Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Vid-mas

Somehow it's turned into an unintended decorating palooza around here...feels like all I've shared recently are decor oriented posts. But this stuff is fun for me to document- I like being able to look back on how our spaces changed (or didn't) over the years. And a Christmas tour has been a tradition on some level since the early days of Bowdenisms. I don't share every year (it'd be pretty redundant sometimes...) I did it up big for our first Christmas in Columbus, but then didn't share another full photo tour until last year (mostly it was more of the same in between there...just amassing more and more trees over time). And if you go way back- I shared what Christmas looked like in the early days: 2008, 2010, 2012).

I sort of flip flop between totally LOVING decorating for Christmas, and not wanting anything to do with it. Back in my retail days I was super scrooge-y, but after setting up 10 jillion trees for work before it was even Labor Day, I wasn't exactly eager to do it all again on a personal level. Since then things have balanced out a little, and I've gotten back into the spirit. A few years I've actually (admittedly) gone a little overboard...I got a little carried away when we first moved in- moving into a new house had me all sorts of inspired, so I dressed this place from top to bottom. Then last year we had our foster girls, so I wanted to make Christmas SO SPECIAL for all of the kids.

This year I've landed back in the middle somewhere. I'm super excited for Christmas, and can't wait to do all the activities, eat all the snacks and make all the crafts, (as you know...Christmas is basically my Halloween) but I don't necessarily feel the pressure to go all out with the decor part of things. That might sound silly coming from someone who has set up 7 trees this year, but "how much is too much?" is pretty subjective. Basically, I'm putting up anything that makes me super happy (trees! Christmas cards! lights! more trees!) and skipping anything that feels like more work than it's worth (

We normally use Thanksgiving weekend as our decorating time, but it was super early this year and I thought it would be nice to have a bit more of a break between the madness of Halloween and the chaos of Christmas. So I thought I'd wait until December to decorate  But then...about five minutes into Black Friday, I realized three day weekends don't come around often, so if we wanted to get things done, this was probably our time. I still thought we'd wait to get our (real) tree until later in the season. But then...we had a Sunday with no plans and the world's most perfect weather, so we just went for it. ("Get while the getting's good" tends to be my motto with children).

So...that's how I found my house fully (but not FULLY) decorated for Christmas by November 25. Wasn't the plan, exactly, but I'm loving it. We've had Christmas music playing pretty much non-stop since then, and I've already burned some pretty big puddles in my evergreen candles. It's good stuff.

As for the tour- honestly, not a lot has changed since last year, so instead of sharing a bunch of nearly identical photos, I thought it would be fun to do a quick (relatively speaking...nothing is ever actually quick with me) video tour instead. This way you get a sense of the space, some of the "color commentary" on different things, and a couple cameos of my kids being wildly unsupervised 

I give you: The Bowden Home: Christmas, 2018

Sharing Christmas- 2018 from Courtney Bowden on Vimeo.

And now, a couple of notes for posterity- really just for me to look back and fact check myself when I'm setting things up next year:
  • I had to rewire my beloved silver tree after two strands went out (and no amount of replacing fuses was fixing it). It took two trips to the store because I underestimated the number of lights needed (Christmas lights follow the military mantra "two is one and one is none", which just means I've learned to buy twice as many as I think I'll need, and it will always be just barely enough). At Home (the worst name for the BEST store) no longer sells this tree or my other "favorite" (they're all my favorite) gold tree, so I've been trying to be a little more conservative with how much I use them. That is to say, I keep them on only about 18 hours a day instead of my preferred 24.
  • The aforementioned "7 trees" are as follows: Bedrooms: 1-4, Kitchen, Living room (our only live one), and a modern one without lights in the bathroom. That one isn't shown in the tour, but is a lovely little silver number that wiggles and shines whenever the kids mess with it. Which is always.
  • We keep it simple outside, and just do a wreath with white lights on each of our 3 main windows, 1 over garage, plus a red and a green spotlight. But after years of being on the fence on these tacky/awesome light projectors, I've determined I'm totally in the market for a snowflake version, so we'll see if that gets added to the mix in the next few weeks. I did had to rewire one of the wreaths- which I'm nearly sure is the second one in two years. I should probably spring for LED strands so I don't have to keep up this song and dance every year, but to get them to match I'd have to rewire all thanks. 
  • I am trying really really (really) hard not to buy any more decorations, and for the most part I'm staying strong- unless you count the glass food-shaped ornaments that keep finding their way into my cart on regular errands. (New on my kitchen tree: a taco, burger, french fries, popcorn and pizza. Also a flying pig, which isn't edible, but still delicious in her own way). 
  • I'm also rendered completely powerless by Christmas books and tiny priceless-artsy-memory-making-but-will-want-to-throw-away-nearly-immediately-upon-completion crafts. So....those are filling any of the void left by my lack of garland. And then some. (This is technically supposed to be a note to future me, to explain that we're all set, and I need to chillllll, but if I know anything about future me, I know that she's not prone to listening to that kind of fun-killing sensible advice, so...yay books!)
Once I get going here, I kinda can't stop, so I'll force the wrap up here, and just say that if you want to see more...COME OVER! It's a cluttered-up, loved-in, wonderland of beauty and nonsense, and we are so very blessed to have it.

OH- and while we're getting all multi-media with things, here are a few of the playlists and songs we've had on rotation year:

My go-tos: 
Acoustic Christmas (so much goodness. The Oh Hellos. The Civil Wars. Other great bands that start with The) 
Christmas Songs (a pretty standard pop playlist that is picking up where my expired Pandora subscription station left off)
Branches- Songs for Christmas (gimme banjo all day)
A Johnnyswim Christmas (because I don't say #goalz but if I did, they'd earn it) 
What a Glorious Night (One of the songs from our kids' Christmas programs that I just CAN'T STOP SINGING!)
Olaf's Frozen Adventure Soundtrack (I forgot this was a thing and legit squealed in delight when I stumbled upon it again this year)

Some new mixes I found by @BevCooks (full of non-traditional awesomeness)
Twinkline Tinsel and Evergreen Mix
Cookies and Milk and 'You Serious, Clark?' Mix

P.s. For all things merry, check out all of our posts of Christmases past here on the blog, or on Instagram: #bowdenschristmas. And if you're here for the quality film making (sarcasm emoji!)- you can catch up on our other videos on Vimeo.

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