What You Should Never Hang on Your Christmas Tree

What You Should Never Hang on Your Christmas Tree

 

Bedroom Christmas

It’s official….Christmas decorating has started here at Thistlewood Farm.

Yesterday there was turkey and dressing and biscuits and mashed potatoes and green bean salad and macaroni…..

……and 37 boxes of Christmas decorations.

37 boxes?

How did they get there?

*sigh*

 

Desk Christmas

I can remember when all I had to decorate with was a box of shiny red ornaments and a little ribbon.

We were newly married and living in an old farmhouse that had seen better days.

All we had to our name….was wedding china and a few pieces of furniture that our family had given us.

Living on love without anything left over for Christmas decorations.

 

Red and White Christmas Tree

 

So we went to a neighbor’s farm and cut down a tree.

It was kind of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree….there were big branches missing and it kind of leaned and looked like at any moment…..without the slightest bit of provocation….it would topple over.

But I didn’t care.

I loved it.

It was my first Christmas tree and I cut ribbon bows and tucked pine cones in it and hung those shiny red ornaments on every branch.

 

Christmas Decorations

 

And then….for the finishing touch….the icing on my Charlie Brown tree….I baked dozens of gingerbread men.

They weren’t very fancy.  They looked more like ginger blobs then men….but I decorated them with great gusto and Christmas cheer and hung them everywhere.

I hung them on the tree with ribbons.

I hung them in the windows and doors and from the back of chairs and cupboards.

Until every inch of that old farmhouse was covered with grinning….bright-eyed…..bow-tie wearing….gingerbread men.

 

 

An entire farmhouse decorated from almost nothing.

I was so proud.

So all about myself and my budget Christmas decorations.

Gingerbread men?  Who knew?

 

Monogrammed Present Topper

 

It wasn’t until later that my husband called me into the kitchen.

“Why did you make the gingerbread men with only one leg?” he asked in a puzzled voice.

We both turned to the smiling bedazzled gingerbread man hanging in the window.

 

I just shrugged.

It must have broken when I hung him up there,” I said with a smile.  ”But at least he’s cute.”

We smiled at each other and our little one-legged gingerbread man in our little farmhouse festooned with homemade Christmas decorations.

Decorated with love.

 

Christmas Desk

 

I was so busy over the next week….wrapping and drinking hot chocolate and window shopping and watching “Prancer” on television….

….that I forgot all about the gingerbread man with the missing leg.

Until….

Until I saw another one on the tree…..

…..missing part of his head.

And another one….missing part of his arm.

And then…..I heard one as it dropped to the ground…..

….completely chewed to pieces.

 

Christmas Armoire

I SCREAMED.

And jumped on a chair.

Wildly hopping around and hands waving and yelling for my husband to immediately get every gingerbread man out of our farmhouse….as far away as possible.

Because those half-eaten gingerbread men were no accident.

It seems we had plenty of friends.

Of the furry four-legged whiskered variety that were enjoying Christmas at the farmhouse, too.

 

Christmas Mantel

 

I don’t think I really ever recovered.

As a matter of fact….I’m sure.

Because when I unpacked those 37 boxes of Christmas decorations…..full of ornaments and garland and trees and mistletoe…..I double checked one more time…..just to be sure…..

…..that there was not a gingerbread man in sight. :)

 

Southerm Proper Monogram

 

PS  If gingerbread men aren’t your thing, either…..but beautifully monogrammed ornaments are……check out Southern Proper Monograms.

They have small monograms and medium-sized monograms and large monograms and single letter monograms and three-letter monograms.

And they are amazing.

And perfect for present toppers and to tie-on stockings and add to wreaths and hang on the tree.

And every one of them is one of a kind…..

…..without a gingerbread man to be found :)

 For more monogrammed projects….be sure to check out my monogram projects page.

Please note:  This post was sponsored by Southern Proper Monograms…. but all opinions on monograms and gingerbread men and Christmas decorating were completely and utterly my own.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

 Sharing this over at Funky Junk and Kim’s.

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Comments

  1. Surprise! I made gingerbread men the first Christmas in our first home, too. The difference is we ate ours. I even made one for our dog.

