Mindful Christmas Decorating

I, like many others, have an addiction to watching those “holiday haul” videos on TikTok… you know, the ones where someone goes to Target and buys a bunch of beautiful Christmas decor. And as much as I would love to get the sweet sugarplum rush that comes from new wreaths and mini Christmas trees… I refrain. As you know, I love Christmas. And the decorating that goes along with it. My usual minimal tendencies become a bit more… maximal. But, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed and I have less patience for cleaning glitter and flocking. I find myself drawn to more elevated styles and colors that will withstand the test of time. Also — I really, really want to store as little decor as possible. So that’s the focus this year. Mindful purchasing of a few items that will withstand the test of time (and style) and using items that I can recycle or use up by the end of the season. What does that look like? Let’s dive in (to the land of hot chocolate and twinkle lights)!

My inspiration moving forward! // Images via Unsplash
  • When in doubt, go neutral. I fell into the trend trap a few years back and really leaned into the whole pink, cheerful, somewhat pastel Christmas look. And while, for some, that’s their general aesthetic — it was a far cry from my usual love of neutrals. So naturally, I got sick of it. Which isn’t great for someone who doesn’t like to waste things. So this year, I’m going back to basics… lots of creams, black, and greens (it’s my favorite color and, therefore, a neutral to me) with wood and natural accents.
  • For pops of color, use ribbons (preferably velvet). They are cheap, effective, take up very little space in storage, and can be changed up whenever you feel like it. A few years ago, I used a lot of blush ribbon, last year, it was red, and this year, I’ve added some black velvet ribbon to the mix (that I thrifted!). I add these to the tree and the wreaths on my doors and windows.
  • Get a real tree, if you can. I got my first real tree 8 years ago and have never looked back. Nothing beats the look, the smell, and the fact that you don’t have to store a bulky tree for 11 months a year. And in January, I leave it out for yard waste pick up, where it becomes compost. Also, my tree provides me with lots of extra branches that I then use to make indoor wreaths. (For outdoor wreaths, basic fake wreaths are the way to go down here in Texas… where the sun will scorch anything real in days.)
  • DIY decor. Think orange and cinnamon garlands that can be reused or composted after use. And brown paper bag stars that can be recycled if you don’t want to store them. I also find that these decor pieces tend to look incredibly impactful!
  • Change up textiles. Heavier blankets for the couch (in colors that can last for all the cold weather months), plaid tablecloths, and pillow covers all add to the vibe without taking up tons of space in storage (mine take up half a shelf in the linen closet).
  • Change up artwork. Similarly, replace the artwork in your frames with something a bit more seasonal. I’ve cut out prints from art books/calendars and even an Anthropologie shopping bag to fill my frames! Again, impactful, but takes up very little space and can be changed out as often as your style changes.
  • Seasonal scents. Candles or reed diffusers — whatever your preference. Scent plays a huge part in setting the mood for the coming months and is something that can be used up. My personal favorite scent is Illume’s Balsam + Cedar.
  • Taper candles. Get them in whatever color matches your theme and use them up during the holiday season.
  • LED twinkle lights. Yes, we need all the lights for the holidays. Just make sure to buy LED ones (I’ve had mine for years) and recycle your lights appropriately (electronics recycling or home improvement stores) if they break or stop working.
  • Buy quality decor pieces wisely (and joyfully!). Pick what speaks to you (and not to the current trend). A few items that I’ve had for years are basic wreaths from Target (for the outdoors) and cream sisal trees (I love the look). This year, I added golden bells to my collection for my front door wreath.

And there you have it! (Check out my Pinterest for more inspo.) What are your vibes for Christmas this year?

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