It’s only 7 weeks until Christmas, I know, sorry to remind you. But now that Halloween is over it’s time to start turning your mind to the festive season and getting ready. (Unless of course you have Thanksgiving in the meantime). Here in Australia, all focus is now on the end of December.
Don’t worry, if you’re like me there’s always mad rushing around on Christmas Eve buying that one last present or another carton of brandy cream, just in case. But it does help lower the stress and make the season more enjoyable if you do a little forward planning.
Decorating for Christmas is my absolute favourite part of the season, along with wrapping presents. I like to plan my decorating scheme and try to do something a bit different each year. In thinking about this year’s decorations I had to revisit photos from last year to see what we did and how it could be different this time. Here’s some images from home from last year which may help to inspire you for your Christmas theme at home.
At our front door I couldn’t go past the traditional red and green theme, although I did a predominantly silver and white theme inside. I do love a bit of red, although it’s not generally my decorating colour of choice, but hard to go past this quintessential combination at Christmastime.
Combined with the black and green touches on the front of the house, it looks pretty, festive and fresh. I decorated the dried willow weather with a mixture of wide red, green and tartan ribbons and hung on green and white striped ribbon.
Christmas bush is the only red flower I ever buy, and it combines beautifully with blue and white. The odd touches around the house such as the stocking hung on the door handle below, remind you everywhere you turn of the season.I didn’t really have enough lengths of garland for our balustrade, but trailed what I had of the evergreen garland up the stair balustrade and added red berries and twinkling lights. The mantle above the kitchen was another perfect spot for some festive prettiness. I bought lots of packs of battery operated lights, so cheap, and trailed them about some battery run candles and evergreen garlands.The mantle above the fireplace was treated similarly and simply. That’s the best part about having a mantle, is decorating it at Christmas! The dining table is long and I just added these sweet burlap reindeer and on the console a little vignette of miniature china reindeer. By Christmas Day most of this fake snow has ended up on the floor as the kids can’t help but fiddle with it. Some of you will be horrified by my admission, but we have a fake tree. I did persevere with the real thing for many years, but just could never be satisfied with the way it looked because of the type and shape of tree we get in Australia. They really are not designed for decorating and just no matter how you try, you can’t get the same effect you can with a beautifully crafted fake. Yes, I do miss the smell, but not the cleaning up or the funny uneven branches that turn up wards and don’t take decorations well! I have boxes and boxes of decorations in our garage, all in colour themes and last year went for a beautiful silver and white them. It looked really pretty against the dark grey, and went beautifully with all the blue and white in the house too. I just love beautiful Christmas decorations, and I can’t resist buying more every year, much to my husband’s frustrations.
I have bought hundred of decorations over the years, from many different places both locally and overseas. But I can’t resist buying a few new ones every year. They are impossible to resist. I buy them from all sorts of shops, they don’t have to be expensive. If you are clever about your selections the overall effect is fabulous.
The key to making a great looking tree is an abundance of decorations. I use well over a hundred and often finish off with strips of ribbons or bows to fill in gaps. I alway start with the lights before anything else.
If you buy sets of more expensive decorations such as these, you need about 6-8, then buy bulk or larger quantities of cheaper decorations, even plastic ones, from supermarkets and discount stores, to create the back drop and fill up the space and background of the tree. I like to nestle the cheaper ones in deeper into the tree and branches, and leave room at the front for the more special feature ornaments.Then you can allow your hero decorations to be featured at the front, but still give your tree richness and depth. I like added little Christmas vignettes around the house, so that there are lots of pretty little festive scenes and touches. It just makes the house feel more special at this time of year, and the kids love it when the Christmas treasures come out and fill the house. It’s a sign Santa is coming soon. At nighttime we have about 30 candles around the house in little vignettes to light. It takes a few minutes, but the glow and ambiance from the larger groupings of candles make the house feel to special and Christmassy. It’s worth the effort.
The other red plant I always buy at Christmas is the poinsettia. They just sing Christmas to me. They look wonderful and last for ages.
Now for all of you who are wondering how I manage to have a nicely decorated tree with three small kids in the house and all those school made decorations begging to be hung, I have a secret. No, it’s not the bin…..
Stay tuned for the next post…!