Effortless Holiday Decorating

I have a love hate relationship with holiday decorations.  I get super excited about the idea of decorating, but in actuality, it really isn’t all that great.  Moving boxes, suitcases, obnoxious toys with sirens that call out if you simply brush past them, and other knick knacks around in my basement while dodging spiders (eww) to find each holiday tote is not my idea of fun.  And then handling the delicate balance of decorating stylishly while still letting my little boys participate and making sure that nothing is too “Christmasey” because we celebrate both Catholic and Jewish holidays is quite the challenge.  Thank goodness I always decorate with wine.  But I have finally discovered a stylish strategy that works for EVERYONE: Decorating for winter! It is an effortless way to decorate for the holidays and it is something that you can keep up until flowers start to bloom.

You see, all you have to do is “shop your house” to find things that fit into three main categories:

  • Things that are red, green, gold or silver…glass items are a plus.
  • Objects that have a “rustic” feel to them…wood is key here, or some ragged metal (your tetanus shot is updated, right?).
  • Anything that makes you think of winter…but probably not the ice scraper.  Keep that in your car.

After you find knick knacks and other objects that fit the bill, start grouping them together.

Once you can find cohesion (let’s say matching up two wooden objects and then adding something red to spice it up), start decorating.

I like to begin on my mantle and then spread the holiday cheer all the way to the bathrooms.

I also like to take a simple approach to my outdoor decorations–some simple white lights and greenery from the yard goes straight into the pots that sit outside our door all year round.

Don’t like what you have at home? Then it’s time to shop!

It can get so overwhelming going from store to store to find something that “speaks” to you, but I like to simplify my holidays as much as I can, including decorating for the holidays, so I utilize two of my favorite online stores, Minted and Balsam Hill. I love how you can pick up coordinated tree skirts, garland, pillows, stockings and so much more through Minted. The collections are perfectly curated to be winter themed but not too overpowering, perfect for our interfaith family’s decorating needs.

As for fresh greenery, Balsam Hill is the place to shop. It is the perfect spot to find realistic faux trees, as well as wreaths, garlands and other stunning winter and holiday decor.

Now don’t think that we don’t have ANYTHING holiday specific..Santa sits upon our welcome bench and the menorah graces our kitchen table.  It’s just that my life is much easier when I decorate with a simple “winter” theme and we can enjoy the decorations for longer.  For those of you who don’t know, winter in Chicago can last all the way until Easter, so we’re in it for the long hall.

Now that I’ve shared my tips for decorating, share yours!  Is there anything that you do to make life easier come January when you have to put everything back in storage?  Yes, that’s another task I loathe…but at least I make my hubby take the outside lights down…thanks, honey!

Looking for more winter fun? Check out my ideas on how to slow down and savor the holidays, as well as my Christmas Bucket List for Chicagoans!

Happy drinking…I mean, decorating!
Amanda 🙂
Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin’.


  1. briansimkin says

    An added suggestion for when your wonderful hubby takes down the lights while its 5 degrees outside, a nice hot chocolate and Baileys Irish Cream waiting for him when he comes in makes it all worth while.

  2. dogear6 says

    Happy drinking, er, decorating back to you! I haven’t decorated for a long time. We go see our daughter for Thanksgiving, then turn around 3 weeks later and go back for Christmas. Between that and my hours at work to get ready for year end, it wasn’t worth the effort.

    I haven’t decided yet about this year. We’re thinking of going away next week to do some winter photography. It crimps my time to look for a job and do other things, so decorating might not happen again this year.


  3. sharonspad1 says

    Hi I’m Sharon from How To Get Organized At Home and I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for sharing. This is a fantastic post I love the idea of collecting items already owned to put with the new decorations, it is the simplest ideas that are often the best. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.