Party Pointer: Express Holiday Decorating

If you are not one of those people who gets your Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, you may still be trying to find time in your busy schedule to get your house in holiday order. Here are some pointers for express holiday decorating so you can quickly get your home dressed for Christmas—then you can keep on with all the holiday happenings in your world!

• Make a list of your very favorite holiday decorations—these are the things you will want to focus on first, and let the other decorating go until next year. For example, keep your tree, and let the Christmas village take a year off.

• Remember to put your decorating efforts in the parts of your house that are most important—the spaces in which your family and friends gather. You will probably want to put your holiday efforts in your foyer, the room in which you spend most of your family time and have your tree; and your dining room/kitchen. During parties, no one goes into most other rooms, and bathrooms simply need to be clean.

Recognize that your holiday decorating doesn’t have to change from year to year—you don’t have to change your color scheme, you don’t have to buy new decorations. If your home looked pretty last year, it will be pretty this year as well, and doing what you’ve done before helps you move faster in your decorating.

• On the other hand, it is important to recognize that you can do something different in your decorating this year, and no one will fault you. There is no shame in being less elaborate—you have simply chosen to go with a minimalist look. Keep the decorating items from previous Christmases that you love the most, and scale back on the rest.

• First go to your attic or basement and, using your list, pull out your favorite holiday items. If you can’t find some things easily, forget about them now—you can come back later in the season to locate them.

• Set out the decorations you brought out and figure out what other items you need to pull these together. Add to your list what else you need—hopefully you already have these things at home and won’t even need a trip to the store.

• If you do need a trip to the store, you might be able to find everything you need at your local greenhouse or discount store. Go for one-stop shopping.

Here are some of the easiest ways to decorate your home in a hurry:

• Hang a wreath on your front door—it says, “Welcome to our home this Christmas!”
• Hang up your stockings if you have them for your family.
• Put out a holiday tablecloth or table runner on your dining room table—for instant atmosphere.
• Put out a few large glass bowls or apothecary hurricane jars tabletops or mantels. Fill them with pillar candles, cranberries, Christmas balls, colored beaded garland, sugared fruit or natural greenery.
• Set up candles throughout the house in groupings. Other sizes of candlesticks for candles in other sizes are great, too. Candles are fast to set up and add great ambience.
• Put out a few red or white poinsettias (or red amaryllis bulbs or paper whites). Remember to keep them away from pets as they can be poisonous.
• Use pine garland—real or artificial—and pine branches to dress up the house in a hurry. Garland can be draped over or on a mantel, over pictures, on banisters, on chandeliers, down the centers of tables, or round by decorative items. Tuck in a few sprigs of berries—real or artificial—and add a bow if you want.

Express holiday decorating should help get your house work done quickly so you and your family can live in the spirit for the rest of the season.

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