Can you believe how quickly the holiday season crept up on us this year? I had to pinch myself when I realized it was already time for the annual My Home Style Blog Hop: Christmas Tree Edition. Where did autumn go?!
Truthfully, I’m totally okay with how fast time is going if it means we’re that much closer to Christmas. This is my favorite time of year, and our family gets so excited that decorations go up as soon as the last Halloween pumpkin is put away.
If you’re hopping over from the House of Hipsters blog, welcome! I’m a huge fan of Kyla’s eclectic style and absolutely love her fun Christmas display.
If you’re one of our regular readers and have just found yourself in the middle of this blog hop, you’re in for a treat! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full blog hop schedule.
A French & French Christmas Tree
Last year, I mentioned our family’s tradition of going out into the Pecos National Forest to find and chop down our Christmas tree. So many of our readers said how much they loved this tradition, so we thought we’d share some photos this year!
We’ve been following this tradition for as long as I can remember, and it’s so wonderful to be able to pass it down to Isla and my brother’s kids. Homemade hot chocolate is a must on these outings, along with my husband Matt’s special saw. Once we were in the Pecos wilderness we realized the bag of tools had been left next to his parking spot at home! He made a saw out of scraps that he found in his truck. A weathered branch, an old rusty saw blade, a found screw and some wire saved the day.
Our style is more rustic and bohemian than it is perfect and polished, and our Christmas tree always reflects that. You won’t find a gorgeously full tree in our living room! We always bring home the most sparse tree we can find (Charlie Brown has nothing on us) and rely on our assorted collection of ornaments to make its beauty shine.
The French family Christmas tree style is fun and traditional. In fact, our tree looks pretty much the same year after year, and decorating it with the same old ornaments is a tradition in and of itself. Isla loves unpacking all the ornaments when they come out of storage, and she gets really excited hearing about their stories — where we found them, who gave them to us, how old they are.
The way I style my Christmas tree is based on an English Christmas tree I saw a long time ago — so long ago, in fact, that I couldn’t even tell you where I saw it! I just fell in love with it, and it’s been my inspiration for many years now. Our style is all about traditional ornaments and plenty of tinsel. So much tinsel. We’re still finding strands of it around the house from last year!
Photo by @christopherspitzmiller in Connecticut
Christmas Tree & Decor Tips
You don’t have to change it all up
My number one Christmas decor tip is don’t try to reinvent your style every year. I totally understand the appeal in themed trees and trying to do something creative and fun every year, and if that’s your style, then absolutely go for it! But for us, traditions are key.
We all know just how busy the holiday season can be, so do yourself the favor of keeping things beautifully simple. You don’t have to go over the top and come up with a new decoration style if that’s not what’s important to you. Spend that extra time with your family instead, celebrating old traditions and building new ones.
Keep the spirit year-round
I mentioned that I’ve found a lot of my decor at thrift shops and garage sales, and believe it or not, I’ve always found the best stuff way before the holiday season rolls around (including my traditional German Erzgebirge, which I love).
Whenever you’re thrifting, keep an eye out for Christmas decor year-round and I can guarantee you’ll find some future favorites. Plus it’s a great way to keep the Christmas spirit going all throughout the year!
From Our Family to Yours (Freebies!)
I absolutely love our family’s tradition of sending out Christmas cards each year. It’s an extra chance to get creative around the holidays, and we send out a card to pretty much everyone — family members all across the U.S., clients, Isla’s teachers, our neighbors… anyone we can think of!
Store-bought cards can be really beautiful, but there’s something special about giving a card that you’ve put some extra love and creative thought into. To help you create your own card this year, here is a Christmas card graphic to get you started.
I’d love to see what you come up with! Be sure to send us a virtual card by sharing your design on Instagram and tagging us at @frenchandfrenchinteriors — we’ll even share our favorites on our stories.
As with most families, a big part of our Christmas celebration also revolves around delicious food. Lucky for us, my brother Josh is a professionally trained chef! He owns ‘The Hollar’, a charming restaurant in Madrid, NM that is an absolute must-visit if you’re ever in the area (yes, I’m biased, but his cooking truly is fantastic).
His Green Chile Beef Stew is a family favorite, and he’s shared the recipe with us to share with you!
If you happen to whip up a pot of stew for your family this Christmas, we would love to see how it turns out! Share it with the hashtag #hollarcomfortfood so we can see!