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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Holiday Decorating

By Suzanne O'Connor

I love Holiday decorating and entertaining. But, do to the heavy workload Fall brings, I rarely get it all done or get to enjoy it. Feeling a bit deprived last year, I made a plan to get ahead of the Holidays and keep the expense down.

First, Refurbish our old Faux Christmas Tree
Before we packed away our old “pre-Lit” faux Christmas tree last January, we stripped it of all the old broken lights. Instead of purchasing new this year, we will put on strands of new lights on our old tree. Saving us on that purchase.

Second: Shop Used.
We hit Estate and Garage Sales over the Summer, shopping only for Holiday décor. I picked up new unopened wrapping paper, several rounds of Holiday ribbon, a 14” nutcracker and a few berry garlands for under $5. … total!
Also found 2 bent wood Reindeer for lawn decoration for $5 each!  That made me happy!

Third: Home Prep
Like the Spring, I like to do an early Fall clean out, especially in the kitchen and dining room.  Stove, oven, casseroles, post & pans are checked and cleaned. Pantry is thoroughly cleaned out as are the china cabinets and refrigerator.
The clean out reminds me what I already have, what I need to get and what need to refurbish for the Holidays. Knives were sent in for sharpening and a pot handle needs to be soldered back on. Table linens get cleaned and pressed. And if the upholstered furniture needs cleaning, it gets cleaned.

Fourth: Decorating in Increments
Holiday decorating is a messy, chaotic experience in our household. Usually items are just packed into whatever box they fit in. Last year we did our best to try to pack the boxes the way they’d be unpacked for use this year.

We do a little bit at a time, so it takes up less time and less energy. The first to go up are the Berry Garlands on the Chandelier. A festive look for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Then the bent wood Reindeer go out along with some exterior tree ornaments that aren’t too kitschy. Our large 4’ Nutcrackers (3) go up the day before Thanksgiving and then the garlands & wreaths and table runners after Thanksgiving.

Lastly the tree, manger scene and remaining interior décor go up and Holiday serve ware is pulled out.

So far this year, I’m on target for Holiday decorating and prep. But far, far behind on gift shopping. But that’s another story.

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