Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Decorating Inspiration

My very own "source book"
Several of you looked at all the photos of my Christmas decorations this week and said that you were going to use some of my ideas. I'll be honest and say that that thrilled me to no end.

Each person's mind works differently. Mine happens to like mulling over how to arrange furniture in a room or how to decorate that room for Christmas. I don't know why it does, I just appreciate it and work with it.

I thought you might like seeing how I come up with many of my ideas for Christmas decorations-- and since I'm a reader, it should come as no surprise that it involves a book.

Above right you see my very own source book of Christmas ideas, created from a large 11x8 hardbound blank journal. Several years ago, I used to buy/ subscribe to many interior design magazines, and I'd tear out and keep articles and photographs that appealed to me. I've since stopped gorging on magazines-- except for Christmas-themed ones-- but keeping all those pages loose in a few hanging files just wasn't working for me. Pasting them in a book does work.

[As usual for my posts, you can click on any of the photos to view them in a larger size in new windows.]

Idea that needs tweaking
I tend to group the photos according to the rooms in my house, and I leave blank pages throughout so the sections have room to grow.

Sometimes-- like on the page to the left-- I see something I like, but I know it won't quite work in my own space. I still keep the photo because sooner or later (after looking at it several times and allowing my mind to percolate) I'll come up with a solution that works.

I've found that that "percolation" is important; it can lead to some of my best ideas-- like turning a "Fibber McGee closet" into an entertainment center. (You can see it in Photo #25 in my previous post.)

Don't know what I'm going to do with these... yet!

Just as important in the whole process are the pages that contain things that I like... I just don't know what I'm going to do with them yet. I don't even know what room they should be in. My decorating isn't static; it changes from year to year as a few decorations fall from favor and I decide to try out new ideas.

Planning and preparation!

In August or September, I turned the pages of my source book and looked at all the illustrations. Then I sat out by the pool with a clipboard on my knee, watching the birds chase each other around. From memory, I thought of the decorations I had and began to put them in place, room by room. I wrote this all down, a room per page, and as I wrote, I thought of changes that I wanted to incorporate, items that I wanted to make using supplies I had on hand. I wrote all this down, too. Writing it makes it real. At least in my mind!

Already making plans for next year!

What's fun is seeing something that makes my heart beat a little faster because I know that's something I just have to do next Christmas-- like the photo of the tree above. I love doing "theme trees", and I'm already making plans for a Flower Power tree for 2012. It has the possibility of rivaling my favorite "Birdie" tree, which I decorate in honor of my grandmother (and is called the Birdie tree because of a friend's two-year-old daughter who saw it, fell in love with it, and exclaimed, "Birdies! Birdies!" for the rest of the afternoon).

One of the best compliments I have ever received was given to me by my mother the first year she put me in charge of Christmas decorations. Mom loved her Aunt Mary Ann dearly, and Mary Ann was a woman who loved Christmas. Her entire house was Christmas in both looks, smells, sounds, and the spirit of the family who crowded in on Christmas Day. As Mom walked through our house looking at everything I'd done, tears glistened in her eyes. All she said was, "Mary Ann lives." There was no need for her to say more. I cherish those words to this day.

I seem to be genetically wired to indulge myself in the holiday season, and I'm lucky to be married to a man who appreciates my passion.

I hope my Christmas decorating idea book has been helpful to some of you. (Let's face it-- it's something that would work for any holiday.) If any of you ever feel like sharing ideas or asking questions, I'm more than happy to chatter away!

Ho, ho, ho! Oooooooooooh, look at that! I could make that a bit smaller and put it on the buffet table to the left of ................................


  1. Your Christmas decorations are certainly a labor of love.

  2. was like a Martha Stewart hint!! I am going to start my book this year. I can even hit Bookman's for old magazines over break. I foresee a classroom book idea in there too.

    Thanks for the practical hint and inspiration. This looks fun.

  3. I can see the idea is useful, but with daughers at 21 and 25 no one asks us, the parents, what should go where. They know exactly what our house should look like in December, and we´d better not interfere ;)

  4. This source book is a great idea for all kinds of projects!

  5. Kathy-- It's good to have at least one labor that can be done with love.

    IAB-- You should never have mentioned Bookman's old magazines. I'd forgotten about that, and I live very close to a Bookman's!

    Dorte-- Sounds as though you have a system that works... good for you!

    Debbie-- Yes, it is, and since I can't seem to keep my hands off blank journals, I always have something to use as a base for a project! LOL


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