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Deck the Halls (+Giveaway!!!)

While the weather outside today may be frightful (well, truth be told, it’s not all that bad, just grey, misty and a bit cold), indoors, chez English is just delightful (it’s for the sake for the rhyme, folks, so humor me, if you will)! I’ve mentioned lately that the holiday spirit descended early this year and has held me in its sparkly, shiny, happy grasp for weeks now. Its effect can be witnessed all over the house (photos to come on a sunnier day), with touches of yuletide decor in every room.

I’d like to share some holiday spirit with you today, because sharing is really the best way to multiply good cheer exponentially. The Phillips solar powered color changing LED painted glass ball lawn stake pictured above will go home to festoon the yard of one small measure reader. The fickle finger of fate will randomly choose a winner one week from today to help light up these dark nights in your own neck of the woods.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is tell me how you like to decorate for the holidays. If you truly gild the lily, tell me about it. If you’re more the Charlie Brown Christmas tree type, lay it on me. Or, if you don’t decorate, but enjoy viewing someone else’s efforts come holiday season, I want to know. Give me what you’ve got.

The contest will run for one week, concluding at midnight EST December 12th. Canadians, I’m happy to spread holiday cheer across the border. Please be sure to leave a means of reaching you, should you be the winner. You can do that via either a link back to your own website or blog, or by leaving your email address in your comment.

May the odds be ever in your favor!!!

UPDATE: The random number widget has chosen #17, El Gaucho, as the winner of this giveaway! Thank you so much to all that entered!!!

44 Responses to Deck the Halls (+Giveaway!!!)

  • I LOVE decorating for the holidays. We always do it the day after Thanksgiving, complete with a hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, which we cut down ourselves!! It isn't the holidays until my house smells like pine…and cinnamon….and cookies….

  • Stephanie says:

    I try to turn the house into a winter wonderland. We buy a real tree every year and always get it the day after Thanksgiving. I stand by multi-colored lights to decorate the tree with and our decorations are very eclectic! We have newer ornaments and ones passed down many generations. Most of the decorations I put around the house are from second hand stores from around the city, or once again, passed down generations. I play Christmas music from October until Christmas (it's kind of sick actually) and we bake a lot of sweets. Then I host Christmas Eve at my house… I try to make it as magical as it was at my great grandmother's growing up.

  • Krista says:

    I typically put some lights up, because seeing those makes me feel holiday-ish. this year we are making a tree out of sticks. otherwise, our house is always decorated with art so there isn't much to add!

  • cabighorse says:

    We love decorating for Christmas. The tree is like a story, every ornament has something to say and that is shared as it is hung. Christmas music plays in the background. Hot dogs and hot chocolate are the traditional meal when the tree is finished. My daughter and I spend an entire weekend baking cookies (15 different cookies, 6 candies) to share with neighbors and the police and fire departments.

  • Ashley says:

    I just decorate the inside of my house. I do put a wreath on my door though.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

  • jen says:

    love the Hunger Games reference. :)

    Each year, we decorate a little more as I amass more decorations. This is the first year we have strung up lights on the outside of our house and I love them.

    Inside it's pretty simple – some garland here and there, a tree, felt stringers, lots of white lights. I love how warm the house always seems at Christmas!

  • Janel says:

    I am a moderate holiday decorator. Truth be told, I would love to do some interesting, unexpected color scheme. However, I can't justify spending a lot of money to make the change, so I'm sticking with my tried and true snowmen with red, green and white.

    Happy Holidays!


  • I'm a procrastinator, so I much prefer other folks decorations. Not to mention we are NEVER in our own home for the holidays… the last time I put a tree up was for my little guy's first Christmas two years ago. We'll be decking the halls with the family again this year…

  • Carrie says:

    I have small kids and like to decorate, we are pretty traditional with our decorating.

  • Emily says:

    I have always loved decorating for Christmas. I have collected quite a few bins worth of decorations. This year we are trying something different. Making our own decorations. Keeping it simple and rustic.

  • Linden says:

    I love decorating with lights, inside and outside. I don't care as much about balls or garland, but lights are the bomb!

  • Daphne says:

    I am a last minute decorator. Just waiting for the mood to strike then tear the house apart to find everything. I can feel the tingle starting…especially after going to see White Christmas on the big screen this Wednesday….

  • Red Rover says:

    My sister's birthday is on the first of December so to make it extra special we break out the tree with all the favorite family Christmas ornaments as well as the ones we have collected from around the world. The favorite part is setting up our German wooden creche. My sister takes that on as her special job, placing each carved figure with care and love.

