Decorating for a Victorian Christmas
You don’t have to choose to decorate your home in the traditional bright colors associated with Christmas. If you prefer a Victorian Christmas theme in your home year round, you can also keep that style in your holiday decorating. Using Victorian decorations to dress your home for Christmas adds an air of subdued glamour and quiet elegance.
The first step when you decide to decorate in a Victorian style is to choose your main color. Most of the main colors in Victorian style decorating are softer colors. They are colors that would remind you of stately old mansions.
The most popular main colors are cranberry, a light blue, pale pink or a beautiful sage green. Once you’ve chosen what your main color will be, just like you choose accent colors for the decorations in your home, you’ll need to select an accent color.
The accent color will keep the main color from being too overwhelming. You don’t want an entirely pink Victorian theme or one that’s all sage green and nothing else. The results will end up gaudy instead of grand.
Accent colors work with the main colors and are usually soft silver or muted gold. They are never the brassy gold or bright silver. Remember the Victorian Christmas look has a misty feel to it, like a soft, very faint fog rolling in off the mountains on a cool autumn morning.
Any type of Christmas tree can be turned into a Victorian theme with the right decorations so don’t worry about the kind of tree you have or plan to buy. In keeping with the Victorian theme, for your tree skirt, you’re going to want to use a lace or crocheted one. You can find either material in the colors to match either your main or your accent color.
One of the loveliest decorations on any Victorian tree are the Christmas balls covered in lace or the crocheted ones. Along width the Christmas balls, use wire ribbon threaded from the bottom to the top of the Christmas tree.
Many of the decorations used in Victorian times featured paper decorations trimmed in soft gold and hung by fine gold string. You can find those same paper decorations today in the forms of carousel rocking horses and other designs.
The Victorian Christmas theme was also big on the use of tassels so use tassels in your decorating theme. Use table runners with tassels, use thin rope tassels to tie around your holiday napkins or use them to hold back your drapes.
For wall decorations, you can use shadow boxes filled with bits of Victorian decorating such as old photos, scraps of lace, old letters. You can find the material to make Victorian shadow boxes at most craft or online stores.
Christmas Holiday Décor Griswold Style
If you’re one of the millions of people in the world who absolutely love every single second of the Christmas season, you are not alone. In a recent newspaper survey, this holiday is listed as the favorite holiday for most people. It’s easy to understand why. Each year, there’s a childlike magic that hangs in the air thanks to Christmas holiday décor that sets the mood for people of every age.
Decorating Griswold style can be an illuminating experience. The Griswolds are the family in the movie Vacation Christmas starring Chevy Chase – a favorite for those who love goofball comedies that make you smile. They decorate their home in an over-the-top fashion and go to great lengths to outdo all of the neighbors.
The holidays are a time to be enjoyed, a time to pull out all the stops and go to whatever lengths we want to go to when we decorate inside and outside of our homes. You can have a Griswold Christmas with just a little bit of planning.
Decorating is a fun activity that the entire family can get involved with and the more décor the better. This holiday only comes around once a year, so you might as well enjoy it while it’s here.
What does it mean to decorate Griswold style? It means that whatever decorations you put up indoors or out, you can always picture exactly where something else can be added and you add that item.
Decorating like this is having a home that’s full to the brim with lights and other decorations that bring you lots of Christmas cheer. And who says lights are just for the tree or outside the house?
Let your inner kid have a ball decorating this year and don’t worry about any conventional methods of decorating. Don’t worry about what the neighbors think. It’s your holiday and you deserve to decorate as you see fit. Kids love the houses they see decorated Griswold style and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit that it appeals to the kid in you, too.
People who decorate their homes with an abundance of decorations are not trying to one up the neighbors and they’re not trying to set any records for the amount of stuff they can set out for one holiday. They’re simply decorating the way the live their lives – exuberantly and to the fullest extent.
To decorate Griswold style, leave no corner inside your home undecorated. Even the hallway should abound with Christmas décor. Don’t leave up the same old curtains you use every day.
