- Buy a few artificial wreaths that already come with bows or bulb ornaments and hang it around your outside lights. It is festive and takes approximately 30 seconds. Yes, this might mean supporting a big box store to get a really cheap wreath, but read on, friends, there’s support for small businesses in a minute.
- Change your outside light bulbs to red or green bulbs. Easy and quick. Decorator pro tip: If you use red bulbs, these will last right into Valentine’s Day. Use green bulbs and you’re set for St Patrick’s Day. Or, follow me and use a mix of the two and change the red/green back to normal bulbs just before Easter. You’re dabbling into decorating for several holidays for months to come. I know!! Keep reading for more mind blowing ideas.
- Buy a porch pot made by a local vendor. Local ingredients, local support, even if you spend a bit more than the outside light wreaths (idea#1) it’s worth it. If you’re local to the West Michigan area, check out The Kraft Shack. Alternatively, if you’re crafty you can go for a hike in the woods and collect these items for free. (Of course if you are really crafty you are probably not reading this post to get ideas. But maybe you’re a tired crafty person and have given yourself permission to treat yourself this season and contract out some of your decor- wise choice!). Note: be prepared for your dog to relieve himself on the porch pot (or deck pot, in my case). With all the branches and pine, it’s an understandable confusion and we’ll just hope it doesn’t affect the aesthetics.
- Buy a candle that smells like pine, mistletoe, cinnamon or sugar cookies. The sense of smell is so powerful and can bring back all sorts of memories even if you don’t have energy to do much decorating or baking. Your nose will convince you and your family that you’re all up in the holiday spirit, even if it’s coming from a simple glass jar. Warning: if you choose the sugar cookie scent, be prepared to face the disappointed look from your family when they realize the scent does not lead to an edible treat. Consider quickly tossing them a wrapped chocolate candy from your private stash to prevent the chaos that could occur in this situation.
- Get a tree. Even if it’s an artificial, pre-lit small tree. There is something so mesmerizing about having the lights off except for the tree lights. Even if you don’t put any or many ornaments on, there is something magical about it. If you can put some ornaments on, choose the ones that bring you the happiest memories. For me, it’s the handmade ones from my kids. The ones where you’re not really sure what it’s supposed to be, or a half-painted train because their attention span at that time was 3 minutes. Those are special.
Whatever you choose to do this season for decorating, give yourself grace to let it be what it is. Pressure from your kids to carry on traditions can be ok…they look forward to certain things that are an important part of their childhood and lifetime memories. Many times, once you uphold those traditions whether it be decorating a certain way, or making a certain baked good, you’re glad you did. But also be good to yourself. If you just don’t feel like doing a certain activity this year, give yourself permission to skip it. You don’t have to skip it forever, but this year, it’s ok. It’s ok to change it up. Less is sometimes more. This year I only got out about one-third of our ornaments and I am completely at peace with that! Do your best to declare this Christmas season the season of PEACE. Maybe that means less decorating and more sitting and staring at a smaller, less glam tree. Whatever a more peaceful Christmas means…I wish that for you.
What is one way YOU are simplifying your decorating this year?