Christmas Tree Decorating – Gangnam Style

As I mentioned in my last post, me and my kiddos are excited to share what we’re going to BAKE, MAKE, DECORATE and also SHOP this holiday season. This week we’re in DECORATE Land and, true to my word, I’m letting the kids call the shots. 

And I gotta admit … it’s tough.


Is it because I’ve got some awesome ideas on my Pinterest boards?


And because I’m pretty crafty and I’ve been planning for months to make stuff?


But when I’m really honest I’ll tell you that I want my house to look awesome-wonderful-color coordinated-festive-wow-she’s-amazing-even-though-they’re poor when my friends come over because it helps my self esteem. Letting go of that part of my vanity in favor of letting my kids find their own magic was harder than I thought.

But this ‘kids in charge’ thing has been awesome.

I drug out the Christmas bins over Thanksgiving weekend and sat the kids down to make a plan.

Plan? What’s a plan, mom?

They just wanted to go nuts and start throwing things up. And I almost ruined the whole dang thing by insisting on them planning their spontaneous holiday decorating. When I finally got out of the way and let them welcome Christmas on their own terms, I had the funnest night in a long time.

And so the kids claimed my for-the-entry-way-only mini trees and hauled them down to their rooms. And decorated the heck out of them. And added gobbs and gobbs of extra colored lights. And they were so stinkin’ proud of how they turned out.



And they insisted on using every ornament – —on the tree in the living room. I think some potted poinsettias, candy cane pens, a glitter tree headband and wooden power lines from my son’s model railroad also made it on there, too.


Even the old-metal-hanger-tinsel-star that Mr. Thrive and I made after we got back from our honeymoon wound up on the tree, too.


Haven’t seen that thing in forever. Does seem oddly appropriate, though.

And after a solid hour of Christmas music, the kids were in the mood for something a little more upbeat from mom’s playlist. Done. And man did these kids have a blast rocking out and decorating away to 2012’s newest holiday anthem: Gangnam Style.

When they were all done, our Christmas tree looked like this:

Christmas Decorating Gangnam Style -

A department store “Holiday Dream Tree” this is not.

And my kids’ lovely décor will never, ever make the rounds on Pinterest. As a blogger, that should be a big no-no.

But six kiddos giggled and laughed and rode air horses late into the night while this happy momma snapped pics and finally let go again of that reoccurring feeling of sadness for what I can’t give them. What we can create together as a family is more than enough and I’ve got the pictures and video to remind me when I forget again.

There’s been lots of glue gun action and sewing over the weekend as my kids had fun bossing mom around.

Christmas Decorating Gangnam Style -

We’ve even got a new holiday playlist on iTunes that we’ve been rocking out to … more Gangnam Style, The Piano Guys, Justin Bieber, the Gummy Bear song and even some Jingle Bell Rock. The rest of this week I’ll be posting the fun projects that we made together to decorate our entryway, faux mantel, tree and walls. Bring on the cardboard, hangers, and repurposed old t-shirt goodness … Gangnam style, of course.


14 thoughts on “Christmas Tree Decorating – Gangnam Style”

  1. Nike, This post is perfect. I am very proud of you for letting go of perfect and enjoying your kiddos. Tomorrow is our family day to set up our tree…so good timing in reminding me to let go and let them create and express. 🙂 With much care to you and yours.

  2. Oh, I feel this wholeheartedly. It's been SO HARD to let my kids decorate the tree and I'm still struggling to leave the ornaments where they are even though there are multiple on the same branch and the bottom row has all one type of ornament. They love it, and I can't replace those smiles.

  3. I think it is awesome you let the kids do it! Mine are only 2 and 6 so I don't think we are quite there yet. I don't want too many things to get broken. I love your tree, though! Ours is perfectly, imperfect and I love it that way. It doesn't perfectly match with the latest trending colors. It is just a tree full of ornaments that each have special meaning to our family. I try to tie everything together with some red bows, but that is it! 🙂

  4. love this post! all the perfect decorating on Pinterest and fancy blogs can make me feel inadequate. But our little ones are happier when they help with the holidays and I don't think they want our homes to look like a set at Martha Stewart anyway.

    looking forward to more posts from you.

  5. they may not look like a Martha production but how do you think Martha got started ???where else would they get the experience that will let them become the best they can be???HOME
    Well, i pinned it and the first year the kids really did the whoe thing at our house is still the one most remembered.

  6. We let the kids decorate too. My oldest is 6 and the height of his decor asperations are window clings. We have window clings everywhere. LOL. The ornaments are kid friendly things like molded plastic things, craft items, or large bells. The kids are constantly rearranging the ornaments leaving gaping holes in the middle of the tree. The 2 and 4 year old are helped in this endevor by the cat who also picks off ornaments and totes them around the house. Our house is not "polished" or "fancy" but the kids are SO PROUD of their efforts. I want to teach the kids that life is about substance not image so I do my best to let go and see what they create.

  7. I love the fact that you let the kids do their own thing. there is too much pressure to have that perfect house when you've got 6 kids running around, if you had all the perfect things you'd be mad when the kids messed it up or touched it! One thing I have done for years now is let me kids have a tree in their rooms. We started with 2 ft trees, then grew by feet as needed. they are now 13 & 15 and have 6 ft trees in their rooms. They decorate them with their ornaments they've been given or that they've made. My 15 yo has at least 100 ornaments already. One reason I did this was so when they move out they will have a tree and all its trimmings to take with them and remind them of home. Is having 6 extra trees decorated in the house ridiculous? NO WAY! We have 12 trees decorated in our house and 5 wreaths hung up. Each tree has a theme for the most part as does the wreath. It changes from year to year. Let your kids have the memories of doing it themselves. By the way, my 13 yo saw your tree and said, "that tree's beautiful!" nuf said. Merry Christmas!

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