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Decorate For Christmas - And Winter!

Updated on March 21, 2011

Make It A Family Tradition

The ritual of decorating your home for the holidays is so important. The continuity of the activity reassures us when the rest of the world seems so uncertain and your children will remember the traditions you establish and pass them on to their own families. This continuous string of activities through the years establishes our heritage and comforts everyone.

One thing I have always disliked is taking down christmas decorations. In one of my favorite books, Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace, the heroine always bemoaned putting away her holiday finery and having to wear working day clothes instead. "It's as sad as dismantling a Christmas tree,' she said. "So why not consider decorating for winter too?" When you think about it, leaving some ornaments up through the winter will add cheer even after the holidays are over.

Add Some Cheer After Christmas

Many traditional christmas decorations were established in reaction to the lack of natural light this time of year. Candles, christmas lights and shiny and sparkling ornaments that reflect a glow all help dispel the gloom of an early winter sunset and add light.

Changing the look of your home for colder weather will make everyone feel cozy and warm. If you use swags around your stairway bannister, for example, leave the greenery in place and accent them only with tiny white lights. Leave your Christmas wreath up, decorated only with red and white lights and ornaments. It's even perfect for Valentine's Day! Layering fluffy, soft throws and blankets over your furniture, adding pillows made of velvet and soft fabrics, and using more candles and soft lighting work all through the winter months.

If you are just starting your own christmas decorating traditions, think about emphasizing winter so your embellishments can remain displayed throughout the cold months. The color of your holiday decorating scheme doesn't have to be red and green. Silver and gold, blue and white, green and white, and red and gold are all wonderful color combinations for holiday decor that can translate into months of enjoyment.

Repeating a theme, especially when you have a collection of ornaments or trinkets, helps establish continuity and symmetry. And having a collection to add to makes going to flea markets and antique stores much more fun. You will always be on a treasure hunt! Tiny houses, a snowman collection, stars and hearts, and china animals all can be displayed at Christmas and other times of the year too.

Cozy Up With Candles

Candles and beautiful candleholders make a wonderful collection. My friend has been collecting mercury glass candleholders for years, and when they are grouped together on a side table, the mellow glow of the silver reflecting in the flickering flames is especially beautiful. And once again, candles are appropriate at any time of year.

Take a look around your home and think about ways you can make your rooms more cozy for Christmas and beyond. You'll also establish some wonderful traditions to continue year after year.

Wishing you and yours the very best holiday ever!


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