Preparing Your Home For Christmas

Dec 10, 2019

Ho, ho, ho! December is the month to deck the halls! Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of tinsel while annoying festive songs play on loop in my head.

The first thing you can do to ensure a relatively uncluttered Christmas is to put some things away. The ornaments, photographs and books that normally adorn your shelves could be dusted off then consigned to a cupboard for a rest. Give the surfaces a thorough clean while they’re empty. Now you’ll have a clear palette to begin your Christmas decorating. Any festive ornaments or crockery in Christmas colours can be brought out and given a chance to shine.

There is often conflict in a home because some family members adore gaudy or excessive decorations while others prefer to keep things simple. Some of us find it difficult to think in a room full of clutter and tat. The solution may be to encourage the over-enthusiastic decorators to concentrate on the outside of the house.  Also, children love decorating their bedrooms, especially if they get to have a little tree on which to hang anything they like.

Many adults are actually quite precious about their annual Christmas tree, wanting to use tasteful ornaments in just one colour, or two coordinating colours. A friend of mine used to tell her young daughters that the Christmas fairies decorated the tree while they were asleep… Real trees can be more trouble than artificial ones, but they do have the advantage of making the house smell Christmassy. The Nordman fir is the most popular festive tree in the UK, but you could also opt for a Fraser fir, which has a strong citrussy smell. 

Fragrance is such an important part of getting people in the mood for Christmas. The smell of pine, citrus and spice tends to lift our spirits. Baking a fruit cake will make the house smell delicious, but then not everybody enjoys cooking. Popping some orange peel in the oven or burning a Christmas Cookie candle will also make the house smell yummy. Personally, I can never have too many fragranced candles. I can’t wait to light up my Pomegranate Gin Fizz from Yankee Candles. Those long winter evenings will seem more cheerful if your living room is ablaze with candles. Tall pillar candles, tealights in glittery holders, scented votives and triple-wicked jar candles will all add cosiness to your room. 

Foiled-wrapped chocolates in crystal bowls, gingerbread men, candy canes, pomegranates and nuts in the shell will add to the ambience. If I didn’t have three hungry teenagers I would put all these treats on display right now. 

Have fun with your decorating! You don’t need to restrict yourself to items sold as Christmas decorations – use anything you have that will make an eye-catching display. If you’re the type of person who shops early, wrap those presents in gorgeous paper as soon as you buy them and arrange them in enticing piles. Plant lovers might like to splash out on some new pot plants: go beyond poinsettias and acquire some Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus, Paperwhite Narcissus and that cute wee fruiting ornamental the Winter Cherry. Finally, think of the planet: reuse and recycle, so that we might have many more merry Christmases!