Stress-free decorating for the holidays

We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect, especially for the holidays.  We want the perfect tree, the perfect holiday décor, the perfect table setting and, of course, our gifts must be wrapped and decorated so beautifully they can stand out in a magazine . . . or not!  Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?  Is it really necessary? Is it really going to make or break anyone’s holiday?

One of the rules of decorating applies to the holidays. Less is more. Having less décor that is tasteful and elegant can have a bigger statement than going overboard. It also takes a lot less time! So often people want to use the current colors or trends in their holiday decorating. Although this can be nice, it can also add unnecessary stress at this time of the year. How can we keep our decorating quick, easy and stress free?

Over the years, I have found that tradition has become very important in our family. Many families have ornaments that the children made or have acquired that have special meaning from years past. These precious memories are part of the fun of the Holidays. A number of years ago I redecorated and wanted to change the colours of our main Christmas tree. My daughter would not hear of it. That tree and those ornaments were special to her. It had become a family tradition. This year she and her husband came and helped with the decorating even though she is now married and no longer living at home. This has become part of our Holiday tradition together. It also makes for a much less stressful Holiday for me. There are no worries about changing or updating anything.  Allow the small traditions to develop in your home and to share those with family. It is the time spent together that has the most meaning! The holidays are a time where we all rush around for weeks, so we can sit back and relax while we spend time together. Try to remember, it’s the time spent together that we remember the most and not the décor.

Here are a few tips to keep things simple.  A nice wreath on your door to invite guests is quick, simple and tasteful. An inexpensive and festive touch is some pine branches you could pick up from a Christmas tree seller, tied together with festive ribbon in flowerboxes or along stairs for a natural touch. You can even go for a hike and pick up some large branches that have broken off trees and tie them together with some ribbon and plant them in flowerboxes! It’s a fun family activity and gives you inexpensive holiday décor!

Lighting plays a large role in festive décor. Using a few tasteful décor pieces or an assortment of candles on a fireplace mantel or a table helps to create a peaceful and festive mood. Something that has become quite popular in the last few years and is a huge time-saver are the outdoor LED Projector lights that can light up the front of your home with a single outdoor projector. They are inexpensive and huge timesavers. There are also small strings of LED lights that you can get for a set of lanterns or to wind into your garland. Lighting always gives a special festive touch to any décor.

Setting your table with décor can become quite the stressful undertaking. Remember to keep your selections tasteful and minimal. Having elaborate décor for a holiday table can often become a problem if your food is competing with your décor for table space! Keep it tasteful and simple — small candles or some greenery in a centerpiece will allow for a festive feel without taking over the table space. Napkins and table settings can incorporate decorative festive touches to complete the look. Remember, it is more about the food and friendship and conversation than the décor. Keep it simple and as stress-free as possible.

Finally, take the time to relax and enjoy the special moments the Holidays bring to your home. The sparkle in your child’s or grandchild’s eye, the quiet smile you share with your spouse and the warmth, laughter, music and love shared with family and friends. Preparation for the holidays can seem hectic at times, however, it all becomes well worth it when you are surrounded by your loved ones and making new memories! Kevin and I would like to wish you all a blessed and happy Holiday Season and the very best of the New Year! May you enjoy special time with family and friends and make many happy memories this Holiday Season! God bless!