Have you collected and inherited decorations throughout the years? Here are some helpful tips on planning and managing the decorating process that, like any other project, usually takes more time than you thought. Whether you decorate right after Thanksgiving, or the night before Christmas, make time for you and your family to enjoy what is most important.
Ask your family what they like about decorating and time spent leading up to and during the holidays. It could be just as simple as decorating the tree while listening to your collection of Christmas CD’s and sipping homemade hot chocolate. Later, take a car ride through town in search of the best outdoor lighting display. If you have been recently dealing with any out of the ordinary stress, such as a family illness, or if you’ve moved recently, or even if the weather has been making it hard to get things done, you may need to scale back plans for this year. So most importantly, ask yourself what you enjoy most and how much time and effort do you have to give.
Start your planning early, so that you can take time to relax and enjoy your hard work. Do you want to keep it simple? Do you want to decorate every room? Do you want to decorate in the traditional colors, introduce trendy colors like turquoise or chartruese, or bring in natural elements? If you are lucky enough to live by a forested area, take a walk through the woods to gather fallen boughs, pine cones, and interesting sticks (dogwood branch are a deep red and can really bring in some good color).
In the order of simplicity, you may have quite a collection of decorations, and you should know that you don’t have to put out each and every piece every year. Pick and choose your favorites, or what you want to highlight for this year. If you’ve decided on a theme, whether it be color or otherwise, you can always mix traditional items with the new theme. Remember, you’re decorating for your own enjoyment, too!
Once you’ve chosen your theme and decorations, I recommend that you clear the area of your daily décor. Your creativity will flow better with a clean slate. As you bring out your holiday décor, you may want to store your everyday items in the same containers to make it easier to switch back after the holiday. This may also be a good time to weed out decorations that you no longer deem necessary, or are just plain tired of looking at. Start a pile for donating for families that may just be starting out, or for families in need that would still enjoy bringing in the holiday spirit.
Lastly, when your decorating is all done, turn down the lights, stoke the fireplace (or flip the switch), and turn on relaxing Christmas music with a mug of Tom & Jerry and rejoice in the Holiday Season!