Every year after Thanksgiving I trudge up the attic and get down a few boxes of Christmas decorations. Once I start getting everything out, I always say to myself,
“Surely I can have less of this stuff!”
I feel guilty if I don’t set it all out, which creates unneeded stress. By the end of the decorating endeavor, I’m worn out and dread packing it back up and hauling it back into the attic after the New Year.
The past couple years I’ve thought about ways to decorate for the holidays while…
- Getting the house into the holiday spirit for the least effort on my part.
- Using decorations that make the biggest statement without taking up much storage space.
If holiday decorating and having loads of decorations is fun for you, by all means do it!
I’ve just realized in the past couple years, Christmas decorating is the last thing that should stress me out. I’d rather be doing other things with my time and space in my home!
Here are my ideas for decorating for the holidays easily.
I’m probably not going to give up my artificial Christmas tree I scored on clearance a few years ago. But here are some ideas on how to make putting up a tree easier.
- Purchase a small artificial tree so it’s not so cumbersome to deal with.
- Get a natural tree each year so you don’t have to store it.
- Consider a table top tree, or even a flat tree you hang on the wall.
- Only put up a Christmas tree and forget about anything else!
Space Saver Decorations
Ribbon is lightweight, packs small, and can be used year to year. It can be used a million ways, and there’s all sorts of styles to choose from. You can make bows or swags and adorn about anything for a festive look. It can eventually be downgraded to use for outdoor decor, gift wrapping, or cat toys if you tire of it.
Ribbons are also great decorations for Christmas trees. They make a tree look nice and you can get away with using less ornaments.
2. Garlands & Buntings
I love pom pom, felt, or beaded garlands. They can be strung across windows, mantles, doorways, the wall, bed, grumpy grandpa, or anything else that needs a little cheer. They’re lightweight and you don’t have to be too careful when putting them away in storage as long as it doesn’t tangle.
Fabric or paper buntings are easy to make and also pack flat for easy storage. Paper ones can easily be recycled!
3. Anything that stores flat
Any type of decoration that stores flat is a winner! Flags or outdoor signs are easy to store flat and stacked on top of each other.
4. Fabric pieces
- Holiday pillow covers can be put over existing throw pillows for an easy swap.
- Throw blankets easily add holiday color to the living room or bedroom.
- Table runners, tablecloths, or placemats can be used throughout the house on tables or chairs.
- Stockings can be strung up anywhere. They’re lightweight and store flat.
- Kitchen towels, shower curtains, bath towels, or bed sheets can be easily be swapped out for the holiday. Linens can be used as rags or drop cloths when they’re worn out. Some animal shelters can also use them when you no longer need them.
Many natural decorations are only going to be good for one season, so there won’t be the need to store them.
- Try growing paperwhites or amaryllis. Poinsettias as well. After they’ve reached their peak, compost them.
- Natural evergreen swags and wreaths can be discarded after their use. No need to store anything! If you compost, just make sure all wire and decorations have been removed!
- Garlands and ornaments can be made out of natural elements. It can be a fun craft day with the family. Popcorn garlands, walnut garlands, pomanders, dried orange and apple slices, paper snowflakes, sticks made into star shapes are all natural things that can be discarded after the holidays. Making these things each year can be a fun holiday activity. Plus, it adds to old-time charm.
Decorate With Food or Consumables
- Gingerbread houses
- Any kind of crafts made with peppermint sticks or candy. A simple clear jar filled with peppermints is an easy decoration and of course the peppermints can be eaten or used in recipes for the holiday.
- Candles in holiday colors look nice as a decoration and can be burned and used.
- Bird seed ornaments hung up in a tree.
Dual Purpose Decor. Use Things You Already Use Year Round.
Transition decorations or items you already have into a holiday decoration. Simply adding ribbon, or placing red/green/white or silver/blue/gold items together makes it festive instantly.
- Outdoor lanterns can be decorated with a holiday bow on top. Once the season is over, remove the bow and store the lantern for summer patio relaxing!
- Instead of having holiday themed dishes, use clear or white dishes that you use all year instead.
- Add Christmas floral elements (real or fake) to an existing vase or other decoration.
- Certain kids toys or stuffed animals can be set out as a decoration. Add a red bow to a teddy bear and he suddenly looks festive!
- If you’re wrapping gifts for under the tree anyway, wrap them up fancy and let them be a decoration in themselves.
I hate storing gift wrap! I much rather purchase it as I need it or wrap a present with things I already have. Here are some ideas to keep gift wrap to a minimum after the season is over.
- Gift experiences instead of items
- Everyone appreciates a white envelope with some green inside…
- Only buy what you need for that season
- Purchase ONE neutral or solid roll of gift paper. Individualize the presents with different color and styles of ribbons.
- When I was little, many of my presents were wrapped with the comic section of the newspaper!
- Wrap with decorative boxes or other items that are a gift in themselves.
When shopping or decorating for the holidays, think of items that can also serve as a winter decoration after the holidays are over. Items in neutral tones or blue colors do this well!
Focus on the Best Things
Instead of spending so much time and worry decorating, just simply enjoy the holidays!
‘Hygge’: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
- Make crafts
- Watch movies
- Read fun books
- Learn about the history of Christmas
- Listen to Christmas music
- Eat good food
- Cozy up
- Embrace the season
- Be nice
- Do charitable things
- Holiday scents
- Enjoy the borrowed scenery. Go look at other people’s Christmas lights and decor.
- Take Christmas tours in historic homes or places.