Christmas Decor and Holiday Parties

How was your Thanksgiving?  Are you in a turkey coma?  Are you heading out to brave the Black Friday crowds?  If you get a steal today, leave me a comment and tell me what it was?  I don’t usually head out on BF.  If I do it’s usually late in the day when the real frenzy is over and the early birds are back home in bed recovering!

Lots of folks have already started decorating for Christmas big time.  If you’re just getting started, hope this posts offers a little inspiration.  (Click on the titles below to be taken to that particular post/tutorial.)

Pottery Barn Inspired Garland Tutorial:  Make Your Own for a 1/3 the cost:

My heart absolutely melted when I first saw this gorgeous scene in a Pottery Barn catalog.   I tore the page out and saved it, determined to one day decorate my porch with beautiful Christmas garland.  The next year when this same stunning scene appeared once again in the PB holiday catalog, I was done for.  I knew I had to have it for my front porch.

Pottery Barn Christmas Garland Knock-off Tutorial

Unfortunatley, the garland was only 5 feet in length which meant it was going to take 4 strands to completely wrap two of my front porch columns.  That added up to way more than I cared to spend (over $200) so I decided to make my own PB (knock-off) garland.  Here’s how the garland looks in this year’s PB catalog.  Beautiful!

Pottery Barn Christmas Garland


Below is how my knock-off garland looked on my front porch the first year I made it.  I purchased lit garland to make mine.  The PB garland isn’t lit.


Here’s how it looked last year.  This year will be my third year decorating with this same garland and it has held up well.

You’ll find the tutorial to make your own Pottery Barn inspired garland here: Pottery Barn Inspired Garland Tutorial:  Make Your Own for a 1/3 the cost.

Pottery Barn Garland Knock-off Tutorial


Create a Wine or Beverage Chiller for a Party or Special Dinner:  This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to create a Cranberry wine chiller for champagne, wine or any beverage you wish to chill for a party or event.  It also make a beautiful display on your table or sideboard.

Make a Wine Ice Chiller for Parties or a Special Dinner


Make a Colonial Williamsburg-Style Apple Tree Centerpiece:   The first year I made this apple tree centerpiece for my Christmas table, several folks asked for a tutorial.  It may look complicated to make, but it really isn’t.   Your guest will oooh and ahhh when they see it.  It’s always a big hit displayed on a buffet table for a party or for any holiday occasion.

Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree Centerpiece


You can also make it lemons and limes.  Let your imagination guide you!

Colonial Williamsburg Lemon and Lime Tree Centerpiece


Holiday Centerpiece you can make in 15 minutes:  This has to be one of my all-time fave centerpieces to make for the holidays because it literally takes about 10-15 minutes to make with greenery from the yard and the only cost is for the fruit.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece You Can Make in 15 Minutes Using Greenery from Your Yard 2a


 Make a Candy Cane Mouse to Top Off Your Presents or to Decorate your Tree:  I love making these to attach to Christmas presents or as ornaments for the tree.  This is a fun craft to make with children, too.

Candy Cane Mouse Present Topper or Ornament (BNOTP)


Fast and Fun Gift Giving Game, Perfect for a Christmas Party:  Have a party planned and want to get your guests laughing and giggling with each other.   This is a fun game and doesn’t drag out like so many gift exchange games can.  It’s literally over in about 5 minutes and your guest will love it and asked for a copy so they can play it at their next party.

Fast, Fun Gift Exchange Game for Christmas Parties


For additional Christmas inspiration, click on the category heading The Holiday Home at the top of BNOTP.  Then click on the subcategory, Christmas.  Under that heading you’ll find lots of Christmas decorating ideas, recipes, home tours, crafts, table settings and even some tours of your favorite Christmas movie houses like Home Alone, The Holiday, A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation.

Let the season of joy begin!

See you Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. I love the decorations on your porch, especially the first one! Lovely!
    I’m trying to get motivated to decorate next week, just seems as if Christmas is coming earlier and earlier each year! haha Thanks for these great tips and ideas.

  2. The gift giving game is one I have played with a social networking group I belong to. Since there is usually about 25 women, I can attest to how much fun it is!

