by Janice Henshaw –
Have you unearthed your boxes of decorations and sentimental treasures? How do last year’s Boxing Day specials look? If, by chance, things are not quite working out as well as you had hoped, and you need to spice up your holiday decorating, look no further – we have some sparkling tips from design experts for you! We also share some holiday thoughts and traditions, and Christmas decorating requests from kids under 10.
Wendy White, Interior Designer & Architectural Technologist at Trudi Jones Interior Design, says that she tends to match Christmas décor and accessories with the style of the home, inside as well as outside. “My preference is simplicity and natural elements like evergreen boughs, pinecones, ‘Christmas berries’ and branches decorated with little lights.
“The decorations look great embellished with glitter and a few ornaments; try mixed metals, silver, gold and crystal. Satin ribbon and organza material can be woven in to enhance the look. These elements can be used to decorate inside entrances, stair railings, tables, fireplace mantels and outside entrances, porches and windows. The decoration I always include in or outside my home is the nativity scene to commemorate the true origin of Christmas.”
Tracey Jones, principal designer and owner of Remarkable Redesign, also brings nature’s winter bounty indoors. She spreads fresh cut pine, fir and cedar boughs generously on horizontal surfaces and tucks in cones, eucalyptus and winter berries. For added sparkle, she nestles a decorative tree ornament or candle along the surface. “Raid the kitchen! Cranberries, fresh rosemary and pomegranate make beautiful tablescapes.”
“Bring on the glow with twinkle lights and more twinkle lights! Nestle candles and tea lights into all your festive settings to really create that holiday glow (use LED lights for safety). Use scented oils and candles to enhance the forest boughs and mulled spices of the holidays.”
Janice Long, interior designer at Calla Design, says that her favourite part of decorating for Christmas is doing her mantel. Janice anchors her mantel display with a pair of large antique brass and black candlesticks with gold beaded shades. “I put a tea light inside, and the effect is magical.” Another idea is to use hurricane lamps of different heights and put tiny wired lights inside. Janice’s store (located in Estevan Village) is filled with beautiful ornaments and Christmas ideas for 2018.
More Decorating Ideas!
If you’re still looking for inspiration, consider some of the following. If you are a minimalist, go green, simple and natural. If you love glitz and glitter, go wild, try them all:
Display beautiful bowls full of apples, oranges, and pomegranates.
Fill unique containers with flowers, branches, evergreen sprigs, small logs, and berries.
For texture and warmth how about a plush faux fur tree skirt and cozy throws?
Add white textured or clay feathers to your table or centrepiece.
Create a holiday scene with a rustic pre-lit tree and add stars and paper snowflakes – everywhere!
Hang your stockings on the mantel with Santa Claus stocking holders, not nails!
Dust off your puzzles and board games and have them displayed and ready to play.
Cuddle up to a furry white teddy bear with a red collar.
Hang boughs and holly branches over mirrors, and drape twinkling lights from the ceiling (did you know that big bulbs [LED] are making a comeback? But consider colour: some users have reported that blue LEDs have caused headaches or insomnia).
Pin Christmas cards and kid’s artwork to vertically placed unfinished wood planks and add some greenery. Or hang a vintage wooden window with small panes and glue on wooden clothes pegs to display your cards.
Decorate your tree – what’s your style: earthy or glitzy? Or make your own trees! Consider paper or cardboard; there are no limits to the imagination here.
Put holiday collars on your best friends (dogs and cats that is!).
Don’t forget to dig out your warm Christmas socks, fuzzy elf slippers, and consider a cozy, jacquard knit holiday sweater for that Nordic chalet look.
Christmas Decorating and Traditions
Madye, my book club friend, has very definite ideas on decorating for Christmas. She says: “No 1950s aluminum trees and angel hair for me! Nothing silver or cold and icicle-looking, and NO BLUE OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!” To each her own, though … personally, I kind of like blue lights!
As a child, Madye loved to dig under the Christmas tree and rattle all her presents. One year, her mother decided to put a stop to that by putting numbers on the gifts instead of names, so no one knew whose gift was whose. A grand plan, but it fell short when she lost the number key. On Christmas morning they all opened random boxes. Madye unwrapped her grandfather’s new flannel pajamas and pipe tobacco. It was the first and last year for that tradition.
“I always decorate my home at Christmas in the scarlets and forest greens of the holly bush, backlit by candles in brass sticks,” says Madye. “Nothing ever looks perfect; no magazine photographer would be invited to my door, but it is always warm, cozy, and a little chaotic. In Germany, they say ‘gemütlich.’ Each decoration evokes memories of past Christmases, and each is cherished. As my family of origin has been reduced by death and geography, these holiday treasures have become more important to me.”
Another book club friend, Pam, thwarts the early darkness and rains of December by looking for opportunities to create joy. Filling her house with music, she dances and sings along to her favourite Christmas songs. “Looking at my house when it is all lit up with sparkly lights and lots of pretty decorations makes me so happy. Perhaps like the roses and other flowers in my garden, I want to enjoy my time with the lights and decorations, knowing they will soon be packed away once more.”
Christmas Decorating Requests
from Magic Seekers Under 10!
I asked some starry-eyed little ones – if they could have a wish, what would their decorations look like?
Neko (nine) and Violet (six): “Strings of popcorn on the Christmas tree and bowls of popcorn for us.” Abby (five): “I like ornaments on the tree, especially the baby ones with our names on it.”
Mikayla (six): “I would get red lights for the outside of the house because Santa’s hat is red. And maybe a sled with Santa in it on the front lawn.”
Luke (eight): “Blow up decorations; Frosty the Snowman is my favourite!”
Gabby (nine): “I would decorate our whole house with white lights because it will make it shine. And white reindeer because they guide Santa’s sleigh.”
And that’s a wrap – oh right – don’t forget to be creative with the gift wrap too! A fun idea is to use plain paper with a bit of twine, and a white pen for marking dark paper. Add your artwork to enhance the gift or glue on some cut-outs. Add a small sprig of greenery for seasonal pop.
I hope you sing along to your Christmas playlists and enjoy all the sparkly lights, fragrant boughs, love and good cheer of the holiday season. And let us all take a moment to be grateful for our freedom, our friends and family, and for the beautiful island on which we live. We are so blessed.