It’s Christmastime in the city…

Handmade gold leaf ornaments from my Etsy Shop!

Okay, so I know I might be a little early to the game – this is especially rare for me, as I’ve written many times about not feeling the holiday spirit sometimes until Christmas Eve!

But this year, the year that I’m “actively living”, I’ve learned that you can’t just let things happen to you – sometimes you’ve got to make them happen. But, I have to admit I had a little help this year in moving the Christmas buzz into my soul: my Etsy shop!

My matte white minis!

Last year, I made some holiday ornaments, and one set in particular (mini matte white ornaments with gold leaf detail) was a little popular. So popular, I drove 20 minutes north during an ice storm and dug through the entire remaining stash of ornaments at Michael’s trying to find a single box of the ones I needed.

I found five boxes and bought them all. So, I had a few boxes left over that stayed in my shop all year. They were sold out before Halloween!

It was definitely a trend I didn’t see this time last year, but then again, Thanksgiving is early this year (can you believe it’s next week?)… and I can’t help but think that the insanity of politics has our country looking for a little bit of festive joy as early as possible.

So, I have been keeping my eye out on the inventory at Michael’s and watching for their big Christmas decor sale, where they mark everything down 50%. That happened last week, and I could hardly wait to get off work and drive to the store, where I also had a coupon that would give me an additional 25% off my entire purchase!

I bought a good amount of ornaments and supplies that should get me through the Thanksgiving rush, but who knows! I spent a majority of my weekend working on ornaments, taking photographs, and posting them in my shop.

This year, I’m offering my classic matte white minis, but I’ve also added new colors – champagne, powder pink, and teal – along with medium and larger sizes. I would absolutely love it if I had an order come through that was big enough to decorate an entire tree, in various colors and sizes of my custom ornaments.

As I worked on my ornaments over the weekend, I was watching some holiday movies on Hallmark, and I was thinking a lot about decorating for Christmas when I was a kid. It was always a big tah-dah.

My dad liked things neat and tidy, so when it came time to drag out the holiday decor, we had to put our every day things away. Once the inside was decorated, we would pick a day to tackle the outside – you could consider our house the Griswolds, in the best way possible.

We had tons of lights, and while my dad often expressed his hatred for hanging them each year, he still did it. We would hang lights from the tree in our front yard, and wrap red and white strands of lights around the columns on our front porch. There were green lights for the shrubs and lighted reindeer that we put in our backyard.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we would line our driveway with glossy paper bags in red, white, and green – they all had little cut outs of snowflakes or Santa. We would line them up in our garage first, and put a little bit of cat litter in the bottom for weight, and then place a tea light inside. Once they were all lit, it was really beautiful, but I was likely too young and much too cold to really appreciate all of the work it took.

Blanche + our Christmas tree!

As my dad grew older, and I moved away, my dad stopped decorating his house for the holidays. I know there were even years he didn’t put up a tree. He also was getting more annoyed with people – hating the Christmas crowds and refusing to drive anywhere on a holiday.

This always surprised me. While I know many people consider Christmas a kid’s holiday, I’m not quite sure I believe that all of the sudden, you can just stop celebrating, especially after so many years of going all out.

Ever since I’ve had my own apartment, 11 years now, I’ve put up a tree. My decor has gone through many evolutions, but I’ve kept it the same these last few years. I have a tall, pencil tree, and I string it with the large, old fashioned bulbs (in white and multi-color). I decorate it with ornaments I had as a kid – I have one I got from my 1st grade teacher, some friends gave me in middle school, and even ornaments I made as a child.

I love getting out the ornaments and looking at each one; remembering the memories surrounding them.

When my dad passed away earlier this year, he willed me many of the Christmas decorations we put out when I was a kid. One of them is one we called “Snowbird” – a large stuffed bird dressed in winter gear, along with an LSU ornament, and even a seasonal Starbucks mug.

As I unpacked these items from the boxes he gave me, I can’t help but wonder if this was his way of letting me know that he’d never forgotten all of those days we spent together – whether if it was him on a ladder hooking lights to the roof or indoors making red and green M&M cookies for Santa – and I’m so grateful for those memories.

So, as I make all of these ornaments for my store, yes, they are certainly fun to sell, but I often think about the people who will receive them. So far, I’ve shipped ornaments to North Carolina, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Alabama, California, and Louisiana! It’s so cool to think that something I made will be a small part of someone’s holiday traditions and memories.

If you’re following me on Instagram @OrangeJulius7 – you’ve probably been seeing my stories of all of the ornaments I’ve made, and even heard that I’m already blasting Christmas music, and diving into holiday movies. Why not?

‘Tis the season!

Take a look at my Christmas ornaments, and feel free to place a custom order if you don’t see the color or size you had in mind! Cheers!

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