Holiday Decorating – Strategies That Work

By Marsha Fottler –

You know you have to do it. Here’s how.

Decide on a Theme and Color Scheme: It will make your life easier. Too many choices result in chaos. Possible themes: Reindeer, elves, Santa figures, angels, Old Fashioned Christmas, Tropical Christmas, trains, sleighs, and wagons, dolls. Then decide on colors. Pick two main colors and a third one for accent. Then you need a metallic such as gold, silver, copper, bronze, platinum, whatever. In all, you have four colors, one of them metallic. The metallic can be expressed in matte finish or glossy or a combination of both. And don’t forget a bit of glitter or crystal glass beads. Be sure to make wrapped packages part of your decor, since the wrapping paper can support your color scheme. Your best friends: French-wired ribbon and several cans of spray paint to get the metallic finish you want. Spray baskets, branches, twigs, faux boughs, garlands, faux fruit, inexpensive wreaths, and both metal and wooden objects such as reindeer, antlers, elves, miniature sleighs and such. If you want to “glitter up” an object, mix a littler water with Elmer’s Glue, brush the glue mixture onto the object and sprinkle on the glitter.

Shop Your House: Take a tour through your home with a big basket and a discerning eye and put in it objects you want to work into your holiday decor. A collection of porcelain boxes, paperweights, several pieces of coral or some shells, faux fruit, candlesticks, pretty baskets, etc.  Incorporate these selected items into your holiday decor only if they support your theme. Be a critical shopper.

Make yourself a clean canvas: Put away  non-seasonal accessories and tabletop objects, except for what you’ve “shopped.” You need clean, clear space to create holiday vignettes. Avoid having your holiday artifacts compete with your everyday things. You’ll end up with clutter instead of a  cohesive design scheme. Take art off your walls, you’ll need the space for wreaths or seasonal art.

Carry the theme and colors throughout the house: Put a small vignette,  tree or big bowl of holiday potpourri in guest bedrooms and baths, on the patio and porch, as well as the other public rooms of the house. Seasonal dish towels in the kitchen are fun.

LED Candles. These battery-operated candles now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and designs. You want them. You can tuck them (as well as the LED tea lights) into table centerpieces and into vignettes on shelves where you want some light at night, just a soft little glow. They make great hostess gifts too. Just make sure you include the batteries when giving them as a gift.


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