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My passion for the holidays is rivaled only by Will Ferrell’s iconic character in Elf. If I’m having a particularly bad day in July, I will put on Mariah Carey’s Christmas album to make myself feel better. I order peppermint lattes year-round. I got engaged over the holidays last year, which will forever make this time of year all the more magical.

So, I’m thrilled that Tony and I finally have our decorations up! The house smells like a forest, and on more than one occasion, Tony’s come home and announced that he can hear the holiday station blasting from the street. In his car. With the windows rolled up. I love it.

{Luminara wax candles, Crate & Barrel lanterns, similar garland here}

I wish I were the DIY queen of Pinterest, but most of my attempts end up with my fingers glued together. I’m so envious of those women who shave their free-range alpacas in their multi-acre backyard to knit their own holiday tablecloths, and forage leaves from their property to craft garlands for their hearth. As much as I adore the holidays, this time of year is hectic, so the most DIY I could muster was tying these ribbons I bought in shades of gold at a Black Friday sale to the tree. Martha Stewart, if you’re reading this, I would love to collaborate!

Growing up, our tree was so covered in ornaments, you could hardly see the branches. Each one had a story behind it, from the ornament with my parents’ wedding date to the one I made out of Play Doh when I was four, with a bite taken out of it. My dad had to tie the tree to the wall, because the cat would climb it and knock it over. It was dripping with love and memories, and I can’t wait for Tony and I to start building a collection that tells a story of our life together, too.

But, for now, I love our department store tree. We’re using a lot of gold accents in our wedding next summer and I’ve been lusting after Riley & Grey’s Holiday Gold Pinterest page, so I decided to do a monochromatic gold look this year, to change it up from last year’s colorful tree.

If you’re like me and didn’t have your decorations up the day after Thanksgiving, here are a few of my favorites to help get your home in the holiday spirit!

{Moon Canyon wreath}

{Restoration Hardware twinkling trees}

{McFadden Farm fresh bay leaf garland}

{Adorable macaroon ornaments}

{A “something blue” to kick off our ornament collection?}

{Restoration Hardware illuminated marquee signs}