I may criticise the consumerist side of the holidays, but I’m a big fan of Christmas. I especially enjoy the decorations. I love turning my home into a brightly coloured shrine to Christmas if only to stave off the depression of an oncoming Canadian winter for a few more weeks.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated a few Christmas decorations. Most of my collection has been gleaned from excess decorations from family and friends, and some were purchased from discount stores like Target and Wal-Mart after the season had passed. It amounts to about two boxes worth of stuff. Those two boxes were the last things I had not yet brought to Halifax, and they are sitting safely tucked away in storage in my sister in law’s basement.
I had fully intended to bring them back with me the last time I visited New Brunswick, but I forgot! That means I won’t have my Christmas decorations for another full two weeks. I’m not going to buy new decorations in the meantime because that would be a waste of money, and the new decorations wouldn’t have the nostalgia value anyway. Instead, I’m going to put up some free minimalist Christmas decorations until I can get home and pick up my totes. Here’s where I’ll start:
This is my favourite way to decorate for any season. Just search “free Christmas printables” on Pinterest and you’ll be met with a variety of 8 x 10 designs that are available to print at home for free! I have several 8 x 10 frames around my home, so I just pop a few printables into those and boom, I’ve got ready-made and custom looking Christmas decor.
Another minimalist and free Christmas decor item: the paper snowflake. I spent a few hours several Sundays ago learning to make paper snowflakes using this tutorial, and now these snowflakes adorn my apartment windows. It cost me no money and was actually a fun little skill to learn.
Wreaths are another favourite minimalist Christmas decoration of mine. They make use of vertical space, you can compost them after, and they last a long time and make your home smell amazing. The last time I was in New Brunswick, my step-mother made me a small wreath (you’d think that would’ve jogged my memory about the decorations) which I’ve hung on our balcony, so guests can see it as they come to visit us. I love that little wreath, it’s like a cheerful guardian of my front door.
Construction Paper Garlands
These may seem a little juvenile to you but they really make a home feel more Christmas-y without having to spend a lot of money! For this one, I recommend enlisting the help of your child or niece or nephew if you’ve got it. It’ll make the whole project more fun. Bonus: at the end of the season these can be fully recycled so there is no need for storage.
Display Your Christmas Cards
Christmas cards (and letter writing in general) are a dying art. I remember my parents used to receive at least a dozen cards each year, and we’d tape them up all over the entryway. I still receive Christmas cards, and I’ve vowed to send some this year as well. I’ll be displaying mine by taping them to the column in my kitchen because displaying them is a great, way, minimalist way to up the Christmas factor in your home.
That’s it! Those are my ideas! If you use these ideas to decorate for Christmas you’ll have almost nothing to store at the end of the year and your home will feel festive throughout the holiday season. They also cost almost nothing, which is a nice bonus. Just add in a Balsam Fir candle and some Christmas music and you’ll be good to go!
Putting up these decorations only took a few hours of my time (except the snowflakes, but I just watched a movie while making those), which leaves you with more time to indulge in the important things about the holiday season: baking cookies, learning new games, and spending time with family and friends. Right now my husband is trying to teach me to play poker, so that I can play over the holidays, and I’ve been using online games to help me learn (read more here). I wouldn’t have time for these shenanigans if I was spending hours putting my Christmas decorations up!