Tis the Season

Five Ideas to Celebrate Your Personal Holiday Style

According to the meteorologists, we are smack dab in the middle of autumn. However, if you spend approximately six seconds in any retail outlet (online or otherwise), it becomes abundantly clear that we are actually poised for the kick off of the “Season of Seasonal Décor.” From now through the end of the year, each month presents us with one or more holidays to decorate for. And just as our choices of what and how to celebrate vary, the same hold true for how we choose to enhance our homes.

Whether you prefer to festoon every available surface of your living space with baubles and bows, or just light a few candles and call it a holiday, these ideas will help to make the season shine with your own personal panache.

A Tree for All Seasons

If your family has to practically stage an intervention every January to beg you to take down the Christmas tree, this one is for you. Invest in a high-quality faux tree and leave it up year-round, changing the decorations to match the holiday: cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, hearts and cupids for Valentine’s Day, etc. You can also adorn it in honor of birthdays, anniversaries or other big life events.

Deck Your Doorway

Make your guests feel welcome before they even enter your home by enlivening your entryway with texture and color. Hang a traditional pine wreath with ribbons and pinecones, or frame the front door with glittery garland. Change out your usual welcome mat for something that reflects your seasonal spirit. And lining your walkway with luminaries is a great touch. Take lunch-sized paper bags, cut out a simple design, weigh each down with about a pound of sand and place a glow stick or battery-powered tea light inside for safe, non-flammable illumination.

Make a Scene

Whether or not you’ve got a single theatrical bone in your body, the holidays are an ideal time to let your inner stage director run wild. Set up a Halloween haunted house in your garage or basement, complete with a maze and costumed ghouls. Or turn your backyard into Santa’s workshop with “Elves at Work” signs, costume elf hats, vintage toys like an old-fashioned train set and a craft table with tools like hammers that elves would use for their work. And don’t forget jars of candy canes for an instant North Pole feeling.

Go for the Glow

No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, candles are an easy, elegant way to infuse it with warmth and cheer. Place taper candles in a menorah or kinara to celebrate Chanukah or Kwanzaa. Display different sizes of pillar candles on decorative wood or metal holders or under hurricane glass. Make a simple yet stunning centerpiece by placing five or six votive candles (in a variety of holiday colors) in a line down the center of a rectangular serving dish. Fill the rest of the dish with cranberries, and garnish with a few pine twigs and a sprinkle of artificial snow.

Embellish Your Outdoors

You don’t have to have a house covered in more lights than Times Square to radiate holiday joy. Choose one dramatic piece like a life-sized Nutcracker statue to stand guard on your front porch, or an antique sled for the front yard. Fill a few lanterns with brightly colored glass balls and pop a few snowflake decals on your windows. Or give your mailbox a holiday makeover with some evergreen branches, pinecones and a burlap bow.

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