As I get older, I find myself looking for easier ways to prepare my house for holiday decorations and entertaining. And I have found some great “tricks” over the years that you may find helpful.
Smells of the Season: WE know what they are – pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, berries, pine, etc. In my youth, I would purchase the real thing and have items all over my house that smelled wonderfully – that was, until I had to clean up the withering and rotting items that had created those great smells in the first place. Not anymore!
Now, I pull out my boxes of “fake” seasonal items, replacing those that have seen better days, and place them around my home – the entryway, the fireplace, the living and family rooms, and, of course, the bathrooms. I have a great centerpiece on my dining room table and a smaller one on my buffet. Because they don’t have any odor, I have two choices. I can purchase cans of spray that mimic the odors and spray down these items on a regular basis. But, even better, I can purchase scented candles that have the odors I want and place them in strategic places. Better yet, I can now buy the battery-operated candles (no flame and no fire hazard), and use them instead. I can now fill my home with whatever scents I want and have virtually no mess from drying out or decaying plant life!
Less is Really Better: In past years, I was an addict for decorations. Starting at the front door, I filled every available wall space, every table, every shelf, the fireplace mantle, and any open floor space with decorations. I moved furniture, crowding rooms just to make space for additional décor. Ultimately, I was the poster child for the old adage, “You cannot see the forest for the trees.” I had so much stuff, accumulated over so many years, that my home looked like a poor imitation of a holiday retail display – and a bad one, at that.
One year, however, I traveled to a friend’s home over the holiday season and had the opportunity to experience minimalism at its finest. Instead of cluttering her home with festivity, she chose instead a few absolutely stunning pieces that drew my attention immediately – a large wreath that temporarily replaced an equally as large wall clock; an incredible centerpiece on her dining room table, and a “real-looking” garland on her stairway. One of the newer “skinny” trees was placed in a corner of the living room, with beautiful glass ornaments and ribbons, and no lights at all. Stockings on the fireplace were of warm, rich colors that matched her room décor, not the red and white that we normally see!
I left that visit feeling as if my home was pretty “gaudy,” while hers exhibited charm and class.
This year, I have donated most of my holiday decorations and have chosen to use just a few exceptional pieces that will grab the attention of anyone coming into my home. Further, I have purchased battery-operated “candles’ with scents that are most associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I am far less stressed, knowing that I will not be spending time cleaning up the mess of decorations of former years and knowing that, when the holiday season is over, my “take down” will involve far fewer hours than before!