Take those down and hang holiday curtains with prancing reindeer, cheery snowmen or jolly old St. Nick. Make sure your table is always set with holiday dishes just waiting for a scrumptious meal.
Outside your house, cover everything in lights and make sure there’s a holiday display set up on every possible inch of lawn. Make sure you have room to get between the displays to take care of any bulbs that blow. Once you get everything mapped out the way you like it, light it up! Christmas holiday décor can be tame and elegant, sure – but if you want to have tons of fun and see people smile as they drive by, go overboard for once.
Christmas Decorating for an Elegant Look
Everyone loves the thought of an elegant holiday, but without a background in Christmas decorating, it’s hard to know exactly how to go about making your own holiday have that elegant look.
With the tips listed below, you can have the kind of décor you’ve always wanted. Elegance equals unity. This is where many people go wrong when decorating for Christmas. They simply use too many colors – and while that might turn out to be eye catching, it’s distracting and busy.
You want the colors to work together and cool colors are always more elegant than warmer ones. For example, red and green decorations, while traditional Christmas colors, when placed together, don’t project an air of elegance.
The top two choices for elegant color are gold or white or gold and white together. You need to go with those colors throughout your home – one smooth color scheme. It may seem like white won’t look very inviting or seem very much like Christmas, but wait until you have it all together and you’ll be amazed.
On your walkway outside, use white luminaries along the walkway and leading up to the front steps or porch. For elegance in electric lighting, never pick the bigger lights. Opt for the smaller ones inside – and yes, even outside your home.
Have you ever noticed how some restaurants use those tiny white Christmas lights all year round? That’s because those lights project an elegant dining experience. When you’re placing lights on your tree, use the smaller lights and use as many strands as your tree can comfortably hold.
Instead of choosing poinsettias as your flower to decorate with, choose dozens of white roses and put them in delicate glass vases throughout your house. For a table centerpiece, place white pillar candles on a mirror base. Cover the edges of the base with gold or white ribbon.
Decorate the corners of the rooms with different wrapped gifts. Make sure the gifts are wrapped in gold paper and tied with white ribbon bows or do the opposite. Wrap the gifts in white paper and use gold ribbon to form the bows.
Take a collection of Christmas balls in white (or gold if you’re working with two colors) and place them in a large, heavy glass bowl. Place the bowl in the center of your coffee table.
Replace all of the different colored guest towels in each of your bathroom with thick white ones. Lay a small hand towel beside each sink and place a gold ribbon around the middle of it.
When it’s time to serve the meal, serve the food on only white dishes or gold ones. If you use place cards, use white cards with gold calligraphy writing. When you’re finished with your Christmas decorating, your home will have that elegance you’ve been striving to achieve.
Christmas Decorating Ideas for Indoors and Outdoors
The nip is in the air and it’s time to light up those fireplaces, make some hot cocoa and get the Christmas decorating ideas flowing. So put on some cheerful holiday tunes from your favorite Christmas CDs and let’s get started. Where should you begin?
Since the outside of your home is the very first sight people see, you can start there and work your way inside the home or you can work from the inside out – whichever direction you take really isn’t as important as getting the job done.
Outside of your house, if you’re putting decorations on your rooftop – things like waving Santa or Santa in his sleigh or the lighted, animated reindeer, start there first. You’ll want to put them up before you string the lights.
And remember if you have a really large amount of displays you’d like to put up, you don’t have to get it all done in one day. Don’t exhaust yourself. Next, hang the lights, the icicle lights are a hot selling item this year and look great on any home. Once you have the lights in place, don’t forget to wrap the ends where they connect with tape to keep any moisture from getting in.
After the lights are done, you can start on the bushes or trees in your front yard. The net lights make decorating small to medium hedge bushes a breeze and the cool to touch LED lights are good in trees.
