Your Christmas Decorating Game Plan

Your Christmas Decorating Game Plan
Decorating for Christmas has always been a serious business and this year is no exception.  We’re breaking all of the good American rules of Christmas decorating and putting up our Christmas trees BEFORE Thanksgiving.  Yes, I said trees- plural.  We take Christmas decor seriously in our home.

While I don’t expect you to deck the halls to the tune of five Christmas trees, like we enjoy doing, I do expect you to check your Scrooge at the door and add some festive touches to your home.  So, today I’m sharing with you a few simple strategies to get the maximum merry for the minimum humbug (effort).

Focus on your tree. If you’re looking to keep things on the minimal side this year, focus your efforts on your Christmas tree.  Personally, I love my trees having themes.  Our main Christmas tree looks deceptively like Valentine’s Day, with an abundance of hearts.  We keep updated pictures of our sons in little ornament frames and a few special mementoes on the tree as well.  Another one of our trees (it goes in our kitchen) is all food related, with simple popcorn and cranberry homemade garlands and cut out cinnamon ornaments (recipe here or here) and/or baking soda ornaments.  It’s simple and incredibly cozy.  Yet another one of our trees is covered in our favorite Instagram snaps from the year.  You can read about that Year-in-Review tree here.  The bottom line is this, you’ll get the best overall effect from your tree if you take a few minutes to plan which direction you want to go.  Also, be sure to place your tree in a prominent spot in your house to feel all of the warmth and glow.

Eye-level impact.  There’s nothing at all wrong with string lights on top of the cabinets or festive blankets and pillows nestled into baskets on the floor, but to get more bang for your Christmas-decorating buck, focus on putting trinkets at eye level.  Think about it: all of the classic Christmas touches happen right in front of your eyes; the tree, stockings, fireplace mantel, and wreath all hit you right between the eyes.  Take advantage of and focus your main efforts on those places.

Consistent style. I find it really helpful to stick with a basic style throughout the house when I decorate.  This makes it easy to switch things up from year to year (for example, switching out the entryway table decorations with the mantle decorations) and helps to make the transition from one house to the next (if you foresee a move in the coming few years).  A few ideas to get you started are: classic winter wonderland (blue and silver, snowflakes and icicles), glitz and glam (a dressier approach with lots of gold and silver accents), or woodland (plaid, more casual touches, and burlap, baby).

Gift Wrap. Personally, I think it’s hard to beat a wrapped box with a bow.  (But don’t get me wrong… I’ll accept your gift if it’s in a bag with tissue paper, too. haha!)  One thing I’ve enjoyed over the past few years is buying several rolls of coordinated Christmas gift wrap (I buy it a couple days after Christmas for the following year and save a lot of money).  It gives such a nice, cozy effect to see that some thought has been put into the physical appearance of gift under the tree.  It’s an inexpensive way to round out the look of your tree. 

When in doubt, light the place up. I really think I could be totally content by decorating for the holidays ONLY with white string lights.  Take advantage of doorways, arches, cabinets, mantles, ledges, etc. and light the place up with the warm, festive glow of Christmas lights!  Also keep in mind that Target has the CUTEST string lights in their Dollar Spot section… Peppermints, woodland moose, mercury glass style spheres, and jingle bell shaped lights are all styles I’ve seen in the past year or two.  Most of them are battery operated, which means they can go just about anywhere in your house.

One mandatory rule.  There is one rule for Christmas decorating that I encourage you to adhere to: match your Christmas decor plan with your life and schedule.  Maybe you have a slower-paced season ahead and can enjoy an extensive decking of the halls.  Perhaps you’re in a very busy or stressful season and need to scale way back.  Or maybe you have young children and need to really dial it down and keep things baby proof.  That’s okay!  Do what allows you to keep proper perspective during Christmas and what will allow your family to have the most memorable and relaxing season! For our family, we’re bending a few rules this year…. We’re putting our decorations up before Thanksgiving (I know, I know!) and we’re going lighter on our decor (we won’t put up all 5 trees this time).  We have a baby due 10 days into the new year – which means we need decor to come down quickly and easily after Christmas.

Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite Christmas decorating tip!

Laurel West

Happy Wife. Mom of Three. Homemaker. Christ Follower. Multigenerational Texan. Chai Addict. Photographer. Health Nut. Natural Birth Junkie. Classically Trained Soprano. Founder of Adventures in Oiling. Amateur Graphic Designer.

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