Happy Friday the 13th! And if you’re reading this in the Midwest today, you know the weather is crummy. With a capital C! This is one of those weekends where most of us should probably just hunker down and lay low until the roads are cleared.
That’s probably why I had the sudden urge to go shopping. I had nothing I needed, mind you. I just wanted to go. Probably it was because I knew I shouldn’t. Or couldn’t. ha ha
Anyway, this post is for those of you who have been stressed to the gills and are feeling guilty because not only have you not done much decorating, you aren’t sure you want to bother.
Let me just say, I feel your pain.
I love having my house decorated for Christmas. I just hate doing it. And there have been Christmases past where I haven’t, usually because we were remodeling and I couldn’t face packing and unpacking more boxes!
Here’s some quick little tips to help your house look festive without doing a whole lot, and using what you have. Honestly, the smartest thing I EVER did was to bless someone else with my gorgeous but huge, heavy, and unlit tree. If you’re tree shopping, I have one word for you: PRE-LIT. I also went for a tall, but slim tree last year. And I’ve never looked back.
1. Choose a color or a theme.
Meet my new coffee table. SIGH. I’m totally in love with this table. This was my birthday and Christmas present from Jimmy, which just came a couple of weeks ago. He even liked it when it came and he realized it was my gift.
BAH HA HA HA HA.
The best part about it is no more lost bones or hooves underneath! But I digress.
If you’re having trouble deciding WHICH of your decorations you want to get out, don’t feel like you need to get them all. Simplify this year.
Pick just the ornaments that are your favorite color. Or go with just your favorite ornaments. Or just the ornaments that the kids have made. Or use patio lights that already have a decorative exterior. Or simply smother the tree in lots of pretty lights and some tinsel and call it good. At night, it will be breathtaking!
Several years ago, I blessed my nieces with my “collectible” Hallmark ornament collection, all still in the little boxes, which were the biggest pain come the holidays. I couldn’t bear the thought of opening all those little boxes one more time. I’d collected them for years and was so completely over them.
My ornaments are now primarily white, silver, clear, or brown (twiggy spheres and pine cones) with “ice crystals.” And a few antlers thrown in, because we like the rustic look.
2. Lights maketh a winter wonderland.
If you’ve ever been to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas, they have a huge cactus garden that’s drenched in lights during the winter. No ornaments. No big generator-powered yard displays. Just lots and lots of lights. It’s quiet, peaceful, and absolutely magical. And breathtaking. And not an ornament one. (Or at least there didn’t used to be.) It was always one of my favorite Christmas stops when I lived there.
You can do the same thing to your house.
If you love red lights, use all red. Blue would also be gorgeous! Lots of vibrant colors? Awesome!
Let your kids help, then turn out all the lights in the house and have dinner or even just hot chocolate with only the Christmas lights on. Wowww… 🙂
We happen to prefer white lights. There’s something clean and simple and always elegant about white lights. This year, we did manage to decorate the outside of our house with them. (We’ve not accomplished that some years.) And, no one was injured in the process, which is always a plus. 😉
We have them around our big windows on the inside, and trailing over in front of our fireplace. Doesn’t that look nice? You almost don’t notice that I forgot to light the candles!
I have them above my kitchen cabinets year-round. It’s a terrific way to add a little bit of ‘mood lighting.’ During the winter, I throw some garland up there and leave it to look festive. I usually leave the garland up all winter until about March, as it is just pine garland with pine cones and some snow.
Do you have stairs? Wrap them around your banister! Drape them through your house plants, whether real or faux. Do you have a ficus tree? Stick some in there! Your house will look like a winter wonderland in no time!
3. Less is more.
During the Great Basement Clean Out, I emptied about 10…yes, 10..totes full of decorations I’d accumulated over the years. I could have decorated 3 houses! With so much stuff, it’s no wonder decorating was an overwhelming task. I kept all my favorite things, and still didn’t put everything out. I didn’t feel like I needed to.
I placed some of my favorite things around the house, like this little snowman guy who looks perfect sitting on this table. Nearly everything in my house I have decorated you see in these pictures.
Put out just a few of your favorite things, or let your kids pick out a favorite. Everyone will think your house is tastefully underdone! And simple. And elegant.
4. Be quirky!
This stuffed moose is one of my favorites, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of a spot for him. So I sat him on top of the armoire, where he can nonchalantly survey the landscape. That pine tree, by the way, is faux. And it has patio lights in it.
It was downstairs in the bar, but got squeezed out by a neon light. The tree looks great here, and really adds something to the room. I will say he’s suffered a bit from all my repurposing and moving around, so I think here he’s going to have to stay.
Even Morty the Moose gets gussied up! I put a Santa hat on him every year at Christmas. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t good enough for me to get a good shot. I’ve thought about putting lights on his antlers, but somehow, Morty is too dignified for that. 😀
5. Make something you already have festive.
We don’t do much in the way of a gift exchange, so the bottom of our tree always looks bare. I decided to dress it up a little this year, and picked up several galvanized pails of varying sizes at Tractor Supply. (I love Tractor Supply!)
I already had the pine cones and over-sized ornaments, so it was a matter of placing them around the bottom of the tree. The red you see is actually a sphere with pine cones, plums, ice crystals, and some other stuff.
You know all those ornaments you aren’t putting on the tree? Fill a beautiful crystal bowl or candle holder with them and use it as a centerpiece. Or fill some pretty baskets with them and place several of them under the tree. Or collect some pine cones and do the same. I actually had collected these you see in the picture during my crafting days, painted and glittered them.
All these are easy Christmas decoration ideas that anyone can do, and they aren’t time consuming. With this approach, all you need is a few minutes here and there. Don’t be afraid to try something a little bit different; I rarely do the same thing twice, mostly because I can’t remember from year to year. You might be surprised at how something fresh (and easy!) can be a holiday pick-me-up. 🙂 Good luck!