Holiday How To: 5 Tips to Deck the Halls This Winter


Suffering from mistletoe woes? Is a tree-trimming meltdown on the horizon? Let's just face it: decking the halls with boughs of holly may not be as pleasant as the resident Martha Stewarts of the world may make it out to be. But that doesn't mean you have to skimp on setting up your adobe in merry and bright abundance. It also doesn't give you an excuse to put up a smorgasbord of festive decorations that don't really reflect who you are. So we've compiled a short list of tips to make sure the halls you deck this holiday find a happy medium. This winter, make sure your personal style shines through without breaking the bank and while having tons of fun in the process.

Clockwise from top left: Getty Images, Better Homes and Gardens Pinterest, BlueMoonScrapbooking,,, Pinterest

Keep it simple: Just because your neighbor went the whole nine yards with a six-foot-tree, Christmas lights synced to “Gangnam Style,” and a Rudolph installation on their front lawn, doesn't mean you have to. Why not compete the chic and simple way? Choose a focal point and work around it. Want an elaborate tree with trimmings of every kind, color, and type? Then stick to all-white decorative lights that serve to frame your creative work, not be a distraction. Instead of trying to recreate those elaborate center pieces that your mom had down to a science, gather some bright ornaments and put them in a clear vase. And while you're at it, gather up some nostalgic winter gear that can be converted into one-of-a-kind décor. Jazz up those old ice skates and make them a festive piece of wall art. Frame all of your throwback holiday pictures and create your very own museum. Either way, you can resurrect what you already have and re-imagine an item's purpose for this special time of year.

Light it up: We're talking candles — scented ones especially! You may not be able to bake the best cinnamon sugar cookies, but you can certainly call up the scents of the season with some luscious lighting. Cranberry, apple, pine cedar, gingerbread, and mistletoe can all spread throughout your home in candles that create a warm atmosphere and set the merriest of moods. Or, if you want to show just how clever and green you can be, why not recycle your old wine bottles and use them as candle holders? Just stick a few pillar candles in their tops, gather three or four in an arrangement on your coffee table and voila! You've accomplished a DIY décor treat that will leave all of your guests impressed.

Put those holiday cards to good, decorative use: We all enjoy getting holiday cards from loved ones during the most wonderful time of the year. But this winter, put them to good use. Instead of keeping them sprawled across your nightstand, line them up along your mantelpiece, where guests can view them while enjoying an egg nog night cap. For those who are more adventurous, hang them along a string of Christmas lights or arrange them in a picture frame that can be hung for all of your guests to admire.

Choose a color scheme you like: Red and green may be the complimentary hues that are associated with the season, but your home's holiday facelift can look just as grand without them. How about doing a real winter wonderland with all white trinkets that scream Bergdorf Goodman window chic? Or find ornaments, garland, and tree toppers that bring out the accent colors in your already stylish abode. If you fancy pink, purple, blue, or orange, find hues that complement them best and will show you went the extra mile to make this holiday your own.

Don't feel bad about skipping the tree: Back to the 6-foot evergreen. You don't have to chop down a tree yourself or even buy one from a seasonal flea market to get into the spirit. Make this a crafty project where you and loved ones use unlikely materials to become the centerpiece of your celebration. Felt, clothespins, gift boxes, mesh, and even bed springs can be converted into modern works of art that put the classic evergreen to shame. This Pinterest page is only the beginning!

However you deck your halls, though, make sure you fill it up with love, good company, and a joyous atmosphere. That beats the angel or star on top of the tree any day.

For more tips to get your nest ready for the holiday, check out: Holiday How To: Set the Table, 6 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Tree, Tips and Tricks for Wrapping Your Gifts, andDIY Roundup: Create Your Own Ornaments.