Much to my daily heart ache, we don’t have a fireplace, which means we don’t have a mantel. One day we will, but our rental home took out the fireplace during renovations and all that remains is the (fantastic) brick back of the fireplace in our bedroom.
I can normally get by without a fireplace mantel. In the spring I think “soon I won’t even notice we don’t have one”. In the summer I think “its too hot for a fire. But it would be pretty”. In the autumn I think “It’s getting colder, a fire would be nice” and in the winter I’m just downright depressed. But I never notice its absence more than at Christmastime.
Next to the Christmas tree, the fireplace is the focal point of Christmas decor. Mantels scream at Christmastime, begging to be decorated in garland, stockings and more. And since my mantel is in some home elsewhere in the city that we will one day live in, for now I must simply adore mantle decor from around the web.