I come from a family that doesn't take Christmas decorating lightly. Seriously, it's in our blood, we love it, and it's just not Christmas if we don't decorate.
I personally think it's the best thing ever! Growing up, my great uncle used to decorate his house to the point that inside and out, there was a light on it. It was absolutely stunning and although he doesn't decorate his house to that extent anymore, I feel like I've seen enough house decorating over the years to give a few tips on how to decorate for Christmas.
First things first, let's talk about budget. A collection of Christmas decorations happens over a lifetime, not over night, so if you have a small budget, don't think you can't decorate. It's also important to not go over budget when buying Christmas decorations because you can't return decorations after December 24th in most stores. Here are my tips on budgeting for Christmas decorations:
1) The best time to buy is after Christmas or a few days before Christmas because stores drastically drop prices to move the leftover stock out of the warehouses.
2) Buy the items you want and know you will use for at least five years. Five years is enough time for item rotation.
3) Buy classic items like fake trees garlands, twinkly lights, ornaments that come in packs in a neutral colour, and wreaths first to build the base of your collection.
4) Try to go for items that will last a long time, so you don't need to re-purchase. The dollar store is a great place to get wrapping paper and ribbons, but I wouldn't say it has the best long-term items.
An essential part of Christmas, whether you knew it or not. Ribbon, if great to add volume in areas that are lacking that fullness you need in a decoration. As much as we want our Christmas tree to be full and spread out nicely, sometimes the branches are a little lopsided and need some help. Here are my tips for ribbon: 1) Get ribbon with the wired edges to manipulate the way it bends.
2) Always get an extra roll of ribbon just in case you run out.
3) Wrapping it around the tree hitting open spots is the most effective way to get the volume you want.
4) Draping the ribbon from top to bottom will make your tree appear taller, but to add some volume you can make half loops attaching them with pipe cleaners to the tree.
5) Iridescent ribbon will give your lights a softer look.
6) Half looping ribbon on top of a tree garland on a banister will add more volume and make it seem grander.
Ornaments are a staple on any Christmas tree. They help coordinate the colour scheme, they can also help add more sentiment to Christmas. Putting ornaments on the tree was always one of my favourite parts, mostly because my baby ornament was the best (pictured above). Here are my tips for ornaments: 1) Pick a colour scheme and run with it. Ours is red and green, but I've seen colourful trees, I've seen pastel trees, I also love a simple white themed tree.
2) Get the box of mixed Christmas ball ornaments. Those will be your staple ornaments, the ones that tie the whole tree together.
3) Get a few oddly shaped ball ornaments that coordinate with the colour scheme. Like #2 they also help tie in the tree.
4) Make a few ornaments throughout the years to add a little sentiment. They can be really ugly, but that adds a little charm.
5) Christmas Firsts ornaments are the best because they are like a little time capsule to look back on.
Fireplace mantels are especially nice and festive. It's so cozy when the fireplace is on and there are twinkly lights above. It's also a nice touch for when Santa comes for a visit. Here are my tips for mantels:
1) Get a tree garland that looks like real trees. The real tree's add a touch that a banister garland cannot. Plus, chances are, more people will notice the mantel instead of the banister garland. The more realistic it looks, the more people will think you went out into the woods to collect branches. Its rustic and charming.
2) Add flourishes like pine cones and holly berries for a hint of colour and holiday cheer.
3) If you want to add candles on either side, those are especially nice, but it helps if those candles are battery operated to avoid messes.
4) Twinkly lights are necessary, I like the kind that come with a battery pack, so you don't see the cord in the plug.
5) You can add a centre pieces if you want, we have a very simple one that stays there year-round.
Centre pieces are wonderful flourishes to add a touch of holiday cheer without being incredibly overwhelming. You can make a centre piece, you can buy one already made, the possibilities are endless. Here are my tips for centre pieces: 1) The size of your centre piece should be directly proportionate to the table you're placing it on.
2) A basket with a few holiday pieces makes a great budget friendly centre piece.
3) Fake candles that are battery operated are so less messy than real ones.
4) Centre pieces don't necessarily have to be placed in the centre, a nice piece on an end table could be placed at the back of the table for a festive touch without getting in the way.
5) A bowl with leftover ornaments can also be very festive and budget friendly.
Thanks for reading!