Even if it's only 2/3 lit up now, there is something magical to me about walking out of my bedroom in the dark winter morning and catching a sight of this twinkling tree. It ain't fancy (exhibit A: coffee sacks above...) That's not really how we roll. Ours is covered in meaningful and handmade ornaments from mine and B Daddy's childhood as well as a rapidly growing contingency of sticker-laden and crayon-adorned construction paper beauties by Squirt and Sweet B.
I LOVE having a mantle to decorate!! This is only our second year with a mantle and because the TV sits so low on the wall, I don't have room to go crazy, but the evergreen branches were free and I love the natural look. I always snag as many cast-offs as possible (with permission) from wherever we buy our tree and then scatter them around the house wherever we could use their amazing pine scent and Christmas cheer.
Christmas books brighten up and "seasonalize" the bookshelves.
Some rosettes made out of scrap linen fancy up this fake wreath just enough for the dining room.