If you have taller evergreens, you can decorate them like you would an indoor tree, complete with lighted gift boxes beneath the tree. When the trees are finished, set up each display in an area of your yard. As you go along, constantly test for any lights that fail to light. You don’t want to get everything hooked up and then have to begin the hunt for a burned out or broken bulb.
Line your walkway with the lollipop decorations (especially if you’re aiming for a gingerbread house theme) or candy canes-whatever you like. Put poinsettias by the front door and don’t forget to decorate the mailbox with a holiday covering.
Inside the house, decorate the mantle with garland (fresh or artificial boughs either one) and then if you’re going for a traditional look, you can weave miniature lights through the garland. If you’re aiming for a country Christmas or a Victorian Christmas, instead, loop strings of cranberry beads so that they dangle down in small loops from the top of the mantle.
Set out your Christmas villages and if you don’t have a collection of them, now is the time to start. They bring a certain nostalgia and are a lot of fun to set up. The lighted ones are perfect with any kind of theme.
If you want a complete holiday décor inside, don’t forget to replace your rugs with ones in holiday colors or with ones that have holiday decorations on them. There are many different Christmas decorating ideas you can choose from – the key to success is in taking time to plan it out.
Indoor and Outdoor Christmas Decorations
The leaves are changing colors and there’s a bite to the wind that blows. When you stop and pause outside, you can smell the difference in the air. The holidays are coming! Get ready to get up in the attic and get those indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations down and head to the store for some new ones, too. It’s time to get started on decorating the rooms of your home and your lawn and rooftop so that’s they’re dressed in their holiday best.
There are many fabulous indoor Christmas decorations and great ways to showcase those decorations. If you’ve been doing the same thing every year, traditions are good, but you can also bring in a few new ways of decorating inside.
We’ve all seen the pine cones spray painted gold or silver and the green garland draped over the fireplace, but you can rev that up a few notches to make your decorations really catch the eye.
Do you have a favorite Christmas collection? Some people collect Santa figurines, some collect snowmen and some people collect Christmas villages. This year, take down anything that’s not Christmas related (including pictures on the walls) instead of just adding Christmas decorations to existing inner décor.
It does take some extra work, but the end result is a gorgeous winter wonderland. Think of those year ‘round Christmas shops where you step in the door and you feel like you’ve been transplanted into a different world. That’s the magic you want to capture for your own home.
If you have a fireplace, keep the decorations simple on it. A swag of garland wrapped with cranberries and tied at each end with a brightly colored bow works. On the top of the mantle, set either tapered candles or the shorter ones on flat ceramic tiles. Use candle glue on the base of the candle to keep them from leaning.
You can use ribbon bows as curtain tie backs, poinsettias as stair decorations, eucalyptus pieces in vases or as a wall wreath (and the scent is fragrant). There are many possibilities to decorate inside your home. But don’t forget the outdoor Christmas decorations for your home, too! Your home’s curb appeal is what greets visitors first.
Decide if you want to use inflatable decorations or decorations made from other types of outdoor material. There are a lot of products to choose from and if you’re not sure exactly what you want, take a drive out to your county park. Many county parks put up huge outdoor Christmas displays and you can pick up a few ideas there.
You can have a variety of displays or you can choose your outdoor Christmas decorations according to a theme. For example, one home was dressed up as Santa’s workshop and each display featured some aspect of a workshop.
There were elves working on toys, elves baking cookies, some checking the naughty and nice list for Santa, and so on! Whatever decorating choices you make for inside or outside of your home, you don’t have much time left until Christmas, so get those decorations ready!
Beloved Christmas Characters You Can Weave Into Your Décor
Decorate your home for Christmas just the way you want it. If you’ve always loved all things Santa, then liberally decorate your home with the jolly symbols of the holiday – Christmas characters.
On your fireplace, instead of hanging up regular stockings decorated with names, hang stockings decorated with St. Nick. Use Santa Claus stocking holders to keep them in place. An FYI, there are beautiful vintage Santa stockings available for purchase.
