I wrote a post about taking your time creating new traditions last week. You can take the same concept and apply it to holiday decorations, especially Christmas, since it’s the one we feel the most pressure to really go all out for.
Our wedding was in the middle of November, so when we got back from our honeymoon, I was a new bride with absolutely zero Christmas decorations and not much money to get a lot of anything, especially the nicer stuff, so I grabbed plastic Christmas balls in a huge assortment of colors from a thrift store for a few bucks, cheap dollar store ornaments and fake berries, and different holiday knock knacks.
The result was that nothing was very meaningful to me and there was no cohesive color scheme. It was a kaleidoscope of bright red, lime green, dark green, pinks and blues, silver and gold. A mish mash of styles and colors that didn’t make me happy.
We used those for a couple of years, only adding a few items each year until last year, I read Kendra’s post at The Lazy Genius about decorating for Christmas. It totally inspired me to decide what I “actually” like, and that less can be more. More peaceful, more like yourself, easier to look at, and not as stressful. It’s ok to love over the top decorated houses, but you can totally get your fix by visiting one of those holiday home tours or a friend’s home instead of trying to re-create that in your living room.
Definitely check out her post for more ideas in that regard, but here are my tips.
1. Take some time to really decide what kind of style/colors YOU like.
And not just like, but that you want to live with in your home for a month (or more if you are like us and it takes you a while to take it down! Lol). There is a big difference between liking a “look” on Pinterest or in someone else’s home and LOVING it in your own home day in and day out. I’ve learned this the hard way. Trust me.
For myself, this means lots of natural elements (wood, greenery, metal, woven items, etc…), zero Santas, more neutral colors like silver, gold, greys, and green with just a few small pops of red here and there, lots of twinkle lights, and as few decorations as I can get away with that still give me the impact that I want.
2. Get rid of everything you don’t LOVE and doesn’t fit your style.
Life is too short to be digging through tubs of decorations every year to find the few things you actually want to use. Get rid of them and breathe a sigh of relief at the extra lightness you feel. I gave away pretty much all of my cheap bright colored ornaments, and other knick knacks that didn’t work for me and only kept a select few that I love.
3. See how many decorations you really need
Maybe you get rid of what you don’t love and you realize that you aren’t left with much and you would really like to fill in some gaps. That’s totally fine! Or maybe you realize that you still have too much stuff and you want to pare back even more. It’s completely up to you. Only you can decide how much is the right amount for you and your family. Maybe there are some decorations you don’t love for yourself but want to save for your kids when they move out. That’s great too! Pack them in a separate box so you don’t have to dig through them every year.
4. It’s ok to take it slow
Please don’t rush out and buy a whole bunch of stuff just to fill a space. That’s what I did when I first got married and then I’ve spent years purging most of it because I didn’t really love it. It was just ok and it didn’t have any meaning for me. Holiday decorations, like a home and life in general are meant to be added to over time.
5. Think about making something yourself
Maybe you are really crafty and you already do this, or maybe you want to make more things but it feels overwhelming and you are unsure of your ability, or are a bit of a perfectionist and don’t start because you aren’t sure you can do it perfectly (this is usually where I fall, but I’m working on getting over this and creating anyway. I’ll probably be doing a series on this in January or February), or maybe you are just not interested in making anything yourself AT ALL. And that is totally ok too!
But if you secretly wish you could, then pick something small and easy and just try it! The worst that can happen is you chuck it, or let your kids cut it up with scissors. Lol!
6. Relax and enjoy the process
Put on some Christmas music, make some cider or sip some wine and just enjoy it! It’s supposed to be fun remember. And if it’s not fun for you, it’s ok to decide not to do it or just do it super minimally this year. It’s more important for your family to have a happy mama than a perfectly decorated house.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!