Christmas Decor-Simplifying the Season

Christmas Decor-Simplifying the Season

It’s official.  We are not putting up a Christmas tree this year.  YIKES!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday to decorate for.  However, my husband and I decided that we would try a year with out one, and we wouldn’t buy any new decorations to create our Christmas cheer.  All this in an effort to simplify an otherwise crazy season, and practice my concepts of Slow Home (Slow, Simple, Sustainable, Personal & Beautiful). Being a designer, this of course is a challenge.  Plus, I feel the added pressure of keeping our grand daughter thoroughly enthralled when she comes to visit as her other two grandmothers have trees!  And, being that she loves bling, the lights are a BIG hit.  OK, so there might be a bit of competition here, I’ll admit it.  And, I can do this…I do love challenges.

It turns out that I was half way there as the color scheme in our home is terra cotta, red, navy, emerald, tangerine and gold (at least in the dining, living area), and that feels like Christmas already!  So, I focused on adding lots of little white lights; with an abundance of natural greens from the ranch; a few gold, red and green ornaments; Cranberries, oranges, tangerines and nuts; and I spread it all throughout the house.  Then I baked some highly decorative cookies.  I turned on my itunes Christmas play list…and, the end result…our home feels like Christmas:    

  • sparkly lights
  • the smell of pine
  • an abundance of good cheer
  • touches of Christmas everywhere
  • we spent no money
  • it took me three hours total to set up
  • And clean up…will be a breeze!

Not everyone has a traditional Christmas Color Decor…so for those of you who don’t, check out the slideshow video below.  There are lots of cool ideas from simple to traditional in as many color stories.  I’m betting you can find something that works for you.

What can you do to simplify your holiday season?  Please leave me a comment, I’d really like to know!




  1. DeeAnne 11 years ago

    What a wonderful idea Irene! I didn’t have a tree last year, and thought I might die. This would have absolutely saved me!

    (and as one grandmother to another, VERY brave!)


  2. Sharon Hiebing 11 years ago

    So pretty, Irene! You’re giving me some ideas for what I can do here on the island to decorate our tree w/ out spending a fortune since we have a ton of them that will be coming over next year from our storage unit. Good stuff!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Follow Your Dream Compass

  3. Pat Zahn 11 years ago

    beautiful pix…I love the oranges and cloves, scents that speak Christmas for me. We finally went fake this year. We usually go and cut down our tree and it’s a big deal, but last year was the last straw with our allergies. We went to the store and had the guy take our picture in “the forest”. I’ve been simplifying every year by not bringing out all of my 5 boxes of Christmas decorations.

    Pat Zahn, Photo Solutions Superhero

  4. Pat Zahn 11 years ago

    Beautiful pix…I love the oranges and cloves – I can just smell them and that says Christmas to me! This year we went fake – last years allergies were the final straw. Since we usually go and cut down our tree so we had the man at the store take our picture in “the forest”. I’ve been simplifying every year by not putting all of my 5 boxes of Christmas decorations out.

    Pat Zahn, Photo Solutions Superhero

  5. Julie Labes 11 years ago

    Man I wish I had read this before I spent 10 hours decorating the tree, putting up the Christmas lights and all the other Christmas stuff this past weekend.I was exhausted! But the kids love it so I guess until they fly the coop, I am pretty much resigned. Your home looks and sounds just sounds gorgeous.

  6. Judy Stone-Goldman 11 years ago

    Love the images. I can practically smell the scents. Your decorations are so beautiful–are they child friendly? I love getting to appreciate the holiday through others’ eyes.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer

  7. Brandy Mychals 11 years ago

    I’m open to going out for Holiday dinners which really simplifies…I’m not getting my way with that this year, but someday! I’ve done it in the past when I traveled and it was E-A-S-Y!
    Brandy Mychals
    Split Second Perceptions

  8. Rob Wallis 11 years ago

    Some really beautiful ideas here. Since we moved into our enormous (for us) house last year, we have been struggling with so much space to decorate and wondering if a large tree was a good idea. We compromised on two 4 ft trees that my wife and I could decorate to our own taste.Especially love the white!