    I’ve been busy “de-Autumning” this morning so that the Christmas decorating can commence. And, I had some Thanksgiving dressing for breakfast.

    Happy Holidays KW.♥ It is looking wonderful as you’re decking the halls.

  2. Oh KariAnne, I knew exactly where this was going when you mentioned old farmhouse… you see we’ve been in that situation. and it wasn’t too long afterwards that we got a cat, a wonderful mouser of a cat, a big ole tom who had lived on his own out in the “wild” of a cat, a big lover boy of a cat who took his job seriously! You poor, poor thing! (we currently have a mouse or two in our garage who has been eluding traps… ugh!)

    Enjoy your decorating! Currently I’m playing around trying to avoid finishing up some decorating work I started but am not sure how to finish as well trying to decide where to hang my childhood chandelier.. :) A friend rewired it and fixed it for free… it almost makes me cry I’m so happy! We bought it in Germany when I was a girl and my mom had it hung in every single rental we ever lived in…. and now it will grace our home!

    Have a wonderful day!

  3. I screamed too. Oh my goodness!

    Sweet post of Christmas past!

    Love your white and red – totally different from my decorating so really fun to see!

    Heading over to check out her monograms now, thanks – I was seriously coveting yours earlier then got to the end and whoo hoo now I know where it came from.

    Happy leftover eating!

    xxoo

  4. Hi and happy Friday!!! I am waiting for guests today so can’t even take the fall stuff down yet:(:( I am SO antsy to get started. I LOOOOOVE your erd and white tree in the bedroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I want a tree in our room too. I won’t tell my hubby you are my inspiration:) I remember our firat tree too, and the fact that there were precious FEW presents under that tree for our new son. But I remember those days as being WONDERFUL. I hope you never see another “critter”again:):) XO, Pinky

  5. Oh Wow! I was dreaming while reading the story and looking at all those beautiful pictures! You are amazing!

  6. PS

    Love those awesome wooden monograms- just ordered one for myself and one for my eldest daughter!

    Thanks for the heads up on those, Karianne!!

  7. This is hysterical! Fortunately all those years ago, my mother told me that down here in the South it was not a good idea to put anything edible on a tree unless it is tightly wrapped! Roaches and other varmints will have a field day, for sure! I do use candy canes sometimes, but they stay in the wrapper. I am pretty sure I have some that may be petrified by now, so old the probably are. My cousins out on the dairy farm always strung cranberries and popcorn to put on theirs — but their tree was put up Christmas Eve and removed the day after Christmas. If they ever had unwelcome visitors, I guess they never mentioned it. But my mother still would not let us do it — so who knows? I used to have an arts and crafts shop and I had a lady who made fake ones out of some kind of inedible dough. They looked like the real thing. For those crafty enough, I guess that is the way to go.

    Hope you all had a great TGV!

  8. Now, if you hadn’t said it was definitely the four legged, whiskered, lightning speed creatures, I would have said that maybe my brother was in your house…for you see, my brother (bless his heart) was always doing that sort of thing to us girls…we girls who carefully baked and proudly displayed our creations, only to find a bite taken out of them…

    Love your “decking the halls”…so beautiful Kari!!…

    Love those monograms!!…my monogram from Southern Proper will go from the wall to a wreath soon!!….Have a happy!!!

  9. wonderful memory, wonderful story!

  10. EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!

  11. I love monograms …
    and white Christmas trees …
    and headless gingerbread men …

    Here’s to getting out those bins and decorating up a Christmas storm.
    Kelly

  12. Love all of the red and white! When my husband and I were first married and living in Oregon, we shortly found out we had visitors, as well. We had mice AND rats! The mice were quiet…the rats….not so much. I could hear then nibbling the walls as we tried to sleep! We realized they were being attracted by our very close-proximity neighbors who were vegetarians and were piling their veggie remains in a compost heap. Ugh! A few weeks and some d-con later, awful smells. I hate rodents!!

  13. Not a creature was stirring…
    EXCEPT for a mouse!

  14. Beautiful Kari! I was really hoping for some pics of those gingerbread men, tho ; ) We just got over a mini-mouse invasion and we are smack dab in the middle of the city. Guess they’re impartial as long as there’s food involved!

