EASY CHRISTMAS DECORATING
Christmas is getting very close! What a busy time of year, right? There’s gift buying and gift wrapping, and cookie baking and partygoing and lots and lots and tons of decking the halls! Sometimes, I must confess, I can get so wrapped up in all the “getting ready” I forget what I am getting ready for. How about you? I love this time of year and the reason for the season so I want to breathe in and take in and enjoy every ounce of this special time of year! I want my home and spirit to be filled with grace and love and good cheer! So that means being deliberate in choosing how much of my time and attention I spend on things like decorating and holiday baking! Today I’m sharing some easy and common sense ways to decorate our homes!
It’s Friday and that means PRACTICALLY SPEAKING.
Today’s topic is near and dear to my heart. I can’t tell you how many years I drug big, huge bins of Christmas decorations up and down the basement stairs. It was exhausting! But no more! Several years ago I got smart and changed the way I think about decorating for Christmas!
If you would like beautiful, tasteful and easy Christmas decorations this year, here is a little bit of practical wisdom to help you!
I used to think it was a sin against Thanksgiving to decorate before the bird was served! I called decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving CROSSHOLIDATION, a word I made up for decorating for a holiday before another one is over.
Let’s be honest… decorating is a process and most of us don’t get it done one in one or two days! And most years there are less than four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So until Thanksgiving is moved to the beginning of November I think it’s only smart and practical to BEGIN the decorating process or at least begin transitioning into Christmas before Thanksgiving. There, I said it outloud! YIKES!
I know this might be a hard thing for many of us, but it is P-R-A-C-T-I-C-A-L! And if you need permission to start your Christmas decorating… I’ll give it to you! Start now!
PICK THREE OR FOUR AREAS IN YOUR HOME TO MAKE A CHRISTMAS BIG STATEMENT
Decades ago our home looked like Santa’s sleigh was dumped into it. Every nook and cranny was decorated. It was Christmas overload!
Now I choose a few areas to decorate and not the whole house!
Every year I decorate my mantel, tree, stairs and dining room table in Christmas festive finery. And in the recent past, I also concentrate on the open shelves in my breakfast nook. They get the most attention and decor.
The rest of the home gets a bowl of greens here and a few candles there and a sprinkling of cranberries! Easy and uncomplicated!
It’s important to think about what areas of your home you want to decorate extra special! Concentrate on them and use a light hand on the rest of your home!
CHOOSE A THEME
To keep Christmas decorations looking cohesive from room to room in your home, choose a Christmas theme!
Choosing a theme helps to edit decorations so you only work with what will work with the theme. Last year’s theme was STARS. I think it was one of my favorites! I called it A STARRY CHRISTMAS!
This year my theme is O, CHRISTMAS TREES. I have lots of pretty Christmas trees, so this year I am bringing them out and showing them off!
It’s so fun to have a theme each year! What will your theme be?
USE FAUX GREENS
I know, I know! But these days faux greens are beautiful and they are huge time and energy savers!
Collect the best quality faux greenery you can find and use them year after year! Here’s a post GREAT TIPS FOR CHOOSING AND DECORATING WITH FAUX CHRISTMAS GREENERY. A must read for Christmas decorating!
Add bowls of faux greens to table and buffets. Hang a garland across a mirror. Go for a natural, simple look!
INSTANT CHRISTMAS DECORATING… PILLOWS AND THROWS!
If you have been a StoneGable reader for any time you know my crush on pillows! Pillows and throws can magically transform a room! Add a fun, fabulous Christmas pillow and a coordinating throw and BAM!… Christmas cheer!
See CHRISTMAS PILLOW LOVE 2016 for a look at this year’s best Christmas pillows.
USE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AS DECOR
This one easy Christmas decorating ideas can brighten up your whole home! I love to wrap boxes (empty) in Christmas paper and add special bows and trim to them and use them to decorate! So pretty and inexpensive and the gift wrap can be coordinated with your theme and colors for the year!
Here are some of my favorite Christmas elements to use when I’m decorating:
- boxwood anything
- faux greens
- Christmas trees
- citrus fruit
- mercury glass
- twinkle lights
Now, I’d love you to share easy ways you decorate for Christmas! We are all waiting to hear!
You may want to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.
Love, love, love! Even though I’m hosting Thanksgiving, this gets me in the mood for Christmas decorating! Thank you for your wonderful blog! My favorite.
Thanks for the encouragement to start decorating a bit early. Just a little here and there and the big stuff after Thanksgiving!
Your ecorating ideas are all so beautiful – thanks for sharing.
