This will be my fifth Christmas season blogging. That is so crazy to me. I have a secret to tell you. I actually have started to really like getting all of my holiday decorating done early. You see, I can cheat a little bit because we rarely have Thanksgiving at our home. We return home after Thanksgiving and we are all decorated and just settle in and focus on shopping, wrapping and most importantly, enjoying the season. When I decorate for Christmas, I try to come up with an idea to keep consistently through my decor since our floor plan is fully open. Usually, I start from the mantel and build from there. I have such a fun idea in my head for my mantel this year – if it works. This will be putting my crafting / DIY skills to the test. Fingers crossed! As you start planning your Christmas ideas or actually start on your decorating, I thought it might be helpful if I shared our mantels of the past. Each year, I have loved my mantel and then the next year the new one is my favorite. Clearly, my photography skills have improved over the years as well! Let’s start with my current favorite – last year’s mantel. Honestly, I love it so much I am half tempted to just put it right back up again! It so clean, simple and uncomplicated. You can find all of the details along with the tutorial for how I made the chalkboard by following this link: My Advent calendar window was an idea born many months before Christmas. I had long been on the look out for a window with 24 frames and did not even hesitate when I found this one in the summer. If I were to go back to this mantel now, I might edit a few things off, but truly I love it still! My mantel of 2011 took some serious negotiating skills to complete. I knew I needed the perfect set of vintage sleigh bells to bring it all together. When I found them, the shop owner said they weren’t for sale. I managed to convince him differently! They are still one of my favorite decorating items. In a similar theme, I would edit a few things out at this point, but I love the true rustic Christmas feel. And of course, there is my very first mantel. I love the pops of red and the mirror. In fact, I am pretty sure that mirror is coming back up to the mantel this year. The mini trees were placed in pewter tea pots. So what are your Christmas decorating plans? Do you change things up every year or do you bring back the same favorites? Have you already started? Thanks so much for reading!