  15. Oh- i loved this story. I had Gingerbread men all over our house, too. the first year I noticed a few were missing their arms and legs but only about 3 foot up on the tree. Then, I watched in awe as the 2 year old went over to the tree and quietly bit off yet another leg. Did you ever change a “gingerbread”{ diaper? It is NOT pretty! Blessings to you- Everything is looking beautiful at your house. xo Diana

  16. You wouldn’t hang real food on Christmas trees here in Australia they would be swarming with flies and cockroaches and maybe mice too (except we have cats) in no time!
    Here’s to a fake decorations at Christmas. Cheers!

  17. Great story! It goes so well with cold stuffing, more football, and Christmas bins! I don’t know where to start. I don’t quite have 37…but, it’s still overwhelming. More pretty pictures, please Karianne! ;)

  18. Loved all your pictures! Love the red and white. I pinned your bedroom – so pretty.

    The mice – not so much. I KNOW that I would freak out if I saw one. Ugh!

    We had a beagle who ate some of the Christmas decorations off the tree, lol! One of the ornaments was made out of an ice cream cone. She ate half of the cone, lol! We still hang it in memory of her.

    I have a question. In one of your shots there’s a red word that is lying across some red and white boxes, (with a little red and white ball to the right of it). I have to admit that I just can’t figure out what the word says. I thought it was “Believe” but it looks like it starts with an “R” but it doesn’t look like “rejoice.”

    I know this isn’t life-altering but it’s driving me crazy that I can’t figure it out, lol! So, please satisfy my curiosity and tell me, what’s the word?

  19. OMG….Great story. More pictures please!

    Cynthia

  20. Well, that was too funny! Our home is in the country and one year I found that something had been in my sealed Christmas containers that were in the attic. I now have a couple cats that go outside and they do the trick! And, love the red and white theme – very striking and so you! Those reindeer look familiar too!

    Blessings,

    Doreen

  21. Beautiful decor. So simple, yet fantastic!

  22. So a creature was stirring that Christmas then, Karianne? : ) I would have been freaking! Love your bedroom decorations. How wonderful you have a fireplace, not just for the fire but to decorate as well. Love the red and white combo.

  23. It’s me again. I came back because I forgot to say the chairs look fabulous.

  24. Ahhh your house is to die for. I can not even imagine having a room that big to decorate..Love all the red.
    tammy

  25. I LOVE all that red, and the monograms, and the idea of gingerbread men on the tree … just the idea of it. ;)

  26. I love, love all the red! My favorite color ~ Your home is so beautiful and this room looks stunning! I can’t imagine having a bedroom that large so please enjoy it for me too. :) I would have been on top of the table myself ~ eek! Those things scare me to death. Sounds like such a wonderful beginning though with your little tree, red ornaments and ribbons.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  27. Everything is so pretty! What a cute story. I had to laugh, though, because when I saw the title I expected to see a picture of a cat climbing your tree, and instead of a cat, it was about mice! My cats refuse to stay out of a Christmas tree. They also refuse to catch mice. Sigh.

  28. Too funny! We once had a mouse run out from under our tree! It was Christmas morning! I screamed and acted crazy! My husband has it on videotape!
    Leslie

  29. I was thinking you must have had a dog that had decided to eat the gingerbread men :)

    For years, we did without a Christmas tree, because we couldn’t afford fancy ornaments, and I didn’t want to buy cheap ornaments just to decorate a tree. So, for about 10 years, I collected ornaments (Lladro balls and bells, Waterford Crystal ornaments, Wedgwood chin ornaments), until I felt happy that I had enough to do justice to a tree.

    It was worth the wait – I love my collected ornaments, and am sad that I can’t keep them on display year-round. :(

    Enjoy your weekend, Karianne. Love your pictures!

  30. What a great story..Love the Red and White..Nice look

  31. Oh my word! What a funny story!! Your bedroom looks all kinds of gorgeous decorated for Christmas!! Love that snowflake hanging above the tree!! What a great idea for a topper! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving KariAnne!

