Create a transitional Christmas mantel that you can style before Thanksgiving and tweak so it looks festive for Christmas.
I used to cringe when I heard Christmas music before Thanksgiving. And the thought of decorating for Christmas before Turkey Day was over was a huge no-no! Things changed when I started to do this…
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Before I started blogging, every holiday was in its own neat little box, and never would the two would meet. However, I’ve had a huge change of heart and do what I call transitional decorating. Now, I like to ease out of one holiday and/or season and gently start decorating for the next one at the same time. The perfect example of this is transitioning from last fall to Christmas. I call this mixing and mashing up of seasons and holidays cross-holidation.
So, recently, I got rid of all my pumpkins (save a couple for our Thanksgiving table), gourds, and overtly fall decor. I carefully put away all my darling chubby Wooly Ball Acorns and vases of faux autumn branches. And then started to gently transition to Christmas decor with Thanksgiving in mind.
When I decorate for Christmas, I start in one of two places: the mantel in the living room or the foyer console table. This year, I was excited to start decorating the mantel because I have not celebrated Christmas with the Corner Farm painting above it. A new decorating challenge, for sure!
I decorated the mantel with Thanksgiving in mind. So, when Thanksgiving is over, I can add and edit the decor on the mantel and easily style it for Christmas.
This Year’s Christmas Color Story
Choosing a Christmas color palette will help your Christmas home look more harmonious and curated. How To Choose A Christmas Color Palette will help you decorate your Christmas home.
This year, I am so excited about the colors I’m using to decorate our Christmas home. Totally different from anything else I have ever done. I call this year’s colors Christmas Potpourri. I came across this image I took over a decade ago of potpourri I made at Christmas, and loved the colors.
I might not be using these colors on the mantel, but I will when I add more Christmas decor to it! For Thanksgiving, our mantel has more of a nod to Thanksgiving.
This Year’s Christmas Theme
What came first, the chicken or the egg? This is how I feel about this year’s color palette and theme. I’m not sure which I decided first. The theme for our Christmas decor is woodland. I’m not using a lot of white which I usually do at Christmas, but instead, I’ll be using lots of browns, burnished copper, cinnamon, deep golds, a bit of brighter golds, metallics, and a little bit of green.
I’m really looking forward to decorating for Christmas!
What To Put On A Christmas Mantel When There Is A TV Or Piece Of Art Above It
This is such a huge question to answer! I’ve been researching this question since we added the painting to the mantel last spring.
Generally speaking, here are some tips to decorate your mantel and not have it get in the way of what you have above it…
- Keep it simple. Simple is best so the mantel area does not get busy or distracting.
- Keep the decor from obstructing the view of what you have above the mantel.
- Decorate the ends of the mantel with taller items where there is wall space and no TV or picture. Use candles, lanterns, or sconces. Depending on what is above the mantel, you might like to use topiaries or Christmas trees.
- Decorate the mantel’s hearth for a balanced look.
Decorating Our Transitional Mantel
This year, after more than a decade, I bought a new garland. I chose two 6-ft long Norfolk pine garlands because they lay relatively flat on the mantel and have almost a waterfall effect. Perfect for mantels!
At first, I centered one garland but decided I really liked the look of an asymmetrical garland.
Then I moved the the garland so that it hung over the left edge of the mantel and added another garland to overlap the one I already had on the mantel.
Hanging these garlands was so easy. I zip-tied the two garlands together and then used Command Strip Cord Hangers to hang them up on the mantel. I love this garland for the real-looking branches and needles.
This year’s mantel is lit up with fairy lights. I used two strings of battery-operated lights with built-in timers. I hid the small battery box at each end of the mantel under the greens.
Because I wanted a woodland-inspired mantel, I added pinecones.
To hang the pinecones, I wrapped a wire around the bottom arms of the pinecones and then wired the pinecones to the garland.
I collect all kinds of ornaments. One of my favorites are these sweet glass acorn ornaments. And they are such a pretty copper color. So, I had to add them to the transitional garland.
I wired two acorns together and then wired them to the garland.
Creating A Pinecone Center With Pheasant Feathers
To create the center arrangement, I wired pinecones to the garland in a grouping.
I also added pheasant feathers to either side of the pinecones. I did not wire them but stuck them between the pinecones and the greenery.
And added a trio of acorn ornaments that I wired to the pinecones.
Adding More Pheasant Feathers To The Garland
Our son-in-law, Jonathan, and Baron, his dog, go pheasant hunting. I love when he saves the pheasant’s tail feathers for me! Sometimes by the end of the shoot, they can get a little bit worse for wear, but I’m always grateful for them and delicious pheasant. This year Jonathan’s pheasant feathers will be prominent in my Thanksgiving and Christmas decor.
I tucked in a trio of pheasant feathers into the garland at the end of the mantel.
There is just enough room at the end of the mantel to add a trio of mix-and-match brass and ORB candlesticks with burnt orange candles. They frame the Corner Farm picture and add a bit of ambiance.
Decorating The Hearth
When decorating a mantel, make sure you decorate the hearth too. Use something from the mantel to give the whole fireplace area a cohesive, balanced look.
I put pheasant feathers in a glass cylinder and tied a copper bow around the glass. The pheasant feathers were set on a base of Norfolk pine, and a trio of copper-colored acorn ornaments rested next to the feathers. To the left, I added a candle in a tortoiseshell glass container.
The Transitional Christmas Mantel
This Thanksgiving-inspired mantel can easily be transformed into a Christmas mantel. I’ll be adding more greens, magnolia leaves, ornaments, ribbons, and a few of our favorite stockings.
Make sure to stop back to see the Christmas mantel next week!
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Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating, Friends!