The holidays are upon us. We are now in full swing finding, buying, wrapping, and giving. Filling our calendars with holiday parties and dinners and playdates. Busily decorating our homes to showcase our own personal style and festive spirits. If you haven’t yet pulled the boxes of decorations out of the attic or bought your tree – evidence shows that it is this weekend when most Americans dig in to decorating – no fear! Here are a few tips to incorporate into your holiday splendor and make your home shine for friends and family…


Decorate the outside to match the outside.

If you live in a colonial or a tudor, garnish the home with classic decorations. Weave together fir, cedar, white pine, and boxwood for a door garland, hang matching window wreaths, and fill the holly with white lights. A modern? Go minimalistic and funky. Find interesting wreathes, use battery-powered, long tapered candles in the windows, skip the “heavier” decorations and allow your home to float.


Don’t stop at the entry. Or the living room.

Make sure to decorate throughout your home. As your guests move throughout the house, well-placed touches will create a huge impact. You don’t need to go overboard, but ensure that the kitchen, bathrooms, and any other room that a guest may perchance wander in to has a bit of holiday décor.


Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow.

Whether you have invited guests into your home or are simply hanging out with your family in front of the tree, dimmed lights provide a cozy and warm ambience which is perfect for a holiday vibe. Plug-in dimmers are inexpensive, sold at most hardware stores and anyone can install them.


Highlight the memories.

Of course, there are two types of decorations. The first being for show – to brighten up guest’s spirits when being entertained in your home. The second is for personal comfort– to brighten up your spirits throughout the season. Perhaps your grandmother gave you a special Santa Claus when you were a child, or your mother decorated the tree with a special garland which is now in your box of tree decorations. Make sure to highlight these in your space – they will bring about the true feeling of Christmas.


Go inexpensive.

Who doesn’t love a Tiffany’s ornament? But you can decorate inexpensively and still attain a polished and elegant look. Inexpensive ornaments from can look beautiful and festive when grouped together and placed in a large clear bottle and placed throughout the home. White fairy lights placed along the mantel or around the interior windows will yield a warm glow. A chic table runner or tablecloth can be bought inexpensively online or at home goods chains. As can big holiday coffee mugs that you can fill with mini-chocolates.


Less really is more.

The holidays can be about extravagance. Don’t fall into this trap because if you overdecorate your home, it will overwhelm your guests. Keep it simple, elegant, and highlight a few chosen beautiful and special decorations so they become the star of the party. Not any distractions.

(photo of The State Dining Room at The White House)