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Boo! Holiday Decor Doesn’t Have to be Scary

It’s always fun to be festive, but for some reason, as soon as the Halloween skeletons come out of the closet our stirrings of emotional anxiety come out with them.  We know that in the blink of an eye the madness of  Thanksgiving and then Christmas are right around the corner and we’re not sure if were quite ready for the madness.  The likes of Martha Stewart and Pinterest spark great ideas, but instead of being inspired, for some of us the pressures of these perfect images create  more stress.

I say we all take a deep breath and settle down our holiday decor insanity!

These times are supposed to be fun, right? So let’s focus on friends, family, and relaxation instead.  Sure, stresses inevitably creep in, but let’s at least nix out the decor component. Here are some simple, realistic approaches that don’t involve an incredible amount of effort, but still deliver amazing effects.

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Go Old School
For most of us, the holidays were a magical time as children. There was no other time that gave us a greater sense of wonder, imagination, and play. Why do we have to lose that with age?

Start with Halloween
Instead of spending hours carving intricate designs into a pumpkin, grab a Sharpie and let your kids have their hand. You can buy different sizes for each family member and have them personalize their own. Sure, some eyes will be wonky or drawings perhaps all together unrecognizable, but the process of play can be much more gratifying than perfecting. Then look at other past holiday traditions you enjoyed as a child and reinstate them with your own families.

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Lighten Up
To me, there is no greater ambience influencer than light. I’m not talking about Clark Griswold proportions, but simple options such as candlelight. Wrap a beautiful harvest color ribbon around various sized pillars for an instant holiday effect. Switch out to a metallic in December, and voila, you are now ready of Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s.

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Be Natural
Store windows and pop-ups scream “buy, buy, buy!” with the latest holiday themed merchandise. As opposed to getting caught up on the commercialism of buying stuff, take a peruse through nature! Different colored pumpkins or pine cones or pine needles dipped in metallics look beautiful in a bowl. When purchasing your Christmas tree, scoop up a few stray branches to take home and spread down a table around your candleholders. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and most importantly, it doesn’t take you out of your way or stress you out.

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Shop Your Home
The second best place to uncover great finds: your own home! Simply rearranging what you have can create a whole new experience. Expecting extra company this season? Move in some additional chairs to your entertaining areas to cozy it up. Swap out your pillows between rooms for new vibe. It’s less about decorating and more about creating a new environment.

This is not to say I don’t condone purchasing any holiday decor, as I certainly love a good “personal present” or two. What I’m suggesting is limit your purchases to very edited selections based upon what you truly love and have longevity potential (a great dinnerware set, colored glassware, throw pillows, etc.)

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K.I.S.S. Stress Goodbye
Holiday decorations are fun, but it can also be overstimulating. This year, try a sophisticated approach in simplicity. Merely changing the color of the lights on your tree can completely transform it. Or try wrapping all your presents in the same paper. The uniformity can actually be stunning, as well as calming.

Whatever you do, tell yourself that it’s enough. It’s a mindful approach for a more Sacred Space that emotes the feelings you want to convey for yourself and your guests. People aren’t going to remember that perfect spooky door front or tabletop setting, they are going to remember the connection and conversation within.

Happy Homes, Happy Holidays.

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