Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Decorating for Christmas:

Decorating at Christmas can be a challenge when you live in a foreign country! You may find yourself either having to bring things over from the States or get creative and make them yourself… But that can make the holidays really fun! Especially if you’re the creative type!


Bringing things from the States:

I will be honest and say that I am not that creative of a person. I lack a lot of the skills it takes to make things, and over the last few years life and babies have kept me too busy to really think about working on them.

Plus Pinterest was definitely not a “thing” yet when we left for the field.

So I originally packed as many of the “little” things as I could when we were preparing to leave for China.

But we’re actually very blessed here. We are able to get trees for a very decent price along with LED lights, colorful Christmas balls, and tinsel garland… and you don’t have to search high and low to find them! They are available at several places throughout the city.

Stuffed animals at a local store

Stuffed animals at a local store

Having an Ikea has also been a game changer! We’ve been able to find some nice things there as well as a few things like decorative towels, stuffed animals, snow globes and lots of little stuff at different collectable stores in the city.

Christmas table decor from Ikea

Christmas table decor: Ikea

dining room

We love the LED candles! Perfect for when the baby of the family thinks it’s fun to pull things off the table while you have your back turned.

Large red pillowcase: Ikea Small snowman pillow: random small gift shop

Large red pillowcase: Ikea
Small snowman pillow: we found very randomly  in a small gift shop

The things we’re happy we brought though are our special ornaments that my husband and I had collected on deputation, family stockings, and other meaningful Christmas decorations I had kept over the years. Sentimental things. Things I bring over now: Holiday ribbon (lots of it!,) unique ornaments, and Christmas colored tissue paper for gift bags…small things. Gift wrapping can be a challenge here!

The great thing is you can get all of these things on sale for really cheap if you time your buying right :)



This is our small area of things items we decided to bring over from the States. Seeing our stockings on the wall always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside

Some of the simple projects I’ve done here to add to our holiday decor are:

-Making a no-sew tree skirt from some beautiful velvet cloth

-Using lights and ribbon to dress up a basic tree topper

-Adding ribbon and ornaments to a basic wreath to create a Christmas wreath.

These are simple but can add so much to a room!

I  love using what I have available here to continue to make my home beautiful for my family!

And I’m really looking forward to trying some new projects over the next few years!




It’s amazing what you can do with a simple wreath. Bring just a traditional wreath and you can literally dress it up for any occasional…for every season.

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My girls thought the “Christmas makeover” I gave their room was awesome! All we did was add a string of lights and change their bedding :). It’s the little things! I’m sure I’ll have to get more creative as they get older ha!

Happy I could get some use out of these "holiday" looking teddy bear sheets we had left over from Kindergarten.

Happy I could get some use out of these “holiday” looking teddy bear sheets we had left over from Kindergarten.


Some days, I even like to imagine that one day when my kids are older, I’ll just suddenly turn into a mini Martha Stewart.

My house will be immaculate, beautifully decorated, and I will serve perfect looking meals on exquisite platters each day. HA!

But then I’m quickly brought back to reality…

And thinking…maybe I’ll learn how to sew this year? Or at least, buy a hot glue gun…and really figure out the whole Pinterest thing :)

Reality is good though!


Cookies and books to snuggle up with…the best kind of reality!

After six years, we’ve accumulated a lot of really fun stuff!


Our house would certainly not receive the Martha Stewart approval I’m sure!

And sometimes I see beautiful pictures online of elaborately decorated trees and dining room tables, and I think “Wow!! How beautiful!!”

But our house feels like home.

And my girls love it.



And so we love it.


What kind of things do you do to liven up your house during the holidays?

Send me your ideas!!






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