Christmas Mantel Inspiration!

I've been a little under the weather lately.  Could be the changing of the seasons or the November blahs.  Today though, I felt the urge to search for a bit of mantel inspiration!
With a toddler around our home, my mantel needs to be a big part of my decorating this Christmas season.  It's the one place her little hands can't reach as of yet! hehe.
I found some inspiration on Pinterest but I do have to say I find it a bit bothersome that so few are marked with the source they came from.  I do like the whimsical one above from BHG. It combines a bit of the traditional and whimsical without looking too funky.

But truly I think I am a traditionalist and tend to gravitate toward this kind of Christmas decorating the most.
Love this....it's cheery, sparkly and traditional to boot!

I love the use of lanterns, and that twiggy stuff adds so much here!

Another one that makes me smile!  Love the lights, garland and Merry Christmas swag.

I also love the natural look!  No matter how much you spend it's hard to get boughs that look as good as the real thing.  And pine cones, just love them and they need to be somewhere in my home at Christmas time.
So what colors and styles do you love best at Christmas time? 
I know that the style of your mantel and fireplace must factor in.
Ours is stone so nothing too feminine will work.

And how about your style of Christmas trees?  We always get a real one and cut it ourselves.  I do think artificial are easier to decorate but they don't smell as good.  I also am wondering how to keep little, bitty hands off of my tree this year.  Any ideas out there?  I truly am perplexed on this one and need ideas.    I don't want to buy one of those huge ugly gates that circle the tree.  I have even though of hanging our tree from the ceiling! Lol.

Our life is more complicated now with a toddler around but she sure is rewarding!
Her newest words are ho-ho for Santa and ah-oo no!  The words keep coming like crazy and its so fun!
Off to do a bit of holiday shopping today, maybe I will find the perfect solution!

Take Care,


  1. When my kids were little I remember putting the tree in the playpen...crazy, but it worked! Also, I totally agree with you about Pinterest. I look at something, can't find the source and just shut it down.

  2. Hi Cindy, hope you are feeling better soon. Funny today I was going to be working on my mantel and have no clue what to do this year. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great day. These are all beautiful.

  3. Great pics, Cindy. I put a wreath on a mirror (like the first pic) last year and love it. The twiggy garland with balls hanging from it is especially pretty, too. Oh, loved your table setting in the previous pic with the red ironstone dishes - beautiful! Linda

  4. Hi Cindy,
    Stopping by to say hello and see what you've been up to lately. I love your mantle photos. I usually do greenery, lights, silver and whites.
    I know you are loving having that sweet baby around. We have to enjoy them as much as we can because they grow up so fast.

    Have a wonderful week.


  5. Wonderful inspiration pics, Cindy! I am also discovering that my decor will need to be toddler proof! The first year my now 11 year old grandson could reach the tree, he undecorated it up as far as he could reach...so we had a half-decorated tree! lol Can't wait to see what you do!...hugs...Debbie

  6. Hi Cindy! I've been doing the same thing as you - thinking about mantels! You've picked some lovely ones. I'm like you and lean toward more traditional styles, reds, greens and golds.
    Little Addison will love Christmas this year! :)
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  7. Hope you feel better soon. I will be checking to see your solution for the tree. :-D

  8. Cindy, all of your inspiration pics are wonderful. However I am sure you will come up with something that is fantastic. You do have a lovely fireplace and your mantels are always lovely. Addison is such a cutie, so fun, but yes, those little hands are so eager to touch. Hope you feel better soon. Hugs, Marty

  9. I struggle with my mantle decorations all year long. I am never satisfied with it.
    At Christmas though it is valuable real estate for some my Santa Collection.

  10. I like the natural look, too - lots of pine cones and pine boughs. Thanks for the lovely ideas! As for attaching the Christmas tree - seriously, we did attach ours to the ceiling one year when we had toddlers! Just screw a sturdy plant hanger into the ceiling where there is a stud. It only leaves a small hole that's easy to patch up! Of course, you're not going to leave the child alone with the tree, so it's probably not going to get tipped anyway, but this would give you peace of mind! Toddlers - so much work, but so much fun during the holidays! Enjoy!

