When I was growing up, decorating for the holidays meant hanging a few outdoor lights and trimming the Christmas tree. With my love of decorating, the holidays have turned into much more than trimming a tree. It all begins the day after Thanksgiving so there is plenty of time to get everything done; and this year I decided to scale back a little as we’ll have less time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I made sure each room in the house had a holiday touch.
The Great Room
Our Christmas tree is prelit to save time and artificial to save our backs. I decorated the tree with just ornaments – received, collected and handmade over the years and each bringing its own special memory – so many that it took most of the day. The tree is the center of attention in our great room and the fireplace mantel became the perfect accessory. I decorated the mantel with thick faux greenery, pine cones, and red holly berries. To complete the look, I hung a matching faux wreath above the mantel. Real evergreen smells so nice, but the heat from the fireplace dries it out too fast, and the faux will stay green. In addition to all the ornaments collected over the years, I also have many holiday decoration “knick knacks” that now I find myself asking, “Where do I put it all.” This year I came up with the perfect solution. I replaced everything in my glassed-in book cases with holiday decorations; Santa Clauses, angels, Christmas plates, ceramic Christmas trees and special ornaments. What a transformation and a more understated way to display holiday favorites.
The Dining Room
When my daughter moved across the country, she left her faux Christmas tree behind, so I adopted it for the dining room. I decided on a partridge in a pear tree theme since I had collected so many pear ornaments. I added birds over the years and garland and more pears so it has become a very lovely tree. The dining room table hosts a row of little faux evergreens on top of a festive table runner and I draped real cedar on the chandelier so the fragrance of Christmas hangs over the room. My hutch showcases our “Christmas dishes”, handed down to me from my mother. The room is ready for a special Christmas Eve dinner.
A big island is the focus of my kitchen, so I needed a large showpiece on the island. I filled a tall vase with evergreens and holly which coordinates beautifully the great room. I hung wreaths in front of the shades in the kitchen windows and dotted each with red holly berries.
The Entry Way
Guests are greeted with the spirit of Christmas. The entryway table, which holds framed photos during the year, now displays a collection of Santa and angel figures. I added a cedar garland around the inside of the front door to create an inviting and aromatic entrance.
The Powder Room
Right off the entryway, the powder room was decorated simply with a fragrant holiday candle.
The Guest Rooms
As empty nesters we have a few guest rooms and this year we are expecting quite a few guests, so I made sure each guestroom had a little holiday touch, such as the addition of holiday pillows, or a homemade tartan teddy bear, or a wreath hung in front of a window shade. This helps to make each room special for each guest.
As you can see, it is easy to add a little extra to each room to bring the spirit of the holiday home.