Ways to get into the holiday spirit

Happy December, friendos! Because I’m feeling especially festive this year, I’ve got a lot of plans for the holidays here in the quirkyverse. Starting yesterday (on the gram), we’ll be celebrating with 25 days of holiday joy! There will be a few giveaways sprinkled throughout the month over on Instagram (and there’s one live right now!). Festive ideas. Gift guides to help you shop or make your own wishlist. And brightly colored happiness wrapped up in a bow.

To start the month off properly, I’m giving you some easy ideas for jollying up your life this month. You know I’m festive AF every year, so here are some of the ways I get started.

Holiday wearables

“Ugly” Christmas sweaters

Remember when people actually wore ugly Christmas sweaters unironically? And then when other people started thrifting said sweaters and wearing them because it was funny?

Yeah, those days are so gone. If you’re going to wear an “ugly” Christmas sweater, I say make it a super cute one like this Grinchy sweater.

Grinch ugly Christmas sweater

Or a hilarious one, like this National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation sweater.

Shitter's Full ugly Christmas sweater

Or marry the two ideas with this amazing 3D plush dinosaur sweater.

3D plush dinosaur ugly Christmas sweater

My friends at UglyChristmasSweater.com sent me the coolest, funniest, cutest dinosaur holiday sweater to share with you, and I absolutely love it! I sized down on this one to an XL, and I was super glad I did. It fits perfectly for all of my Christmas sweater needs. The dinosaur has velcro to stay on the sweater, and it comes with some industrial sized safety pins to keep him safely secured to your back and torso. The sweater is super cozy too!

I haven’t named my dinosweater yet, and I’m hoping you can help! Leave a comment below with your name idea. Because this dino and I are going to be besties for life.

If you want to try your luck this week, I’ve partnered with UglyChristmasSweater.com, and we’re giving one of these sweaters away over on Instagram.

Festive accessories

I love holiday headbands and slippers and Santa hats. Necklaces and bracelets and ribbons in my hair. I wear them all month long for a festive flair. Jingle all the way, that’s what I always say! Most of my accessories are older or thrifted, but if you’re looking to add to your collection, here are a few items I’ve seen recently that I love.

Christmas fascinator
If you’re crafty, you can probably make your own, but if you’re not, this holiday fascinator is under $15 on Amazon.
Christmas elf slippers
If I didn’t already have a pair of holiday jingle slippers, these Joe Boxer elf slippers would so be on my Christmas list.
Christmas bow necklace set
I may have just ordered this gift bow necklace set for myself. Wanna be twins?

Holiday colors

Want to be festive without the extra flourishes? Pair fun combinations of red and green for super holiday fun. I’m a big fan of color blocking and mixing/matching solid-colored pieces like this green dress, red top, and red leggings (technically, they are paprika, but whatever).

Pro-tip: When I wear a blouse over a dress, I usually tie it in the back with a hair tie so that it cinches my waist.

Chrissy in front of a pink Christmas tree wearing red and green
The top is thrifted, the dress is almost a decade old, and the leggings are from Fabletics, which is where 90% of my colored leggings come from.

You can use accessories to make colors pop if you don’t want to be too bold with the color blocking – like a green belt and scarf with a red t-shirt dress (I wore it over skinny jeans because winter). You can switch up your accessories to be a little less extra, but I always recommend the extra.

Chrissy in front of a Christmas tree wearing red and green
Both the scarf and belt are thrifted and the shirt dress I’ve had for a few years. I tend to buy solid colored belts and scarves when I see them because they make the best Disneybounds and color-blocking.

Decorations

Trim a tree

I have had my Christmas trees up since mid-November. They make me happy. I always have at least one themed Christmas tree and one hodgepodge, family-ornament Christmas tree. This year, I also have a fancy tree (but make it Chrissy).

Mickey Mouse Christmas tree
This is the Mickey and Minnie Mouse tree. I only decorate the top half, because it’s behind the couch.
Pink Christmas tree
This is my obsession. I forgot I bought these ornaments last year for this tree, but omg I am obsessed.

Wintery atmosphere

Garland is key when decorating our house. Whether it’s lighted garland on the banisters or super flowy strings of faux pine needles and holly leaves hanging all over the house, we have garland everywhere. And it looks awesome.

Chrissy wearing maroon and dark green in front of pre-lit garland
This photo is from two years ago (blonde hair), but the garland behind me remains the same. I just haven’t put the garland up yet. (But hey, here’s another way to mix and match some more holiday colors. A maroon dress and a deep green cardigan.

Twinkle lights are also a necessary component. Christmas comes when the nights are longest, and what better way to brighten a room than with twinkle lights everywhere?

