A Librarian's Guide to Holiday Decorating

Home with Christmas Lights

Holiday decorating is a big deal.  There are TV shows about it, countless books about it, many stores that focus entirely on Christmas, and we pay to drive through holiday festivals of light.  We are only a few weeks away from Christmas and since I don’t put up a lot of decorations, I thought I would give you, the reading public, some advice on holiday decorating. 

Tip 1.  Take a minimalist approach – A friend of mine has adult children with their own families, so he doesn’t spend a lot of time decorating for Christmas.  His decorations are a tabletop Santa and some Christmas lights he wraps around his artificial ficus tree. His traumatic experience trying to wrap garland around the columns of his house when his children were young may have influenced this new approach.  Don’t feel selfish if you are decorating in a simple fashion.  All that matters is that you’re satisfied with it. If friends and family want you to have more, tell them to come decorate.

Tip. 2  Don’t forget about dollar storesGordon Gekko had it wrong.  Greed is not good, saving money is good.  If I lost you, you are not up on your Michael Douglas movies.  Having spent some time in Christmas outlet stores, I was amazed to see the array of Christmas decorations available at dollar stores.  Seeing all the stockings, wreaths, figurines, and more at Dollar Tree made me think to myself that I could decorate up a storm for pennies on the dollar.  Obviously, this won’t work for some people, but if you want a lot of STUFF and don’t want to spend a lot of MONEY, don’t overlook buying decorations at dollar stores.  You can mix it in with your more expensive stuff.

Tip 3.  Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – Sure, your neighbor may have a light display that is synchronized to the 12 Days of Christmas.  That doesn’t mean you have to match or best that.  For all you know, your neighbor may have to pawn his five golden rings to pay the light bill.  Enjoy your neighbor’s time and effort while you laugh all the way to the bank.

Home with Christmas Lights

Tip 4. Waste not, want not – Some people have a unifying theme to their decorations while others don’t.  Changing themes can mean replacing a lot of stuff (yard ornaments, outdoor lights, indoor lights, etc.).  Many of you may enjoy adding something new to your yard decorations every year.  Inflatable Santa may be right next to a nativity scene.  Good for you.   If Santa will still inflate, put him out there with the rest of your stuff.  He’s been in storage all year, so there's no reason to leave him in there.  If people don’t like your multifaceted display, tell them to close their eyes.

Home with Inflatable Ornaments

Tip 5.  Get ideas from the library – As I mentioned above, there are countless books about decorating for the holidays.  We have quite a collection of these books at the library.  If you’re looking for ideas, inspiration, or instructions on making your own decorations, check out the collection of books at the library.  I hope this blog entry made you smile and you have a happy and stress-free holiday season.