Gather wooden Santa figurines – you can find these in a variety of sizes from many different materials and place these in groups all over your home. You can tuck them into a corner on a bathroom cabinet or group them together in a basket on the back of your toilet if you’re the type who decorates the bathroom, too!
Put up Christmas cards with Santa on them or display them on your mantel or entertainment center. Prop up vintage Santa postcards among your Christmas decorations. Use Santa quilts on the arm of your sofa to snuggle beneath or hang them from your wall.
Put out pillows on the sofa with prints of Santa. In the dining room, cover the table with a Santa tablecloth. At your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner, use Santa snow globes as place markers. On the tree, hang hand painted Santa ornaments and Christmas balls with images of Santa on them.
If you prefer to decorate your home with Frosty the snowman, you can collect snowmen and line them up on wooden shelves in the living room or on a fireplace mantel or on top of your piano. You can stack Frosty collectibles in a snowman painted wooden bowl.
In the kitchen, you can serve drinks in Frosty the Snowman glasses or serve the traditional Santa cookies on Frosty the Snowman snack plates. By the front door, you can have a Frosty greeter – a three foot wooden replica of the beloved snowman.
Make sure it’s in a corner so that if something bumps against it, if it falls over, it won’t be damaged. Set up medium sized Frosty the Snowman collectibles around the bottom of the Christmas tree.
One of most beloved of all Christmas decorating characters among children and adults alike is that of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. This much loved character first came to be back in 1939.
The popular reindeer was written in a story by an employee of Montgomery Ward. If you love decorating with Rudolph, you can buy Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ornaments to hang on your tree.
You can also find Rudolph collectible figurines to arrange around your home. There are Rudolph personalized ornaments, Rudolph stockings and even Rudolph pulling Santa’s sleigh displays for your yard. Look for a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas skirt to drape around the bottom of your tree.
Choose the Christmas characters that remind you of childhood and go all out working them into your holiday décor!
Christmas Cottage Décor You Can Grow Over Time
Every time the holidays roll around, stores start putting out decorations that put consumers in the mood to shop. Christmas cottage scenes are one of the most popular collectibles for consumers – and it’s something you can grow over time and pass down to your heirs.
The Christmas cottage scenes are very warm and welcoming and can be placed all around your home or gathered in one place for visitors and guests to admire. It creates a miniature scene from a Dickens tale and you feel transported to a winter wonderland in an instant.
Some of the Christmas cottages that you can buy are animated, and you’ll see children ice skating around a glowing blue pond while holiday music plays gently in the background. Others might show a sleigh circling around a snowy mountain with jingle bells sounding off from the horses.
These holiday villages often have many different elements to them. There are homes with smoke billowing from the chimney and a scene you can see through the window of a family gathering to carry on traditions.
You might start off with a single village scene and add a new one to it each and every year. You can buy Ebenezer Scrooge’s House or a collection of Christmas cottages that play up Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas tale.
Some of the Christmas villages are antique in nature, taking you back to the old days – while others have a more modern flair to them. Most are porcelain materials, so you have to be very careful not to let children play roughly with them – but there are sets that are made of less breakable materials, too.
One of the most popular Christmas village scenes is that from the movie called A Christmas Story. You can buy the Bumpus house, Ralphie out in the snow, and even the department store where he professes his desire to own a Red Rider BB Gun to the store Santa.
These Christmas cottage scenes are priceless because they bring you to a different world. They often end up being worth quite a bit over time, too. Display them in your own unique fashion.
Some people place fake snow beneath and around the scene to offset it from other decorations in the house. One woman used her fireplace with a glass fireplace screen to set up a soft light shining down on her prized village scene. The possibilities are limitless!
Creating the Perfect Christmas Scene for Your Mantel
A fireplace mantel is the perfect place to display a Christmas scene. There are many different styles you can choose from – you can go with traditional or try something a little different this year.
