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Make a magical Christmas this year

Do you decorate every room in your home at Christmas? Or are decorations confined to the rooms visitors are received: the lounge and dining room and perhaps the entrance hall.

Opinion by Helen Devmac

This Christmas, why not bring the joy and spirit of Christmas to every room in your home, and maybe even outside.

For most of us, there is not much of a decision to be made when it comes to Christmas decorating, we simply reach for that box in the pantry or on top of the built-in cupboard for decorations which we have used again and again over the years.

Before my children came along I saw no need to splurge out on decorations for Christmas. With the arrival of our first child, we at last got into the spirit of Christmas, decorating our very first tree complete with lights and baubles.

Thereafter this became an important ritual at Christmas, and as the children grew, so too did our rather meagre collection of decorations, added to mostly by their art work at school. This collection covered the years from nursery school to the first few years at primary school.

These were by far the best and most prized Christmas decorations I have ever owned, the many reindeer and Santa’s sprigs of holly and pretty bells and angels graced my mantelpiece for over 15 years, along with pine cones and greenery from the garden.

You could see and feel the absolute passion for the joy of Christmas depicted in those simple drawings, done at a time when they still believed in the magic of Christmas and Santa. I was loathe to do away with my collection and held onto it long after the lustre had gone.

Get inspiration from old cards and wrapping paper
Christmas decorations have a very short life span, they are not meant to last, they are great fun for the whole family and help in creating that special atmosphere at Christmas, so you can go a little wild and be as flamboyant as you like while maintaining the general essence and spirit of Christmas. But it does help to decide on some sort of colour scheme, choosing colours that will compliment your existing décor.

If you are really lost for ideas, look at Christmases past and choose colours that have a meaning for you, perhaps something from your childhood or an heirloom. Get inspiration from old Christmas cards and gift wrapping paper. And remember, that Christmas decorations do not have to be expensive to look good, they can be as simple as a wreath of garden greenery wound round a wire circle and secured with red ribbon and calico, hung at your main entrance. The greenery theme can be repeated on your hall table and mantelpiece, inter space this with pine cones and red berries and red ribbon, repeat this theme throughout the house, and voilà! You have Christmas decorations!

Visualise different colours to get a harmonised theme
My son returning for Christmas with friends from college one year announced that we had all outgrown nursery school art décor and brought in new decorations which have become the mainstay of my present collection. Needless to say, I have archived my collection of beautiful memories for posterity. And I might add that it makes good sense to go with what you have as a rule, but if you are starting out with your decorations this year or are at a crossroads with your decorations as I was a few Christmases back, what do you have to consider?

Go round the shops looking at what is on offer, like different fabric designs and patterns and try visualising these different colours and textures in your own space. If your home has warm colours, it would be best to go for red and gold rather than the icy tones of silver and white. If you are going to decorate the whole house from entrance hall to bedrooms, you want a harmonised theme, you can’t have silver and white in the entrance hall and then go off on a tangent in the lounge and dining room with red and green.

A lot of importance is placed on the tree as the centrepiece, so will it be the real thing or faux? You have to decide at the outset what sort of effect you want to achieve with your tree, busy with everything thrown in or very sparse and stylish. If you have a whole lot of tree decorations which you have used from year-to-year and want to use them all, that’s perfectly in order provided you have something that runs through tying up everything, like gold tinsel only or perhaps red only. And where you chose to stick to a particular colour scheme and go for perfectly matched ornaments, ensure that you use different textures sizes and shapes to create a design that is interesting and stylish.

To get the right look with your decorations, go with a colour scheme that will match everything else in the room: the walls, the furniture and carpeting. There is now so much diversity in decorations and real outstanding colour combinations too, no longer are red green, blue , silver and gold the staples, there are far more interesting combinations; lime green and turquoise, brown and gold, pink and green to name but a few. So go on and make Christmas magical this year.

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