I LOVE Christmas and all that it represents: the birth of our Savior, making memories with family and friends, and decorating! My favorite ways to do this are to change out my pillow covers (I have become addicted over the past few years, since discovering your blog!), exchanging my every day Portmeirion Botanic Garden for my Spode Christmas Tree, and adding artificial evergreens throughout my vignettes. Happiness!!!!
I’ve always started my decorating before Thanksgiving because I ENJOY the process. Last year I decided to focus on a few areas of the home to decorate and the rest of the home I add nice greenery and it has a beautiful impact. I schedule decorating days into my calendar at the beginning of November so I have time to focus. BTW…In my family, it is understood if I am hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, the dining room will be decorated for Thanksgiving but the rest of the house is Christmas. Crossholidaytion at it’s finest! LOL!
I collect Nativity pieces and display in one room, always get a lot of attention from guests. We forget what the season is really about.
Yes… love the beauty and simplicity of this!!!
This is so inspirational to me! Can’t wait to implement all your practical and inspiring ideas!!!
Thank you for sharing!!!
These are wonderful ideas – really liberating! Thanks for sharing.
I love the beauty in simplicity. I’m with you on the greens idea and lovely Christmas pillows. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Christmas in your home once again.
As always, such great advice! I am in the throes of decorating early now for a Christmas party and these tips are a God send!!
Love the list it will help me as I downsize
Great tips! -And I like your Oh Holy Night display! Very pretty!
So beautiful as usual! Are your pinecones candles the luminaries battery candles? I love them!
The pinecone candles are real candles. I use them year after year! They burn so slowly! You can find the here: http://rstyle.me/~9bbp1, and here: http://rstyle.me/~9dHjC and here: http://rstyle.me/~9dHkf and here: http://rstyle.me/~9dHkE Hope this helps!
Greenery at its finest! I am a fanatic for it too! I love shopping my yard. Gonna have to change to the faux…it is Better for “less mess”!
Where did you get your red/black plaid ribbon????
Hi Mildred, I found it at Costco. I have tons of it!
So glad you gave me permission to begin decorating early…when my girls ask I will have someone to blame! I love celebrating Christmas!
LOL!!!! Yes, I don’t mind being the “heavy”! Happy decorating!
Thank you for “introducing and convincing” me about the value of faux greens…nothing could be better or actually cheaper in the long run. Love your decorations……simple greenery and pine cones in a white bowl or pot…just lovely!
So many friends give me a hard time about Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving but taking my time helps me to be more creative and to enjoy it more and avoid all that crazy rushing at the last minute. Right now, most of my house is ready!
I try to avoid obvious cross holidization by sticking to window candles, pinecones and wooly throws along with pumpkins, etc for late fall. The day after Thanksgiving, after we do the Turkey Burner workout, we chuck the pumpkins and start on the inside. No outside till Dec 1, but it’s all ready and waiting.
I don’t decorate the outside of my home until after Thanksgiving either!
I love all of your ideas. Thanks so much for the inspiration!
I have to admit I like to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate. That said,I have been super busy making wreaths and Christmas ornaments so my house has crafting supplies everywhere! Does that count as decorating? Love your advice though!
Great ideas…. Trying to scale back this year for sure!
I would put a tree in every room if I could! But I love the simplicity of your decorating and may have to tone down this year—if I can!
Love this idea. I, too, have spent years hauling out bins and bins of Christmas decorations every year AND dragging them all over the country and the world due to my husband’s military career. Exhausting. Now we are blessed to have our grandgirls close by so I want the house to look beautiful and Christmasy, but I also want to have the time and energy to teach them why we do all this stuff in the first place – to celebrate the birth of our precious Savior. Thank you for all your efforts on our behalf.
I am also using mostly faux greenery now. It does help with the “no mess” cleanup. I use pine plug-in air fresheners or either the wax melts to give the house that real greenery smell. Thank you for all your great ideas!
As always great post and beautiful pictures!
Great tips! Loved seeing the snippets of your Christmas decor for this year. Just think, next year little Anderson will be toddling around “rearranging” everything for you!
I love fall decor so much that I have just never been able to start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but I do like your ideas. I will go ahead and put out some faux greenery. I also like your suggestion to have a theme. I really like the star ideas. Thanks.
I’m with you! I want a little more time to enjoy my holiday decor. So I always begin the holiday decorating before Thanksgiving…..love your decor! Beautiful!
Your holiday decor is the best. Your presents are beautifully wrapped and I need to take a lesson from that. Also love anything boxwood and try to use some in my home. We travel for Thanksgiving, so now is the time to be creative!