  32. OMGosh….this so reminds me of the first Christmas my daughter was married. Just 20 and thrilled to be decorating her first Christmas tree.
    They lived in the country and she had a precious mobile home. Her tree was so cute…she and Jent strung colored cereal on pretty ribbons and hung on their tree…Over the next few days, all that was left was that pretty ribbon…those field mice LOVED that colored, sugary cereal and ate every crumb. Needless to say, she won’t put ANYthing on her tree that might attract those little furry monsters. :)

  33. Don’t you love how those family stories make up who we are, now? My mom, for their first Christmas, bought FAKE gingerbread men ornaments. They looked so real, she put them on a plate. Poor Dad. He thought he was coming home to freshly-baked cookies. Much to his chagrin , and Mom’s delight, he took a bite of the styrofoam delicacy, and we have a holiday story that we still laugh about!

    Beautiful red and white, and I LOVE the monograms! Hope you had as great a Thanksgiving as I! :)

  34. What a thoughtful Christmas gift you gave to those little furry friends that Christmas year. I’m sure they thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite!

  35. That’s funny!! I baked and hung gingerbread men on my tree one year, too! It must have been around 1993 when I did that. Decorating the Christmas tree each year can bring back some pretty funny memories. One year, when I was about 8 and my brother was 5, we were string popcorn while sitting on the floor. We worked and we worked. Michael couldn’t figure out why his string of popcorn didn’t seem to get any longer. Turns out our little cockapoo Mimi was behind him eating them as fast as he could string them! lol

    Another year, us four kids made Christmas ornaments out of salt dough. One looked exactly like a chocolate chip cookie. So much so, that our other dog (who was quite large) made a mad dash to eat it off the tree and knocked the tree over in the process.

    Lastly, about 12 years ago the kids & I had just finished decorating our tree. We stood back to admire it. I started looking at it from the top of it’s ten foot tall branches and scanned downward. Halfway thru something caught my eye. An ornament that I didn’t remember hanging? Well, in a way. Looking closer it turned out to be our cat Basil. She was happily perched inside of the tree, peering out at us. All you could see was her little face framed by artificial tree branches. Silly cat.

    Happy Decorating Karianne!

  36. Love the red and white KariAnne, mice not so much. I have an irrational fear of mice, I think I would have passed out lol.

  37. Precisely why I have two big cats. Not a mouse to be found within 100 feet of the house :) and no gingerbread men either. My dog LOVES cookies…

    Happy decorating Kari! I’m celebrating with a holiday classic movie – Dirty Dancing. OK so it’s not a ‘holiday’ classic, but I love it anyway.

  38. Eeeeew!!! I am the most rodent phobic person in the world. My first Christmas as a married woman in a farmhouse. I was pulling the two Christmas boxes out of the kitchen cupboard and a mouse jumped out on my arm. I screamed and jumped on top the kitchen table and yelled at the dog to go get it. He jumped up there with me. He never was much of a mouser. Love all your red :)

    Hugs,
    Laura

  39. Eek! I think I would ban them too. Of course.. now that would almost cruel if I did. My cats would love it though ;)
    Everything is looking so lovely. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  40. Loved your story about the gingerbread men and your furry friend! The red and white theme is stunning, and I love the monograms from Southern Proper.

  41. I love the red and white decor in your bedroom, it is so fresh and crisp. Very, very pretty. You can sure tell a great story, thanks for sharing! xo Kathysue

  42. Such a nice story…some of my most favourite memories are from my newlywed days too!
    And your home now – my goodness it’s gorgeous! Your bedroom looks amazing and it’s inspiring me to bring some Christmas into mine too!
    Have a great weekend!
    Jo-Anna

  43. ohmygoodness!!! I would have screamed as well. I cannot abide mice…. eeeeehhhhhkkkkkkk!!! I squealed with you as I read. Just finished most of the house, with the exception of the Master, and then I see your beautiful red and white decorated Master bedroom. I want to go do mine now.. but I am knackered… tired.. done it!!! I don;t have 37 boxes. I have 8 crates that according to the Mr. are large enough to hide bodies on. Hmmm.. they are NOT that big. Are they?? Maybe :-)
    Beautiful red and white Karianne.
    ((HUGS)) Gee

