Omicron may have played party pooper across the world, but ‘tis the season to be jolly. There’s no reason that you can’t make Christmas a special occasion — one that celebrates family, friends, and all that’s really important.
The Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ goes by many names—Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French, Weihnachten in German — but it is synonymous with one theme: joy to the world. Modern holiday customs include completing an Advent calendar, Christmas music and carolling, church services, a special meal, and gift giving.
Not to be forgotten are the many ways Christmas impacts homes — the plethora of decorations, including Christmas trees, lights, wreaths, garlands, mistletoe, holly, and nativity scenes, completely transform spaces into winter wonderlands. Try these ideas to add cheer to each and every corner of your home.
Winterise the entryway
Begin by clearing out the clutter — tip out all that you don’t need (donate things you haven’t used in a while), and bring in a bench so no one has to hop as they pull on their boots.
Give a coir rug a Christmassy flavour by stamping simple white trees (paint and a potato block work well). Add other elements — a green garland, a set of pillar candles or pinecones nestled in a bed or tinsel, or a handmade wreath. A set of poinsettias standing guard by the doorway will hint that Christmas is here.
Make way for the green
What would the festival be without a Christmas tree? A tree works as the focal point of your living room, and decorating it is part of the tradition.
Skip the routine decorations available in the market and invest in glass, mercury, or wood ornaments — they look much better and can be recycled year after year.
The tree isn’t the only green that should be seen — bring in fresh greens and create garlands, wreaths, or simply clip up boughs to hangers/bannisters/curtain rods. If you’re short of fresh greens, DIYing your own paper garland — complete with holly berries — adds a quirky touch. Adding a metallic garland and glittery pillar candles to fresh greens create a glamorous tabletop setting.
Bring out the red
The bubbly, sure, but don’t forget to bring home the colour that’s synonymous with Santa Claus.
There are numerous ways that you can use this bright colour — festive pillows, plaid throws, stockings, wreaths with berries, candles, Christmas tree decorations, rugs, and more. Incorporating pops of plaid helps boost the living room's cozy factor. Try wrapping books with leftover wrapping paper in shades of red and vibrant prints to add a novel touch. Other ways to sprinkle red through the home — candy canes, chocolates, ribbons, runners, flowers, banners, tableware, etc. If you want to make a really strong Christmas statement, how about painting the main door a bright red?
Looking for simpler ideas?
* Light up the path to your home with DIY jars. All you need are mason jars and Epsom salt (for that snowy look). Pop in tealights and you’re all set.
* Give your bar cart a seasonal makeover by adding tabletop trees, a customised chalkboard, plaid cups, and an assortment of coffee, cocoa, and chocolate.
* Weave battery-operated fairy lights into fresh greens and tabletop installations for a twinkly glow.
* Use a washable marker to add fluttery white snowflakes to a mirror or the window panes.
* Hang mini wreaths on the kitchen cabinets to ensure that the heart of the home doesn’t get left out.
* Display a mix of paper, metal, and wood stars in various sizes and shapes by a window to create a festive installation.
* Bring out the reindeer from your child’s toy set and spray paint them gold. Dot them around the bookshelf or tables, or use as place card holders for your Christmas table.
* No fireplace? Cloth wall hangings that duplicate the look are now available. Or else, freeze-frame a scene from a movie on the telly and enjoy the magic.
Go in for a makeunder
To most of the world, the days leading up to Christmas and the new year are an orgy of excess — and this tends to be reflected in the décor. Lights, candles, flowers, ceramics, mementoes, keepsakes... they insidiously make their way on every free table and countertop. In today’s super-busy and cluttered life, it makes sense to try and make sense of our lifestyle and take a slightly minimalist route. Minimalism does not need to be equated with Uncle Scrooge; you can start off small — reuse the ornaments, decrease the number of gifts, cook only as much as you serve, and “spark joy”.