Instead of shopping on Black Friday I put on some Christmas music and decorate for Christmas. No stress and great fun.
I love your wrapped presents. They are beautiful. I also decorate with presents. Merry Christmas.
I was looking forward to seeing all your Christmas trees. Faux greenery is great. I am on the decorating committee at church and we use so many faux wreaths, candle centerpieces in windows. It is amazing how they hold their shape year after year. Monday we have several “fluffers” to bend and arrange each branch. It is fun.
Thanks for all the tips. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to go over board in our holiday decorating. I still like to display my christmas villages and my snowmen collection, I will make my displays a little more simpler this holiday thanks to you,Yvonne. Have a great day!
My husband actually likes to have our Christmas tree up when our kids and grandkids come for Thanksgiving. It seemed weird to me at first, but it does help to have that large task taken care of as I start the rest of the decorating the next day.
I used to decorate after Thanksgiving,but now
I start the 1st week of November.I also keep it
simple with greens,berries,pinecones and lots
Love theses tips! I’m ready to start my Christmas decorating soon.
The day after thanksgiving the grandchildren help us decorate while the parents have a free day to shop. This helps us and the kids love decorating. The parents appreciate not having to worry about the kids getting tired a s hungry. A win win for all. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.?
I love your ideas for Christmas Yvonne. I love to decorate with live berries and pine and pine cones. I think I will take that suggestion and start early. It just takes so long to decorate. I think it will be more fun to start early. Thanks for your suggestion.
You are so practical! and you make it look easy!
Since I retired I do wait until after Thanksgiving to start the Christmas decorating. It gives me joy to bring out the Christmas boxes. I sometimes forget what I do have to decorate with, LOL! Thanks for every day’s inspirational tips and ideas.
Great tips, I love your tray! I have been trying to make a few things for Christmas decor. I made a wool felt garland and I think I’m going to do make a star gland out of sheet music. Will be using Black and Cream check with deep red. Thanks for the ideas.
I am also hosting Thanksgiving but I find myself sneaking in a few Christmas decorations here and there. Your décor and ideas are an inspiration as always!
In our house my husband works on the Christmas lights outside the house on Thanksgiving week but we don’t turn them on until December 1st and we start to decorated the inside of the house after Thanksgiving. I have a oval antique table and that’s where I display my miniature Nativity scene collection. I love the idea of different theme every year and I think this year I will do the “star” theme that you did last year. Thank you
So many practical tips to make it easier this time of year. Thanks! A couple of years ago I wrapped empty boxes to add to my Christmas decor and my little grand could not understand why they were empty, he kept wanting to open them to see for himself.
Always love your practical decorating ideas and tips! Just threw out the ( now dead) mums, and mashed pumpkins, tho’ still a few good ones left for Thanksgiving!
Out come the Christmas decorations, which I am going to THIN OUT this year!!
Like you, our home was FILLED with Christmas decorations, and because of a smaller home, (and age), I now agree that several areas will be very special, and enjoy trying to downsize, which is a challenge, but I’m determined after moving to a warmer climate. Love all your ideas – and look forward to many more.
I love the pops of color. It looks so fresh and clean.Very Christmasy.
I embraced the non-toting buckets from basement holiday prep years ago, bc, like you, I wanted my spirit to free up space and time to savor the spiritual and familial joys of the season. I change linens & candle, add greenery, put out a few mangers and I’m done.
In spite of myself, I’m beginning to think Christmas decorating! In part, I blame you! That’s a good thing, though!
Its all so pretty, I found the plaid ribbon at Hobby Lobby, but where do you get the boxwood wreathes? I can find them in local gift shops but they are very expensive, I thought maybe you have found them for a better price.
Hi Tammy, Boxwood wreaths, the preserved kind, are a bit of an investment. I’ve collected mine over the years and now have a nice size collection. You can find boxwood wreaths HERE: http://rstyle.me/~9dRRi
I thinned out last spring. I lcould get rid of more. I have a small open floor plan so my “hutch shelves” , sofa table which helps divide my room and the entry table get my notice. I looked at last year’s photos and I rather liked it. It transitioned to winter then Valentine’s Day so maybe I’ll copy myself? Or maybe not! I like your ideas!!!
