Earlier last week it was raining. The air was chilly and the sun had already set. Everyone in our home was a bit crabby and looking for reasons to be annoyed with one another. But we realized if we wanted to get our Christmas tree before mid-December it had to be that night. So we told the kids, “Get your boots on, zip up your coats and get excited. It’s Christmas tree time!”
Needless to say, there was a great deal of groaning. And complaining. And at one point, my eight year old claimed he’d, “rather just decorate a random cardboard box instead of a tree this year.” (Apparently 2020 is getting to ALL of us at this point. Bah humbug, indeed.) But we pulled the parent card and persisted in our Wonderful. Christmas. Endeavors. To. Make. Happy. Family. Memories… and by the time we left the tree lot we had not one, but THREE Christmas trees. Or rather, one tree and two cast off twigs my kids determined could be used to decorate their bedrooms.
And my husband and I laughed. Because at the beginning of the evening when there was all sorts of gnashing of teeth and groaning by our kids over our forced festive cheer, we KNEW if we could just get them to that Christmas tree lot they’d be able to shake off the cobwebs of this difficult year and step into the bright lights of this fun season ahead.
Later that evening as I sat with a steaming cup of coffee in front of our fireplace watching my husband wrestle a sappy, spindly pine tree into an old metal stand, and our kids flitted about throwing ornaments at the “trees” set up in their bedrooms, I couldn’t help but realize how we are probably not the only ones struggling to get up the energy to decorate this Christmas season. This year has been a lot to take, and still is. There are so many moments I would rather just sit on my couch and stare at the wall instead of roll out cookie dough with my kids.
But our Christmas tree experience reminded me that if I push through the malaise this year has brought, there is still a great deal to be excited about. Especially this year. For starters, my kids – even at their young ages – look forward to and depend on our family traditions and rhythms. For us, this includes decorating a tree(s), pulling out the bins of baubles and shiny decorations to throw about our home and enjoying copious amounts of hot chocolate. And it seems this year, more than others, they are embracing the fun this season brings as it reminds them of the security and consistency they have in us as parents and within our family.
So I encourage you, turn on the Christmas music and try out some of these easy decorating ideas to bring a little extra magic to your home this holiday season! I promise it’s worth it. Merry Christmas!
Deck the Doorways: Adorn a main doorway in your home with a wreath, twinkle lights or a homemade festive strand of popcorn and cranberries. Get creative with items around your home and some tape!
Christmas-up your Countertop: Everyone has a kitchen counter or island… or at least a sink. So use it! Allocate a bit of countertop real estate to seasonal touches, like metallic accents and a vase of winter flowers – grab a small bouquet on your next grocery store run and divide it into a few small vases and jars! A little goes a long way to bring some festive cheer.
Bundles of Joy: Tie small bundles of holiday inspired items on your tree, up your banister or throughout your home for a holiday pop. Use ribbon to tie up a small pile of cinnamon sticks, a bundle of bells or a passel of ornaments.
Just Log On: For a roaring fire that isn’t a huge bother, search “Fireplace for Your Home” on Netflix to watch an old-fashioned fireplace set to classic holiday tunes.
Wake up the Windows: There is more to holiday decorating than just the tree and the mantel. Consider bedazzling your window ledges and bookshelves, too. Even a few pine boughs in larger vases and a ribbon adds a punch of Christmas. Fill old jars with pistachio nuts or winterberries, set out a few tealights or tie on a length of red string.
Set up a Scent: It’s as simple as lighting a match to add some festive magic to your home. Grab your favorite holiday candle and keep it burning when you find yourself at home on those snowy days.
These are just a few of the thousands upon thousands of ideas out there to brighten up your home this Christmas season. Be sure to comment below with your favorite go-to decorating traditions!
Annie Evelsizer and her husband live in Minneapolis with their two kids and elderly cat. After an extensive tenure working in the fashion industry for a major retailer, Annie opened her own wardrobe and interior styling company, Hudson & Wilde. She is passionate about creating community, and she also loves to read, write, drink coffee, exercise, and travel. Connect with her on Instagram @aevelsizer and @hudsonandwilde!