Party Pointer: First Thoughts about Holiday Decorating

You should, first and foremost, decorate your home for yourself and your immediate family. But we usually do want our homes to look festive and attractive to our neighbors, friends and family as well. So if you plan to entertain at home during the holidays and want your home to look its best, consider these first thoughts about holiday decorating:

Places to Decorate

  • Yard
  • Deck/Patio
  • Porch
  • Mailbox/light-post
  • Front Door
  • Foyer
  • Living room
  • Dining Room
  • Family Room/Den/Florida Room
  • Kitchen
  • Powder Room
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways
  • Other

Questions to ask yourself when deciding how which areas to decorate:

  • How much time and energy you have or want to spend on putting up the decorations and later on taking them down?
  • How much money do you have or want to spend on your holiday decorating?
  • How much storage space do you have for all these decorations at the end of the season?
  • How much time will you spend at home during the holidays to actually enjoy your decorating?
  • Which of the above places are seen by others when they drive by or visit?
  • What items do you already have that might be used to decorate?

Now consider the following questions about your personal style, preferences and possessions

What style home and furniture do you have and what style home decor do you like?

  • Traditional/Colonial Style
  • European Style
  • Country Style
  • Transitional Style
  • Contemporary Style
  • Other

What type of holiday look do you like?

  • Traditional Christmas icons—red and green, poinsettias, nativity scenes, holiday villages, Santas
  • Children’s World—bright colors, toys, stuffed animals, jingle bells
  • Winter—ice, snow, snowmen, skating, sledding
  • Natural—greenery, trees, berries, pinecones, birds
  • Colonial—fruits, nuts, berries, dried materials, boxwood, greenery
  • Holiday foods—gingerbread men, gingerbread houses, Christmas candies, candy canes
  • Elegant—gilded greenery, fruit, gold, silver, magnolia, flowers
  • Sophisticated—mirrors, acrylic, monochromatic or two-tone color schemes in whites, silvers, blacks, bronzes
  • Ethnic décor—German nutcrackers, smokers, pyramids; Scandinavian straw ornaments, red and whites; Hispanic fiesta
  • Time period décor
  • Medieval—jewel tones, tapestries
  • Victorian—pinks, lace, doilies, flowers
  • Retro—aluminum trees, hot pinks and turquoises, bubble lights
  • Antique—old-fashioned toys, ornaments
  • Juxtaposition of seemingly opposite items—gilded pinecones, traditional icons in unusual colors or materials

What color scheme of holiday décor would work with your room and furniture colors as well as the colors of your china?

  • Traditional Christmas red and bright Kelly green
  • Burgundy and dark green
  • Gold and white
  • Silver and white
  • Silver and blue
  • Bronze and white
  • Blue and gold
  • Purple and gold
  • Whites
  • Pinks
  • Hot pink, kiwi green, turquoise
  • Any other color scheme of your choosing

What type of decorations/entertaining items do you already have?

  • Front-door wreath
  • Flag
  • Yard decorations/outdoor lights
  • Tree lights and ornaments—colored or white lights, balls or ornaments or mixture thereof?
  • Window candles
  • Table or mantel decorations
  • Faux greenery/fruit
  • Holiday Collections—villages, nutcrackers, snow globes, snowmen
  • Candles and candlesticks
  • Glass hurricane vases/assorted glassware
  • Large glass bowls/ cake stands/ punch bowls
  • Holiday table linens/ solid color table linens
  • Holiday china/ regular dressy china/ everyday china
  • Large flat mirrors
  • Holiday trays or plain trays
  • Large picture frames that might serve as trays
  • Holiday picture frames and photos
  • Children’s toys, books, blocks
  • Potted house plants like ivy, peace lilies, bromeliads, African violets, Christmas cactus

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