10 Ways to Do Christmas

If you've got kids, or *know* kids, Christmas decorating is an opportunity to indulge in the best sort of Cute Overload.

1. Kid Friendly: Unwrapping your favourite kid-friendly ornaments to decorate the tree is like seeing old friends again (albeit the kind you store away in a box in the cupboard). I still love to see the painted wooden toy ornaments I bought when my son was small.
Santa Christmas Decoration
I’m particularly partial to Mr and Mrs Hippo, but I’m always happy to see the goofy Santa, or the elf with the missing leg. Every year I mean to glue it back on. It’s almost a tradition in itself.

Pick it up and shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture.

2. Snow Globes: This may be the only snowfall we get this season. Snow globes are traditional, collectable, kitschy and fun. Not just for kids. A collection of globes on the mantel could be just enough holiday decorating for some of us.

Glittery mirror balls compel you to Get On The Dance Floor, even if it's in your living room.

3. Disco Forever: There’s no law that says Christmas has to be red and green. Go mad glitter or go home, these disco balls command. Splash out. Be fantastic. The answer to the question, “Do we have enough sparkle?” is “No, we need “More More More!”

Antique ornaments

4. Oldy-Worldy You could say the Victorians invented what we think of as a traditional Christmas. They borrowed the German traditions and raised them to great heights. Think Dickens and Tiny Tim, warm colours and hand-painted everything. It’s cozy, and family and community centred. The Victorians were the ones who began the Christmas card tradition as well as carolling and seasonal giving.

I have always thought of Christmas time … as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~ From Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

As Scrooge said to Cratchit, “Put some more coal on that fire, and go out and buy a new coal scuttle, before you dot another ‘i'”.

Native Winterberry Shrub, with red berries, is a deciduous holly. Ilex Verticillata


5. Au Naturel Let nature take its course outdoors. Snow on native holly berries is perfection. Simply red, and you need nothing more. Plant one in your garden, or buy twigs for a planter. (Berries come from female shrubs, and your garden will also need a male version planted close by for flowering and berry production)


Gingerbread cookies as decorations.

Gingerbread cookies as decorations.

6. Be a Holiday Foodie Holidays are a time to indulge in all those seasonal treats. Make them, share them, or use them as decorations and presents. Picture yourself mixing up something delightful in the kitchen. The oven is on, the windows are steamy and it really doesn’t matter how dreary the day is outside. It’s coziness personified.

blue christmas heart decoration

When those blue snowflakes start falling, that's when those blue memories start calling

7. Have a Blue Christmas Let’s face it, holidays aren’t always sweetness and light. Often Elvis is right, and we can feel lonely, sad, and gloomy around what is expected to be a festive season. If you feel the holiday blues, don’t fight it. Let yourself really feel blue, even if it’s only for an afternoon, and have a good cry. It’s nature’s way of getting rid of all those stress chemicals.

black and white image of silver bells

Silver Bells, in black and white.

8. Black & White This will help you with Number 7. Get the old black and white movies out. No colorization allowed. If you only have a colorized version, adjust the controls on your TV to get the proper effect.

In a black-and-white film there is no feeling of something extraneous going on, the audience can watch the film without being distracted from the action by colour. – Russian director, Andrei Tarkovsky

Whether DVDs or Netflix, you must watch the original A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim, Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. Préparez vos mouchoirs.

Gold leaves.

Paint it Gold.

9. Paint It Gold Gold spray paint transforms anything into holiday mode. Twigs, leaves, dried flowers, crepe paper and cardboard stars are all gleaming painted gold. There’s even a “weird a** edible gold paint you can spray on food”.

10. Go All Out. Do it all: laugh, cry, decorate, feast, drink, tape it together, rip it up, contemplate, give, share, be grateful, and count up those blessings, instead of sheep. Let us know what kind of holiday you’re having this year.

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