Now I am so in the festive spirit already and I am going to keep a few words you wrote at the beginning of this post close to me, for they epitomise what Christmas should be about “I want my home and spirit to be filled with grace and love and good cheer”. Alas, here in France, no one decorates so early. The lights in the towns and cities are usually turned on sometime in the first week of December, slowly after that we will see houses being decorated and that’s when we begin. For us the tree always takes centre stage. Each year we go and choose it, together as a family, all 7 of us! Of course it’s not straightforward, there is plenty of good natured disagreement, but eventually a tree will be chosen and brought home. We all decorate it together, ours is very much a family Christmas. I shall be rereading this post in a couple of weeks time, have a lovely weekend x
So lovely! I think I’m going to use lots of greens and pine cones this year…. or maybe do the after Christmas sales and prep for next year (budget limits, ya know?) 🙂
This year we are going away for Christmas in order to make it easy for all of us to get together. My first thought was: great I don’t have to haul those Christmas decorations from the attic. Then I clicked on your email. Big mistake. You inspired me for next year. I especially loved that pillow (the car with the tree on the roof). It brought back memories from when the kids were little. Thank you so much!
I love the pillow with the car !
Just put together a door wreath with wide linen wired ribbon, a twisted grapevine wreath, and a rusty tin dove. Looks perfect for the season already, but after Thanksgiving I’ll add some more Xmas-y bits to the tableau. Saw your purge blog attached to this, and I will be taking my closet back this year.
So pretty! Thanks for the suggestions!
Over 20 years ago we moved into a “white lights in every window” Christmas style neighborhood. Following this trend I placed lights on numerous windows sills – which I would forget to plug in or worse forget to unplug them at bedtime. Also draped greenery & bows across our front porch railing & put up numerous Christmas tress. Then one year I finally made the sane decision to begin to simplify all of my holiday decorations & only decorate in a way that pleased me and my husband. We have now down sized to a smaller home, which means we also downsized the size of our Christmas tree! Now each year I tweak things a bit, but my big goal is to still keep things simple and enjoyable.
Your suggestion of focusing on a theme is wonderful idea!
I really do like the idea of beginning to decorate for Christmas a little early. I’ve always been a stickler about waiting until after Christmas to decorate and then at the last minute, I’m still trying to get it all done. Two years ago, I went through my 7 tubs of decorations that I’d collected over the years and pared it down to 4 tubs of all the things I really loved. Instead of storing everything in my storage shed in my back yard, I store those 4 tubs inside one bedroom closet. It’s so much easier now to choose what I want to use when it comes to decorating.
Love everything you do! Thank you, Yvonne.
Love today’s post. I too have special places I Like to decorate and then tuck something here and there. Its been fun changing my son’s room in to a guest room…still a work in progress but will love adding a few holiday surprises thst my family will discover
The older I get the more I prefer simple and serene. More energy to spend enjoying family, friends, and the spirit and meaning of the season! Thanks for the tips.
This post really spoke to me Yvonne! Amen!
Keep it simple…..I am making your Star garland to accent the greenery on the stairs. I also find that having a theme of some sort makes it easier and truly more fun ! I do a lot of reuse/recycle of Christmas decor. Every year I add a little here and there and every year it’s exciting to do things a little different.
Thanks for the great post and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I am so much happier the last few years since I’ve skipped the decorating marathon for much simpler holiday decor. I was exhausted by the time Christmas would arrive! One thing I’ve done that is so easy is to put my red toile plates in my dining room French Country plate rack, and then just tuck a few faux greens with pine cones here and there among them. Thanks for all the wonderful tips ~ I look forward to each of your posts.
We’re moving into a newly renovated really small farmhouse right before Christmas. It will be interesting to see how all our stuff will be handled. At least I know where the Christmas boxes are, but… Wish me luck!
Sounds so exciting, Monica! Blessings in your new home!
Great ideas, thanks.
I already looked around to see what I could use to transition from fall to winter decor, plus I removed some of the fall items. I understand how as a blogger you begin each season early in order to give us ideas…but I’m not ready to begin decorating full-out for Christmas yet. If I’m not too tired, I may begin after Thanksgiving dinner; otherwise, I’ll begin in the days after. I always start by taking down the fall decor and hanging wreaths on my doors, plus decorating my deck. Some years I have everything up inside my house in a couple of days…other years, it’s a gradual process.
Thanks for the pat on the back to start early? I put a few decorations outside today and know it was right for me!
So beautiful and elegant! I love your wreath and Christmas pillows, it’s just so pretty! I can’t wait to put away all the autumn decorations and start decorating for Christmas.
Your home is beautiful, warm and inviting!
I love the elegant simplicity of your holiday decorating and that there appears to be a touch in every corner.
