The holidays are probably my favorite time of year, and it doesn't get any better than to spend the evening decorating and making your house smell of Christmas! I personally love to go for runs or drives throughout the holidays to look at all the beautiful lights everyone puts up. Decorating can be a lot of work and a bit daunting, but it doesn't have to be. I have pulled together a few snapshots of my house with my tips and tricks on how to enjoy the moment instead of stressing. Sadly, we aren't having any holiday parties at our house this year, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy as I curl up and read a book, or enjoy a few cocktails with some girlfriends. Either way, having your house decorated only makes the holidays a bit more festive and you are ready to entertain at any moment!  

Tips & Tricks 

  • Have a few ideas or images for inspiration. That doesn't mean it will work out exactly like what you have planned, but at least it is a starting point! 

  • Don't try to rush the process. It takes time to layer and balance all the elements. As usual, play with height, texture and color. 

  • I don't buy all new decorations every year for the holidays, that becomes WAY too pricey WAY to quickly. However, I usually find myself in a similar color palette every year - fresh greenery with golds and whites and a touch of red usually found in berries and nutcrackers. I find it elegant and festive and it is easy to add to every year. Whatever your color palette may be, I highly recommend sticking to only a few colors so the space doesn't become too hectic. 

  • Most importantly enjoy the moment. I love to turn on Bing Crosby's White Christmas album with a glass of wine and enjoy the next few hours of decorating! 

  • Don't be afraid to make a mess. My husband isn't a huge fan of live greenery, so I typically just wait until he is going to be gone for a few hours, days and make my mess then! Don't worry it all cleans up and there really is no harm! 

  • If you are using live/fake greenery or tinsel, I often start with a layer of greenery first, and then slowly add additional pieces. Once I have a few items mixed in with the greenery, I go back and add various types of greenery, often Magnolia leaves, to add a variety of texture and size. Then I add the little touches of red berries and gold pinecones! So start big and then go small! 

  • If you haven't dealt with live greenery before, I highly recommend picking some up at your local tree source. Often you can get scrap branches from the trees and white pine garland. I also "borrow" some greenery from the neighborhood. So if you have a place that you think you can borrow Magnolia, I highly recommend taking a bag and filling it up! 

First attempt at the mantel. I was told it looked more like Halloween than Christmas, so I had to re-evaluate and get re-inspired to tackle it again! 

First attempt at the mantel. I was told it looked more like Halloween than Christmas, so I had to re-evaluate and get re-inspired to tackle it again! 

mantel_deer.jpg
The finished mantel, with greenery and a touch of gold and red! I may even add a string of lights throughout the greenery. Too much? 

The finished mantel, with greenery and a touch of gold and red! I may even add a string of lights throughout the greenery. Too much? 

Every time I walk into my house, it makes me smile and stop and enjoy the moment. However, don't be fooled. I was exhausted when I finished so there is a still a complete disaster throughout the entire first floor including tiny little pine needles sprinkled throughout waiting to be swept up. Visible from the picture above. Don't worry, that is tonight's task. Sometimes you just can't do everything... 

Hope everyone enjoys decorating their homes this season! 

Happy Holidays!

-a.