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Merry Christmas Mantel

Dec 15, 2016 | All, Christmas

It is that time again—time to redo our mantel for Christmas. Because it is a celebration of Christ’s birthday, I always use a nativity somewhere in my decorating. This year I used it on our mantel.

As usual, I started with a clean slate. Then I tried several different accessories to see which direction I wanted to go. The tall trees and the large deer would have worked but because they are so large, I would have needed something at least as large on the hearth to balance the mantel. I was afraid that would have made the fireplace overpowering in our rather small living room.

I love those large angels; I have several angels and could have done a mantel entirely with them. I decided to use the large angels, star and garland, but the berry wreath and pretty homemade angel went elsewhere.

But, as you can see, I decided to use one of my nativities on the mantel. I used a pine garland with two strings of tiny lights wound into it as background. Next came the large star. It needed to be up on a box for height. Isn’t it pretty in front of the mirror?? For even more height I added the wrought iron candle sticks. I did a “dry run” with the candle trees, angels and nativity until I was satisfied with the placement. Then I placed the pine trees next to the mirror, with soup cans under them—completely disguised by the greenery. Next came the angels, the three main nativity pieces (with a small flat box under them), and the big trees on the ends. Then I filled in with the rest of the nativity and a couple more little trees. When everything passed my (super critical) eye, I added red berries for color and cotton batten to add a finishing touch.

I have included close ups of several of my favorite pieces. Although the finished display has many pieces, it is saved from busy-ness by a unified theme and a limited color palette.

Final thoughts: Christmas can be a hectic time—Christmas decorating, while fun and very satisfying, comes with deadlines. Other Christmas activities demand our time also. And it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important. But, when evening comes and we are relaxing in front of our fireplace with it’s pretty mantel, and soft Christmas music playing, the stress of the day fades away and all we are left with is a warm sense of calm and peace.