• Clarissa Laws


In the past four years, my husband and I have moved from cohabiting with each other's college roommates to crashing at mom's to our first one bedroom apartment and finally to our second, {slightly} larger one bedroom apartment. Dan honestly couldn't care less about holiday decor, but I tell myself that he appreciates my efforts to make our small space feel a little bit more like Christmas. We all have holiday memories from when we were young, and the ones that mean the most to me are the ones of my mom making Christmas magical for my brothers and I. No matter what may have been going on in the world outside of December, we were always whisked away into a fantastical Christmas bubble for this one chunk out of the year. In turn, I hope to do the same for my husband, and eventually for our family. For now, this means bringing the spirit of Christmas into our little apartment each year, so as a four year veteran of celebrating in a limited number of square feet, I thought that I would share some photos of what we do and a few tricks of the trade that I have found useful.

This is our living room. My strategy has generally been to wrap lights and tinsel around anything that isn't moving. Before we had this cool staircase, I would wrap string lights and sparkly garland around our bed frame and our {poor} house plants. When you don't have a ton of space to work with, every three dimensional object counts.

Another space that you can really capitalize on when you don't have a ton of space is your tablescape. The word "tablescape" is ridiculous in and of itself, but spell check didn't red line it so I guess that's a real thing. Anyways, I didn't want to invest in anything while our lives are still relatively mobile, so I was so excited to see that Spode had put out melamine pieces in their classic tree print for a fraction of the cost of their stoneware. The dishes are beautiful, but they'll still be in one piece if my cooped up cats get curious.

Also, if you're like us and are in apartment life prior to purchasing a home, you won't have to worry about packing these up for a move like you would with the $40/plate stoneware set. Instead, you can spend that time stressing out over the L'Objet china that you don't even remember registering for.

The kitchen is another place to capitalize on. Everyone has a stove, and if yours has a handle, throw some Santas on it. As an added bonus, our open floor plan enables me to peep my dish towels while I'm watching Hallmark in our living room. Win-win.

Is anyone else living their best life with an Ikea patio set for a dining room? But hey, don't knock it. With two coasters and an old DVD case stabilizing the left rear leg, this baby is in business. Plus, the lightweight chairs double as grab and go additional seating when the living room gets crowded!

The most important part of this whole situation is the 8' tree. I don't even care that I can't access the second bookcase and you can't see the TV from 50% of the living room. The tree is 100% worth the loss of 20% of your space.

FYI- this tray is from last year's Target post Christmas sale and it was $.74. Hold out for that. Also, frequent their dollar section. These throw pillows are also like $6 each on Amazon and the covers are interchangeable so hellooooo no storage space needed.

Lastly, what's the point of the holiday fuss if it isn't to bring joy to yourself and your loved ones. At the end of the day, it's all just stuff, and in my world, it's a clearance lumbar pillow my dog is going to use as a chew toy no matter how many times I tell her no. Decorate your small space in a way that makes you happy. Save the stressful perfectionism for all of the future years of hosting your mother in law.


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