Just in case you haven’t yet decorated for the holidays, I have five suggestions to help your home achieve Christmas cheer without making you crazy. Begin by getting out the décor that you already have in storage boxes.
1. Cull! Remove old, tired decorations and Christmas ornaments unless an item has a very special emotional bond for you. If it’s your Grandma’s homemade ornament, keep it and use it. Otherwise, discard/give away the stuff that has seen better days and do not repack to have to deal with next year. Tired wreaths with sagging bows do not create a welcome on your front door!
2. Organize and group items by themes, textures or colors. For example, gather your Santas together, the snowmen in a separate spot, all of your purple and white ornaments together, etc. Whatever you have in your collection of décor, separate and look at it carefully. Your collections have greater impact when grouped together, so give it a try.
3. Now decide the spots in your home that will really highlight your collections. Is it a mantle over the fireplace, the top of your china cabinet, a bookshelf, a tea cart, or a Christmas tree?
For example, on a mantle at the inn we grouped a couple of St. Nicks together with greenery and ornaments in coordinating colors that are happy with the art work already on the wall. It was so easy, and looks great.
4. Look for objects in your home to enhance your collection that are not holiday décor. I gathered a collection of snowmen to place on top of a sofa table. A couple of the small, fabric snowmen were “squishy”, so they are now sitting in old-fashioned champagne glasses for a little elevation and quirkiness. Use colorful books or boxes to place under objects in order to provide a variety of heights and interest.
At the Inn, we placed several of our small vases used for weddings, and added them to the mantle and lobby table to complement the mardi-gras themed decorations this year. Jewel tones of purple, green, and blues are featured on the tree and throughout the inn.
5. To decorate the tree, a color scheme or theme makes this job easy. First place the lights. Decide on your color or theme, and then gather those from your stash. At the inn, we adjust or change the color scheme every year, adding a few new ornaments of varying sizes for interest. Don’t limit your tree decoration to ornaments, either. Big, bold colorful flowers are beautiful on a tree, and hide gaps in the branches. The colorful netting, the can be purchased in rolls, adds great interest.
Another idea: gather small tree branches from the yard, and spray paint in a sparkly color that suits your theme. Use wire to fashion your own creative tree topper!
Another theme for your Christmas tree might be simply ideas from your childhood. How about a Barbie tree, or firetruck tree? Just add ornaments and ribbons of complementary colors, and you’re set with a lovely tree that brings joy and smiles.
Finally, when it’s that dreaded time to take down the holiday decorations, CULL! In 2015 you’ll be glad you completed that step.