How can we make our house a home at Christmas while still decorating and making it beautiful. We can still make our home cozy and enjoyable, while keeping intact the things that offer value to our children and families. Join Lora Bloomquist as she offers 3 Decorating Tips for Christmas.
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How do I Make my House Cozy for Christmas?
As my daughter began unloading her suitcase from her trunk, she blubbered through tears, “I didn’t realize how much I needed to come home.” And then she commented, “And everything’s so cute and decorated.”
Decorating has a way of getting through to our hearts. It’s visual inspiration. Somewhere in the mix of beauty, creativity and nostalgia, memories are made and remembered. And there’s no better time to enjoy decorating’s special powers then at the holidays.
Making your house a home at Christmas involves intentional creativity. It’s those extra special touches that communicate to your family they are loved so deeply. It’s what makes them cry with tenderness when they finally get to come back. The world can be a rough place to be and sometimes it’s a fight to just survive and keep your faith. Home should feel as secure and comfortable as a warm blanket and a crackling fire on a blustery, dark night.
What memories do you have of your home at Christmas? What whispered in your ear that you were special, loved, and your home and family cherished your very being? I’m going to share some of the ways I tried to make our house an extra special home at Christmas. Not perfectly decorated like a magazine layout, but warm, cozy, and comfortable. A place we loved to be, and where memories and values were formed for a lifetime.
How do you Decorate for Christmas?
When we are making our house a home, our decorating tips for Christmas will look just a little bit different than if we are just trying to make our house pretty.
There are practical decorating tips for Christmas though. One of the best practical tips I can give you is to have a Christmas plan. Plan for your house to be a home this Christmas. Make it easy, make it simple, make it doable.
Make Your House a Home at Christmas by Involving Your Kids in the Decorating
From the time they were babies, my kiddos each got a Christmas tree in their bedroom. Some may think this sounds over the top, but there’s just something special about falling asleep to Christmas lights twinkling in your room. When they were toddlers, I’d catch them laying on their tummies, “reading” a book by their tree. Some years we’d create a Brio train track around the base of the tree and the boys would spend hours playing there.
As they grew, I let them choose which colored lights they wanted on their trees. The trees were adorned with a this-is-your-life collection of ornaments, everything from toothless pictures to Boy Scouts, to sports and instruments they played. Sometimes they decorated their trees themselves and put their own flair into the styling.
Enjoying their own special tree in their rooms spread the Christmas cheer throughout the house and encouraged their creative spirits. They also enjoyed having free reign with the Dickens village setup. My two youngest would spend hours together placing each delicate house where they wanted, adding trees, rocks, sidewalks and ice skating rinks to create a whole storybook scene. After the final tiny person was placed, they’d turn the overhead lights off and enjoy the glow coming out of the windows. They even added sewing stuffing to each tiny chimney to create furls of smoke. I loved watching them create together and seeing their brother/sister relationship grow.
Giving your kids creative license with some of the Christmas décor makes Christmas a special time of fun and spurs their imagination. Enjoying twinkling lights and extra decorations can promote creative playtime…and even give mom a couple more minutes of quiet;) Spreading the Light of Christmas throughout your home can be a tangible way of expressing what God wants each of us to do in our everyday lives.
Make Your House a Home at Christmas by Decorating with Family Heirlooms and Telling the Stories
We have 3 different hand-carved farm figures that have been passed down from my husband’s grandfather. The kids didn’t get to play with them, but as I put them into a vignette just out of their reach, we would tell stories about their grandparents growing up on the farm. Telling the stories about their heritage and where they came from is an important way of giving our kids identity, putting a framework to their lives. Decorating with heirlooms at Christmastime provides a wonderful opportunity to pass down those important stories.
When I asked my boys what their fondest memory of Christmas was, they both said the lights in their rooms and the vintage toy train set. Each Christmas we’d lift the heavy box of rails and trains out of the attic and set it up around the living room tree. When they got older we let them have it around the tree in their room. Boys and engines make memories. They’d work hard together rubbing steel wool on the tracks and trying to figure out the bugs of why a certain engine wasn’t working. Many times Dad was sitting down right next to them, reliving his childhood, too. If the train had been out all year long, it wouldn’t have been special. But because it was old and unique, it became a special treat to play with at Christmas. My husband was able to share his childhood memories with his 4 brothers with his boys, driving trains around the train track. Decorating with family heirlooms gives you the opportunity to share your heritage with your children.
Make Your House a Home at Christmas by Adding Extra Ambience
In contrast to my boys, my daughter enjoyed the more soul-filled side of Christmas. Pulling out the Christmas music CD’s can bring her right back to her childhood. Whether it was a Christmas church musical they participated in, or some other composition we only listened to at the holidays, she loved it all! We enjoyed the special music of the season to the fullest, and always had something on in the background while we were decorating, cooking or baking. For her, music is the path to her emotions and what triggers her love of home at Christmastime.
Adding the warm textures of winter was another way I added extra ambiance at Christmas. Special, seasonal pillows and lots of cozy throws were readily available next to a crackling fireplace. Some blankets were handcrafted by grandmas, but many were just picked up at the thrift store for cheap. My daughter said she loved curling up by the fire and reading or watching a Christmas special on T.V, while snowflakes were falling outside. It made her feel safe and loved.
These decorating tips for Christmas do not have to be complicated. Adding warm textures of winter, and be as simple as adding a candle to your countertop or listening to piano music.
How can I make my House more Christmassy?
Christmas decorating is not about how Christmassy our homes are. It's about the feelings and traditions that come with it. Yes, it is nice to have a nice looking home, but that should be a biproduct of the memories and comfort that comes from making your house a home at Christmas.
Practical Decorating Tips for Christmas
- Make it Easy - Use Printables like these from the Lora Bloomquist website
- Make a plan - Grab a Christmas planner printable like this one from Healing Home
- Never underestimate Keeping it simple - Doing simple decorations, can make a bigger statement then massive displays.
Christmas decorating is a tangible way to extend love and specialness to your family and everyone else that enters your home. Decorating tips for Christmas is not just a matter of buying a bunch of glitz and tinsel from the big box store and using the latest trendy styles. It’s about involving your family in the creative process of beauty, memories, and comfort. When you involve your kids in the decorating, share your heritage, and pile on the ambiance, Christmas will become that special time of year that communicates love and a warm welcome for your family and everyone else that enters. Spending time spreading the Light of Christmas throughout your home will hide that love and security in your children’s hearts. Your house will become a home they will always be excited to come home to at Christmas.
About Lora Bloomquist
Lora Bloomquist blogs about recreated vintage junk, decorating and DIY at Lorabloomquist.com. She loves that she’s been able to work from home, using her creative gifts to help clients, own a vintage-inspired store, and now on the WWW. Being a creator helps her understand the heart of the Great Creator and His transformative power.
She has many other decorating tips for Christmas on her website.
Lora lives in Minnesota and has 3 kids; one graduated from college, one in college, & one on the way to college soon: 22, 19, & 18.
Trusting her kids to the Lord and knowing all she can do is pray, is the most challenging part of motherhood for her. She has learned that trusting them to God during a major surgery, mental stress, or a spiritual struggle is sometimes all she can do. It's in those uncontrollable 'mom times' she realizes they're really God's kids on loan to her.