holiday decor
Pamela with her husband Jon outside their Houston home

The holiday season is upon us, presenting wonderful opportunities to embrace holiday décor that sparks festive frivolity. Each year, I love decorating my home as well as my office with elements that celebrate Christmas and carry nicely into the New Year. This year will be no different with my tree, garlands and wreaths in non-traditional colors because I just adore adding an unexpected twist to an otherwise common tradition. Cue the holiday music as I share new trends and traditional favorites for the winter holidays.

A Twist on Traditional Holiday Favorites
I find that many wreaths, both old and new, need some sprucing up to make them look fuller and high-end. I hold onto ribbons, ornaments and artificial greenery that came atop gifts in years past and weave them into smaller wreaths. This is great if you don’t want to indulge in a designer wreath as you’re also buying holiday gifts. Be sure to watch “Making holiday wreaths on a budget” where I shared lots of tips on Fox 26. While this was filmed in 2019, the suggestions remain helpful today.

For another twist on tradition, the mini Christmas trees look elegant on either side of your mantle or as the focal point on your dining table. This Holiday Spruce Tree with Lights from Harry & David ($149.99) will last all season and then can be planted outdoors to grow over time. Now that’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Photo Courtesy: Harry & David

Decorating doesn’t have to stop with the visuals. When I think of my Christmas memories, there’s specific aromas that I recall. Of course, the scent of a real tree comes to mind but so do recollections of gingerbread, cinnamon and cloves. This season, I may try a new mulled wine recipe like this one from Delish or boil a few cinnamon sticks on the stove. There’s also the White Barn Christmas Cider candle from Bath & Body Works (just $26.50) that’s ready at the light of a match. I prefer to group candles with the same scent but in varying heights for a pretty centerpiece. With hints of cinnamon, crushed clove, creamy nutmeg and simmering cider, this would also make a nice gift. (I always have a few gift items on hand for the friend that stops by.)

Photo Courtesy: Bath & Body Works

New Trends for the Holidays
A popular fashion this year is incorporating vintage dishes and other kitchen pieces into your decorations. As I’ve shared in past blog posts, I’m a fan of real glassware and china, so this is something I’ll incorporate into my home. The vivid red and white on the Tahoe Stoneware Dinnerware Collection from Pottery Barn ($49.50 –$246) look great on a bare dining table or the kitchen table.

Photo Courtesy: Pottery Barn

Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s trend expert, shared with Better Homes & Gardens that “vintage kitchen pieces are the hottest holiday trend of 2022. With an 85% increase in searches for vintage mixing bowls and a 26% increase in searches for retro decor, you can expect to see a lot of vintage Santa mugs and kitschy decor pieces.”

Photo Courtesy: Jay Wilde and Better Homes & Gardens

You could likely find some of these at local antique shops or thrift stores, which can be a fun endeavor all on its own. I certainly enjoy exploring at the smaller mom and pop boutiques. However, if you’re limited on time, I found this cute Holiday Ceramic Mug Collection also from Pottery Barn (starting at $10 each).

Photo Courtesy: Pottery Barn

If you’re ready for a different look this holiday season, ideas abound. In “12 Trends for Christmas Décor in 2022,” Bob Vila recommends “glistening rose gold, like these rose gold shatterproof ornaments on Amazon. Blues are flourishing too, with Victorian era blue-and-white china inspiring layered blues mixed with winter white.” Priced at just $21.99 for 36 ornaments of varying shape, you can stock up to not only hang them on your Christmas tree but also incorporate them into a wreath or garland for a stairwell.

Photo Courtesy: Amazon

Go au naturel! I’m seeing more Earthy elements being incorporated into the holidays. It’s likely spurred by the growing interest in sustainable materials. It’s also a pleasant balance with the commercial-driven side of the holiday. Depending on where you live, you may be able to take a short walk and pull items from the outdoors to place around the house. Alternatively, there are loads of stores that offer natural Christmas decorations.

According to Gathered, “Wood, paper, wicker and fabric decorations are at the heart of this trend, which also encompasses reusable crackers (both beautiful and better for the environment) and reusable advent calendars (a more sustainable alternative to single-use options).”

Photo Courtesy: The Spruce & Milk and Honey Life

Speaking of natural décor, one of my favorite holiday memories was the first Christmas we spent at our country house in San Augustine, Texas. We had a 20-acre farmette that backed up to timber acreage so we had beautiful stands of hardwoods all around us.  The elderly couple who sold us the house had lovely gardens and I followed in their footsteps by planting a bumper crop of sunflowers.  I decided I wanted to make holiday gifts using things I could forage in the woods and came up with the idea of bird feeder wreaths. I used grapevine as a base and fastened Mammoth Russian sunflower heads, that I had dried in the barn, to the wreaths. I added pecans that had fallen to the ground, twigs and moss that I found on the forest floor and Nandina berries for color. They were quite pretty and everyone who received one told me it was devoured by birds within days. That was such a fun way to celebrate nature and the season.

Mammoth sunflower courtesy of Burpee

Whether you’ll stick with traditional decorations or adopt some newer trends, may these tips help you set the stage for beautiful season. I hope you, your family and friends enjoy a magical Christmas season and treasure the memories you’re creating now. While the hustle and bustle can lead to stress, it’s an opportunity to depart from the normal schedules and re-invest in ourselves and our loved ones. After a few years of not being able to travel due to COVID-19, may your trip to Grandma’s house or whomever you gather with be a splendid occasion. Merry Christmas!

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