  44. Karianne: I’m still laughing & grinning! I love to read any of your posts, comments, stories, etc. You have a BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL style of writing — & I simply LOVE it! I love your master bedroom : peaceful & comforting. Yet, full of energy, light & life.
    I have never in my life made gingerbread men. Now, I doubt that I ever will. I love mice — not the live ones, though they can be cute, too — but not in my home or anywhere I might see them.
    You put your whole life into your writings; I feel as if I’m riding in your pocket, seeing everything through your eyes as well as my own. You can make your words into works of art!
    I have only TEN boxes of decorations, not 37! But, each does hold memories and stories of not such great times or days, butmore often than not just pulling ONE thing from the box will put a big smile on every face in that room. Sweetest of thoughts, shared carefully with each other even as we create new, happy memories as we empty the boxes.
    Learning to Love you through your gift of words. Thank You.

  45. LOL!! Great story. Poor gingerbread men. Poor you. Didn’t know you’d be causing the creatures to stir, did you? Oh my gosh, that is too funny. Love your red and white tree and pretty decorations. And 37 boxes. I am in awe. I have maybe 12 or 15. :) Thanks for sharing! :)

  46. Hahaha! I love your story, so funny! Here’s the story of our first Christmas. We were also very poor, so much so in fact that we didn’t think we would even be able to buy a tree. But, we found one, a 7 footer at Walmart marked down to $18! It was all wrapped up in netting and we couldn’t actually SEE the tree, but hey, it was $18, who cares, right? We brought it home and set it up and as soon as we jammed it down into the tree stand the whole middle of it fell out!! It was completely dead and dry in the middle and all the brown needles came pouring out all over the floor! But at least the outer part was still green. I did a primitive country type theme with ornaments given to me by my sister, and I added dried apple slices all over it. Well, after a week or so I realized they looked kinda funny. Upon closer inspection I discovered they were COVERED in ants and were half eaten! So in the trash they went. Then…a few days later, the slightly crooked trunk got the better of it and it toppled over. We had to anchor it to the wall with twine just to hold it upright after that. : ) Good memories.

  47. I think I’ll switch to making cinnamon “gingerbread boys” and keep my fingers crossed that little creatures don’t like the taste of cinnamon :)

    Nothing better than your stories and pictures, KariAnne!!! And I absolutely love the red and white in your beautiful bedroom. Have fun decorating and can hardly wait to see the results :)

  48. I love your post. It took me back a VERY long time to the same kind of Christmas. My husband took the two young missionaries out to a farm where he had permission to cut a cedar tree – and they were all arrested! But we did straighten it out and get the tree – two stories tall that we tied to the railing on our “mezzanine” in the converted carriage house where we lived. I decorated with tiny (and cheap!) 100-string lights, paper cut-outs, paper chains, and a box of paint-it-yourself wooden ornaments I bought for $4. I still have a few of those! We added popcorn and cranberry strings that the missionaries helped us make, and we went to Grandma’s for dinner. It was so magical – and no mice! Though we did get a visit from them later – in a bottle of salad dressing – no clue how they got the top of that off, but it was an unhappy ending for them. Thanks for reminding me!

  49. I made gingerbread men one year and all the one on the lower third of the tree suffered the same fate as yours… only it was a visiting dog that was the culprit!!!
    Beautiful decorations, KariAnne! Love the white and red… it looks so crisp!!
    I just ordered 2 of those beautiful monograms! Can’t wait to put them on my door wreath!
    I loved this fun story!

  50. KariAnne your home looks gorgeous!! LOVE the shot with the pine armoire and red and white dishes!!

  51. I can absolutely relate to your gingerbread story! We ended up getting a couple of cats to get rid of the mice, but mice and old houses go hand in hand. I don’t think you will ever be rid of them. Love the red and white theme! Congrats on your Country Living Blue Ribbon blogger award by the way!

