It is cold. Like record cold. Like it was 18 degrees last night.
Continuing along with our Christmas decorating series, first stop: A White Christmas. I have to say, I was really excited to get started with my decorating early and just have the process be a slow, relaxed one. You know, like unpack all the boxes gradually, maybe hang up a string of lights, relax for a few days, hang up another one, etc… Especially after I heard on the radio that a survey was conducted and concluded that those who hang up their holiday decorations earlier, are happier. Weird survey, I know. But still… Of course, life happened and I actually have not had time to embark on my decorating journey, but I have had lots of time to plan…
Does everyone know where ‘White Christmas’ came from? Obviously the song, yes, and the ‘White’ refers to snow on Christmas Day. The original song by Bing Cosby is actually kind of sad, as it was released in the wake of Pearl Harbor. The original producer of the song has his own sad story as well, which I will not discuss here because it makes me too sad, but you can totally read about it yourself . Just know that you might feel a little crappy for a few hours afterward.
Inspiration for White Christmas decorations are more than just a white color pallet. A White Christmas is of course reminiscent of snow, so I like to think of it as bringing the outdoors in. This is an opportunity to decorate your home with things that celebrate nature and remind us of the holidays at the same time.
I don’t even need to say this, but if you have a fake tree, your first step is throwing that sh*t out.
The holidays are about tantalizing all the senses, smell, touch, sound, etc, and there is nothing like a fragrant Christmas tree to welcome you home during the holidays. Note – If you are a newb to having a real tree, I’m sure you are ‘afraid’ of the pine needles that are left behind when it comes to say goodbye to Douglas. Don’t be, most of us own a vacuum, or very least a broom. Try plugging in a humidifier next to your tree to keep those needles plump and hydrated all month long, and most importantly, attached to the tree. DO NOT forget to change the water. Last year, our 8 ft tree drank about a gallon of water PER DAY.
Decorating with Snow
To highlight the natural beauty of winter, I like to start with the most obvious element; snow! These snowflake decals are awesome on windows, or even on your oven door/refrigerator. Of course, if you have time, crafting paper snowflakes yourself is always a fun project. Fake snow is always great to have on hand. A little tip about buying fake snow:
I was in an art store, that shall remain nameless, and was perusing the holiday section in search of fake snow (aka pillow stuffing) and I finally found a box full of bags of ‘fake snow’ for $15.99! OK, hell no, My budget-friendly-minded self said. So I wandered over to the textile section and found a similar bag, this time labeled pillow stuffing, for $4.99… Needless to say this bag was the winner. Anyways, moral of the story; don’t get carried away in the holiday department of a craft store, even though it is So. Hard. Not to.
There are so many ways to use ‘snow’ in your holiday decorating. The two main things I do with it are: Using fake snow for setting up my Christmas village, and using fake snow in Christmas Centerpieces.
Ya’ll, Christmas decorating does not have to be expensive, and no, you do not have to DIY everything. One great centerpiece that I make every year is just pillow stuffing inside either an oversized fancy vase, or a trifle platter with either some LED Candles, or string lights inside. Add in some festive berries and a sprig of ever green, and you have the perfect White Christmas Centerpiece! I should add that all of my plate wear and vases I generally get from the Goodwill. At least in my house, I don’t need the latest, shiniest thing. What I need is something different, that makes a statement, and is cheap. Although I desperately want my home to look like the inside of a Pottery Barn Catalogue, with three dogs and a baby, this is just a ridiculous dream. Nothing in our house is shiny and new, and nothing that once was shiny and new stays that way for long. This is what Pinterest was created for. My ‘Home’ Pinterest board is actually my second home, the one where nothing gets broken or dirty, the one that exists only in my dreams.
Got leftover snow? I’ve got a solution! I know I’ve sworn off DIY projects but this is a pretty unoffensive decorating project. Get your hands on some empty ornaments.
These ornaments have a removeable cap so the world is your oyster in terms of what to stuff inside them! I’ve seen anywhere from hot chocolate powder and pre-batched cosmopolitans, to DIY snow globes. I’m pretty low key, so the most I’ll do is take my leftover snow and stuff a little bit inside. It sounds pretty unspectacular, but the effect is actually very pretty! IF you haven’t yet banned glitter from your home, you could also throw a little glitter inside…also very pretty. You also might be glittery for the rest of your life, so I’ll leave that one up to you.
Decorating with Nature
The Tree is the most iconic symbol of Christmas, in my opinion, except maybe Santa. The issue with Santa being he is not really a fun-for-the-whole-family, great outdoor adventure, decorating-extravaganza that a Christmas tree is. Santa gets a letter or two and a plate of cookies… and a jolly outfit, a sleigh, reindeer, GIFTS, an entire chilly microcosm…OK maybe it’s a draw between tree and Santa. Whatever Santa, we’re not talking about you here.
What constitutes Holiday in nature exactly? Berries, mistletoe, evergreen trees, pinecones, and snow! And the great thing about Holiday florals, call me a hypocrite, is that you can buy fake ones and use them year after year.
Trust me, one year I spent hours hunting for pinecones in the backyard, in the snow, only to produce like 4 or 5 passable, albeit soggy, specimen. After dropping $11 on the silver spray paint, and another hour finding a safe location to spray them (which resulted in a few patches of silver on the driveway), I am all for buying a $4 bag of pinecones from the craft store. You can use pinecones in centerpieces, or wire them to a garland or wreath for a nice natural accent.
Using these wooden serving boards for placemats or centerpieces is a great way to bring more of the natural winter-wonderland inside! Using them as placemats for a Christmas dinner, or underneath serving trays for a Holiday Cocktail Party is a beautiful way to showcase nature.
You can find beautiful wooden placemats like this on Etsy, Target.com, Amazon,
…really anywhere with a household department.
I’m a big believer in real Christmas trees, like I mentioned before. I am also a big believer in ‘Artificial florals’ (aka fake flowers). Like these placemats! Layer on top of wooden place mats for a beautiful natural effect.
Decorating with Garlands
I am so guilty of overdoing it with the garlands sometimes. I need to just choose one out of the following; garland on the mantle, garland around the front door, garland wrapping the bannister, garland on the table. It’s so easy to get carried away! But too much looks tacky to me. when it comes to decorating for the holidays , I try to remind myself it’s all about subtle accents that all tie in together, which after all, is really the purpose of this post in the first place.
A GREAT place to find garlands (and wreaths for that matter), and yes I do purchase fake wreaths sometimes, is Ocean State Job Lot. Amongst the hideous wrapping paper and pointless gift boxes, there are some true, super inexpensive steals!
They also sell an antlers and nose set for your car, for like $7, If you’re into that kind of thing.
Decorating with Figurines
I think the most important aspect of our ‘White Christmas’ theme, is that nothing is super garish or ‘on the nose.’ Subtle whites, slightly less-subtle silvers and golds, and small pops of red and natural green is all you really need. Deer figurines are such a great addition to your white Christmas decor. I ALWAYS keep my eye out at the local Goodwill for discarded figurines, because they can be pricey.
Wrought iron deer figurines can be pretty pricey, but they will last forever. Sometimes it’s worth it to bite the bullet and just buy something if you really love it. My trick: if I see something that’s too expensive for me to buy on the spot I give it like 5 days. If I’m still thinking about that one thing and have not found anything better, I just get it. I think one significant purchase to add to my holiday decor per year is acceptable. Obviously, holiday decorating is important to me so I prioritize it a little…
There are so many different styles to decorate your home in. I hope this post gave you a few new ideas! What is your Christmas decor style??