Hi friends, how’s everyone feeling this week? I know it’s been a challenging and exhausting year for everyone between COVID, virtual learning, job layoffs, etc. One thing that has helped me is keeping all of the things I am grateful for in sight. I also know that decorating my home for Christmas brings me a lot of cheer. Traditionally I’ve always decorated for Christmas the weekend following Thanksgiving. However, I plan on getting all of my Christmas decorations up early this year. With being home quite a bit, there’s more time to enjoy the twinkling lights and the coziness of it all! It’s easy to go overboard on buying Christmas decor though. So I thought I’d share my thoughts on what to buy for Christmas decorations. These will be your basic staple pieces and my goal here is to help you figure out how to allocate your limited decorating budget.
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What To Buy for Christmas Decorations: My Four Must-Haves
1. Christmas Trees
I know, I know, this one’s a no-brainer! However, in addition to our main Christmas tree, I love adding little faux tabletop trees throughout our home. I often place them on dressers, bathroom vanities, our entryway table and even on our kitchen window sills. The smaller ones (12″ or under) I leave as is. However, I have some two-foot trees that I like to add fairy lights and/or a few smaller ornaments to. I typically go for tabletop trees set in a pot wrapped in burlap, or placed inside a basket. You can’t take the coastal out of me, even at Christmas! 🙂
Never in my life did I think I would ever go the faux route for our main Christmas tree, however I pulled the trigger this year and bought Balsam Hill’s Stratford Spruce tree. We are extremely happy with it and I honestly think it looks like a real tree! While I’ve started to put it up, it’s not fully decorated yet but I’ll show you a couple sneak peaks below. 🙂
I’m curious – are you team tree skirt or team tree collar? I’ve been wanting a tree collar for a couple of years now. I finally gave in and bought this Beachcomber Basket Tree Collar. It’s one that I know I’ll have for years and I just love the casual, cozy look of it. I’ve also included some similar, budget-friendly tree collars below, as well as a few others that I really like.
My two-year hunt for a tree topper finally came to an end last week. I love the more rustic look of the iron star topper that I found (I’ve linked it below for anyone who might be interested). I’ve had so many issues in the past with toppers being too heavy and not staying put on my tree. This particular topper has a stick (for a lack of a better word!) that you insert down into your tree with two very thin wires that you tie around your branches to keep it in place. To me, this makes so much more sense than top-heavy tree toppers that are supposed to just balance on your tree!
Garland is number two on my list of what to buy for Christmas decorations. It’s classic and timeless, and will never go out of style. You also don’t have to worry about it not matching the rest of your decor if you like to switch up your themes or colors from year to year. I always wrap our banister in garland and place it on our mantle. Fresh garland is beautiful and smells amazing but I don’t love the sap or the mess it creates. So a few years ago I invested in high-quality faux garland and have never looked back. I’m picky about garland and think a lot of garland looks cheap and plasticy. So I’ve only linked the garland that I own or that I’ve seen in person and can vouch for.
3. Pillows & Pillow Covers
Christmas pillows and pillow covers are a great way to add coziness to any room. I do incorporate bits of reds and greens throughout my home during the Christmas season. However, I typically steer clear of big punches of these colors in my coastal home. When it comes to pillows, I generally look for winter whites, creams, navys, as well as plaids as these are easy to mix and match. I also don’t limit Christmas pillows to my living room. When I can, I add a Christmas pillow to each bedroom, and swap out the pillow on the hall tree in our back entryway.
Also, the red and white striped pom pom pillow doesn’t look like much in the stock photo. However, I promise you that it’s really cute! Here’s the 12″ x 20″ cover in my living room. You seriously can’t beat TWO covers for less than $20! The navy option is also cute for year-round!
4. Decorated Trays & Bowls
In terms of what to buy for Christmas decorations, a beautifully styled bowl or tray is a must in my opinion. I love to place these on a kitchen island, coffee table, console table, dining room table or a dresser.
Like all of my decor, I like to keep things simple. Start with a tray or a wood bowl and add greenery as your base. Fresh is always my preference since they smell great and you don’t need a lot. From here, add any combination of the following: ornaments, fairy lights, beaded garland, candles, white berries, pine cones, cinnamon sticks tied together with twine, dried orange slices (250 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven for 2-3 hours and flip a few times), and other vase fillers such as faux cranberries or pomegranates.
Even though I typically save these for last when decorating my home for the holidays, they are always my favorite to put together! Here’s an example that I quickly created this morning using fresh greens from our woods (have to love free holiday decor!), some ornaments and some sugared cranberries that I already had on hand. You really can’t go wrong using the items that I mentioned above, so have fun with it and get creative! Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be elaborate in order to be beautiful. Simple is often best!
Once you have your four foundational pieces, THEN fill in with additional decorative accents as your budget allows. I find that these are the pieces that are more likely to go out of style in a few years, or that you may not want to use for infinity as your tastes change. They are also some of the items that may only last one season (i.e. – door mats, candles, soap, etc.).
I also included an apothecary jar, which you may think is a little bit random. However, I think they look so festive filled with sugared cranberries or peppermints inside. Or, even marshmallows at a hot cocoa station!
Additional Christmas Decor Tips
- In most cases, I truly believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to garland. It’s easy to get sticker shock looking at the price of garland. However, I find the more expensive ones typically look the most authentic. Same goes for full size faux Christmas trees, which is why we ultimately decided to go the Balsam Hill route for our main Christmas tree. However, to balance your budget, I definitely think you can go the less expensive route when it comes to tabletop trees.
- If you feel comfortable shopping in person, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Homesense are all great for holiday decor. Of course, it’s definitely hit or miss but I have great luck there for Christmas hand soaps and candles. One of my favorite candle brands is Sand & Fog and from time to time I able able to find their candles in these stores. In fact, I just scooped up one of their “Holiday Berry” scented candle in a beautiful all-white jar.
- Don’t feel like you need to go crazy decorating for Christmas. Once Christmas Day has passed, I hear so many people say that they can’t wait to take down their Christmas decor and de-clutter. If you don’t jam Christmas into every corner of your home, then you won’t feel that immediate desire to rip it all down. 🙂 In my opinion, less is more!
Generally I decorate our living room and dining room, add a wreath to our front door and then add just a few subtle touches throughout the rest of the house.
For example, I usually add holiday soap, hand towels and a little tree on the vanity in our bathrooms. In our kitchen, I decorate a wood tray and place that on our island, put out holiday dish towels and place little trees on our kitchen window sills. This year I’m also thinking of adding small wreaths to our three kitchen windows. In the bedrooms it’s (at most) a pillow or two, and a mini tree or vase with greens or berries on the dresser. This year I’m also on the hunt for a timeless Christmas or winter print that I can swap out above the fireplace in our master bedroom.
I had so much fun writing this post and I hope it was helpful in determining what to buy for Christmas decorations this year! I’ll be sharing more of my own Christmas decor on Instagram and Facebook in the coming weeks once I have it up, so be sure to follow me for additional inspiration!
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