  • Yasmin says:

    I love decorating for Christmas and do what I can in my small apartment. This year, I put up the tree, placed a wreath on the door and hung the new, monogrammed stockings that I ordered for me and my fiancee!

  • angela says:

    We are definitely the Charlie Brown Tree type of decorators. Thanksgiving weekend we drive out to a Christmas tree farm north of Chicago. Their Frasier fir’s are just our style. Very thinned out you could say. I like to see the trunk of the tree and be able to hang ornaments down the whole branch towards the center of the tree. Once home, we decorate our tree very simply with red, white, and green lights and only the ornaments that have a sentimental meaning.

  • Leigh says:

    We have a Christmas Rosemary we decorate with dainty ornaments that sits on a table draped with a beautiful red cloth that we surround with presents. Stocking are hung over the living room windows, cafe style, and white lights are draped above the pass-through to the kitchen. Simple and festive!


  • El Gaucho says:

    We do decorate, but in an understated way. OK, more in a “putting away all the decorations after Christmas is mildly depressing and we don't like to do it, so let's not decorate too much” way. A few wreaths and an handful of strands of white lights seem to be perfect for the inside of the house.

    Here's hoping to win a bit of garden whimsy!!

  • I like decorating for the holidays, but I think this may go best near our chicken coop. They may appreciate the extra light and the color changing capabilities will inspire my Easter Egger chickens to lay multi-colored eggs!

  • DrewsEm says:

    I love decorating for the holidays! Smell is a big factor…I love the smell of our fresh pine tree, Homemade Gingerbread Men ornaments and touch of citrus from all the candles.

  • Hollie says:

    I love decorating for the holidays! I love pulling out all the decor, and reminiscing about all the memories each piece holds. So fun, and it feels so magical!

  • Sacha Joy says:

    I love Christmas decorations so much but try to minimize clutter, so I've avoided accumulating much so far. But I'm reaching the end of my nomadic 20s and settling down with my sweetie and my baby (due Dec. 12th!), so now I get to think about sparkly festive holiday decor (although this year might just be a tree and a wreath – and a wee little babe). Joyeux Noel!

  • petoskystone says:

    My decorations are rather low-key this year…youngest grandchild is still in the rip & tear stage. The tree ornaments have an emphasis on handmade by relatives. In my bedroom, hidden from feline & toddler predation, is where i display my evergreen figures—glass or wood, evergreens make me happy :)

  • Kalin says:

    We put up a lot of lights, and I have holiday-scented candles that bring home the smell of Christmas (blue spruce, cinnamon spice, holly). We get our tree later in the season so that it can stay up through the new year.

    kalin dot ivany at gmail dot com

  • Bee Girl says:

    We usually put up a tree with lots of lights and ornaments (no theme) and our stockings on the hearth. Super basic, and just perfect :-)

  • Elaine says:

    oh yes! We do like to decorate:))Once December hits it's a month long event. We always have a altar decorated with whatever inspires us. Lots of music and most definitely a tree but always the thinnest charlie brown type tree we can find on the farm. It's very disappointing to the tree farm people:)who of course want us to get a big well groomed tree. We decorate with ornaments, popcorn, cranberries and of course candy canes!

  • Crafty Nymph says:

    I tell my husband that if we don't get a tree by the 5th of December, I don't want one — what's the point I know in some countries, Xmas trees aren't decorated until Christmas Eve, but that's a waste of money and resources, if you ask me. It's now the 6th and we have no Frasier Fir, so I suppose we'll have the Xmas Ficus this year, like I had in my 20s and couldn't afford a proper tree.

  • ProjectHope7 says:

    I love this time of year for decorating, but it has been greatly scaled back since I was younger. I live in a small place in the south now, so I go with minimal decorating. But one tradition that stays the same, is the week after thanksgiving. what used to be assigned to my children, now is assigned to my grandchildren!.. They only came to visit for a few days this year, so we chose “black friday” to put up the tree, decorate, and sing our first Christmas carols… it was such a blessing for them.. they were so thrilled as they dont usually get to have a tree in their own home.
    When I was a youth, I used to love scouring the woods looking for princess pine(think it is now banned to pick actually) and other greens to make wreaths for myself and some of the neighbors… and Thanksgiving always is the first cold weather clue to start looking for wonderful candles with heartwarming scents. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in the days to come!
    Cathy B*****y
    palmbreezeliving dotblogspotdotcom
    pbprojecthope at yahoodotcom

  • Stacie says:

    I love to decorate with homemade decorations, and I like to bring in boughs and greenery from outside. And, of course, I burn festive candles like cinnamon clove or balsam.

