I love the month of December. Between the cards arriving daily, the wonderful sights and scents of the season, the many savored traditions and the vast array of festive foods to behold (and eat!) it is unmatched in my book. But I always feel the rush to hurry up and decorate my house so I can sit down and enjoy it!
With that in mind, I have relied on some easy “fall backs” over the years in order to simplify my holiday decorating.
- Use what’s on hand: I love to use things around the house, and this includes food items. Perhaps you have an overabundance of uneaten clementines or oranges; use them to fill a glass hurricane and drop cranberries in the gaps. You’ll have a perfect centerpiece in minutes. Add some festive candles and you’re ready for company. Or try using what is right outside your door – pinecones or branches, twigs with brightly colored berries – all are a perfect addition to your holiday table or mantle that will save you a trip to the store.
- Use things again: There is no reason to re-invent the wheel every December as you put out your holiday decorations. I have used the same garland year after year on my stairs, and here’s my trick: label them by number in the order they are to be hung from top to bottom. That way they always fit and I don’t have to spend extra time recreating just the right lengths to match the railing. You can also take a photo of something you love that you made, so you can reproduce it next year – without the brain damage of trying to remember. (A year is a long time to keep those details in your head!)
Another option is to jot a quick note and tuck it in the box when you’re putting away that treasured crèche scene – write down how you had it or what you loved about this year’s display! You will be overjoyed next year when that extra minute now pays off later.
- Use ideas from catalogs: Feel like you’re lacking creativity? Borrow a “page” from some of the best marketers around – save those Christmas catalogs and use your favorite ideas to mimic the same concepts with your own treasures. For example, if you see a fabulous mantle display, study what makes it work. Do they have varying heights, twinkle lights, garland, stocking holders? Take your own items and try to recreate the very same display, improvising, but keeping the general concept the same, such as using 3 large candlesticks on the left side, a chunky knick knack on the right and garland throughout. It’s easier than you think to make your stuff look professional if you’re looking at someone’s professional work.
So hop to it, and get that house decorated – so you can sit back and relish the season, the traditions, the food, the company and your own handiwork!