Christmas is my favorite holiday and favorite season to decorate for. Perhaps it’s genetic because my parents have always gone all out for Christmas – garlands everywhere, two trees, a Christmas tapestry over the fireplace, a miniature “It’s a Wonderful Life” village set up on the piano, the usual motley mix of nativity sets, snowmen, nutcrackers, and Santa Clauses. There are so many other aspects of the holiday that bring me joy as well – sharing gifts, a delicious dinner on Christmas Eve, partying with family and friends, singing carols, Christmas brunch, being on vacation, lounging in sweats watching Christmas movies, Christmas dinner, attending plays and concerts, driving around looking at Christmas lights, and did I mention the food?
When it come to Christmas decor, I think it’s great to play around with different themes and colors, but there’s something about traditional red and green that has always struck a cord with me. In wondering why, I did some browsing on color theory and how certain colors affect our mood and emotions. Red is a stimulating color that energizes and incites passion for food and romance. It can help combat depression, which can be invaluable during winter when many people suffer from seasonal depression. Green is often associated with balance, renewal, and nature (which is why it is often used in spa decor), so the combination of red and green might actually be a decor choice that’s good for your health. Poinsettias are an easy way to incorporate red and green into your decor and they work well outside and inside.
If you decorate one thing this year – do a Christmas tree. It’s so big and bright and festive that even if you do nothing else, it will still transform your living space. I read somewhere that if you want a “designer tree” you should put 100 lights for every foot of tree. I felt like that was a tad much, so I did 500 lights for a 6 foot tree, and I think that was just enough. My method for layering the tree was to place two strands of white lights in the inner depths of the tree, and then evenly spread out three strands of colored lights from top to bottom. For ornaments, I had a coordinated set of sparkly balls in red, white and aqua, which I hung one color at a time to make sure the colors were balanced across the tree. Then I wrapped ribbon around the tree, and lastly, added the more unique ornaments so that they were most visible on the outer edges of the branches.
To spice up other areas of the room/house, tree trimmings, leftover ornaments and fancy ribbon can go a long way. Adding a small fir branch, a sprig of berries and some ornaments to my side tables was just enough for that touch of Christmas. That worked well on the dining table as well, with the addition of some candles and pinecones. I also like to use some of my favorite Christmas cards from previous years, either by framing them, displaying them on a shelf, stringing them up with some clothespins, or some people create garlands and wreaths out of them.
There are so many inexpensive ways to deck the halls with Christmas. I hope you’re inspired to play around with what you’ve got to spread some Christmas cheer in your home. What are some of your favorite festive choices this year?