Can Saturday really be Halloween? Wow, where did this year go? I know I say it every year, but weren’t we just turning on the air conditioning? The older I get, the quicker the holidays seem to come. Maybe it’s because after 30 years in Las Vegas I’ve become less tolerant for the heat and can’t wait to turn off the a/c.
I’m not a big holiday decorator. The kids are across the country and I just don’t want to lug out boxes and boxes because they won’t get put away until Valentine’s Day. Yes, one year I did still have things out that long; I know it’s pretty sad. So instead of causing myself holiday decorating stress, I just do a couple of simple things that I sprinkle throughout my house and take less than two hours.
So here are my five quick and easy holiday decorating ideas.
1. Treat your senses by adding color, sparkle, treats and sweet scents by filling a bowl with fun holiday items. For Thanksgiving, fill it with pinecones, cinnamon sticks, scented potpourri, gourds, Indian corn and fall leaves, which you can get either from a trip to Mount Charleston or use nice looking silk ones. And for those with a sweet tooth, you can use gingerbread cookies.
For December, use colorful glass ornaments, candy canes, candy ribbon and snowflakes ( I have crochet ones I got online) or red berries and pinecones.
Place them in your foyer, living room, kitchen and guest bath.
2. Now I know this may seem corny, but I use removable stickers that I place on my mirrors. They are cute and only take minutes to put up. They’ll bring a fun added touch to your entry and guest bath. I even place them on my master bath mirror, which is a nice morning reminder to start the day in a joyful and happy holiday spirit. You can get different designs or words at craft stores and online.
3. Create a quick floral arrangement with dried branches, leaves and flowers. Put them on your living room coffee table, guest bath counter and master bath. Start with two tall and fairly narrow containers; you’ll need one that is smaller and will fit inside the other. The inside vase is where you’ll place your floral arrangement.
Fill the vase with silica sand and just start placing the stems inside. I like silica sand because it is easy to work with and holds the stems in place.
With your inner vase completed, place it inside the larger vase. The outside one just needs to be large enough so that you have room to fill the area between the inside and outside vases. Some of the things you can use are dried leaves, candy corn, very small pumpkins, Indian corn, potpourri, fabric, pinecones, silk flowers, branches or anything else that brings the look and feel of the autumn season in. Then, as the holiday or season changes, you can quickly change out the arrangement in the vase and the decoration around it.
This is something fun you can leave up all year for that quick holiday touch. For New Year’s, use noise makers. On Valentine’s Day use silk rose petals or the little heart candies with the sayings. Easter could be a spring bouquet with jelly beans. I think you get the idea. It is really something very quick, easy and fun to do.
4. There is something about twinkling lights that always make me think of the holidays. So turn off your bright table lights and light the room up with twinkles.
Place them in your trees and on your pot shelves, wrap the banister, drape over curtain rods, around doors, mirrors, frames, fireplaces and the inside windows.
Turn on your fireplace and your holiday lights for a soft festive glow. Or, if you don’t want to heat up the house, place candles in the fireplace. It’s funny when I tell people back East that when we turn on the fireplace we also have to turn on the air conditioning.
5. Give your bathrooms a holiday face-lift with new towels. Now you don’t have to purchase all new bath towels, just new fingertip towels that you place on your counters. There are great ones with embroidery or quilted designs that are fairly inexpensive.
Enjoy the changing of the season, renew your spirit, revive your home and create new memories for next season.
Gail Mayhugh, owner of GMJ Interiors, is a professional interior designer and author of a book on the subject. Questions may be sent by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, mail to: 7380 S. Eastern Ave., No. 124-272, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Her Web address is: www.GMJinteriors.com.