DIY: Xmas Edition

This southern boy loves Christmas. I love everything about it! This time of year for me is special because- I know I’ve said this before but, I love traditions. If someone asked me on the street, what my favorite thing about the holidays were, I’d easily respond with- “Traditions.”
The food, the lights, the decorations, the joy and laughter… okay, okay… maybe all of that is my favorite things about Christmas.
This year is extra special because our daughter is now old enough to enjoy this time with us. Last year she was a just a month old, so Douglas and I were up to our noses in a completely new way of life. However this year we are able to decorate, cook, and watch the holiday specials with Alli Mae. Seeing her light up when she saw Frosty or Rudolph for the first time made my heart sing and it is something I will remember forever.

When it comes to decorating, I’m able to dedicate 4 solid days of organized phases.
Phase 1: Garlands and lights
Phase 2: Centerpieces and Nicknacks
Phase 3: the Christmas tree
Phase 4: Outside decorations

Things were a bit different this year because of a 13 month old baby running around. I would have to decorate during nap time and after she had gone to bed. I was still able to stay on schedule with a few tweaks here and there and help from Douglas, my husband.

I have been decorating with the same decorations for years now. I am able to organize each item into different labeled storage bins so I can quickly assemble each step.
When you have kids this is a must, so you are able to quickly find what you need and assemble each task and move on to the next.
I have it down to an easy and fast process that is fun but requires Christmas music.

I thought in the spirit of Christmas, I would share some fun DIY projects helping to enhance your Garlands and Centerpieces.

If you have kids, a fun project is collecting centerpiece materials! In the south we have giant Pine trees that produce huge pinecones that are absolutely perfect for centerpieces and lasts for years!
Give your kids a paper bag and have them collect around 25-30 pinecones.
While they are gathering them, set up your glitter station with glue, paint brushes and either silver or gold glitter along with a drop cloth to collect any mess that may fall.
Paint on your glue to the prettiest and largest pinecones and sprinkle glitter all around them.
Once all the pinecones are glittered, set outside to dry.
The remaining items you will need are all found at
I go there for all of my craft needs. They are also pretty cheap.
With all this said, let’s get started!

We will start with green garland-
I found that instead of just the bare green garland, you can really make your decorations stand out if you layer them. After you have your garlands in place, then string your white lights through it. The more lights you use, the prettier the finished product will look.
After you string your lights, the next steps move pretty quick.
Next, you will need your foliage glittered garland and your faux cranberry garland.
After you have everything, layer the glitter garland over the green garland as seen in “step 2”
Then take your cranberries and layer them over the glittered garland as seen in “step 3”

Now that the garlands are completed, we can move on to the different center pieces.
Dining tables and mantles are perfect for these!

Dining table-
You will need your:
Glittered garlands
Faux cranberries.

Find a red or white table runner that runs the length of your dining table. On top of the runner place your glittered garland. Then, place your pinecones down the middle of your table. I use around 12 or 13 on my display. After the pinecones look naturally placed embellish the final look with your cranberry garland.

2 large white candles really polish the look.
I also have a plastic gold bowl to hold a few cranberries. This helps make all the placements seem more full.

Mantle displays-
These are my favorite. They are really fast to assemble and are beautiful once completed. I use apothecary jars filled with candy to really embellish my final look.
It brings me back to my childhood every time I see my candy jars in these displays!

Lay your green garland on the top of your mantle. String in your white lights and lay your glittered garland and cranberries on top. Use the same 3 step process as before.
Place your apothecary jars in the middle and just like that, your centerpiece is complete!

Our home doesn’t have a fireplace, so unfortunately we do not have a mantle. In lieu of a mantle we use the top of our entertainment center.
I have my nutcrackers to help fill the space because the area is so long, but you really do not need them for a mantle.

These decorations are great because they last for so many years. White lights are usually the only thing I have to buy every year.
The first year I started these particular decorations took the most time. But, every year after… I replicated the previous year.
Being organized helps the process move quickly and seamlessly. Each year, you learn a little more to help you in the following years.

Instagram is a great place to get inspired by different people’s ideas. I have a few that Inspire me daily!
Instagram @marthastewart
Instagram @thefarmhouseproject
Instagram @inspiredbycharm
Check them out and I’m sure you will be as inspired as I am every single day!

With everything that has happened this year with our country,
this Christmas season it is especially important to be compassionate and tolerant, even in the face of cruelty and ignorance.
The holidays are the perfect time to teach our children to be empathetic and learn how to help the less fortunate.
As we teach them to love and be kind to others, they are then helping to pave a brighter future for all of us.

From Our home to yours, we truly hope that each of you have a wonderful Holiday and a safe and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from the Alexanders!
❤️❤️ Erik, Douglas and Alli Mae

Follow our family’s journey on
Instagram @Nolapapa