Tablescape

I have Christmas dishes. Of course, I have Christmas dishes. When Brian and I moved into our first (and only, actually) apartment together, my mom bought me a few pieces of Pfaltzgraff Winterberry as a housewarming gift. And from there, it’s become an obsession.

Pfaltzgraff tablescape with Christmas dishes and Kate Spade tablecloths
A holiday meal fit for kings. This was a Hello Fresh Spanish one-pan chicken, and it was happiness.

I also went through a Rae Dunn obsessive phase, and I used some of those dishes to make another fun set up for afternoon tea (and cocoa). Rae Dunn can be found at your local TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Homegoods or on sites like Mercari and Poshmark (if you say quirkychrissy referred you, we each get $5).

Rae Dunn Christmas tablescape with Kate Spade tablecloths
You can do this with any plain dishes too! Colorful tablecloths like this Kate Spade tablecloth and Kate Spade runner complete the look. I couldn’t easily find the green cloth and red runner to share with you, but I was able to find a green runner and a red tablecloth if you’re interested in this color blocking dining tablescape.

So there you have it, friends. Chrissy guide to celebratory holiday fun! Dress festive and decorate festively to enjoy every second of the holiday season. How do you get into the Christmas spirit? Let me know in the comments!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

21 AWESOME Themed Christmas Trees to Decorate Your Home

If you didn’t already know this, I have a Christmas tree problem. I mean…Brian calls it a problem. I think it’s a fun way to celebrate the holidays. Luckily, I’m not alone in my crazy. I certainly didn’t get this way all on my own, and I don’t think Brian’s childhood was completely immune to the idea of a themed Christmas tree – or an overabundance of Christmas in general. But I LOVE themed Christmas trees. I came across an article on Yahoo! DIY that had a variety of unique tree ideas, and it really got me thinking. My people (and Brian’s people) are evil geniuses when it comes to Christmas tree themes. I knew that I had to share the joy. Without further ado, I’d like to present you with my friend-sourcing project for the holidays. Below you’ll find the Christmas trees that we, along with our friends and family, put up for Christmas.

I’ll start with my themed trees. I know that Hallmark isn’t really a “theme” but you know what? I’ve wanted one ever since I saw Katie Kelly’s mom’s Hallmark tree, so you bet your bottom dollar that I planned to have one when I grew up. The family trees pictured belong to myself, my mom, and my aunt (you’ll meet some of their other trees later in this post). Try to guess which one is mine. The bird tree is a tree that I received on my doorstep this year (courtesy of my aunt) with ornaments that belonged to Brian’s mother. It’s my all-time favorite tree. The shoe tree started as a random collection, much like my martini glass collection, and was upgraded from a 3-foot tree to a 4-foot tree last year, and this year has become a full-grown, 6-foot tree. The book tree was upgraded from a 12-inch tree to a 4-foot tree, but she’s got a ways to go before she’ll grow up any further.

Hallmark Ornament Tree

Hallmark Ornament Tree

Heirloom/Family Tree

Heirloom Trees

Bird Tree

Bird tree

Shoe Tree

2014-12-21 21.24.01

Book Tree

Book tree

Chicago Bears Tree

Comic Strips from Christmas past

Comic strips from Christmas past

My mom has her family ornaments strewn out on two separate trees in the family room and the living room/front room. She also has a 5-foot tinsel tree in the front hall. She’s even put lights on a palm tree to remind her of Florida. But the tree that amuses me the most? The Charlie Brown Christmas tree in her family room.

Charlie Brown Tree

Charlie Brown Tree

My aunt, who is one of the most Christmas-loving people I know and the very lovely benefactor of one of our many trees, goes all out for Christmas. I can only hope to have the time and energy to fill my home with as much Christmas joy as she does. The next several trees were all her creations, and I have to admit I’m completely jealous of all of them. I’m working toward a Grinch tree for Brian. My aunt does that one for my cousin who doesn’t seem to love Christmas as much as she and I do.

Grinch Tree

Grinch Tree

Sports Tree

Sports themed Christmas tree

Vintage Tree

 Vintage Ornament Christmas Tree 2

Flocked Santa Tree

Mr and Mrs Flocked Santas

Handmade Ornament Tree

Handmade Ornament Tree

Angel Tree

Angel Tree

Vintage Bone China Tree

Martha Stewart Tree with Vintage Bone China Ornaments

My mom’s best friend who is basically my second mom, has a vast collection of Barbie ornaments from Hallmark. When I was a child, I received many of these from her for Christmas, so I could very well have my own Barbie tree also. Right now, those ornaments live on my Hallmark tree. She has a beautiful pink tree loaded with Barbie, and oh boy is it beautiful!

