The magic of Christmas can inspire and entertain but it so too can be a stressful and frantic time as we all strive toward a picture-perfect vision of the season. Christmas decorations of all shapes, sizes and types can be in shops everywhere now but with so much to choose from, do we lose sight of what the holiday is all about? Instead of darting out to the high street or logging on to your favourite online store to stock up on a fresh batch of decorations for this year, read on – and discover some easy, simple ideas that can bring a festive sense of humbleness and homeliness to your interiors throughout December.
Scent for the season
Decorating for the holidays is often just visual, but you can deliver a multi-sensory experience through introducing festive fragrance to your home too. A statement flower arrangement in a hallway, oranges stuffed with cloves or seasonally-themed scented candles and pot-pourri can pack a punch for anyone as soon as they step through the front door – and with smell being a sense that often evokes emotion, will immediately have people feeling at home and ready for the festivities.
Grab some chalk pens
Glitter is fun but if you use it to decorate your house for Christmas you can surely be expecting to find it well into the summer! Instead, chalk pens can be used to draw temporary snow scenes, Christmas themes and festive messages on windows and mirrors throughout the home. Drawings produced by you or younger members of the family are unique and give a lovely homely finishing touch!
Wrap your bannisters
Thread tinsel or bouquets of festive foliage through your bannisters to jazz them up for the season are a classic yet simple decoration – and adding in flowers, ribbons or scented pieces can really add a luxe country touch. Any leftover foliage can be tied up with an appropriately coloured ribbon and hung sporadically around the house to ensure no waste but maximum festive feeling.
Accent with metallics
Christmas decorations don’t need to overtly be covered in red and green designs of Santa, snowmen and stockings. Using golds and silvers as accents in rooms through the use of throws, cushions, candles and other small finishing touches give a Christmassy aesthetic that will last far past December and dress your room for the whole autumn-winter season.
Light the outside of your house
A string of lights outside the home don’t need to be huge or garish to echo an elegant Christmas sentiment. White (or neutral) fairy lights are still obviously recognisable as a festive decoration and combined with simple red poinsettia either side of the front door gives a flawless finish that’s easy to achieve and looks fantastically minimal. If you’re having a party or have invited people over, go a step further and light the path to the door with tealights in jars acting as homemade lanterns.
Got children? Invest in Christmas crafts
There are thousands of Christmas-themed craft kits to choose from in shops in the run-up to the big day and aside from providing children with a few hours of entertainment, they also produce something tangible for you to display in the home thereafter. Paper chains and paper lanterns alongside homemade Christmas cards and other painted or pencilled decorations give a lovely humble finish to your festive decorations – after all, it’s all about the kids, isn’t it?
Keep wrapping minimalist
Wrapped presents often go forgotten when it comes to Christmas decorations – but they spend a lot of time under your tree and in your home, so they shouldn’t be disregarded! Wrapping gifts in brown paper and finishing with a bright ribbon or even seasonal foliage is a traditional yet eye-catching finish and doesn’t create the busyness on the eye that patterned paper does. Brown paper presents also don’t detract from your other decorations, so no matter how many are under your tree, the focal point can remain areas of the room you’ve actively decorated.
Fill your fireplace
If you have a fireplace in the home that goes unused, fill it with fairy lights, presents (real or just wrapped boxes) foliage or pillar candles to create a festive feel. Fireplaces are often forgotten empty spaces but you don’t just need to dress the mantelpiece; take the whole thing on and get creative.
Make your own crackers
Making your own crackers to pull at the dinner table on Christmas day saves on waste and budget – and gives you a fun activity to indulge in ahead of the big day. Crafting crackers allows you to provide a bespoke present for every guest, but why stop there? You could write your own jokes, make your own hats and decorate them tailored to each person.
Use your own ceramics to decorate the table
A popular decoration in Scandinavia is piles of plates topped with jars filed with candles, chocolates, baubles, berries or decorations. Simply stack your unused dinner plates and fill jars with whatever you have! Finish with table liners matching the colour of the plates and wine glasses filled with similar decs.
Personalise your home with festive photographs of old
How many photos of Christmases gone by do you have in albums and old frames? December is the time to let them take centre stage and to display them around your home. Either hang them on spare wall space or pop them up amongst other decorations to highlight fond memories of years gone past… and to encourage everyone to take their own photos this year to be displayed in the future.
Christmas can be a beautiful time, but it’s certainly got swept up in commercialism. Instead of indulging and investing in expensive store-bought decorations, keeping it simple can have a huge impact on your home – and help continue to create happy memories of homely Christmases for many, many years to come.
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