  • Megan says:

    For decorating, I love to light a yummy candle, turn on some christmas music, and hang all of the ornaments I have been collecting since my childhood on the tree. This year we got some LED lights to save a little energy. They are so very merry and bright!

  • Kem says:

    My children love this tiny fake Christmas tree we have on our kitchen table. They strung cranberries to decorate it as well as wooden blocks we wrapped to make little “presents” for underneath it. We also love making paper snowflakes for the windows- especially nice because we have no snow yet! I bring boughs in from outside to decorate, but my two favorite decorations are a candle-powered wooden carousel that we had when I was a child and a “smoking Santa”- a wooden Santa who opens up to put a little cone of pine incense inside. You put the top back on and the smoke comes out of his mouth. I also LOVE the needlepoint stockings that my Grandmother made for our family!

  • I love decorating too, but as our house is small, we don'ty go overboard, and have lots of candles on hand. Candles turn every moment into something special. And wonderfully smelly.

  • JEANNIE says:

    My husband and I love to go out in the woods and take the most unusual small tree we can find with twisty branches that has a flow to it. Each year we buy eachother really nice glass ornaments from local artisans. All the ornaments chronicle a chapter in our lives. Then we settle in with a bottle of Rumplemintz. Good times!

  • sarah says:

    We cut evergreen branchs in our woods and make sprays for the outdoor windows and doors, and cut a very charlie brown tree for inside. We have hundreds of ornaments, many homemade, many from when I was a child – you can hardly see the tree!

  • Jody says:

    Lots and lots of candles.

  • Sarah says:

    I like the idea of decorating, but since I HATE clutter, my house, even at Christmas tends to look like the “after” version of a Hoarders episode – pretty bare.

    I can be reached at

  • Michele says:

    do i spy a hunger games reference?!?!

    i go vintage christmas kitch all the way.

  • We live on a tiny island, so I can't feel right about having a tree farm tree ferried across the ocean to us. We set up a hand-me-down fake one. My three little ladies help color sort the branches and we light a spruce-flavored soy candle. Yup, we get asked a lot if it's real based on this trick alone. We carefully unpack great-grandma's ornaments and a few we've made or bought along the way to our current place as a family of five. The girls draw snowmen and wreaths and tape them all over the doors. I take down our piano photos and replace them with the silly photos with Santa, one from each of the past six years. We eat popcorn – love it to much to string. We listen to the music we love, last night the Avett Brothers and somehow still hum Christmas favorites. Last, we string colored lights in the girls' bedroom because they deserve a little magic while they sleep.

  • We're low-key round here. Blending Christmas and Hanukkah with seriously pagan leanings.

    We made a garland from branches of all our 10 native conifers and are calling that our tree. We love it.

    We have a long walk around the backyard to the stairs up to our house in the dark. Would LOVE solar lights. Thank you.

  • Jeanne says:

    Very low key but sentimental. Simple white lights outside with a holly berry leaf on the front door. Lots of candle inside and a tree with ornaments collected over the years. :)

  • Victoria says:

    I'm a big fan of twinkle lights which adorn my house year round. At Christmas, I break out the bubble lights and garland. I love my house decorated for Christmas!

    p.s. Let the Hunger Games begin!

  • redhott says:

    I love the ugly tree. All happy families are the same, ect. I have a free tree and reject ornaments. Every ugly Christmas ball deserves to be loved and I am here for that. My Mom makes me a pretty wreath every year so the rest of the world sees only the pretty parts.

  • Our decorating consists of taking the table top fiber optic tree out of the box, putting it in its base and plugging it in. VOILA. Christmas. hahaha

  • TooeleTwins says:

    I love decorating, but not as much as my spouse. The whole house is transformed. My favorites: a big decorative santa quilt that hangs on our wall, the dalmation ornaments that we got the first year we were together (from McDonald's happy meals – no, we didn't eat all of the meals – bought them just for the ornaments!), and the lei garland we made after we came home from Hawaii to go with the many ornaments we bought in Hawaii (including a surfing Santa and a Santa in a beach chair).

  • Sarah says:

    I love going to cut our tree… Although this year I skipped it- the rain & a 7 m old made it hard this week- so I picked one up off of long shoals. I hang the wreath on the door and the jingle bells on the knob. I like to have the white fairy lights on more too. Minimal decorations on the lower part of the tree- d/t the babe and the puppy.