reality: i waited too long to order the wreaths. i tend to do that. they were sold out. garlands are expensive. i thought we had more white lights than we did (only one short string in the rubbermaid tub). we have been traveling so much that it didn't make sense to put up a tree.
so i ordered cheap artificial outdoor wreaths from amazon. not boxwood, like i originally envisioned, because i couldn't find them at a reasonable price point. we put them up on each window, but not the front door. still haven't been able to figure out how to hang it successfully on the storm door : ) and still haven't changed the door or storm door. eh. maybe next year?
i bought a single strand of icicle lights for across the front porch. it's almost the right size. but it doesn't hang straight. there are recommendations online, but they mostly involve a lot of time and a hair dryer. nope. does anyone have an easier way?
then i wrapped two columns with white lights. we did not wrap any garlands - too expensive. i might order an artificial one for next year (yeah, yeah, i know - because it worked so well last year). but wouldn't the porch railing look pretty with a green garland?
inside, i did bare minimum decorating. number one on my after-christmas list is stocking holders. i really like the topiary ones from ballard designs, but unfortunately they don't carry them anymore.
maybe i could make them? maybe not. but i really like them. this year i just set the stockings out on top of the fireplace. which looks a little silly. i'll keep searching for hangers. we also did not put up a tree. we went to key west with phil's family the week before christmas, so we didn't think it was worth the hassle. however, my beautiful friend alycyn sent us a gorgeous small tree from a cute old town florist. what a fun treat on christmas eve!