While you might be busy shopping up a storm for Christmas presents for your family members, friends and work colleagues right now, as well as planning the menu for your Christmas Day meals, if you really want to get into the festive spirit this holiday season it pays to also think about fun and creative ways to dress up your presents, dining table, tree, and home. Read on for some tips you can follow in the lead up to Santa’s big day.
When it comes to wrapping Christmas gifts, you will up the thrill factor for the recipient if you get creative. For example, if you have young children, consider buying affordable Kraft or butcher paper and then have them decorate it with crayon drawings, paintings, woodblock or potato stamps, or stenciled pictures. This not only makes for unique wrapping paper, but also adds meaning because the kids have personalized it themselves.
Alternatively, when choosing the wrapping you will use on your gifts, consider using vintage Christmas wrapping paper, if you want to invoke a sense of nostalgia and fun; utilize beautiful tea towels; recycle lovely pieces of fabric you have in your cupboard; or pop gifts in boxes and then add a paper or lace doily on top. When buying gift wrap, you might like to consider layering too. For example, buy wrapping paper and toppers in various patterns but all in the same color family, like cool blues and green. This is a great way to create stylish-looking gifts without a huge effort.
To top off your gifts after you’ve wrapped them, look for creative ribbon choices. You don’t have to match your ribbon to the paper you’ve used; instead you can have some fun by putting checks and polka dots on flowery prints, or stripes on patterned papers. Alternatively, go through your cupboards to find leftover fabrics, and use them to trim your gifts instead of ribbons. You can also top presents with fresh greenery from your garden or glittered pinecones for some extra-sensory delight and a more rustic look.
If you’re looking for something creative when it comes to gift tags, think outside the box by pasting family photos onto card stock and leaving room for an additional message. This really personalizes gifts and makes them extra special.
Making Your Dining Table Shine
If you’re like most people planning to entertain their family and friends on Christmas day, you’re probably keen to set your dining room table in a way that really makes guests say “wow.” To get this reaction, it pays to think in layers. Use objects with different heights across your table, as this creates more interest. For example, you can use small votive candles interspersed with taller candlesticks, plus dinnerware layered on top of each other, different sized drinking glasses, and the like.
As well, think about using unexpected colors. While traditional red and green always looks festive, you can create a more memorable table setting by opting for a color palette made up of something like silver and gold tones, cool blue and crisp white pairings, or black and bright pink.
As for an interesting centre piece on your table, try out a Christmas pedestal – you can take a cupcake stand and wind tinsel, greenery, or vines around it, then top with pinecones and ornaments. Alternatively, fill a large clear vase or bowl and fill it with festive winter foods that also look gorgeous piled together, such as cranberries, walnuts, and kumquats.
Decorating Your Tree and Rest of Your Home
Of course, it’s also important to make an effort when decorating your Christmas tree and the rest of your home. A simple way to have a stand-out tree is to decorate it in a monochromatic color scheme, such as red and white ornaments only, or gold or silver.
Alternatively, for something a little different, think about turning your tree into a larger-than-life advent calendar. You might spread ornaments around the tree that are actually little pouches filled with small gifts or edible treats for your kids (or yourself!) to enjoy in the lead up to the big day; or place wooden, numbered ornaments around the tree to help with the countdown. If, on the other hand, you’d like to opt for a more pared down, international flavour, you could use a large bonsai plant (artificial or real) and decorate it with various Asian-inspired designs.
For the rest of your home, look for ways to decorate important areas such as your front door, mantle, and banister. Hang holiday cards and candy canes from windows and shelves; add a beautiful wreath to your entrance way (if you are sick of the traditional version, make or buy one that uses stuck-together tree ornaments instead of greenery); place pine cones, spruce, juniper, birch twigs, winterberry, and other natural dressings to your mantle; and wrap ribbons, tinsel, lights, paper bells, or vines around your banisters.