and dug out some gold ornaments from the garage.

Next I decided that my wrought iron park bench {also from Home Depot} needed a slight transformation. So, I painted it white. I used Rustoleam’s paint plus primer that specifically lists “metal” as a compatible surface on the can. If you have never browsed my spray painting tips it would be a good resource for you if you want to learn some tips and tricks.

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I wanted the bench to be distressed a bit, so I took a sanding block to it and sanded until I got my desired look.
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Next, I placed two small pre-lit trees {that were only about $17.00 each} on each side of the bench to begin the process of adding the holiday cheer to our entryway. Then I started adding the clippings to the bench until I liked it!
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Then came the fun of deciding which ornaments and pine cones to use! HA! It took a few tries to be satisfied, and we even decided the bench needed a wreath to make it more festive along the way! Isn’t it funny how sometimes the simplest little tweak will make the BIGGEST difference!

decorating for christmas

outdoor christmas decorating ideasoutdoor christmas entryway Holiday Decoratingdecorating for christmas lit christmas wreath
I am delighted {get it de-LIGHTED} at the result. I hope it makes my home feel more inviting to my neighbors because it definitely makes me happy!

If you like this post, you may also like my Homemade Christmas Stockings and Homemade Christmas Decorations posts! Thanks for visiting! Hug your kids tight today and everyday.

I linked this post to the Inspired Room Christmas Home Tour 2012 Linky. It can also be found at the Cottage Magpie.


  1. says

    Last night our family lit a white candle, said a prayer and then turned on our Christmas lights in memory of children who probably loved them.

    I too paid a visit to home depot and loaded my truck. Our entry is small so it was a small white chair that I covered. You can see glimpses of it on last weeks post Magical Glimpses. :)

    Be merry and bright!

  2. says

    Your bench is darling as is everything you do. I was interested to read your thoughts on the tragedy and I cried too when I heard the news, but I have been debating whether or not to tell my kids and what to tell them if I do… you had some good ideas…

  3. The Yoder's Four says

    Those pine cones are HUGE! Love them! How nice that you can still spray paint this time of year. The bench looks so festive!

    I didn't used to pay much attention to the news, but when you've got elementary aged kids of your own, something like this shooting just takes the earth right out from under you!! I was weepy all day Friday. :(

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