How to drive your family crazy, Christmas edition.

In case you want to know…

Rearrange your mantel, or some other highly visible area (focal point:  the experts call them focal points) to an asymmetrical display.

I decided to take down a picture from my mantel and give it a more Christmas-y look.  Nothing fancy.  I like things simple.  I moved the candlesticks, and painted a blue backdrop for the stocking holders.  My daughter drew and cut the star.  Simple.

My daughter, my husband, my eldest son all  – independently of one another – told me that the blue board should be horizontal.  Or moved on center.  They flipped the board to show me what they meant.  I assured them that my choice was intentional.

My husband readily accepted that I’d achieved more or less the look I wanted, and moved on to other things.

My eldest, who strongly dislikes asymmetry, rearranged it several ways, showing me layouts he found less jarring.  One of his arrangements was rather nice, and I did agree that a wider blue board would have been better, but this was a zero cost project.  I’m not going out to buy a bigger backdrop.  (The blue board is a piece of foamboard that was purchased and not used a couple years ago, painted with leftover navy blue paint.)

My daughter, after seeing the star in place, asked, “What are you going to do with all that negative space?”  I told her I was going to leave it negative.  Her eyes widened in horror.  She likes to fill in all blank spaces.  Her bedroom is evidence of this.  I told her that I want uncluttered, so the eye would go to the star, then to the tiny nativity below.  She remains dubious.

I’m waiting to see if my youngest son says anything about it when he gets in later this week.

You can’t tell in the photo, but the star is glittery.  I am tempted to take a can of white spray paint to the stocking holders, but I’m undecided on that.

What do you think?  Honest opinions, please.  Would my mantle drive you crazy?


14 thoughts on “How to drive your family crazy, Christmas edition.

  1. Probably I’d arrange it symmetrically if it was me; center the star & the nativity stocking holder, and 2 candles to either side instead of 3 and one. But that is just me, and not a directive for you. I do think it is lovely.

    I adore the backdrop and the single star shining over the nativity. I am jealous of your stocking holders and want some just like it; that would be perfect on my mantle. If I could find 2 more to go with so we’d have five. (unless, do you not use them for stockings? Or only for the kids?) Oh my word, they are gorgeous. Love love love them.

    I would not paint them white, personally, because I think the pop of silver/pewter is very nice and helps them stand out from the wall. If you paint them white, they’ll blend into the wall behind them. I have a white nativity that is all one piece and around that size, against a white wall. Drives me batty. Unless you swap the board later for one wide enough to backdrop all three pieces, then it would probably be gorgeous…..but, I don’t know….I like the contrast and simple beauty of having the silver/pewter.

    Gorgeous, all of it. Except yes, twitchy on the non symmetry. Off to search Amazon for nativity stocking holders……..

    • I bought those as a set at Target a few years ago. I do use them for the kids’ stockings, but don’t place the stockings on them until Christmas Eve. Good points about white v. pewter.

  2. No, it wouldn’t. Our mantle is asymmetrical as well. But it’s been that way for so long I don’t even notice it anymore. However, it drives my sister crazy when she comes to visit.

  3. I love your mantle. Assymetry is fun and makes your eye wander so you don’t miss anything. 🙂 I also would not spray paint the stocking holders. I’d be afraid to lose the color texture. If you do paint them, I say do a rub something on them to “antique” them and add dimension. My two cents.

  4. It wouldn’t bother me. If however it was my mantle, I’d have all the candlesticks. to the left, and the board horizontal. But that’s me! Do what pleases you. I love the board as a back drop to the stocking holders.

  5. I like the blue with a pop of silver up high – if I was designing it and it wasn’t a ‘zero-cost’ project I probably would have gone for a bigger horizontal board not the full mantle tho’, just a bigger rectangle.

    The silver pewter and white combo is nice, gives a lovely shine to the mantle – nice combination of textures too. Really pretty 🙂

  6. I like it. I wouldn’t paint the holders white. Right now it feels like night time. If they were too white it would lose the subtle power that it has. The tall, dark sky and the lone white star sort of create the space needed to make those manger scene holders seem small and vulnerable. It reminds me of miracles.

    Those stocking holders are pretty neat. I have never seen any like that.

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