christmas

Holiday Shopping | Christmas Tree

by Jamie Sanford on December 1, 2017

I will be traveling this year and so won’t be putting my tree up. However, I look forward to the day when I will have a house and will definitely be having multiple trees in my home. I don’t know what “Christmas decor overkill” means.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking these links.

Let’s start shopping with trees.


The variety of trees is remarkable. I am not a person who needs a real tree, I think that’s why pine-scented candles exist.


One of my greatest dreams is an upside-down Christmas tree. They sell them with bases that come out of the top, but I want to actually mount a tree to the ceiling so there’s empty space under the tree. I think it would make an amazing centerpiece over a dining table.


I have a collection of ornaments starting from when I was born. Those “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments are quite fragile now, and so I hang them inside the tree a bit so they do not get knocked to the floor. I have traditional decorative ornaments in gold, as we ended up with a slight gold theme after my husband Will suggested that we supplement the white lights already in the tree with extra gold ones. I also have some Hallmark pop culture ornaments that were gifts, as well as ones purchased in our travels. I absolutely have too many ornaments for my current tree, which is another reason why I need a house so that I can have multiple trees.


Lights! My main tree right now is pre-lit, but as mentioned above, we haven’t been able to leave it at that. Once Will suggested adding more lights, we have gone a bit crazy. We have the white lights that came with the tree, and we add regular tree lights in gold, and then we add a few more that have ball-shaped bulbs, some with beautiful texture. This adds dimension to the tree that I did not expect, but I love it and will never go back.


Tree toppers! Since my tree is not the sturdiest, we have utilized a simple ornament-style topper for years, like the Christopher Radko one above. Once I get a more substantial tree that can manage a more robust topper, I will likely struggle to pick one that I like. Now that I’ve seen it, I am definitely obsessed with the peacock.

That’s all for me on Christmas tree shopping and decoration. Tweet me with your favorite Christmas tree traditions.

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Merry Christmas

by Jamie Sanford on December 25, 2016

The obvious choice for a holiday video is this famously hilarious one from Saturday Night Live.

Save

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2015 Home Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on December 7, 2015

Holiday wishlist time! I update my Amazon Wishlist all year long, I think myself very useful for giving everyone at least 50 ideas of things I would like to receive. I am perfectly aware that not everyone wants to buy me a $2000 lens, but that’s why it is a wishlist.

Let’s focus on what is on my home wishlist for 2015.

Swanky bedding! We use quilts and not comforters – I find them so comforting now.

Fornasetti everything, at all times!

I’m pretty into Jonathan Adler stuff too.

Just mermaid things. I currently do not own a home where I can mount the weathervane but I never knew how much I wanted one until right now.

Christmas decor! We are totally minimal on decor this year because we are traveling, but I WILL have a black Christmas tree at some point. I also have a big ambition to mount a tree to the ceiling, upside down. It will happen!

What is on your home wishlist for the holidays? Share in the comments!

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Top 5 Tips for Early Holiday Shopping

by Jamie Sanford on September 15, 2015

In case you didn’t know, you should already be thinking about shopping for holiday gifts.

A while back, I realized that I was absolutely killing myself with stress around the holidays, trying to find gifts at the last minute, and resorting to gift cards way too often. I started shopping early and I haven’t looked back since. To help you get started, use this list of what to do before you start!

1. Make a budget!

I wrote about my holiday gift tracker spreadsheet in 2011, and I have not changed it since. It’s so easy to use (available to download in the post), and really keeps me on track, especially when buying multiple gifts for a single person.

[youtube 3zU14cCRnOM]

2. Start noticing little things about your friends and family.

Your friends and family probably drop hints about their likes and interests all the time. Make notes in your phone or datebook when you pick up on this, it will make for a starting point to finding the perfect gift.

Warning though – something only mentioned once might not be the best thing. Try and identify things mentioned multiple times. I have been on the receiving end of a very confused look for what I thought was so great because he had no idea that he had expressed a passing interest in this one thing this one time.

