Art Life

Christmas Kept Simple: Easy Holiday Decor

Simple Garland
Antique glass bead garland with silver bells

Christmas kept simple? The thought never entered my mind.

For years, I was one of those moms. You know who I mean.

One of those over achievers who decorated four trees, (even one outside for the birds and squirrels, really?) I painstakingly hand strung cranberries and popcorn garlands, dried apple slices and made peanut butter and birdseed pine cones for ornaments. Even the stall doors were adorned with a wreath covered with carrots and apples for the farm animals. And this was just for outside!

The inside of the house, well let’s just say I could have given Martha Stewart a run for her money.

In the kitchen was a wreath with only glass fruit and vegetable ornaments, the handmade crewl work heart ornaments adorned the family room tree. The living room tree was decked out with glass Santa ornaments from my travels, each one lovingly unwrapped and its story shared with the kids.

Christmas kept simple? Yes, simply crazy! The mantles, the staircase banister, the window boxes, not to mention the Victorian gingerbread house, the daily advent gifts for both kids, numbered and tied with color coordinated ribbons. What?!

I haven’t even started on the annual Christmas Eve open house with a huge basket of goodie bags for adults and children. Everything handmade, packaged perfectly.

Christmas kept getting anything but simple!

The cookies, chocolates, (I won’t even discuss the cookie exchanges and the expectations I had on everyone around me) hand printed wrapping paper? I must have been out of my mind, and of course I did all of this while working full time in my own business.

Thankfully at some point I came to my senses, needless to say that was the year I threw up my hands and declared we were putting lights and tinsel (of course it had to be glass bugle bead tinsel, I still have standards) on the Ficus and calling it a day.

Believe it or not, everyone was OK with it.

We haven’t had a tree for at least 7 years, however, we do figure out creative ways to display our favorite ornaments.

Christmas Simplified:

A couple of years ago one of my shop customers gave me her collection of beautiful antique glass garlands and antique ornaments. We carefully restrung them and now those garlands have become my favorite and most simple holiday decor.

I drape them, intertwined with some delicate silver bells, across the mantle, right over the books and around crystal vases glittering with candles. On our Christmas table they wind all glittery, in-between silver candlesticks, very simple and very elegant and as a result, I am relaxed, happy and actually enjoying the season!

Here’s to Christmas kept simple!