Non tacky Christmas decorations and ornaments

If the idea of garish lights and inflatable reindeer fills you with horror, here are some ideas for tasteful, non-tacky Christmas decorations

Are you one of those people who groan when people start talking about Christmas and the holiday season? Do you deplore the fact that Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year? Do you hate the sheer tackiness of it? Do you feel exasperated rather than compassionate when you hear stories about people maxing out their credit cards and going massively into debt just to “keep up with the Joneses” with their Christmas celebrations? Instead of making you smile and imbuing you with festive cheer, does the sight of houses festooned with flashing lights around the windows and sporting inflatable Santa Clauses in the front yard do horrible things to your blood pressure and make you feel sorry for the neighbours who have to endure the relentless on-off, on-off

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of the aforementioned flashing lights from late November through to the first week of January?

If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of the above questions, then take heart - you are not alone. Just in case you hadn't guessed it from reading the above paragraph, I myself am a confirmed Christmas-phobic - so much so that I’ve actually stopped putting up Christmas decorations at all. We do celebrate Christmas in our house, just not in any obvious way and certainly not with flashing lights and an inflatable Santa or Elvis in our front garden. We’re more likely to spend the money on really nice food and wine that we don’t have during other times of the year.

However, it’s easy for me to go down this route, living in a house with one other adult (who’s even more cynical than me) plus two cats, who don’t care about the outward trappings of Christmas as long as they get a fair share of any roast meat that’s going. If you have young children, or if your other half is really into Christmas, then to some extent you’re going to have to go with the flow.

Which is where this hub comes in. Yes, you can buy Christmas ornaments etc., but make them tasteful ones. Or even collectible ones. Preferably both.

Collectible sterling silver Christmas ornaments

Throughout the late 20th century and beyond, American silverware companies like Reed & Barton, Gorham and Towle produced sterling silver ornaments with a seasonal theme, like snowflakes and the Twelve Days of Christmas. The ornaments were designed to hang on a tree but some of them also make fantastic jewellery too! The price of silver is going up all the time, so you would be buying something that will appreciate in value as well as looking gorgeous on a Christmas tree or round your neck at the office Christmas party.

Scandinavian and German Christmas ornaments

I am always impressed by how tastefully the Scandinavians and Germans “do” Christmas compared to - say - the British and Americans. The emphasis is more on hand-made ornaments in natural materials such as wood and straw, rather than plastic bits ‘n’ bobs that come from a factory in China. In Germany they even have specialist Christmas markets where you can buy hand-made decorations, gifts and food items, and warm yourself up with a glass of mulled wine at the same time! If geography, time and/or finances prevent you from paying a visit to Germany in the run-up to Christmas, then you can always browse on eBay or Amazon to get ideas.

Glass Christmas ornaments

As a child I remember putting glass baubles up on our Christmas tree, which were beautiful but oh so fragile. There are still a lot of glass baubles available to buy today but you don’t have to restrict yourself to baubles - try candle holders, lanterns and wine glasses too!

White or mono Christmas lights

If you’re going to have lights, then plain white ones (or lights that are all one hue rather than a garish rainbow) are the tasteful way to go IMO. Being a lover of chilli con carne, I have to admit that I am somewhat taken with the quirky red chilli pepper lights shown here although strictly speaking, they may not conform to most people’s definition of “tasteful”.

And finally…

Hope this hub has given you some “out of the box” ideas when it comes to tasteful Christmas decorations that will keep your family happy yet won’t make you grimace every time you look at them. Cheer up - it only comes but once a year!

© Empress Felicity October 2011

This page generates income for the author based on affiliate relationships with Amazon and eBay.

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