Every year we travel for Christmas to either Minnesota or New Jersey to be with one of our families (we switch off each year). Even last year when Sailor was only two months, we made the trek to the east coast. To us, it’s an important part of celebrating the holidays – connecting with family and friends, and visiting our home towns. Being transplants in LA, we so crave that connection to home around the holidays. Now that we’re parents though, this tradition might evolve in the coming years. As Sailor gets older and if our family eventually grows, we feel like it’s important for her to celebrate the holidays in our own home and create the magic of the holidays there.
This is our new home’s first Christmas, so I really wanted to do some holiday decorating. The last two years, I did exactly nothing. Last year we had a newborn in the house and we were struggling to adjust, and the year before that we moved into our Weho apartment on Thanksgiving and then I promptly left to work in Austin all the way up until Christmas, so no decorations had a chance to happen. In general, it can be hard to get motivated to spend a lot of money and energy on it given that we always leave a few days before Christmas until the end of the year, but it’s still so fun and so important to enjoy for a few weeks after Thanksgiving. So this year being in our new home, I was determined to add a few touches, and to learn from past mistakes. I realized a few things about how I need to decorate for the holidays:
1. I need to be an early decorator. Given that we have less time to enjoy it in the house than we would if we were staying home for Christmas, I need to be one of those people who gets immediately to work after Thanksgiving so we can maximize. I loved doing it this year during that long weekend and I think it’ll be a fun new tradition.
2. We need to be fake tree people. I would love to go shopping for a real tree and bring that fresh scent into our home but it’s not safe to leave up over a long period of time without being home to water it and keep an eye on it. I’ll never forget the year I learned this the hard way and realized we had to take it down on Dec 19 before leaving for the rest of the month. Not fun. So this year we bought our first faux tree and I have to say I love it! It’s comforting to know I can leave those lights on all day and night and not worry about it drying out. We got the LED lights and went to 3 different Targets to get enough of those A2 round lights with the real life bokeh effect I loved so much. Leave it to me to make it complicated!
3. Keep it simple with a color scheme that fits in with the existing decor. That way you don’t have to do as much work. I kept with our usual all-white base and used a lot of stuff we already had in storage to keep costs down. I added a few rose gold ornaments and picked up a few new things to add to the collection but used all our old ornaments.
4. Wrapping paper that doesn’t scream holiday can work for the season with fluffy white and gold adornments, but can also still be used after the holidays are over. Target has the best paper this year!
5. Coniferous greens make perfect little touches in vases around the house and make the whole place smell like Christmas!
So I didn’t exactly go all out but next year I’ll be ready to take it to the next level with garlands (the one thing I didn’t get to do that I wanted to) and perhaps a stocking upgrade. It’s fun to add to the collection of holiday decor bit by bit each year, and we’ll eventually be able to really do it up without buying anything new. Although we do need to get our outdoor lights game up, since our new neighbors get really into it and have a contest every year. We can’t be the boring neighbors!
We’re now already in Minnesota enjoying the holiday vibes at my parents’ house, after a crazy long day of travel with a 2-hour delay and a screaming babe yesterday! It’s so nice to be here and cozying in for the rest of the season. Hope you guys are enjoying it with your families too!