It’s beginning to look like a Grace Grits Christmas, which for me means peaceful, simple, and easy. Surrounded by joy. Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, so it stands to reason I’ve been collecting ornaments and decorations for a long time. And really, what’s the point of decorating at all if the end result doesn’t make us feel happy and provide a haven of peace during this busy time of the year?
So the simple and easy part? Here’s what I did. I walked out to the garage, carried in a few plastic storage containers, and unpacked what I wanted to use. Tip: I don’t display every single thing every single year. And, in many instances, when I put a Christmas decoration out, I take a “regular” decoration away, meaning, I place the “regular” item temporarily inside the Christmas storage container. This one little idea, the practicing of restraint, cuts down on clutter. It’s the whole less is more thing and I like it.
And the peaceful part? Simply being surrounded by Christmas make me happy. Re-visiting treasures made by my kids and remembering those elementary school days is part of the tradition for me. I happen to believe glitter and twinkle lights and the smell of evergreen lowers the blood pressure.
Another Tip: You don’t have to decorate a tree for your home to look festive. So far this year, I haven’t put up a real tree at all. I might buy a small one later (mainly for that smell of evergreen, and yes, to have a place to hang the kids’ ornaments), but at this point all I’ve done is unpack my collection of Christmas trees and place them around the house. That’s it. And that may be all I do.
I have lots of assorted trees—vintage bottle brush trees, glittery trees purchased at after Christmas sales through the years, candle trees, silver trees, gold trees, and the actual aluminum tree from my very first Christmas circa 1962. I didn’t consciously set out to collect trees. It happened naturally because we are drawn to what we love. Yet Another Tip: group like things together for impact.
And now a Tip from Desperately Seeking Gina: I recently learned you can easily freshen up bottle brush trees and even change the color of them. My friend Desperately Seeking Gina has a great post about re-coloring bottle brush trees. She says it’s easy to do, so go check it out. (Recommended for newish bottle brush trees, not antiques ones with value, unless you aren’t concerned about preserving value.)
Ornament Display Tip: There was a time I couldn’t imagine not having a really big, freshly cut tree. But things change. Kids grow up and Christmas traditions evolve. Those boxes and boxes of ornaments I’ve collected through the years—vintage Shiny Brites, fragile glass ones, old favorites I bought at thrift stores and wherever, those I don’t want two certain schnauzers to break—I display them in bowls and beneath a glass cloche.
Glass cloche tip: If you don’t have one, put this on your Santa list because you’ll find it to be one of the most versatile decorating items you’ll own. Mine makes a creepy Halloween centerpiece in October, displays gourds during Thanksgiving, succulents during summer, and so on. World Market has inexpensive choices.
That’s it for my Grace Grits Christmas decor and tips. I hope you’re getting in the spirit of the holidays—whatever that means to you—and at the very least, here’s wishing you a peaceful feeling about life in general.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Frank Sinatra, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas