I don’t have a living memory where I wasn’t obsessed with Christmas decorations.
I do have the living memory of giving my favorite vintage, ceramic reindeer in my mom’s bathroom a White Christmas a la my brother’s baby powder + the well-earned punishment that followed said blizzard.
It made them look awesome. (Agree to disagree, Mom.)
The familiar lights and characters of the holiday season have always filled me with so much joy. Pulling down the stockings, toy trains, and familiar trinkets from their dusty attic furlough was always one of the best days of the year. So far, adulthood hasn’t much squelched the childlike wonder I feel from a good nativity snow globe.
I know this isn’t unique, which is half the fun! I know so many friends who feel this way, and I love that about this time of year. I’ve had so many conversations about decorating homes over the weeks proceeding Thanksgiving in preparation for the season, and I’ve come to one conclusion: when it isn’t on Mama’s dime, and it’s your mantel to figure out how to fill, it becomes a little daunting. There are so many Santas to choose from in the world. So. Many. Santas. And Santa can hold a hefty price tag.
I’ve been thinking through my conversations, and wanted to share a few of our conclusions + my personal opinions to hopefully alleviate any anxiety you too may feel on decorating for the holidays! (Because Christmas is too fun to be ruined by anxiety.)
TIP #1 Do you like it? Then, it’s perfect. That’s my biggest tip, therefore tip numero uno. Who the heck cares what the Internet says? If it’s your style, it’ll show. And it’ll be cozy for you. And it will be perfect.
(Thinking that’s kinda hot garbo, Robin, I came for real tips? Yeah okay, here’s a few more.)
TIP #2 Pick a theme. The hottest thing right now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is a white Christmas situation with extremely muted cremes, whites, golds, and silvers (ahh five-year-old-Robin, ahead of her time.) And it’s beautiful. But it isn’t actually very me. I decided I wanted warmer, more traditional colors and pieces, with maybe a little glitter here and there. So when I was shopping and planning, I knew to steer clear of the white-washed décor aisles, despite how lovely and chic it truly is! Because it doesn’t match my vibe.
What I’ve gleaned from watching my own mother-in-law, mom, and sister decorate year after year (and stalking every influencer who shared every styled coffee table because #addicted) is that themes matter. Whether it’s White Christmas, Rustic Christmas, Traditional Christmas, Beach Santas Rockin’ Board Shorts On Boogie Boards Christmas, narrowing down what your’e looking for makes the glittering, overstuffed and overflowing holiday aisles at Home Goods less daunting.
TIP #3 Have patience, oh twenty-something on a shoestring budget. Odds are, your mother didn’t fill her home with Christmas Glee in one fell swoop of a Hobby Lobby excursion the year she got married, and it’s okay if you don’t, either.
Holiday cards inscribed,”This year, your Christmas Gift is looking at my coffee table. Kisses! Enjoy!” will likely not fly too well with the fam. Or your landlady regarding rent. If it isn’t in your budget, it’s okay. Rest easy in that. It’s really, actually, truly okay.
My goal every year is to add a few pieces, then calm down and enjoy them + the pieces I bought last year. There will always be places I feel like I can do better, but I try and remind myself I don’t have to. There’s always next year, and there’s always post-Christmas sales.
Still have an appetite bigger than your budget? Crafting is totally on the table. Here are some trees I did a couple years ago that were too fun, and way more in-budget that year than a set of sparkly bottle brush trees would have been. And people still got presents, and rent was paid, and I lived.
I also promised myself I wouldn’t beat you over the head with a toothy “Jesus is the reason for the season!” virtual grin, but y’all. Actually. Jesus is the reason for the season. And I’m a sucker for a rhyme.
There is nothing wrong with a beautiful tree, but becoming consumed with picking or affording the perfect garland is a sure-fire way to snatch that Christmas joy right from your heart.
TIP #4 Don’t forget to celebrate our Savior coming to Earth for us. That is literally, actually, the point. It’s kind of a big deal, and if you profess Christ as your savior and believe that Christmas is the day we commemorate Him becoming flesh to eventually die for our sins, don’t fret the tinsel. Keep your heart turned to Christ, and hug your family. And just bask in the glow the season, because it’s far too short not to.