Make It Simple with a Holiday Decorating Checklist

Dec 1st 2014

WA-MULTI-ORN-2-horizontalAre you already feeling festive, pulling out the decorations and singing carols?  Or are you dreading the added pressure that the holiday season can bring?  Whether you love it or hate it, the holiday season is upon us, and having a game plan makes it all happen more smoothly. Creating and using a decorating checklist breaks down the process into manageable steps and helps you to avoid stress and overwhelm – so that you can your whole family can appreciate the joys that the holidays have to offer.   And although you may be the keeper of the list, don’t forget to delegate!  Get the whole family involved to divide up the work and multiply the fun! THE CHRISTMAS TREE It’s the focal point of your holiday décor, so begin with preparations for the tree.  Select a date to put up and trim the tree and plan accordingly.  Do you have a spot prepared for the tree?  Do you need to rearrange any furniture?  Get this step out of the way before the tree is coming through the door. Do you simply have to fetch your artificial tree from the attic?  Or do you need to plan an outing to select a live one with your family?  Either way, you may find it to be helpful to bring out all the trimmings and have them ready to be placed on the tree as soon as it’s up.  Place ornaments and other trimmings around the room in pretty bowls or other containers. Assign tasks and make it fun!  If you have little ones, put the non-breakable ornaments in a special place for them, and let them know that they’re responsible for making the bottom of the tree look pretty.  Ask the taller people in the household to be responsible for lights, garland, and the tree topper.  You may also want to amplify the holiday mood with your family’s favorite holiday tunes or movies and put out festive snacks like gingerbread cookies and eggnog. What you’ll need:
  • Tree stand (if applicable).
  • Tree skirt.
  • Ornaments staged around the room.
  • Extra ornament hooks for new ornaments or those that have lost a hook.
  • Strands of lights (unless tree is artificial and prelit).
  • Tinsel and garland.
  • OPTIONAL: Popcorn and cranberries. If you string these at your house, have them and the needles and string ready to go as soon as the rest of the items have been placed on the tree.
ADDITIONAL INDOOR DECORATIONS You can “go big” or keep it simple with the rest of your indoor holiday decorating.  It’s a good idea to have a separate game plan for these decorations.  Do you have a day set aside when you can decorate throughout the house?  Or would it be more manageable to bring out one category of decorations one day at a time for a week or so?  Do what works for you.  Here are some ideas:
  • Fresh poinsettias are always pretty and add a splash of red.
  • Mistletoe for stealing kisses.
  • Garlands (fresh or artificial) for the fireplace and/or the banisters.
  • Fresh, natural accents strategically placed in your kitchen and other living areas. Examples are bowls or vases filled with pinecones, cranberries, or pomanders. Add ribbons in combinations of green, red, white, gold, and silver to dress them up.
  • Stockings and hooks for hanging.
  • Holiday table cloths, napkins, and tea towels.
  • Holiday themed serving ware.
  • A designated spot for holiday cards received. This might be your mantel or you can buy or create a display for the cards. We found several simple craft ideas for displaying cards here.
  • Nativity sets, figurines, nutcrackers or other holiday-themed items.
OUTDOOR DECORATING There are many new products on the market these days that allow you to dress up your house for the holidays in no time at all.  Just a handful of items are needed to get your house ready to welcome Santa.
  • A seasonal wreath for the front door. Pick one up while you’re getting your tree or – if you’re crafty – create a custom one with your family.
  • Strings of lights for around your front entrance. There are many simple and affordable options, including prelit garlands and tube lights.
  • Net lights for your shrubbery.   Toss one or two over your hedges and viola!
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves too much, but while you’re at it, make sure that all of these items have a place to go once the season is over.  For any new decorations you pick up this year, buy a storage box or plastic tote so that the items have a home come January when everything comes back down. By working through your list, step by step, decorating for the holidays can be a snap.  Don’t forget to enjoy the process!