A Fireplace Fit for Santa

Besides our Christmas tree, the only other Christmas decorations we have in the house are on our mantle (which was cleaned up and painted recently) so we're all ready for Santa to visit.

First, let's see the mantle before I started painting.

After some paint, but still with a bulky, broken glass fireplace screen stealing the show.

Here's what was hidden behind that screen. Not too clean, and kinda scary--who knows what bugs lived (and died) in there?!

With our two-year-old nephew, Isaac, coming for Thanksgiving, I was worried about that screen. It wasn't very stable and was already broken in places, and I worried it would fall (possibly on him) and we'd have broken glass everywhere. Not good.

So I grabbed our vacuum and some dark gray paint (aptly named Charcoal), and got to work.

Two minutes in, I knocked over the quart-sized paint can (thankfully into the fireplace), but I still did some damage:

Nothing catastrophic, but paint on the brick was definitely still noticeable. So we had to paint the brick too (which I wanted to do anyways, so now I had a reason). 

And here's the mantle today, all bright and shiny and clean (and childproof)!

Our stockings and the initials are from my mom.

I made this felt garland back in August after seeing tons of inspiration on Pinterest. Cutting out the felt circles was tedious, but besides that, this was definitely an instantly gratifying project.

After decorating our tree, Sarah and I filled the vase with the extra ornaments.

 She also helped me make these yarn trees. They're very simple: construction paper rolled up tight with yarn hot-glued on top.

Also time-consuming, but its easy and free. Watching Elf while gluing makes the process much more entertaining.

There you have it. Our Christmas decorations that we'll enjoy at least halfway through January. I go through Christmas withdrawal, so I slowly take down decorations and wean myself off Christmas music. Its a sad thing, when Christmas is over. So I'm enjoying this last week of the Christmas season as best as I can!

P.S. We've bought one Christmas gift so far. Holy cow.

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