December 21, 2023

How To Create a Warm Neutrals Christmas Tree Filled with Memories

This is my first holiday season with my son. Initially I wanted to go big. I’m talking holiday decor in every room. But being a new mom, I had zero time. And being a single mom, I’m on a budget. So instead, I decided to keep things simple. I thought about how to create a warm neutrals Christmas tree filled with memories. Here’s what I came up with:

The Tree

I was going back and forth between a real or faux Christmas tree. I ended up going faux and I love the tree I found during Black Friday! I made sure to get one with warm lights. That way, you get a golden glow in the room.

The ornaments

Growing up Jewish, I never had a Christmas tree as a kid. But when my mom married my stepdad when I was a teenager, we got to have a tree. I was so excited. I was even more excited that my mom decided we should hand-paint all the ornaments. I’d come home from school and help her paint the clear glass ornaments with different designs. And for years after that, she’d add new ornaments with new memories. And she always personalized ornaments anytime a friend or family member celebrated the holidays with us (you can see some of them in Jack Jack’s first Christmas video).

I knew it would be impossible to top her tree so I didn’t even try. Instead, I tried to think of something that was personal, but still dog and kid friendly (glass is a no now that I have a baby). I also wanted something that fit the California casual vibe of our new home. I cam up with a mix of natural elements and ways to showcase memories for years to come (here’s a video of our tree on Instagram).

Natural Elements

I was inspired by Nordic design with these lightweight ornaments. Then I used pinecones as filler. Preston and I collected pinecones on our walks. I glued velvet ribbon on them to fill in any holes in our tree. I also used natural elements to fill the majority of the plastic fillable ornaments. Some I did with wood flowers. And the rest I put in dried baby’s breath and mini pinecones. For the tree topper, I found a wood bead star.

Memories for Years to Come

I collected some of my favorite memories of the past year: my first sonogram photo, the hat Preston wore to come home from the hospital, his fave onesie, wings from his first flight, etc.). Over the years, I can’t wait to add in more memories I create with my boys.

ornament tips

use Ribbon for Cohesion

Using one type of ribbon makes everything cohesive. I did all khaki velvet. But you could also choose one color in different textures. Or you could do one texture, like velvet, in different colors.

Double faced velvet makes life easier

In previous years I did single sided ribbon for ornaments. This year, I spent a little extra on double faced velvet. It was totally worth it. I was able to make bows so much faster not having to worry about the different texture.

Give ample time to dry flowers

I made the huge mistake of not letting my baby’s breath fully dry out before placing them in my ornaments. I came back from vacation to a tree of moldy flowers. It was gross. So I just bought dried baby’s breath as a quick fix. But if you’re drying on your own, make sure you let it fully dry out before locking in the moisture.

As for the rest of my holiday decor? I kept things simple and in line with my warm neutrals Christmas tree:

The Mantle

Everyone has different ideas on how to decorate a mantle for the holidays. I personally like assymetrical garland. I found this awesome faux garland at Home Goods. Then I added large bells and small bells on twine on one side (my son loves ringing the bells). I still had these clear reindeers from my West Hollywood glam holiday decor. So I mixed in a little glass with the candles and tray and contrasted it with more natural elements like pinecones and dried baby’s breath.

I also used my TV as holiday artwork. It’s a little trick I’ve been doing since I first got a Frame six years ago. I’m so obsessed I bought another Frame TV when I moved to San Diego. I uploaded a bunch of holiday paintings and photographs I love. Then I favorited them and created a holiday slideshow. Every 15 minutes, I get to see new artwork that spans the centuries.

Holiday Flower arrangements

I love creating fresh floral arrangements. But again, I have zero time these days. So I bought a bunch of faux hydrangeas and peonies at Michaels that I can use throughout the year. To make them holiday, I added faux pine and pinecone bushes and some baby’s breath that I let dry out.

holiday decor tips

Use scents if going faux

Since I didn’t get a real tree, I scattered scented pinecones around my home (both on the tree via ornaments and on my mantle). I bought my Balsam scented pinecones at Trader Joe’s but they have a bunch online.

Create a playlist

In addition to my TV artwork playlist, I always have a Spotify playlist going. It instantly makes a home feel more holiday.

Don’t be afraid of mixing vibes

Even though I have California casual decor now, I was still able to incorporate a few holiday pieces I had used in my previous glam decor. I love sprinkling in unexpected home decor elements.

More of a glam girl? I used to be too! Here is how I decorated my condo as a chic winter wonderland over the holidays:


Leave a Comment


  1. athenanunez commented:

    I wish you have joy and peace in the new year. With your loved ones, enjoy as much time as you can at pico park by lounging and having fun.

    Notice: Undefined variable: comment_ID in /home/nginx/domains/ on line 30
  2. Evgeniia Sporish commented:

    Markets are in a constant state of flux, and thetrader understands the importance of adaptability. Successful traders continuously refine their strategies, learning from both successes and setbacks. Flexibility in approach and an ability to adjust to changing market conditions are key characteristics of a seasoned trader.

    Notice: Undefined variable: comment_ID in /home/nginx/domains/ on line 30
  3. Yan90 commented:

    Moc děkuji

    Notice: Undefined variable: comment_ID in /home/nginx/domains/ on line 30

get the newsletter

Sign up to receive Sydne's weekly newsletters for exclusive content, sale alerts and more!