The last leaf falls, and someone mentions the winter holidays approaching. A smile spreads across your face as you run to the basement for the decor totes. Thoughts of cozy nights by the fire, sipping hot chocolate, and cuddling in fleece jammies, start drifting around our heads, as the first of the snow does outside. But before you know it, the to-do list grows and the prep work begins. Shopping, baking, traveling, wrapping, decorating. Anxiety creeps in. Wait a minute, I thought holidays were supposed to be stress-free? Good news! They can be! Keep reading for 5 tips to help combat holiday-stress.
1. Shop Early.
Some of you may be rolling your eyes, but hear me out! Even if you don't believe in decorating until December hits (or later? gasp!) you can still do some of your shopping early. Stores have fabulous sales, year round. And, if you're like me, sometimes you think of a really great gift idea in July ... and then forget what that idea was! It's okay to buy early. In fact, buy it and wrap it early. The more you do ahead of time, the less you have to do when the holidays hit. Just don't forget the gift tag - or you'll be doing a lot of re-wrapping!
2. Decorate Slowly.
The first bit of cool air hits, and suddenly your social media accounts look like Christmas exploded in your feed. You feel the urge to decorate and throw All. The. Decor. up in one weekend. You're satisfied for a few weeks and by the time December 26 rolls around you're sick of looking at it all. Yes - I said it. It's called the burnout. Suddenly, all your favorite decor looks like clutter and you want it GONE! To avoid this, decorate slowly. I always start with my greenery. Adding my garland first brings that winter/holiday joy to my heart, and allows the calendar to play catch up. Our family waits until after Thanksgiving to put up the tree, stockings, and other decor that shouts Christmas!
3. Keep it Simple.
Sometimes less is more. This is how I feel when decorating for the winter holidays. Remember the burn-out I described in #2? This can also happen when you have too much going on. Soon enough you'll be receiving holiday cards and mail, party guests will leave things behind, and your co-worker will give you that awesome gift (hey, it can happen!). It's natural for our homes to gain more items (and visitors) during the holiday season. Which is why keeping the decor simple is important. I like to keep my tablescape low key with greenery and candles. This allows more table room for the important stuff - like food and conversations! (PS. I'm LOVING our new farmhouse scrolls - to check out the new holiday line visit our Etsy shop - MappaFarmsStore)
4. Add Greenery.
Earlier this year I blogged about how important greenery was in a home. In the dead of winter, homes need greenery. While the white landscape outside is beautiful, adding greenery inside can bring a house to life. I add greenery to the usual places, like our table and mantel. But adding in green to other places can brighten a room and a mood ... I may have gone greenery cray cray!
5. Stick to Neutrals.
Save the hustle and bustle for parties, and try decorating your home with neutral pieces. This does not mean you need to stick to the all-white-everything trend. But by using a neutral base decor (whites, greens, wood tones), then adding in pops of color - it won't send your decor overboard. Try some of these ideas:
Neutral: White tree lights -- Color: Red ornaments
Neutral: Flocked Garland -- Color: Attach little red bows
Neutral: Green wreaths -- Color: Hang with plaid/checkered ribbon
I chose red this year for my accent color, and couldn't love it more. The sweet little burlap/plaid ornaments and amazing country striped pouf came from Parker Gwen! They have a fantastic collection of holiday items (source list below).
Guest Contributor: Alyson Reid, Mappa Farms