By Lynn Terry
Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, and truly an opportunity for our homes to look their best as we welcome family and friends. If you haven’t started your holiday decorating and need a jumpstart, let me offer a few easy tips to help put your home in the holiday spirit!
We are fortunate to live in the South where we have plenty of greenery literally right in our own yards. Clip magnolia leaves, holly branches, and cypress to make an instant impact on the mantel, dining room table, or sideboard. Never underestimate the power of simple greenery with a satin or velvet ribbon.
What’s trending in greenery right now is filling an outdoor urn with evergreen firs mixed with magnolia branches and red holly berry with some white birch logs thrown in for added height. (Check Pinterest and other inspirational home decorating websites for photos to guide you.)
Make your entrance inviting with the traditional wreath or garland, but add a little pizzazz with a grouping of lanterns or a big, bright basket of poinsettias. Your home smells like Christmas with a holiday candle, offering a hint of pine or cinnamon. No candle? Just simmer cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves in water to fill your house with a luscious aroma.
For an easy centerpiece, pile ornaments such as multicolored ball ornaments or snowflake ornaments in a bowl or hurricane vase to provide a look of instant sophistication. A silver and gold color scheme provides a subtle elegance. Break out your fine china and silver, using it to make every holiday meal special. Add red or green charger plates to bring your beautiful china into the holiday spirit.
Fresh oranges or apples can bring an instant pop of eye-catching color to any holiday décor. Sybil Sylvester of Wildflower Designs uses small oranges along with orchids and antique roses in her stunning centerpiece featured in Southern Home’s holiday issue. Carole Sullivan, of Lagniappe Designs, opted for green apples, white roses, and orchids in a stone container for an understated kitchen arrangement.
For your Christmas tree, dried limelight hydrangeas are great to fill voids in the tree or for a soft look with additional greenery on a mantel. Don’t forget that gift-wrapping completes the picture. Be sure to choose one or two complementary colors that coordinate with your room—and make sure each present has a beautiful bow and tag.
And finally, keep a few gifts on hand—a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates—for last-minute social outings or unexpected guests!
What are you decorating with this season?