  3. Thanksgiving dinner with 20 guests went beautifully. Made placecards exactly as you showed on your
    blog. Had pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning!!

  4. I am bookmarking this! So MANY beautiful ideas!



  5. I love all of these they are so inspiration ald jus plain pretty.


  6. Linda Bradford says

    My Black Friday…….Home Depot at 5 am for $5.00 garlands and wreaths and $1.00 Poinsettias. Home by 6am.
    No muss, no fuss.

  7. Great post. Wonderful ideas to get the juices flowing.

  8. Jeannie from WNC says

    There’s no way I am going shopping today, I am going to head into the kitchen this afternoon to make fudge!

  9. I LOVE all these ideas, thank you !!!

    NOPE I would never head out on BLACK Friday……just not a fan !!! I will be on the computer surfing for DEALS !!!

    All the best,
    Kathy πŸ™‚

  10. Your home looks gorgeous as always Susan!! Have a great weekend, I’m spending mine decorating πŸ™‚

  11. My BF is just sitting, I cooked up a storm yesterday.
    I have told you before and I am going to say it again: If I don’t find silver lamps like yours urns, I am going to have a conniption!

  12. I stood in line last night at Target and bought a 50″ HD flat screen TV for $315!! I didn’t even go planning to buy a TV. Go figure.

    I love your porch and watching the filming of that house was awesome. Our neighbors’ house was the Halloween-decorated house for the Kmart ads. It was just fun to watch them transform the house — in June!!

  13. Oh so gorgeous! I have a weakness for lights….lots of lights. I want all the trees in my yard wrapped and lit….my hubby, can only do so many. πŸ˜‰

  14. Beautiful, Susan! So sophisticated and chic! Thanks for sharing such wonderful Christmas ideas!!! πŸ™‚

    xoxo laurie

  15. Oh, Susan,
    I knew, today you were making a new beautiful design for your blog header! πŸ™‚
    I love it! Actually I love everything I see:
    1) The moving chain of lights
    2) The dancing couple behind the window
    3) The Snowman family (sooo cute!)
    4) of course, the always attendant cute kitty (Mr.Max! πŸ™‚ ) and
    5) the sweet home! (Especially decorated for the Holidays, that home reminds me of your wonderful Christmas dolly house… πŸ™‚ )
    Susan, your front porch is a dream! Unfortunately we don’t know PB here, if so, I know I’d love it and keep all their catalogs… lol
    ~Hugs to you~

  16. Love your header all decorated for Christmas! You have included so many wonderful ideas in this post and I did get an idea. Now if only I can find what I need to make it!

  17. Susan, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your dining room centerpieces! Would love to be able to recreate them but that Williamsburg website does not sell those particular forms anymore. Do you know anywhere else that might have them?

  18. Thanks for sharing the pottery barn look a like garland! I may have to pass that one on! It looked fantastic!

  19. It’s always a treat to visit your special blog!
    Love your ideas.

    Sweet blessings to you and may Christmas be awesome,

  20. Hi Susan,
    I love your header…so pretty!!
    I like all your decorating ideas…but, alas, I have no space to decorate with larger pieces.
    I love the little Candy Cane Mouse and have taken the instructions. My family will be thrilled to receive this little fellow at Christmas. Thank you for sharing him.
    Have a good day
    Barb from Australia

  21. I think I’d like you to come on to my house and work some of your wonder!

  22. You have such an amazing site! I love being here and get some really great inspiration for decorating. Thanks!

  23. Everything is sooooo gorgeous, I have been pinning away…almost makes me wish I lived where it snows…ALMOST! Thank you for sharing all the great tutorials, I am going to get busy!

  24. Susan you always share the greatest ideas. Thank you so much and now I know how I want to decorate my entryway.

  25. Oh my goodness, Susan, your porch and everything else is just gorgeous! You have so much talent, and I can only hope to gain a smidgeon of it when I’m reading your boo

  26. Susan, I might have already asked you if you washed/treated your magnolia leaves prior to placing them inside your home. I went to our local nursery today and they were selling branches for $14.99 each! (If I were you, I’d consider having a guard around that gorgeous magnolia. Ha!) Thought about bring them inside and soaking in something…no idea what!
    Thanks for all your help always,

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