When you think of the holiday season, most people would definitely agree that all the fun decorations are a huge part of the magic that accompanies this time of year. However, when it comes to actually doing all that holiday decorating, it can seem like there are simply too many details to cover without some guidance. Decorating doesn’t have to be a chore, though, and with the right approach, it can actually become one of your favorite holiday traditions. Whether you’re setting the table for a Thanksgiving feast, decking the halls for Christmas, getting your place ready for a Hanukkah celebration, or trying to pull off the perfect New Year’s Eve soiree, here are a few tips to take some of the headaches out of decorating for the holidays:

 

1. Invest in Quality Storage Bins

This may seem like something you’ll only have to do after all the decorating is done, but buying nice storage bins before you even start decorating means you’ll have a safe, out-of-the-way place to put all of your year-round home decor when making room for holiday stuff. Plastic bins are great because they usually come with a secure top and are waterproof, meaning you won’t have to worry about losing your treasured keepsakes if something happens in your garage or storage unit. At the end of the season, have bins and packing supplies (like bubble wrap and tissue paper) at the ready also makes putting your holiday keepsakes away a breeze. Organize the bins thematically for even more convenience when decorating next year.

2. Consider a Color Story

Given that most holidays come with their own festive colors, it’s pretty easy to stick to a unique color story at the holidays. That said, honing in on a few rich tones that you want to feature throughout your home can help make everything seem like it truly belongs together. A deep burgundy and gold motif works great at either Thanksgiving or Christmas, while silver, white, and a rich blue work equally well for Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve. Of course, you don’t have to make sure every single piece in your holiday collection matches these colors. Selecting even just a few key items in your preferred tones will bring a semblance of visual continuity to your home.

3. Bring In Some Nature

Whether it’s the intoxicatingly wintery scent of a fresh pine Christmas tree or the warm hint of roasting chestnuts as your guests file in for a party, nature can be a great way to introduce welcoming scents into your holiday decor. Decorations inspired by the great outdoors also make a stunning visual impactful. Consider arranging a number of colorful seasonal gourds on your Thanksgiving table, nestling pine cones into your fresh winter wreath, or making a garland out of fall leaves. Whatever route you take, natural elements bring a little something extra to your holiday decorations. Here’s one tip we love: If you have a spare branch after cutting down your Christmas tree to fit the stand, place it on your mantel with a few clip-on bird ornaments for a stunning over-the-fireplace display.

4. Get Personal

Lots of people personalize the stockings they hang on the fireplace, but there are actually a lot of different places where you can make decorations unique to your family. For instance, you could have a gingerbread house decorating contest and then display each family member’s special creation for the rest of the season. You could have individual family members cut paper snowflakes for a unique garland decoration. One sweet idea involves choosing your most cherished family photos from holidays past and displaying them in seasonal frames. If you have little ones in the family, start a tradition where they craft a new age-appropriate holiday decoration for the family collection every year.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

Sometimes, you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s when it’s time to channel your inner craft wizard. As anyone who has ever seen Pinterest can attest, there are thousands of different Do-It-Yourself holiday projects one can take on, some more user-friendly than others. Easy and impactful projects that just about anyone can do include using paint pens to draw designs on solid-colored glass ornaments, creating colorful garlands by making interlinking paper loops or stringing yarn pom-pom balls together (here’s a useful how-to for making those), or using some string and clothespins to hang a holiday greeting card display on a wall. You can even make your own homemade kinara if you celebrate Kwanzaa.

6. Let There Be Light

The winter months are oh-so-dark, so the holidays are the perfect time to bring in more light than you usually have indoors. Traditional Christmas lights are an obvious choice, but you can supplement the light they give off by bringing in festive candles, using hanging paper lanterns, or backlighting favorite pieces of decor with LED-string fairy lights. You’ll also love the way fairy lights look tucked into a wine bottle or another colored piece of glass to add some dimension and light to a shelf display. Decorating the outside of your house in holiday lights also need not be a huge ordeal if it’s not something you normally do — one of those light nets you drape over shrubbery or a square of lights around a window can be just enough to make your house a bit more festive.

7. Follow Safety Tips

Holiday decorations are a lot of fun but they can also be a source of anxiety if you don’t follow some common-sense safety tips. For instance, always keep trees and other flammable decorations away from heat sources, keep trees well-watered, turn the lights and other electric powered decorations off when you go to bed for the night, never leave an open flame unattended, check electrical cords for any damage before using them, and always use a ladder according to its safety instructions. You should also take extra precautions if there are small children in your household to make sure that breakable things are out of reach for them. If you have pets, make sure they can’t access any gift-wrapping that they could choke on (like ribbon curls).
Ultimately, when it comes to decorating for the holidays, it’s all about showcasing your unique personality and displaying all the cherished holiday keepsakes that you and your family have accumulated over the years. Decorating for the holidays should be a fun endeavor, not a source of stress, so get everyone involved, put on some holiday music, sip some hot cocoa, and go to town!

Now that you’re all done decorating, you deserve to relax!

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