~Ana Bosch is here with an awesome post, so be sure to comment and share your decorating skills~
Growing up, I was never a big fan of decorating for the holidays. To
me, it was just another routine chore: drag the cruddy old artificial
tree up from the basement, spend a few hours trying to untangle the
tumbleweed of tacky neon lights, and then hang up the usual sticky
ornaments that seemed to smell mysteriously like mold and cat urine.
The end result never looked good, but it didn’t really matter because no
one really cared.
It wasn’t until about five years ago that I finally gained an
interest in holiday décor. To be totally honest, I didn’t have a choice
in the matter. I’d landed a job as a product developer in the field of
holiday décor and collectibles, so if I wanted to be good at my job, I
had to get educated.
At first, I fooled myself into thinking that holiday décor was just
my job, and that it wouldn’t affect me as a person. But as I sat in my
cubicle designing kitschy atrocities like Santa Claus carrying the baby
Jesus, or suicidal snowmen gathering around a campfire, or dachshund
nativity sets, little did I know that the holiday cheer was seeping into
my pores and infecting my bloodstream. Before I knew it, I found
myself getting excited at the sight of glitter and snowflake ornaments
and Christmas villages.
After working in the industry for a few years, I finally decided that
I would actually put in an effort to make my house look suitably
festive for the holiday season. Really, I had no excuse not to. I had
enough free samples from my job to turn my house into a replica of
Santa’s workshop, after all. But my personal aesthetic was at odds with
the company I worked for, and let’s face it, I wanted to have fun with
my decorations. I also didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time or
money, so I took every chance I could to spruce up my existing
decorations rather than switching them out for Christmas. The end
result was an odd mix of classic and… weird.
So now I’m going to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for holiday decorating:
2. Nice tree skirts are really frickin’ expensive! I prefer to use a
cheap, ugly, tacky tree skirt, cover it with fake snow, and put
together a nice winter village. Now, this example isn’t all that
special. I used a village from my job because I happened to have spare
samples. But this year I plan to improve on it by picking up a few
cheap plastic dinosaurs.
Beware: pets are likely to get the most enjoyment out of your fake snow.
3. Anything can be made into a Christmas decoration if you throw a
bit of festive foliage behind it. This works especially well with white
porcelain statues. Here you see my lovely Reclining Deerman, which I
purchased from Melabo on Etsy. He stays out all year round, but during
the holidays, he gets a pine and holly backdrop.
4. The same goes for Santa hats. Throw one on anything, and it’s
instant Christmas. I’m using a ferret hat because, yes, I happen to
have ferret hats lying around the house. But you can just as easily
make them out of paper or cheap fabric and craft pompoms. Watch while a
simple Santa hat transforms this traumatizing dog toy into a
traumatizing Christmas dog toy:
It’s like magic!
5. Nativity sets are always better when you mix and match. See how
much classier my dad’s old Boehm nativity is with a bonus sheep from The
Bradford Exchange’s Thomas Kinkade outdoor nativity set?
6. When decorating your tree, always make sure the size of your ornaments complements the size of your finials.
7. Inflatables are more fun when they’re only partially inflated.
As is always the case with my decorating endeavors, I start
out classy and gradually go downhill. But hey, at least I have fun this
I used my holiday décor product development
background as inspiration when writing Lucky, my newly released
Christmas novella. Martel, the main character, works at a company that
designs holiday products. Among other things, he gets to discover the
joys of kissing balls, which are one of the more unfortunately named
pieces of holiday décor out there.
How about the rest of you? What are your favorite pieces of holiday décor? What are your decorating secrets?
Ever since Martel Heller rolled his first dreadlock, his love life
has been blessed. For seven years he’s had the luxury of cherry-picking
the hottest men available. But when the dress code at his new job forces
him to hack off his lucky locks, his good fortune comes to an end.
make matters worse, if Martel shows up at the company Christmas party
alone, his creepy coworker Phil will know he’s single. As a last resort,
Martel enlists his best friend, Felix, a fashion photographer, to hook
him up with a model. Then plans fall through, and Martel ends up stuck
at the Christmas party with the last person he expects—but as the hours
pass, he wonders if he's finally learned what it means to be lucky.