Decorating for Christmas
Whether you’re throwing a big holiday party, hosting relatives from out of town, or just love the season, decorating your home for Christmas is likely an annual tradition.
At the same time, finding the time do it often presents a challenge. Work, family commitments, extra social engagements, and shopping for presents all tend to make many people feel frazzled during those five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve.
Whether you want tips to make decorating easier or prefer to hand over the job to a professional, read on for some holiday decorating advice.
Choosing Your Style
The décor of your home for the other 11 months of the year should influence your Christmas decorations. If your style is minimalist, your holiday décor needs to match. The eclectic look of a maximalist room won’t fit well with decorations that look they came directly from Nordstrom. In addition, that kitschy Star Wars nativity scene will not look right in your perfectly decorated, ultra-modern living room.
In other words, if you want your everyday décor to mesh seamlessly with your holiday décor, stay within the same style family.
Selecting Your Color Scheme
People tend to stick with red, green, and gold for Christmas decorations, but you actually have a lot more color options than you might think. Of course, if your home’s year-round décor leans heavily toward traditional, then you’ll likely stick with red, green, and gold.
However, you may prefer a more sophisticated look. In that case, you may want to change it up. Stark white and vibrant reds modernize the traditional colors. Deep burgundy and rich creams look opulent and luxurious. A monochromatic white palette, with the occasional jewel-toned accent, creates a minimalist look. You can also glam it up a bit with white, black, and gold.
For a modern look, stick with wintry hues, such as icy light blues, bluish grays, and a bit of teal for a splash of color. Deep jewel tones of red, blue, purple, gold, and green are vibrant and eye-catching.
The Living Room
Even though people love to say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, the living room is where family and friends tend to gather. Make sure it reflects the proper Christmas spirit, applying your chosen style and color palette.
Options are endless and don’t have to break the bank. Just a few ideas:
- Wrap wall hangings in gift paper, including bows and ribbons, so that they resemble Christmas presents.
- Tie back curtains with Christmas bows.
- Hang garland, tree ornaments, and twinkle lights from the fireplace mantle, curtain rods, or around pillars and columns.
- Place candles in your chosen color scheme around the room.
- Spray “snow” paint in window corners.
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree, of course, is the star of the show, and tends to reflect the host’s personality and decorating style naturally. If you prefer a traditional home, your Christmas tree decorations from previous years likely reflect this, with twinkling lights, colorful globes, tinsel, and an angel topper. You may even have some decorations the kids made, or that were handed down from generation to generation.
Trees in modern and minimalist homes usually reflect that style, as well. They may have a sprinkling of fake snow, and much less variety in style of decorations, such as matching bows and globes, with steady white lights.
That bohemian room likely has a tree with multiple strands of lights and no discernible color scheme. It’s probably the closest in style to the traditional tree, with a mixture of homemade and store-bought ornaments.
The Dining Room
The Christmas table also needs its own decorations. Again, match the color scheme chosen for the rest of the home, as well as the decorating style.
Buffets and sideboards make the perfect home for a beautiful winter wonderland scene. For a traditional décor, cover the table with a red cloth, overlaid with white lace, with a potted poinsettia set in the center of the table.
Create your own centerpiece with pinecones, Christmas globes, and candles. Add a small wrapped gift to each place setting. Use ribbon in place of napkin rings. Use the same level of creativity you employed in the living room, and incorporate elements used in decorating your tree to tie it all together.
Bringing It All Together
Once you have your style and color schemes, plus some decorating ideas, look through your stock of Christmas decorations from previous years. You may already own much of what you need. Then, make a shopping list.
For example, a traditional Christmas décor requires a tree, stockings, wreath, glass Christmas globes, poinsettia, and pinecones. For the rustic modern look, it’s a bit different. Add ruffled burlap garland to your tree, use vintage bottles to hold candles, and hang a twig wreath and hand-lettered Seasons Greetings signs.
Of course, if it feels like this much work would sap what’s left of your Christmas spirit, don’t feel guilty about hiring a decorator. Even Santa has helpers, and he only works one day a year![ssba]