Pink Barbie Tree

Pink Barbie Tree

One of Brian’s cousins sent me pictures of her stunning Disney-themed Christmas tree as well as her Disney advent calendar tree and S’mores-themed tree (Hey Joules! Lookout!). The Disney tree has 550 ornaments and 2000 LED lights to set a magical atmosphere that makes me wish I was in Lake Buena Vista. I am actually hoping to have a Mickey Mouse Christmas tree one year, and possibly a Disney princess or Disney villain tree as well. So this Disney tree is pretty much amazing. The Disney Advent Calendar tree would fit right in with the advent calendars article I read on Yahoo! DIY , as you can find each day of advent on the tree! The marshmallow tree has S’mores branded ornaments with little S’mores marshmallow men.

Disney Tree

Disney Tree (2)

Disney Advent Tree

 Disney Advent TreeMarshmallow S’mores Tree

Smores tree

My darling best friend on the planet, Katie (of Words for Words fame), with her darling penguin obsession has (obviously) a penguin tree. Which is so full to the brim with penguin ornaments that I stopped buying her penguin ornaments. And occasionally I will buy her penguin-y things…and keep them for myself. Because she has plenty of penguins. And everyone needs a tuxedo bird pal.

Penguin Tree

 Penguin tree

Another friend of ours, Kelly (who also sells amazing soap on Etsy), has a tree that she is absolutely in love with (and I certainly can’t blame her). This stunning peacock tree stands out in her home with teal, green, and blue feathers, magical sparkly ornaments and lots of help from her adorable tiny humans. This tree reminds of our bird tree, only with more sparkles and purples. I’m a huge fan.

Peacock Tree

Peacock Tree

And last, but certainly not least, my friend Joules, over at Pocketful of Joules, has her own really amazing tree that makes me super jealous I didn’t think of it first. She has a Wizard of Oz tree with all the fabulous characters from the beloved movie. With almost twenty-five ornaments, in an ornament collection/obsession that begun with gifts from her grandparents, this tree oozes of delicious joy.

Wizard of Oz Tree

Wizard of Oz Tree

Blog Friends, do you put up a themed Christmas tree? Do you celebrate Christmas? If you DID put up a themed tree, what would you WANT it to be?  Have you been following #YahooDIY for ideas and other fun goodies?

Thank you Yahoo! for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Yahoo!, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Get Your Bathroom Ready for the Holidays

I’m working with my friends at Charmin and Roto-Rooter to show you how I get my bathrooms ready for the holidays.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

As you probably remember, we just moved into our first (and please for the love of cheese, last) house and instead of one piddly apartment bathroom, we’re now the proud owners of three. Full. Bathrooms. This is one of them. This is actually the upstairs hall bathroom, but I like the tree in this bathroom best. I’ve had it for more than twenty years – It started as my bedroom Christmas tree, and now it’s my bathroom tree. The fancy soap dish and soap were Brian’s mom’s. I’m pretty sure that soap just keeps getting put out and no one uses it. I’m okay with that, because the other soap makes my hands smell like gingerbread cookies.

Bathroom Decorated for Christmas

Thanks to our party-friendly house, we (okay fine, I) volunteered to host Christmas. For 30-40 people. Both Brian’s family and my family will be joining us for one of my absolute favorite holidays as we celebrate, eat, drink and make merry.

People keep asking me, “Are you sure?” as if I volunteered out of obligation, but really, ALL MY GRISWOLD DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to do this. Of course, knowing me, something is bound to go wrong. Thankfully I’m stocked with Charmin (the brand backed by Rotor-Rooter as a clog-free and septic-safe TP) for the holidays so I won’t have to worry about a clogged toilet, even with 30-some-odd people in our house, and can instead focus on not burning myself, cutting myself or falling down the stairs.

Prep your bathroom for the holidays in six easy steps

Step 1: Stock up on toilet paper  – I usually opt for Charmin since it’s the softest, strongest and comes highly recommended by the plumbers at Roto-Rooter. The partnership between Charmin and Roto-Rooters promises that your toilets will stay clog free this holiday season. Make sure to have a couple extra rolls on hand in case someone runs out in the middle of their business. I can’t store them in the cabinet under the sink, since my laundry chute lives there, so I stock TP behind the mirror in the bathroom.

Bathroom stocked with TP

Step 2: Prepare for hand washing with lots of soap – I try to have festive holiday soap for the season, and always have a backup ready to switch out. I also like to have different scents in each bathroom.