  11. Great selection of mantels, Cindy - but my favorite has to be the last one done in the naturals - love the cones and feathers and topiaries. I wish I could be that focused when it comes to my mantel - unfortunately, we have a small home, and I have many "treasures" - especially when it comes to holiday collectibles - so I'm not willing to give up precious "real estate" to do a particularly themed or "put together" mantel. Ours is pretty much the same from year to year, housing the same treasures. As for the tree - I don't recall my son having been a problem at that age - but he was always pretty good about staying away from things he was told not to touch...I have, though, seen artificial trees made specifically to be hung upside down from the ceiling - a store around here actually sold some high quality ones and I was very, very tempted for several years - but we have a slanted ceiling and I didn't think it would have the same effect. Good luck whatever you decide! Happy Wednesday! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  12. Gorgeous my friend...I love the one with the greenery and the big pine cones..so awesome! :D

  13. Love these images, Cindy!! I like to do mine up with pine boughs and fruit, I pretty much do it the same every year I have a collection of Old World Santa's that go up there, too and of course a wreath. Hopefully I will get to it after Thanksgiving Day. I plan on asking all the rugged men in my house to bring my boxes and bins up after dessert! Smart?!!

    I don't remember what I did about the tree when the kids were little. Maybe nothing too shiny or interesting to Addison at the bottom? I had more problems with my puppies wanting to chew...they went through all of Rudolph's reindeer one year!!

    It looks like Galena will be on our spring list of things to do. Al found a wonderful inn in St. Joe, Michigan and we are going there for the anniversary weekend. Then we have his Christmas party one weekend. The best thing is that we get to meet up in the summer and see some different things at the shops.

    Sorry to hear about Katie and her boyfriend. I hope things work out!


  14. I'm so enjoying the mantel in the little blue house!

  15. These are beautiful, Cindy. The second one is in the home of one of my decorating forum friends, Maureen. Her entire home is gorgeous!

  16. Hi Cindy,
    I am having the same issue this year with Mason being here - 18 months and loves to grab things. When you catch him with something, he panicks and hurls it across the room! I guess he thinks, no evidence - no time out!! HIs mom says - "just decorate" and I say " are you gonna buy me all new things next year???"!
    But what fun having a little one in the house at Christmas time.
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Oh, I love the mantel with the lantern and plain vines!

  17. Hi Cindy-

    I think it is our Wisconsin weather that is giving you the blahs! Although it hasn't been as bad this year as it is some years. I think I am pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to decorating. I love all the old traditional colors and I love the natural elements mixed in along with a bit of glitz.

    Good luck on keeping the tree free of little hands. I used to give our grands 2 or 3 ornaments that were "theirs" that they could place on the tree and they knew those were the only ones they were allowed to touch. Or...how about a little baby tree (a fake one) that she can have to put her own little ornaments and paper chains on and it's HANDS OFF the big tree?

    We have a new baby grandson, born yesterday, a 10+ pounder-emergency C section. I am watching BabyE for a while at their house in Milwaukee- xo Diana

  18. When our Christmas trees were in danger of toppling over from children or cats, we put a hook for hanging plants in the ceiling and tied the tree to it. That worked great.

  19. Hi darling, hope you're feeling better. What great inspirational pictures.. I plan to go with red, silver and my vintage mercury.. we'll see if it all comes together.. lol..
    hugs ~lynne~

  20. I remember one year actually sittin' the tree in the playpen to keep little fingers outta it!!! Heeehehehe!

    I use greenery, bows, stockings lights and most anything else that will fit on my mantle. We have a very large fireplace.

    My tree is country all the way....SURPRISE!!!!

    I know...shockin' isn't it?

    Please get to feelin' better, my heart and prayers are with you sweetie.

    God bless and have a beautiful day my friend.

  21. Cindy, You found some lovely mantels. Ours is still decorated for fall but will need to think about Christmas very soon!