Yvonne, we are kindred spirits, I always choose 3-4 very specific areas to concentrate on in my home as well. Just a good formula I have used for years, helps the house to not look like a Christmas palooza explosion. You always do a beautiful, tasteful job of decorating in your home!! So glad to see this post by you as well. I wrote one too. I know your blog reaches Way more readers than my little blog, and this is so helpful I am sure it will help guide a lot of home decorators to be on an easier track. Here is the post I wrote……http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2014/11/kathysues-christmas-decor-formula-in-10.html
Everything you do is beautiful. I love the simplicity of it and the classic look to everything. You just have the knack for making everything look special. Thanks for all the great ideas!
I like the idea of just a few specific areas to concentrate on for Christmas decorating. Makes it so much more simple! Thank you for sharing your lovely home and ideas!
I have two built in china cabinets in my large dining room. I always host the Thanksgiving Dinner which I love to do but this year I will have the Christmas greens (faux) in place & ready to add extras to after Thanksgiving. Thanks for permission LOL
Nothing like a good old fashioned snow storm in Minnesota–no school today–so I had a great opportunity to deck the halls and put up the tree–first time in 32 years I had the tree up before thanksgiving.
Love your decorating ideas that you share. I am ready to get my house for Christmas.
Great ideas!! Everything is so beautiful!
Great ideas, thank you for making it less overwhelming for me. I have so many ideas I typically don’t know where to start.
Love the aprons! 🙂
I really like all the pinecones and the natural look of every thing.
So inspiring! Love how to use a laundry basket idea. So simple but sheer genius
I love the way you decorate!
Thx so much for sharing with us!
Thanks for the ideas! Can’t wait to decorate for Christmas!
Love the simplicity of the greenery and ribbons. Of course, being a pillow collecting person, my mouth waters seeing all those beautiful pillows.
Beautiful packages – the wreath is a nice touch. Adds so much!
I am going to try to simplify this year. It get to be so much we can barely walk in my smallish cape.
Hi, Where did you get your pinecones dipped in white, or did you dip them yourself? They are so pretty on garland and show up more.
I found them at our big local craft store.
Faux or natural, greens are wonderful to add to any area of the home. I especially like a little touch of greenry in the bathroom.
I love the car pillow, the use of boxwood in decorations and the use of wrapped boxes with lovely bows to be used in decorating. Thank you for a lovely post and wonderful ideas.
Lovely ideas. I started weeks ago with the transitional decorating for fall. Such a great idea!
I just want to find the post about your downsizing to read again. Love reading your posts every single day!
I’m loving the simplified idea more and more. we’ll see if I’m able to accomplish it. But the beginning of change starts with the idea. So here’s to new beginnings… Merry Christmas all.
Love the use of the greenery with the cream ceramics. It’s so pretty and I’m very inspired! Can I ask where you get your greenery?
I luv your style. I’m planning on copying the small cabinet wreaths when ever i can get to a craft store !
Love the idea of using pinecones, red, black and white. Who knew Christmas colors could be beautifully different.
I love to look for special holiday touches all year round. Hope your recovery is going well>
Got any advice on ribbon?
Thank you I feel like I just received permission to tone things down for Christmas. I appreciate your ideas on little touches in each room especially with the faux greens Love your blog and podcasts
I’ve always been a minimalist holiday decorator with just a few outdoor lights, outdoor urns and inside the Christmas tree and a bit of greenery in the living and dining rooms. I usually do the outdoor urns by the 2nd week in December unless we have an early snowfall and then I may do them earlier. The tree (which is real) never goes up till the week before Christmas. Our Thanksgiving is mid October, so no problem with cross holiday decorating LOL.
Yuvonne love all your Christmas ideas. You have something for everyone. I would love to know where you found the plate hangers that you have aprons on? I shop a lot in the Lancaster Area but for our house but have not found anything similar.
Thanks again for all your great ideas for Christmas!
Hi Terri, the plate hangers were not gotten in Lancaster. I found them a few years ago at Luckett’s Spring Fair in Va. I’ll have the diy in my book.
Thank you for this timely post! For years I’ve followed an eight week “Countdown to Christmas” that starts the end of October. However, despite the appearance of organization, there’s still a lot of stress. I appreciate your suggestion to “PICK THREE OR FOUR AREAS IN YOUR HOME TO MAKE A CHRISTMAS BIG STATEMENT”. Someone once said my home looked like a Christmas shop, which takes a lot of work that creates a lot of unnecessary stress. I also like your suggestion to select a theme since that way I can rotate my decorations from year to year. I have just discovered your blog, and I’m so glad I did!
You are welcome Linda! Welcome to the StoneGable family!