  9. Louise Edington 11 years ago

    We go for as much bling and glitz as possible but the kids love it so we do it for them. I’m sure our outside (all white) lights can be seen from space – lol. When they are gone I shall modify and simplify 🙂
    Louise Edington
    Facing Fears and Frontiers Over Fifty

  10. Donna McCord 11 years ago

    Just loved reading and watching this, Irene! You are so creative and talented! You made it sound so easy what you did with your home, but I have to believe it is only easy if you have the talent to do what you did! I have tried to simplify a bit this year by going through all the boxes of ornaments and decorations and getting rid of the stuff I have had for so many years that is kind of shoddy now; can’t do without the tree, though, but plan to keep it more simple, too. Love having lots of lights twinkling everywhere!

  11. Jen Sako 11 years ago

    Nice! What I have done to simplify and to beautify our Christmas decorating is to only use our decorations that have meaning to us. I have thrown out any cheap, plastic decorations that I have grabbed out of a clearance bin at a after-holiday sale. Now we only have our beautiful crystal, glass, fine china and silver ornaments that have been given to us as gifts over the years. I actually look forward to pulling each one out of its gift box or velvet bag and remembering who gave it to us and why.

  12. KathyAlice 11 years ago

    My Christmas decorations will be hanging up a Christmas jewel tree my Grandmother made. It’s costume jewelery on framed velvet in the shape of a tree with small lights. And attaching Christmas cards on a ribbon. Should take about a half hour unless the lights don’t work! BTW. Irene, great video. May I suggest a video about decorating in small spaces, ie. window boxes, shelves .. you already have pictures that would work with that theme.

  13. Jennifer Duchene 11 years ago

    Irene loved what you did. Especially your beautiful spiced pomanders. This year we will not have a tree either. We usually buy very little new stuff, just a tree. I have chosen to limit my decorations to a few memory and found items. The video was so much fun too. It is amazing what we can do with gathering and reusing. I love your slow philosophy. Life is better when savoured!

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress

    Jennifer Duchene

  14. Rachel Blaufeld 11 years ago

    The simplicity of your decorations make them even more sparkling! I can smell the scents all the way here –

    I would love to something like this for Hanukkah…I love the feel of a festive., warm house and the smell of candle wax and potato pancakes is not enough. Any ideas?

    • Author
      Irene Turner 11 years ago

      OH yes, Rachel, Hanukkah is the festival of lights…I’d use little white lights everywhere…bunched up in Glass vases, around mirrors, and even wreaths, perhaps out of red berries or gold balls that your menorah sits in the middle of. Of course flowers, like branches with red berries, perhaps lights on those. An interesting way to celebrate the light in our lives!

  15. Rachel Lavern 11 years ago

    Lovely demonstration of how one can beautify their home with the spirit of Christmas without buying and setting up a tree.

    Rachel Lavern
    Personal Transformation, Enlightenment and Development

  16. Fiona Stolze 11 years ago

    This was great to read. I love the sound of your home in all those gorgeous tones. Yum! Thanks for all the tips.

    Fiona Stolze

  17. Wonderful Irene! I haven’t had a tree in a couple of years. What I did was take the favorite tree decorations and use them around the house rather than on the tree. Satisfied my “need” for continuing traditions and kept decorating to a minimum!

    Candace C. Davenport ~ Little Books with a Big Messsage

    • Author
      Irene Turner 11 years ago

      Good for you Candace. I missed a couple of years with trees because of travel, but I can’t say I would do it every year. It’s just fun to shake it up every now and then

  18. Robbie Schlosser 11 years ago

    Thanks for this beautiful post! I enjoyed reading how you transform a tradition, while retaining the festive holiday spirit. After all, it isn’t everyone who brings a tree into their home to celebrate something. Wonderful to observe an expert create new and exciting decor, appealing to vision as well as aroma. I’m sure there’s plenty of holiday tastes around there, but how about something for sounds and touch?

    • Author
      Irene Turner 11 years ago

      ALWAYS! I love all the senses. I have a fabulous mix of traditiona, international and new Christmas songs piped through the house and as for touch, the whole house is filled with yummy fabrics from velvets, to faux fur, etc. One must keep balanced after all

  19. Lisa Ann Landry 11 years ago

    What I’m doing this year to simplify my holiday season is go spend the holidays with friends and family. I’m letting somebody else do the decorating this year. Loved your slide show. Its giving me ideas!

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating Positive Energy


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