Downstairs Bathroom - snowmen

Step 3: Use clean and dry hand towels or disposable hand towels – If you can splurge on the disposable hand towels, life will be oh-so-much easier, but a supply of cloth towels is great as long as you have extras to switch out regularly. With 30-40 people coming to our home, I’m going to have both.

I haven't gotten new fancy Christmas towels yet - I'll buy them after Christmas when they're 75% off.

I haven’t gotten new fancy Christmas towels yet – I’ll buy them after Christmas when they’re 75% off.

Step 4: Place a trash bin next to the toilet – You’ll be especially grateful if you use the disposable hand towels to have an empty trash container with a disposable liner or grocery bag. (I don’t think you need a picture of my trash bin.)

Step 5: Set up a Christmas tree and decorations – I kept things simple this year and just put up my mini tree, but other years, I’ve had Christmas towels and other decorative accents to really celebrate the season.

Mini Christmas tree in the bathroom

Step 6: Invite everyone over – Get ready for the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, my friends, because your bathroom is ready to go. Don’t invite your elf on the shelf though. You never know what kind of trouble she’ll get into.

Meredelf Grey - just hanging around.

Meredelf Grey – just hanging around.

And just for fun, I made a quick video for you! Welcome to my upstairs hall bathroom. Thanks a million to my pal Brookie Banosnapper for coming over to shoot this little vid for me. I can’t even tell you how much flack I got for the way I put the toilet paper on the roll. Apparently, she’s of the toilet paper must be placed over and not under camp. I personally could care less, but she made me change it.

Blog Friends, what do you do to get ready for the holidays? Do you host parties this time of year? What holiday-ready bathroom tips do you swear by? Do you have a toilet paper brand preference? How about over or under?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because I Can Totally Get Two Blog Posts Out of my Sweet Songwriting Skills.

In case you didn’t know this about me…I make up songs. Like a child. You know how little kids take a tune they know and start making up words? About common things? Like eating a sandwich or drinking a milkshake or even watching their favorite TV show?

do that.

Brian is SO lucky to live with me. Not only does he get to hear my made up songs on a daily basis, but also he gets to hear me repeat them over and over and over again until I’ve almost mastered the lyrics. And stopped filming anyway. Because the 17th time’s the charm.

If you didn’t read the post about saying goodbye my Christmas trees, you should probably do that now. Don’t worry; this video will be here when you get back.

You’ll note that even after 17 tries, I still messed the song up a smidge. Whatever. Enjoy anyways.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: Christmas Music is Coming

Yes. Yes, I said it. Confession Friday: I am a Christmas-obsessed-giant-freak-of-nature-who-wants-to-start-decorating-now kind of girl. You think I got into Halloween… You haven’t seen ANYTHING yet. But I will try. try. try. to refrain. For Brian’s sake. For your sake. For at least a week or two. As soon as Thanksgiving week gets close…I make no promises. Christmas music is coming…

(But not that horrible song: Do they know it’s Christmas? Of course they don’t know it’s Christmas. And they don’t care. They do not celebrate Christmas because it is a Christian holiday and non-Christians in Africa who are starving and sick do not care that they won’t have snow in Africa, you ignorant prats./rant)

When I told Brian (long before I was officially living with him in Aurora) that we were one day going to have a Christmas tree in every room, he may or may have believed me…Much like when I told him that the Olympics was going to be 24/7 Sports TV for 2 and a half weeks…And when I told him that I had a cheese obsession…And when I told him that I had a lot of stuff…Come to think of it…maybe HE does believe me.

Regardless…when he realized that half of the boxes that were carted up the stairs to our new apartment were Christmas boxes…he may have gotten a little scared. It’s a fact: I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas. It’s joyful. It’s bright. It’s cheery. It’s wonderful. Our little apartment is going to look amazing. and Christmas-y. As soon as the rest of the boxes are unpacked…Christmas boxes are next.  and the trees go up.

Yes. I said trees. Since I was a young child, I have always made the Christmas tree my responsibility. And no one was allowed to help…Because they didn’t know how to do it right. Really…it’s because I’m slightly OCD and have a need to see every ornament as it goes on the tree. You’ll note that the baby picture of Chrissy goes front and center every year.

Confession Friday Christmas Music is Coming

We made her pose like that.

In closing, fair readers…I have borrowed a brilliant idea from Lauren of Filing Jointly. I would love to send you a Christmas card this year! As a thank you for being awesome and reading my blog and all of that good stuff. Just send an e-mail to quirkychrissy @ gmail with your name and address, and you will receive a fantastic Christmas card. I haven’t quite decided what it will be yet…but you can bet it will be hilarious. Last year, a girlfriend of mine convinced me to send out this beauty:

Christmas Cards

I know, perfect right?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!