Christmas decorating tips

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It is that time of the year again when we look around our homes and decide it is time to decorate for Christmas.  We tend to festoon our homes inside and out.  In some ways, it almost marks the beginning of the Holiday Season.  So, put the Christmas songs on, get the hot apple cider brewing and start to dig through those boxes.

So many of us have special decorations and ornaments that we've collected over the years.  Maybe they are homemade ornaments made by your children or grandchildren, maybe they are gifts from special people in your life or maybe even vintage decorations handed down through the generations.  And while they may not tie in with the trendy Christmas stuff, they still deserve a spot of honour within the holiday decor.  

One idea is to create a special tree in a room that is decorated in all those treasured ornaments, set apart, special.  If your prized decorations are more of the knick-knack nature, think about doing up a distinct arrangement that really showcases them.  Ideal locations for that would be on a mantel, a bookcase, a wall shelf or a table top.  And think outside the box, too.  A collection of tree ornaments doesn't have to be hung on a tree, what about adding them to a garland or displaying them in a large vase?

One of the things I love about Christmas is all the smells that we encounter from bringing the outdoors into our homes.  Nothing beats the smell of evergreen boughs gracing our houses.  Whether it is a real tree taking center stage, a staircase draped with a garland or the addition of a few well placed boughs to tie a vignette together, there is no replacing the real textures, smells or feel with anything else.

I think the one main point I want to make about decorating our homes for Christmas is about making room.  I'm not talking about making sure things are balanced and well laid out once you set the tree up.  I'm not talking about the typical decorating rules where things need coordinate.  Basically, I am telling you to forget everything else we've talked about here over the past year.

What I think is the most important thing about our homes at Christmas is to make room for all the people in our lives.  Pull that extra chair in the living room, even if it doesn't 'match' the rest of the room's decor if it means one more person gets to join in.  Squeeze as many bodies as you can around the table, even if it means bumping elbows with your neighbour.  Make room for your small children to help with decorating the tree.  Who cares if there are too many ornaments on one branch?  They will remember being allowed to help.  

This is the one time of year that we can ignore protocol and throw the rules out the window.  Yes, it is wonderful to have a beautifully decorated house but if you have no one to share it with, what's the point?  Invite the people into your home, not to show off your decorations, but to add warmth to your life and celebrate this season, where love is the focus.

Make room for those special decorations, those special people and make special memories this Christmas season.  Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

- Lori Byrne is a local interior decorator who enjoys helping people see the potential in their spaces.  She invites you along on a journey to discover the home inside your house.  She can be reached at"



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