Mantle Makeover

For eleven months of the year, our living room mantle looks like this:

Plain, simple, and symmetrical - just the way I like it.

But obviously, in December it can't look like that.  It needs stockings! And, in the past, I've also hung large ornaments from stocking hangers, but this year, they had to go.  I was tired of them and they really didn't hold up well in the attic.  So, after a quick lunch break at Pier One, I had two new gold Christmas trees cones to go with the stockings.

I put everything in its place and our December mantle transformed into this:

And after standing back to take a look, all I could think was, well that's boring.

I did some brainstorming and decided that maybe I needed some angel hair and ornaments.  The mantle is right next to the Christmas tree which is full of silver ornaments.  I figured a good handful of gold and silver ornaments on the mantle would help tie the Christmas tree and the Christmas cones together.

The only problem was that I was running short on time to get my house decorated, so I sent Doc to Hobby Lobby with strict instructions to get real angel hair.  I even pointed some out to him at my mom's house so he'd know what he was looking for.  When he called and said he was able to get six bags of it, I was thrilled! (I had already been to Michael's and Target and couldn't find it.)

Doc got home later in the evening and presented me with the angel hair.

Sigh...that's a bag of shredded plastic, but in his defense, it does say angel hair on the package.  So what do you do when you're less than 24 hours out from your house guests arriving? You say that's perfect! and you make it work.

I ripped into those packages and went to town spreading it out on the mantle.

Then came the fun part: adding the gold and silver ornaments.

I stood back to take another look and definitely thought it looked better, but still wasn't sure that I was satisfied.

But what else does it need?!?

Around this same time, we were facing another problem that happens every December: Christmas cards were filling up our mailbox but we had nowhere to put them.  It's the only time of the year when I don't love our non-magnetic stainless steel refrigerator.

That's when the light bulb went off and I thought, Wouldn't it be great if I could solve both of these problems at the same time?

And that's how this Christmas card clothesline idea was born.  I strung some gold ribbon on the mantle, had Doc spray paint some clothespins silver for me, and started hanging up the Christmas cards.

What do you think? Is it weird?

Tell me the truth - I can handle it.  Are the cards too much?  Should I take them down?

For now, I'm off to hang up four more that we just received.  Where do you display yours?