Holidays can be intimidating and leave you feeling like you fall short...ESPECIALLY if you recently moved into a new home or community. There are a million other tasks on the list that are higher priority but you still want the house to feel like home during the holidays.
Aside from any major life change that you may still be adjusting to, or currently going through, some people are just not going to decorate to the max every year. I happen to be one of those people. No matter how much free time I have to decorate, it simply is not going to be something I dedicate a whole lot of time to. My house will never be a magazine photo shoot and that is perfectly fine with me. However, I do like to spruce it up just a tad to get it feeling like the holidays.
Whether you have recently moved, or you just want to keep it simple this year, here are a few decor ideas from my home!
Use What You Have: There is no need to go buy a bunch of holiday decorations every year. Yes, you may need some basics to get started but after that, use what is already in your house (and storage totes) to decorate. If you really don't have any decorations and are short on time or budget, ask your friends and family if they have any decor that they are looking to get rid of!
Some years we buy a live tree to bring home and decorate, other years we do not. One way to still add some holiday cheer to the house without buying a tree is to decorate something else as if it were the tree. Below are a couple pictures of our house plants that I quickly decorated.
As you can see, it took minimal decorations (that I already had) and very little time. The aloe vera just got a few light ornaments, garland and red beads. The schefflera was even more simple with just some lights and red strung beads. BAM. DONE. Both look great during the day, but the lights on the schefflera add to the ambiance in the low light of night.
Another simple one is to throw some ornaments into a bowl, basket, bucket or crate. I use my 605 Crate because it is locally made and special to the region we live in...adds a little more sentimental value to the space.
*If you opt for no live tree in your house, make sure you have your favorite holiday candle to add a nice scent to the room! My favorite is to get one that smells like an evergreen or fir tree!
You Don't Have To Use All Your Decorations: Just because you have 4 totes full of holiday or seasonal items does not mean you need to use them all. It is OK to leave some in the tote! Pull out your favorites and leave the rest for next year. Keep it simple and easy! If you are struggling to find a place for an item, put it back in the tote!
Use The Sentimental Items That Mean Something To You: As we have moved from one region to another, I have found that there are certain regional decor items that I use every year, no matter how much I choose to decorate. If you have moved and are in a new place, this is one way to help keep you connected to your roots and loved ones that live far away.
For me, it is two Santa decorations that are special. One is a painted tobacco stick from the time I lived in Kentucky where tobacco farming was big. The other is a painted okra ornament from Tennessee, where I spent time becoming an adult and where I met my husband.
What do you have that is special from your previous home?
As we currently live in South Dakota, I am on the lookout for my favorite item from this region. If anybody has a great idea, send it my way! Choosing something from where you currently live helps you embrace your new home. It can also be a pride point to share with friends and relatives when they come visit you.
Incorporate Items From Nature: This is a great way to get to know the flora and fauna of the region that you live in, ESPECIALLY if you moved and are in a new place! Find somewhere where you can take an enjoyable walk and collect some pieces of nature!
My favorite piece to incorporate are pinecones. They can be used for both Thanksgiving through the winter to accent other decor and I love the balance they can provide. Fallen branches, winter berries and acorns are also fun to use. What do you have in your region that you could use?
Ribbon Can Decorate ANYTHING: Go to your local craft shop and see what holiday ribbon they have. We all know some of the big box craft stores price items 40 - 50% off during the holiday season, so take advantage of that!
Seriously, put a big bow on your front door. Put a couple on your garage lights. Put one on your mailbox. I've even seen ideas where you can wrap one around your couch pillows!
Support A Cause: During the holidays there are so many opportunities to support non-profits and other charitable efforts. There are bound to be a few that sell holiday decor items as a fundraiser. This year I went to an open house where there were live wreaths made to support research for a genetic disorder. 100% of the sales went to the cause! It made me feel good to provide support for a good cause and I was able to come home with an awesome piece for my front door.
Wreaths are such an easy way to decorate the front of your house without doing lights, inflatables or other yard items. For the longest time I had a fake wreath that I used every year and loved how easy it was for me!
Add Small Elements To Normal Decor: This is mainly what I do around the house. It is a great way to add holiday cheer in the bathrooms and living spaces that don't get a lot of decor. Have fun with it and let your personality show through!
Shop AFTER The Holiday: Decide you want something specific for next year? Great, go after the holiday and get great deals for the next year's decorating! I never buy decorations full price AND I have a better idea of what I want/need after going through the season and knowing what my inventory is. If you made a move, this is a great time to assess if anything was lost or broken during transit!
For those of you that are going through a major life change, do something small to add a bit of cheer to your house but don't get too caught up in it to where it becomes another stress in your life.
If you have any other great ideas, please share them with us!