It’s that time of year. A big holiday – some say the very biggest! Christmas is here. How do you recognize the special nature of this holiday in your home?
We know all about Christmas trees and electric window candles as ways to celebrate and decorate for Christmas. What else you can do to decorate your home is limited only by your imagination.
Where to start?
Look first at how your relatives and friends will enter your home. The holiday spirit can embrace them right away, if you do it right. Is there a wreath on the door? Many people decorate the outside of their house. You can make this elaborate or simple. On the more inexpensive end of the spectrum, put lights on trees in your front yard or your porch. Others prefer a discreet evergreen wreath on the door. Maybe one you decorated yourself This is much cheaper than purchasing one that is created commercially.
What is in the entry point to your home? A table? Place a poinsettia there. A stairway to the upper floor? Wind a garland or lights or evergreens around the bannister. Is there a wall with a painting on it? Replace the painting with a holiday scene or place small lights around the frame. Perhaps you could put a mistletoe sprig on the ceiling. That provides a nice welcome for all your friends and relatives!
Now that your guests are in the holiday mood, look at the next room they will enter. For most houses, this is the living room.
The living room has several focal points already, in most cases. A fireplace is an obvious location for decorations. Stockings, greenery, lights, family photos are all perfectly suited to a mantel. Perhaps your television/viewing area is the central focus. What can you do with a television set? You can tune it to the Yule Log. This is a channel showing a log burning in a fireplace. It makes a wonderful backdrop to your celebration.
Check tvguide.com for the channel in your area (and if you have cable, antenna, or satellite TV). Your Christmas Tree is probably a highlight so you might place chairs near it so people can talk and admire the ornaments at the same time.
Now look around the room. Do you have a mirror you can decorate? A flat surface to hold a poinsettia or a basket of seasonal potpourri? Candles, properly isolated to prevent fires, can add a wonderful atmosphere to the room.
Is your Christmas a primarily religious occasion? Then bring that into your space – perhaps with a small Nativity Scene. Is it mostly about family? Then include photos of your family members in the room and even take digital photos of new arrivals and print them out on your computer. Then place those around the room so everyone feels included.
Consider what is suggested by this end-of-the-year celebration. Snow and snowmen? Snowflakes? Tinkling bells? Flavors? Find ways to integrate these images or items into your room.
What other room might be part of your celebration? Your dining room could be the place people gather either for a sit-down meal or a buffet. Red or gold candles (lit or not) can make the room festive. Also, if you have tableware (plates, glasses, serving dishes, etc.) in appropriate colors, put them out even before you serve food.
They can add a bright element and set the tone for the day.. Perhaps you have or can make a seasonal centerpiece. Examine your curtains. Consider adding ribbons as the tiebacks rather than the usual ones. This is an inexpensive way to dress up the room. Or place a colorful tablecloth on your table. It can be pricey, but if you like, you can purchase slipcovers for your dining chairs in red, green, or gold. To mark the year-end tone of the celebration, you can decorate in silver and white.
Of course, it is always fun to have seasonal music playing as a background for your festivities.
The key to having a warm and loving Christmas is, of course, appreciating family and home. While gifts are important, they are less important than sharing the experience and fun with people about whom you care. Take a moment and remind one another of the joys in the past year and look forward to celebrating life in the year to come.