3. Maximize opportunities for savings/more gift buying!

If you haven’t already, join flash sale sites and start trolling for gifts. This is helpful for your budget and also is a good way to be exposed to lots of options without leaving the house. You will have to work hard to not start shopping for yourself though, believe me. Look to the right column on this page for links to invitations to all of my preferred flash sale websites. Black Friday may also be another opportunity for something special – last year, I purchased amazing Lorac palettes online from Ulta, for $11 each! I will have a Black Friday shopping guide up on the site closer to the date.

4. Don’t forget about host/hostess gifts!

You will inevitably have a few events to attend where a gift for your host or hostess will be appropriate. Shopping early for non-perishables is an easy way to avoid the stress of having to stop and find something on the way to the event (and don’t try and tell me you haven’t done that before). Now is the time to shop for giftworthy bottles of wine or champagne, which you can generally get a discount on when buying in bulk. You can also check out a lovely selection of gift baskets on Amazon, which provide a lot of options for contents and price. Buy a few of these with some gift bows (like these ones that have fiber optics!), and stick one on before you leave.

5. Enjoy the process. Have fun!

Unfortunately, I see more often than not that people see their holiday shopping as a chore, and not as the joyous experience it is meant to be. The holiday season is meant to be fun, and a time to get together with your friends and family, and drink egg nog and have a wonderful time. Gifts are traditional, and they should also provide a joyful experience for all involved. I promise you, starting your shopping now will definitely make the process more enjoyable. No one ever likes being rushed, and you KNOW you will be holiday shopping each year, so take the time to think about it early, save yourself the drama, and all will be delighted.

If you have early holiday shopping tips, please leave them in the comments!

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5 Tips For Jumpstarting Holiday Gift Shopping

by Jamie Sanford on September 9, 2013

Thanks to Alexandra Franzen for the prompt.

I officially started my holiday shopping last week. Yes, I have 4 gifts purchased already.

A few years ago, I realized that I was absolutely killing myself with stress around the holidays, trying to find gifts at the last minute, resorting to gift cards way too often. I started shopping early and I haven’t looked back since. To help you get started, use this list of what to do before you start!

1. Make a budget!

I wrote about my holiday gift tracker spreadsheet in 2011, and I have not changed it since. It’s so easy to use (available to download in the post), and really keeps me on track, especially when buying multiple gifts for a single person.

[youtube 3zU14cCRnOM]

2. Start noticing the little things about your friends and family.

Your friends and family probably drop hints about their likes and interests all the time. Make notes in your phone or datebook when you pick up on this, it will make for a starting point to finding the perfect gift.

3. Maximize opportunities for savings.

If you haven’t already, join flash sale sites and start trolling for gifts. No shame in saving some money! You will have to work hard to not start shopping for yourself though, believe me. Look to the right column on this page for links to invitations to all of my preferred flash sale websites. Black Friday may also be another opportunity for something special – last year, I purchased amazing Lorac palettes online from Ulta, for $11 each! I will have a Black Friday shopping guide up on the site closer to the date.

4. Don’t forget about host/hostess gifts!

You will inevitably have a few events to attend where a gift for your host or hostess will be appropriate. Shopping early for non-perishables is an easy way to avoid the stress of having to stop and find something on the way to the event (and don’t try and tell me you haven’t done that before). Now is the time to shop for giftworthy bottles of wine or champagne, which you can generally get a discount on when buying in bulk. You can also check out a lovely selection of gift baskets on Amazon, which provide a lot of options for contents and price. Buy a few of these with some gift bows (like these ones that have fiber optics!), and stick one on before you leave.

5. Enjoy the process. Have fun!

Unfortunately, I see more often than not that people see their holiday shopping as a chore, and not as the joyous experience it is meant to be. The holiday season is meant to be lovely and fun, and a time to get together with your friends and family, and drink egg nog and have a wonderful time. Gifts are traditional, and they should also provide a joyful experience for all involved. I promise you, starting your shopping now will definitely make the process more enjoyable. No one ever likes being rushed, and you KNOW you will be holiday shopping each year, so take the time to think about it early, save yourself the drama, and all will be delighted.

If you have early holiday shopping tips, please leave them in the comments!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }