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Custom Prep: Christmas Decorating Tips

Christmastime is here! With Thanksgiving behind us; Black Friday and Cyber Monday gone, I almost feel like I'm late to the party with this blog!

Let’s face it, I’ve hit the ground running with my Christmas decorating and there is still so much to do in the next five weeks. It’s hard not to get a little anxious. There is so much Christmas tradition at my house and I don’t want to give up on any of it. So, if you’re thinking this is going to be one of those pare down and simplify your Christmas decorating; think again but I will let you in on a few of my secrets to getting it all done and enjoying it in the process.

The key to my successful Christmas decorating is to have a plan, or should I say, a planner. Years ago, I found an amazing planner in a Family Fun Magazine. I’ve been using it ever since (unfortunately, the links to the planner are no longer available but there are a few different planners out there). Look for a planner with tabs for a calendar, gift lists, card addresses, recipes, even crafts, events, and memories. I've added clear sleeves to hold my receipts, recipes and craft instructions. This binder keeps me organized all season long. If you can’t find one that suits your needs, make your own – you’ll thank me in the long run for this tip.

Once I have my planner updated, I can start decorating. It seems a shame to rush to put it all up only to take it all down a month later. So, there are things I keep out all winter; like my Snowbabies collection. I clear a shelf in my curio cabinet just for this collection, but these hand-painted porcelain collectibles also greet guests in my foyer and eventually fill the void of Christmas décor that goes away.

The key to not being overwhelmed is to take one area at a time, and also to do a little bit every day. So to start, we put up the outdoor lights. We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather and took advantage of it over Thanksgiving weekend. With the outside done, the early darkness seems abated at the front door, and nothing says Christmas like wreaths, and boughs and bows. Even my car gets a wreath!

Inside, I start in the foyer. I like to wind lighted garlands onto my banisters. They will do double duty when I hang all my Christmas cards on them. Eventually, the stairwell is covered with Christmas greetings from family and friends. I find it to be very welcoming.

As I ment

ioned before, I place a group of Snowbabies on the foyer’s console, below a mirror. This is a great place for another wreath or even a sign. I love the chalkboard signs that are so popular now. What I want to do here, is to clearly say welcome to my guest who will visit this Christmas.

What I want most, though, is to stay present as I unwrap and places my favorite things throughout my home for Christmas, and I hope you do, too. Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk you through the rest of the house. I hope you will come back to check on my progress and the HOUZZ ideabook and Pinterest board and to share your Christmas decorating tips with me.

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