Home Christmas “Simple Christmas”: Simplify Decorating

“Simple Christmas”: Simplify Decorating

by Kelly Crawford

I love the ambiance of Christmas decor, soft lights and beautiful music. But if ever a society has gotten caught up in overdoing a thing, surely it is decorating for Christmas.

My husband and I pass jokes back and forth when we drive around at Christmas time about how we are going to rush to the store to buy giant, inflatable yard things. (Sorry if you like those!) I’m no Scrooge, nor have we decided to stop celebrating Christmas as “doctrinally-exact” Christians, but I think a hard look at common sense in this area can greatly improve our enjoyment of the season.

Some of us, I think, just need permission to simplify. Status quo can make us do all the things we’re “supposed” to do meanwhile zapping us of joy trying to keep up. I’m guilty. But if I’ve learned anything this past six months, being displaced from all that is normal home life, it’s to “let go” if necessary, and focus on the important things.

And the important things at Christmas are the same important things any other time–people and seeking to live a life that glorifies God. That’s our litmus test!

One of the things we lost everything of in the storm was our Christmas decorations. This was one of the saddest things for my husband, particularly, because before his mother died, she had given him all his childhood ornaments–lots of them. Of course they were stored in the attic, which was the first to blow away.

However, despite the sadness, I have found it so freeing to not have anything and kind of “start from scratch”. It looks like we won’t be in our new home before Christmas, so after I got over that disappointment, I decided to enjoy the simplicity of our decorations here. We bought a small tree for this tiny home, and the kids have made homemade paper snowflakes to put on it.

Alexa had made a lovely Christmas sign from old barn wood that looks perfect hanging on the wall, and we gathered some wild, red berries and have hung them here and there. They enjoyed doing all the decorating. I would prefer more candles, if we had surfaces on which to put them, but for now we’ll enjoy these things. An important note: my kids could not be more jolly or excited with these humble decorations as they would be with a winter wonderland. They gasped just the same when we first lit up our little tree and they sit around it and stare, and keep making things to hang on it. *Contented sigh*

So, for your simplicity inspiration, here are a few ideas to make home feel festive without spending too much time, money and energy…

Candles, candles, candles. Nothing adds warmth, beauty and Christmas cheer as easily and quickly as candles.

For our little table decoration, the girls gathered some long, slender limbs,  several bunches of limbs with red berries, and some limbs with small greenery, stuck them in a quart-sized mason jar and tied with a cute red ribbon. It was such a sweet, simple addition to our table.



Ahhh….white lights. White lights make everything dreamy. I want to do this over the door of our new home, even though we’re not there. Kind of like “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel” kind of thing. Most Christmases, we just string some white lights and set out some candles…simple bliss.

One more white light idea I can’t wait to use year-round: white lights behind a row of mason jars.

These are simple ideas, I know. Tis the point 😉


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6 arrows December 2, 2011 - 1:09 am

Such beautiful pictures in these “Simple Christmas” posts, Kelly! I love the ideas too!

So sorry about the loss of your Christmas decorations, especially those from your husband’s childhood. Lots of treasured memories there, I’m sure.

You’re making memories right now, though, that will have special meaning in the future. You and your husband and kids will look back at this Christmas and say, “Remember Christmas the year of the tornado when we had this…and did this…?” and so on. I think you’ll find that you’ll have fond memories of this simple and unique Christmas.

Blessings to you as you focus on God’s innumerable gifts to us!

tascha.piatt December 2, 2011 - 10:26 am

beautifully said. I am sorry for the loss of those special ornaments. my mother sends our children a new ornament each year that they LOVE to get out and remember the next year.

we have very simple decor for Christmas. and try to have some fun crafts for the kids-which they can add to the decor if they wish 🙂

BLESSED merry Christmas to you and your family!

Diane December 2, 2011 - 5:19 pm

The past several years I have felt so pressured and overwhelmed by Christmas and all the expectations that I was starting to dread the holiday. I wanted to scale everything way back and have a super simple celebration. Then last year I had a kind of epiphany (pun intended, hehehe) I posted about it here if you’ve got some time to waste! http://tomatosoupcake.blogspot.com/2010/12/unexpected.html .

We actually haven’t had a tree for the last coupla years… not that I am anti-tree, by no means! It’s just that ours broke and then broke again and then it really wasn’t even worth storing anymore. I always intended on getting one when the prices hit rock bottom after the holidays. But then there were always much more pressing places for those dollars…. so yeah. Instead of a tree, I’ve hung garlands down the banisters and we put our ornaments there. This year some guys from church came over to do a major scalping… I mean trimming of our front hedges, so we had loads and loads of beautiful fresh greenery. I’ve hug these along the hooks in the front hall and we put colored lights behind them. I love the big old vintage-y looking lights myself:) We have some nativity sets and a Christmas pyramid (bought at the thrift store!) in the middle of our dining room table. It’s not much by most people’s standards, but it’s enough for us! I am so loving Christmas this year!

Kim M December 3, 2011 - 12:00 am


Adeline December 3, 2011 - 10:37 am

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas=)

Renata December 4, 2011 - 8:26 pm

I loved this post ~ thank you! We generally have simple decorations too & especially this year when we will be going away for Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family this year. Praying for you guys. Hope the building continues well


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