How to do up your home this festive season

Christmas is the time to really celebrate “goodwill to all men”; it's also about celebrating the family and close friends, good fun, good times, togetherness, and remembering Christmases past and present.

It’s both a festive and a spiritual time, and involves family gatherings and get-togethers of friends for fun and fellowship. For these kinds of events, nothing makes Christmas more inspirational and memorable than a home fully decorated in the Christmas spirit. Don’t hesitate to go all out for a total Christmas look in your home.

Christmas really is the time to “deck the halls with boughs of holly” and transform your home to receive friends and family, and, most of all, to be ready for the ‘Night before Christmas’.

Select a general colour theme for the season, the most traditional colours being red and green. Accentuate with gold for a grand and dramatic effect. You don’t have to stick to red and green but the colours you choose should go with the rest of your decor.

If you can't find colours that blend well, then choose metallic silver, gold, white, green, red or even blue! As you go about collecting different Christmas decorations each year, bear in mind the different options and play of these colours.

Once your home is decorated it will surely be a feast to the eye. But bring cheer to your ears and warmth to your heart with some sounds of Christmas too. Play Christmas music and carols; sing along with your spouse or children and sing for elders at home.

The tree of gifts

A tastefully decorated evergreen tree with coloured lights evokes warm memories of Christmas. The Christmas tree has become one of the best known festive symbols and decorating a Christmas tree is a time-honoured tradition in many households.

To begin with, assemble the Christmas tree and place the tree in a place that makes it the focus of a room, but keep it out of high traffic areas where it might be bumped into or where someone might trip on light cords.

The first step in decorating a Christmas tree is adding the lights. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it a dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.

The next step is to hang your Christmas tree ornaments. To showcase your favourites, place them in prime positions on the tree first. Next, hang the big ornaments, spacing them evenly around the tree. Fill in the space around those ornaments with medium and small ornaments. Be sure to hang some ornaments close to the trunk to create depth and interest.

Last of all comes the ribbons and bows as these will be the link to your colour theme. Cover the base of the tree with an attractive and colourful Christmas tree skirt, rug or mat. Place the wrapped gifts around the base of the tree for the final touch. Empty boxes in different shapes and sizes wrapped in attractive Christmas themed wrapping paper will also enhance the charm of the tree.

The Nativity scene

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus and so the Nativity scene is another major piece connected with Christmas. It depicts the Christmas story itself, and all over the world the nativity scene is created to depict His birth. A wide range of nativity scenes are available in the market. Be it polyresin, wood, clay or ceramic, place it in a focal position and keep it as natural and simple as possible. You could add materials such as hay, dry grass and coir over and around the crib, manger and roof.

Wreaths, garlands, stockings and bows

The festive season starts with a big welcome at your front door. Start with your best wreath on the front door to welcome every one. Next go on to the other doors in your house and hang decorations on both sides of the doors. For wreaths use pine, holly, or grapevine and decorate with berries, pinecones, poinsettia, ornaments, bells…

To keep wreaths year after year, buy artificial wreaths that will last. Decorate your doors, consoles, ledges, tables and stair rails with garlands and use coloured bows and ribbons to enhance your current colour scheme.

Hang stockings on wreaths, garlands, doors, ledges and counters. Personalise the stockings with names of your family members and fill it with small gifts.

Your efforts will be cherished by your family.

Candles and lights

Add glow and warmth to the Christmas ambience by bringing out your collection of candles and lights. Place candles on areas where it is safe to light them and where they form focal points. Besides the wide varieties of candle holders available in the market, use your creativity and imagination to use Christmas ornaments and decorations to make your very own holders. The market is flooded with lights of all colours and shapes. Use them to highlight areas inside and outside your home. Dress your windows with fairy lights, traditional lamps and stars.

Centre pieces and ornament displays

Accentuate table tops, ledges, consoles, side tables and counters with eye catching pieces that are in tune with your theme. Highlight with candles, lights and other decorations. Create pockets of theme based items like a miniature Christmas village; snow covered White Christmas, collection of candles, customised and personal collections. Use of bells, candy sticks, Santa, snowman, snowflakes, and poinsettia in the rooms and even crockery will enhance the charm and bring cheer to the beholder.

Home linen

Bring in the cheer and spirit of Christmas with a tasteful display of home linen such as table cloths, runners, cushion covers, chair backs, sheets, towels, table mats, napkins, mats, rugs and so on.

It is that time of the year to dig into your closet for the reds and the greens and accentuate your furniture to bring in the look of Christmas. Use coloured ribbons, laces, buttons and bows to create your own Christmas themed linen. Besides the colours, use white in all its pureness to add a touch of class.