A Simple Guide to Holiday Decorating
When the kids were little, everything had to be just right. From hanging the stockings with care to spreading holiday cheer evenly throughout the house, Christmas was more than a small ordeal. When they went off to college, you decided it was time to scale back, but you haven't quite mastered how to do that without resembling the Grinch.
That's where our guide comes in handy. We'll walk you through how to be festive without putting too much stress into the holidays.
Have a centerpiece
One mistake many baby boomers make is trying to do away with the tree. Nothing will upset the kids faster than saying you're not going to have a tree this year. Before you know it, they'll be on your doorstep with a live fir that you'll have to take care of all season. Cut off the seasonal madness before it begins by setting up your own artificial Christmas tree. The lack of pine needles on your floor will more than make up for the initial cost. Get a model that's pre-lit to save yourself even more trouble.
Buy new bulbs
If you've been using the same glass bulbs since the 90s, it's time to update. The old bulbs might be sentimental and sweet, but today's bulbs are much easier to hang and store. If you can bring yourself to do it, buy the plastic bulbs that come in bulk with string that you can leave on year after year. Because the bulbs are plastic, you can toss them into a large storage container and not worry about carefully separating them.
Pick one touch for each room
Think of your tree as your absolute declaration that you're enjoying the holidays. From here on out, you've got nothing to prove, and everything is optional. That doesn't mean you don't necessarily want to add a little Christmas around the rest of the house, though! Pick small accents to scatter around the house that are easily stored away after the holidays. Ideally, everything you use can fit in a single storage box. Think of accent pieces like towels, rugs and artwork that lays flat. Switch everything you're replacing with seasonal doppelgangers in the same box and slide it away until the new year, when you can make the switch again.
Don't forget outdoors
Hanging a lit wreath is an easy, instant way to add some outdoor cheer. If you're not quite satisfied with the effect, keep adding. You can easily drape netted lights over box bushes and shrubs, or add some yard art, like a lighted nativity scene or a single reindeer. A cute character like Frosty can become a great memory for the grandkids and only take up a little bit of your storage space and time.
Things to skip
Garland: Garland is time consuming. You're not going to want to aake the time to wrap it around the tree, bannister rails or wherever it previously found a home. If the tree looks bare, add a little tinsel.
Stringing lights: Outdoors or indoors, stringing lights eats up most of your allotted decorating time. With the advent of pre-lit trees, stringing lights indoors has officially become more trouble than it's worth. Outdoors, it has too little of an impact to justify the time involved.
Real trees: Real trees require tree stands, regular watering, cleaning up pine needles, worrying about fires and stringing lights. Plus, it all has to be undone and you have to drag it to the curb at the end of the season. Just use a pine-scented candle and an artificial tree and you'll get the same effect.
Christmas is all too often more stressful than joyful. Take this opportunity to streamline your season and minimalize your stress.
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