  52. I would’ve screamed, too! I’m sure that it (they) were just as appreciative of your gingerbread men as you were. Love your holiday bedroom … the pops of red are gorgeous (this is when I *wish* I had a fireplace in our bedroom, too … sigh). Look forward to seeing more!

  53. Beautiful post! I have to tell you..we have a lot in common here! I love “red” at Christmas as much as I love white all year round.
    I am working on a post about that very thing right now! ;)
    And I also make gingerbread at Christmas to put on the tree…I used to make the little men, but now I make hearts and hang them with jute. And Prancer…well, I adore that movie. Its one of my Christmas have-to-watch movies! So sweet!
    I loved hearing about your farmhouse and your decorating and Christmas memories..so beautiful!

    Deborah xo

  54. Hilarious! What a great memory! And your decorations in red and white? It must be like living in a candy cane come to life. Absolutely beautiful!!

  55. Decking the halls can hold such lovely surprises! Last year we opened the big Christmas tree box to find a whole family of mice!

    What a treat!

    :(

    I cried all afternoon while I bleached every branch of that tree because all I wanted to do was throw it out and pretend the whole debacle never happened, but I didn’t have a new Christmas tree fund in my holiday budget :(

    I am getting our tree out today.

    Fingers crossed!

  56. You have the funnest stories! I’m not sure funnest is really even a proper word but you stories just require that word!!

  57. Your stories never cease to amuse me.
    You’re hilarious.

    Loving every single detail of your room…..especially love the star hanging from the ceiling….so awesome! One of our trees is topless right now….thinking I might just try that for ours. :)

  58. Oh no! Isn’t it funny how some of the biggest mishaps end up being the memories we hold dear to our hearts (or maybe not???)!

  59. Hahaha! Oh no! Reminds me of our first Christmas! Hopefully I’ll one day have enough decorations for every room in our house ;)

  60. Love your tale — or is it tail? — of decorating with love!

    :)

  61. I love your post! Your home is darling and so comfortable. I love the candles on your fireplace are a great idea. The gingerbread story is similar to one I have with a lot of my daughter’s “treasures” that I have saved oner the years. We have a tree for the girls in our family room with all of their annual ornaments that we give them along with Grandma”s. They decorate with a lll of their sweet and precious treasures and some extra glee ends up in the mix. It is so pretty :) .

    Blessigs!

  62. Can you tell me about the short curtain rods you use in your bedroom? Love those!

  63. Wow, that is one nice decorated room! Love the letters.

  64. ROFL!!!!!!!

  65. Oh my goodness, Karianne, you are so funny and just one of the cutest and cleverest bloggers I know. Your home is just amazing!

  66. I will never look at gingerbread men the same again! Yikes what a cute {and creepy!} story! Your bedroom is elegant, and you’ve certainly made up for the early years of no decorations! Beautiful and thanks for a great story :)
    Jenna

  67. I am laughing so hard it hurts……

  68. Hi Karianne! What a great story! I think “not a creature was stirring…not even a mouse” might be a little off, don’t you?!!
    So cute and such a great laugh I have enjoyed from your terrible tale!
    Merry christmas, sweet friend,
    Carolynn xxx

  69. Ahh memories, lol, you’ll never forget that christmas I bet :) . I’m a gingerbread lover, and I do the sugar and spice themed trees using gingerbread men you buy from little debbie’s and dip in poly and I also have these cute little stuffed mice ornaments as well that I hang on the tree with them LOL I’ll think of you now everytime I put that tree up :)

  70. Laughing sooo hard at this and Gen’s comment too! We recently had an “incident” with a mouse in our house. Our cat found it and she played with it non-stop for three days before the Orkin man came to our rescue. He assured us that our home was just hooching with mice after I told him that there was just this one. He set traps everywhere to get them to all come out of the walls, the ceilings, the closets, etc. After all that, I was right, just one and he was promptly trapped that night and set free. Good thing I didn’t have any gingerbread men!

  71. Hello Karianne, What a hoot! You have to be careful with any edible decorations, even cookies, those little critters well find their way in no matter how TIGHT your home is, I spray all my homemade`s with shellac that way they won`t get their little teeth in the decoration`s! HA! Have a fun and creative holiday prep time! <3 Annel

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