Our First Christmas In Our New Home

The first holiday season in a new home is always extra special! I was excited to find new spots for all the holiday decor we’ve collected and add a few new pieces to fit any gaps. I am definitely not a minimalist when it comes to holiday decor. I resonate more with Buddy the Elf, honestly. I’m not going to make six paper snowflakes … I’m going to make 100. It’s a defining aspect of who I am. It’s my passion! 

Full disclosure: I am still in the overwhelmed phase of this home/move (both due to Covid stress and also due to being at the VERY beginning of a three-year renovation. So this year I just focused on making it fun and joyful—nothing else! Since it was our first year, I decided to just have fun with it and I can go full “perfectionist” another year. 2020 is NOT the time to let holiday decor become stressful.

So, we put on the Dolly Parton Christmas records and went for it. My 5-year-old helped quite a bit. I’m training her to be a holiday enthusiast as well.

Coffee Maker / Pink Kettle / Wood Tray

I have a new love for cabinet bows. I was influenced by Studio DIY to try them out.

Here’s a link to my green cabinet bows and my star stickers. The bows were a big hit with our kiddos and instantly transformed our kitchen and pantry to be 80% more joyful!

Gingerbread houses are so much fun to make! We used this kit. Our entry table arrived last week and I immediately started decorating it … like seriously five minutes later. Funny story—this mirror (which I love with all my heart and will pass down to my kids probably, I love it that much) has been broken not once but TWICE. Recently, a contractor stepped on it in our garage and we took it to a glass shop and got a new mirror put in again. Do I have bad luck now?

As we were shooting these pics, I had the idea to make our Elf on the Shelf APPEAR for the first time and Amber was able to capture our girls seeing it for the first time of the season. Here we go …

Her reaction is utter shock. Could it really be??? “GOLDIE!!!!!”

It is confirmed by multiple sources. This is the real Candy the Elf … he’s back!

Then Goldie gets a little bit too close and …

Haha. Nova is very protective of Candy and concerned about preserving his magic.

The advent is back!!!!

Tinsel Tree / Pink Tree / Deer Set

I’ve been adding more toys into our living spaces. One of our parenting goals this season has been to encourage our kids to play independently. We’ve come a long way in the past six months.

This Montessori table, as well as adding more toys here and there, have helped SO much!

I painted these stars, coins, trees and cones. It brought me so much joy to put this together for the girls. Here’s a link to the storage tray as well.

Tea Light Houses (similar) / Stocking Holders

Wooo! The tree train was for sure my favorite little addition this year.

Headband / Sweater

2020 has been challenging! It’s a strange phase in life to know we are living in some of the happiest years of our lives, as parents to two little kids, while also living through significant trauma and stress. It’s a lot to try to process.

As we will be missing many of our family members and close friends this holiday season, I am working on making a holiday bucket list and focusing on creating beautiful memories with our girls. My big lesson for 2020 holidays is focus on what I CAN control. 🙂

Sending love to you! If you have a favorite tradition you think our family would enjoy, I’d love to hear it in the comments! xx- Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Kelly. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • beautiful! so happy to see some Montessori inspiration in your home!
    I hope your kids go to a great Montessori School. I love Montessori :p

  • So festive. I would love to see a post about how you play with all the wooden loose parts with your kiddos

    • Hi Valerie,
      They play with them all different ways. Lining them up, making them into pretend food, making rainbows. I clean them up/ put them away at least a few times every week so they are in heavy rotation. 🙂 xx

  • Hahah Elsie! 80% more joyful?!! I want to know how you quantify that! But cabinet bows will likely be a part of my kitchen next year…

    And have you guys gone I’ve skating? Maybe not this year… but I’ve skating and hot cocoa is magical for sure! We are lucky enough to be making a backyard ice rink. This is our second year and it is my kids’ (and husband’s) FAVORITE

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