  22. I'm in the same boat as you...last year the tree was no problem...this year...not sure what i'm going to do...with a little one around you have to relearn how to decorate for all occasions...definately worth it though..

  23. Beautiful mantel inspiration Cindy. You made me want to get out my Christmas decor, but I've got to get through Thanksgiving first. It's funny, but I don't remember my children or grandchildren ever doing much damage to our Christmas trees. They always seem to be in awe of them. I guess you could use several smaller trees on tables, as opposed to one big tree. Good luck! laurie

  24. I love all those inspirational mantles Cindy! My favorite is the one with all the greenery and pine cones. We always have a real tree - and my husband likes BIG real trees. When the girls were small I usually had to put up a gate into the room with the tree - wish I had a better solution! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  25. Best Christmas mantel inspiration I've ever seen! Awesome photographs! I hope you get to feeling better soon! Take care.

  26. Hi Girlfriend...

    Oooh...so many beautiful Christmas mantels! I love the second photo! I have been searching for inspirational and new Christmas ideas as well! Shhhh...don't tell anyone but I had Russell bring all my Christmas down from upstairs already. I guess Darrin and Danielle will be coming the week of Thanksgiving so I think I will start my Christmas decorating early and try to have it finished by the time they get here. I don't want to mess with it while they're here. I always wait till after Thanksgiving but I swear that I'm getting slower and slower these days! Hehe! Sure hope that you get to feeling better, sweet friend! If you're like me...the cold weather always effects me. My old fibromyalgia bones have been screaming at me lately!

    Well dear friend, feel better and have fun planning your Christmas decor!

    Love ya,

  27. Thanks for some inspiration! The Christmas season is coming upon us and I want to savor every moment! You will be having so much fun with little Addison and seeing the season through her eyes. Perhaps you should create a childhood Christmas mantel ~ in fact I am already dreaming of one! Can;t wait to see what you decide!!

    Susan and Bentley

  28. Are you inspired yet?? I can't wait to see what you come up with Cindy. You always make it look beautiful. Little Madison can't climb up there anyway, so decorate away.
    well... unless she's a climber!!!

  29. Hi Cindy.....love that Christmas swag with the balls....I need to find stick on letters...I can see that hanging from my stone fireplace....I usually have all my German nutcrackers on the mantel with some greens and pine cones....fancier house this year I might have to kick it up a notch....as for the tree we haven't had one for the past ten years since we spend all our holidays up North with daughter but this year her and Miss B will be coming here after Jan. 1st. so we need a fake tree that will last until then....this will be here first Christmas as a single mom so I am hoping she handles it well....no matter how old we get we always worry about our kids....

  30. Cindy, I too am a traditionalist. I tend to lean towards natural and the colors of red, green and silver. We usually head up to the mountains to cut our tree!

    When my children were little and I had four ages 5 and under, I tried to place unbreakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree. It did help some! :0)

    Hope you feel better soon. I too am recovering from not feeling well myself this week.

  31. All these mantel's are beautiful!

    I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. We've been in our new place for 6 months now and so it'll be our first christmas here! We have my parents coming and some of the in-laws too - all for the first time EVER!

    Am looking forward to decorating the tree (we have a bottle and bauble party every year) and also decorating our mantel! ;-)

  32. They are all so pretty! I'm very traditional so I will have red & green for sure!

  33. Pinterest is so much fun! I do agree with you, that we all should try harder to make sure there is a way to link to the original source. Many times if you click on the picture it takes you there.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  34. I am probably drawn to the very last one, Cindy. It's natural (except I wasn't fond of those sort of trees in a twist ..wasn't sure what they were. But the rest of the mantle with the free and easy non stiff look..I thought was so pretty. I am about to have fits to get my Christmas decorating under way! It takes so much time..and it takes me a week to stop tweeking everything. Ah well... :)
    *tapping foot* Patience! :)


I would love to hear from you. Come back and visit anytime. Warmest Wishes, Cindy