Been too busy to decorate for the holidays? Believe me, I've been there. Never fear: There is still time to change your home from bah-humbug to merry and bright. Here are six festive fixes you can do in minutes.
Been too busy to decorate for the holidays? Believe me, I've been there.
Some years I've been so busy helping everyone else get their homes ready that I barely had time to toss up a decoration or two before the family arrived for Christmas dinner.
Never fear: There is still time to change your home from bah-humbug to merry and bright. Here are six festive fixes you can do in minutes.
1. Hang a wreath or swag.
If you only have seconds to decorate, hang a pretty holiday wreath or swag. Nothing is simpler than this holiday mainstay. Get a wreath that's already decorated, fluff out the evergreen branches and you're done. If you want, spend 10 seconds more and add a holiday ribbon. Be sure to pay attention to scale: You don't want to hang a tiny wreath in a huge window or on a huge empty wall. Big spaces call for big wreaths.
Any surface can handle a holiday wreath or swag. Hang one from the obvious places, like your front door or above your fireplace mantel. Or give guests a little surprise by hanging your swag or wreath someplace unusual, like from the door of an armoire or the top of a bookcase.
2. Spark up a window.
Dangle a darling holiday decoration from the window sash in one of your common rooms. It could be an ordinary item, such as a little vase filled with bits of evergreen snipped from your garden. Or it could be a lovely holiday decoration, like a wreath or lantern.
If you have generous windowsills, use them as mini stages to hold holiday decor, like a snowman figurine, a vase filled with evergreen snips or a potted rosemary topiary.
3. Spotlight a pretty package.
Raid items from under the Christmas tree, picking out the prettiest packages for your decor. Place a small parcel on a silver tray, then cover it with a glass cloche. Under a bell jar, everything looks majestic.
You can work a few gifts into your year-round decorating. Tuck a package into an existing display on your mantel, coffee table or buffet.
4. Add seasonal flowers
An inexpensive cash-and-carry bouquet of roses has saved my hide more times than I care to admit. It's so easy to run by the grocery store or florist on the way home from work and get a bouquet to save the day. I am horrible at arranging flowers, so I've come up with an easy look: Get one or two dozen roses, snip the stems short and insert them in a lovely vase so they make a mound of blooms. Finish the arrangement with a few greens, such as cuttings from an evergreen bush.
5. Fill a container with holiday treats.
Fill a few of your prettiest clear-glass containers with classic holiday items. I love the look of peppermint candies in a glass apothecary jar. You could also fill an apothecary jar or hurricane with vintage Christmas tree ornaments. For a more natural look, fill the jar with a few stems of evergreen then rest a faux bird's nest in its branches.
Or use a silver punch bowl, a glass compote or a china serving bowl to hold your holiday treats. One of my favorite last-minute cheats is to put large pinecones in a blue-and-white china bowl, standing them straight up like trees in a winter forest.
6. Tuck in baubles.
Sneak a few tree ornaments, holiday candles or seasonal figurines into unexpected places in your home to give guests a smile. For example, if you already have a great display on your coffee table, supplement it with a holiday touch. Put a single Christmas tree bulb in the foreground, a glittery reindeer statue in the mid ground or a lantern tied up with a holiday bow in the background.
The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.