It’s the holiday season (holiday season)…
I love the holidays, starting with my birthday (Oct. 28), then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and finally New Years! So many parties & festivities going on! LOVE it! We’ve already got 4 Christmas parties, 1 baby shower, 1 b’day party, and lots of visiting with various friends and family all before Christmas actually rolls around.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I went to a Christmas/holiday decorating class at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens by the folks at In Bloom (in the Five Points area for those in the Huntsville, Alabama area). I took notes with my little Android phone. So I’m gonna try to make things full sentences now. (Bare with me if I overlook something.)
So, I just cranked up Pandora with my Christmas channel and my fingers are ready to work! The only thing that would make this perfect is a cup of hot chocolate and if I was at home working on this. I’m gonna also add my own thoughts and notes to this so it’s gonna be MY own Christmas decorating post instead of just notes.
Organize. That’s where we start. The speaker said, “You’re too late with organizing; you should have started last year.”
First, you need to decide when you’re gonna decorate and how much you’re gonna decorate. Once you’ve got that decided, you need to plan for 3 days to decorate. I’ve never done this before, but I am this year! I work full time, so I can’t really do it during the week. So we normally go cut down our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year, we’re going the day after with some friends. So I’m doing this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Day 1: Put up the tree (fluff it if you decide to go the
wrong fake route) and light it. That’s it. No more. Even if you want to. Stop. I mean it!
Day 2: Decorate. Decorate your tree, your foyer, your whole living. Just do what you want.
Day 3: Finalize. Put all the finishing touches on everything. If you see something out of place, fix it. Make a list of what you need and go buy it.
Note: If you’re doing outdoor lights, plan for another day for this too. Or if you’re like me, I’ll just send Hubby out to do it while I’m decorating. That’s our rule anyway. I take care of the inside of the house and he gets the outside.
That all sounds easy enough. Better than me trying to cram it all into one Saturday. I’ve already planned to go get the tree Friday and get all our decorations down out of the attic (or get hubby to). We’ll put lights on together and then go to watch the Iron Bowl game (War Eagle). On Saturday, I’ll pull out the rest of the decorations and decorate that morning. My family is coming up that evening to go out to eat for our Thanksgiving. Everybody seems to be so overwhelmed and tired this year, so we’re getting someone else to do it for us. And we’re going fancy too! My day 3 will consist of me visiting a local florist (the people that actually did the demonstration/talk about decorating) and do the finishing touches of decorations. We’ll see how it all goes.
Now as you go through your decorations this year (and at the end of the season) grade them. A. B. C. D (for donate). F (for trash). I like this system. I went through my decorations last year, but I’m really excited about this method! Also, you should invest in one quality Christmas item a year. So this is our 2nd Christmas together and last year we had to invest in a lot since we needed a lot of our own things, this will be a good start. I’m planning on buying mine Sunday hopefully.
Accessorize. This is the next step in your Christmas decorating (or any kind of decorating for that matter).
One thing he said that stuck out in my mind was to rethink key surfaces and rethink how you use your items. I definitely will. I don’t know what this will look like just yet, but I will!
Start with a clear area. Take everything off your surface (unless there’s a lamp or something that will stay). Then you just work your items in. And I did note that he said to use an odd number of accessories (not including a lamp or something that will stay). Then mix textures. You should also make sure your eye dances over the height of every object. Use books, logs, etc. to add height to things. I have a few old books I will try to use. I do that with normal decorating anyway. Don’t make anything symmetrical. That’s something I tend to do, especially with an even number of objects. You can also add a mirror underneath something to give more light to a dark area.
This class really inspired me! They did some sample decorating on a small table with a lamp. He did one monochromatic with silver. Then he worked some gold into it too. He said it was very ok to mix silver and gold, something I’m terrified of! Mr. Speaker Guy did a fall table (wood logs, acorns, squirrel, silver leaf, current fall photo) and a Christmas table (mercury glass, silver tree, deer, silver ball, silver picture frame).
The Tree. Now that we have everything organized and accessorized… Let’s move onto decorating your Christmas tree! Lights. One idea somebody gave was to do inner lighting on your tree where you just wrap the inside stem with a C9 size bulb strand. I’m not sure we’ll do this this year, but it sounds kinda fun! He did say something about the technique of lighting the tree and I know after hearing him, I do it ALL wrong! Ornaments. Organize ornaments by same style, same size, then go down in size its more visually appealing. I didn’t know this either, but you’re supposed to put the bigger sized ornaments to fill the holes! I have 1 and it’ll fill a whole instead of hang down at the bottom and just get knocked around by gifts. You have a base of handmade ornaments, but hang matching colored balls in the inside of tree to reflect your lights better. A good idea for old ornaments you don’t want broken: put them on a special tree where it won’t get knocked off. Or put them in a shadow box and display this as part of your decorations somewhere. Garland: Garland should be out on the tips of the branches. And they said tinsel is ok to use, but use sparingly.
The speaker touched on fresh flowers and arrangements, but I’m not even going to attempt explaining this because that’s nowhere near my forte! But he did say to make sure you always have fresh flowers at any kind of social gathering. I’ve not really done this. Ever. So here goes another new thing for me.
Finally, we’re at the end of this post. But I will post some words of advice from the speaker: “Share your Christmas. Think of others during the holidays and support local businesses. Remember those in need. Have fun. Make memories. Control the holidays, don’t let them you.”