Holiday decorating and spirit, for me, doesn’t start until December. It isn’t December 1st or anything specific like that, I just like to take some times to decompress from the Thanksgiving craziness, then start focusing on Christmas and the New Year.
This year I decorated on December 7th, because it was the first weekend following Thanksgiving holiday. I had already heard a number of Christmas songs on the radio, saw the decor in stores and commercials on television and felt the holiday spirit bubbling inside. Now I don’t go all out, but I do like to bring holiday joy inside and outside the house. So here are a few of my tips for creating the perfect holiday decorating experience in your home.
1. Pick a style and color combination to carry throughout your decorating. There are a number of styles you can choose from and they usually coincide with your home style or family traditions.
a. Classic– red and white
b. White Christmas – just as it sounds
c. Traditional – red and green, heavy ornamental and décor emphasis (I think of my Grandma’s Christmas tree)
d. Rustic – pine cones, mason jars, burlaps and plaid, natural elements
e. Glam – metallics, sequins, mirrored glass, with a few bright colors
f. Modern – unconventional colors and items: think white faux tree, hot pinks, and turquoise décor.
g. Vintage – antique items, Saint Nick décor, muted colors, heirloom items.
h. Coastal – blues and whites and seaside decor
i. Bohemian - lots of bells, tassels and beads
j. A combination of these or your own personal style
I would call my style a whimsical classic theme. It starts with my use of Santa Claus and nutcrackers figurines, there's an air of playfulness in my loves of snowglobes, but also includes romantic elements with multiple flameless candles and glass votives. I gravitate towards classic reds and metallic golds with a little green and white splashed in there. I prefer white lights outside my house with a mix of muted colored lights inside.
2. You can’t go too big or too small – maybe you’re a Griswald and want the brightest house in the neighborhood and your house to look like Santa's workshop. Go for it. New York City interior stylist Erin Swift, featured in Better Homes and Garden Magazine this month, uses the rule of 100 light per 1.5 feet of tree and 10 ornaments per foot. Her tree is overflowing with pezzaz. On the other hand, maybe you just like simple understated tree and a quaint wreath on the door. Or maybe you are somewhere in between. The holidays are about family, traditions, being thankful for what we have, giving back to others. Do what feels best for you, your family, and your fur family. And if that is sitting on the couch watching some football and ignoring decorating and music, well that is fine too.
3. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get in the holiday spirit – Sure if you want to get the mercury glass set of ornaments at Pier 1 or West Elm, do it! But you can also get steals at your local thrift stores and the dollar store. You can take the dog and kids for a nature walk and pick up evergreen pieces and pine cones to decorate the entry table, dining table or breakfast bar.
4. Play your favorite Holiday music! I was excited to decorate, but not exactly overjoyed to climb up on the roof and string my icicle lights myself. But you know what? I put on my favorite Michael Buble Pandora station, ate my breakfast and drank my latte, sang along to Santa Baby, rocked out to Trans Siberian Orchestra and was ready to roll. Music always makes everything better in my mind!
5. Last but not least - don’t take yourself too seriously. Here's is one of my two cats sitting under what he believes is his own safe space. I have come to terms with this annual tradition of his!
Have fun and Happy Holidays!