What kind of décor are you decorating in for Christmas? Down home country? Elegant? Eco? The style you choose for your main décor should also be reflected in your mantel scene.
For many people, the mantel scene is usually a nativity scene complete with a manger, animals and several figurines. Nativity sets are beautiful and there are many you can choose from.
If you get a nativity set that’s made of aged wood, this would work well with a country décor. Also in keeping with a country décor, you can use a narrow sleigh filled with boughs of green, pine cones and presents wrapped in red gingham.
Another way to decorate the mantel is in what’s called primitive style by using boughs of real garland, fruit and primitive figurines. You can find primitive Santa figurines by scouring the online Christmas stores.
Or if you would rather have snowmen, you can decorate the mantel with primitive snowmen made from muslin or wood. Some people confuse the primitive style with the country style of decorating but they are not the same. Primitive has more of an early 1900s feel to it. You would easily be able to find some of the decorations in homes from your great grandmother’s generation.
You can set your mantel scene up to reflect scenes from other cultures. For example, if you had Chinese ornaments on your Christmas tree, your mantel would look fantastic with paper lanterns and small bowls housing Christmas balls.
In the center, you could take a photo holder – one of the ones in the shape of a miniature tree-and you could hang ornaments with Chinese writing on the branches. You can find Chinese ornaments wishing the buyer joy or luck or wealth.
A snow village is another holiday scene you could grace your mantel with. If you’re worried about getting the confetti snow on your floor, you can use cotton balls to create a snow effect.
But don’t just stick the cotton balls up as is. Instead, gently pull apart the cotton balls and thin them out. Decorate the mantle with Christmas village homes and businesses and set them up so that they’re lighted. You’ll have a great focal point and the soft light will add a nice touch.
For a more elegant mantel Christmas scene, hang a square mirror above your fireplace mantel. Place tapered silver or gold candles inside of hurricane lanterns. In the middle of the mantel, place a short vase full of white roses. Use silver beading pearls entwined with real garland to hang from the front of the mantel.
Ways to Use Garland in Your Holiday Décor
Many years ago the first inhabitants to arrive in America brought with them the tradition of making garland to use in decorating their homes as well as making garland to sell. The materials to make up the garland were furnished by nature.
Evergreen branches, leaves and berries were woven together to form lovely decorations for the home. Later, with the introduction of artificial materials, garlands were easier to make and would last for years instead of just one season.
Like the settlers, you can decorate with garland and give your home some holiday cheer that’s sure to bring a glow of satisfaction when you see it. Garland no longer comes in only silver or gold.
Now, you can find garland in natural green, multi-colors, blue, red and a host of many other colors. Whatever your Christmas theme is, there’s sure to be a garland color that will complement it.
If you prefer to decorate your house with softer colors, you can also find garland in pale mauve and other pastel hues. Thanks to the artificial garland, you can use it outside your home too without fear of inclement weather since it can hold up in those rare rainy December days or nights.
Inside your home, you can use the natural green garland on top of your fireplace. Lay it across the mantle stretched from end to end. You can cut pieces of garland to make appear fuller.
Get the garland that has a thin wire in it so you can bend it and shape it. Tuck red holly berries among the garland and wrap pieces of it around the bottoms of Christmas candles. Garland can also be used on top of curtain rods in any room to bring in a touch of Christmas.
If you live in a house or apartment with an upstairs living area, you can twine garland through the spirals of the stairs along the banisters. Intersperse the garland with lights for added punch.
You can also use garland on your Christmas tree if you have an artificial tree and the limbs show the middle rod of the tree. You can wrap the natural green garland around the rod of the tree and it gives the tree a fuller appearance. The different colors of garland can be looped around your Christmas tree to give it that dazzling effect.
Outside your house, the garland can be wrapped around the columns of your porch or across the porch railing. You can find real or artificial potted Christmas trees. Decorate one with ornaments and light, finish it off with garland and set it by your front door for a touch of Christmas for all your guests to see as they arrive.