A Very Cozy Christmas

We’ve been hosting my in-laws for Christmas week. All six of them. In our three bedroom condo. Plus the four of us – five, if you count the short-arsed furry thing who thinks he’s a person too. Happily, it’s all gone rather well and I think (I hope!) everyone is enjoying themselves.

So how did we fit all eleven of us in? Well, we put Eleanor in with us, and Teddy too (Teddy being the aforementioned short-arsed furry thing). I would show you our bedroom except I won’t, because I haven’t touched it since we moved in and it’s a bit of a state. Or a blank slate, if I’m looking on the bright side.

Then we put Sebastian in Eleanor’s room (we converted her crib to a toddler bed right after I took this)…

 …and moved out the dresser and glider to make space for a single air mattress.

I snapped all these photos right before everyone arrived and I was in a mad panic trying to get everything done, so I didn’t stage anything – please excuse the toys, stacks of clothes, and general paraphernalia that is essential to living but does not make for pretty pictures. I cleared one of the shelves so our guests would have somewhere to put their stuff.

We splurged on this air mattress – it’s a double height one so it looks like a real bed, and hopefully the cost is reflected in the comfort factor!

I managed to get a lot done to the condo before everyone arrived. Three weeks ago, this room was blue and had nothing on the walls at all. I spent a few back-breaking hours paying someone else to paint it lavender (yes, I settled on lavender), then, once I’d figured out what the layout will be when it’s all back to normal, I hung things accordingly.

This little gallery wall will sit above the dresser. It’s not finished – I want to change the blue mat and paint some of the frames – but I’ve had all the pieces for a long time so it’s awesome to see them hanging on the wall at last.

Anyway, back to how everyone fit in… We squeezed the remaining five people into Sebastian’s room.

We borrowed two more air mattresses and put one next to the bed, which we left where it normally lives (although the side table got shifted).

One last air mattress sits along the opposite wall. Usually the Expedit sits here, underneath another new gallery wall, and there is a reading chair in the corner.

I thought I’d taken a better picture of the gallery wall, but apparently not. This one isn’t finished either – I want to change the mats and/or paint the frames. And update what’s in most of them too.

I feel bad about just how tight it is in there, but aside from housing them off-site, this was really the only option. There has been some mention of one-way conversations at silly o’clock in the morning, and quite the aroma (so I’m told), but overall, it’s working out okay.

When we moved all the furniture out of the bedrooms, we had to find space for it elsewhere. We moved a bunch of stuff into our room, but the living room still had to house displaced toys and Eleanor’s dresser.

Silly bulbs blew on the tree and we didn’t have enough spares to replace them all. I think we’ll probably have to trash the tree anyway – thanks to Eleanor’s enthusiasm for all the sparkly pretty things hanging off it, a few of the bottom branches are now looking decidedly wonky.

Check out the stripey wall! I still have a lot to do in the living room, but it’s very livable as-is now that the burgundy is gone (see the befores here).

I wanted to decorate the fireplace more but I ran out of time. All our stockings hung here, then we found space for our six guests’ stockings around the kitchen cabinets. If I’d had a bigger budget, I’d have sprung for prettier stockings for them all. We hung our Christmas cards on the cabinets too.

I cooked four dinners ahead of time and froze them, and went out to eat once too, so really the only meal we slaved over (and when I say “we,” I really mean the Mr) was Christmas dinner. Speaking of which, this is how we squeezed all of us around the table…

It was a mess – three folding chairs, two poufs and a folding table. I had to use two different sets of chargers and a few mismatched knives and forks. Still, it worked.

{Note my awesome hubby slaving away in the background}

I didn’t do anything blog-worthy as far as Christmas decor goes. I mainly used what we already had, although I did pick up a cute candle holder (from World Market)…

…and made a super easy wreath by wrapping tinsel around a wreath form. I wanted something festive for the front door and this took five minutes and only cost me $4 for tinsel (I already had the form).

Another quick project I squeezed in beforehand was covering a box in pretty paper. I’ll post more on that soon.

I Instagrammed a couple pictures of what we got up to during the week (I’m @LizzieLivingPretty), including checking out the bean and ice skating in Millennium Park.

We also dropped everyone off at the Art Institute one day, played Whirly Ball (which, if you’re not familiar, is basically lacrosse with bumper cars, and it’s super fun) and went to the Christkindle Market, and we’re still planning to go go karting and do brunch at the Signature Room (at the top of the John Hancock building) this weekend. It’s been really busy but totally fun too. Hope you all had a great Christmas and, if I’m not back before then, have a Happy New Year too!

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