This time of year, everywhere you look in stores and shopping malls there are hundreds of Christmas decorations on sale and each year they get more beautiful and more extravagant.
Christmas time is a time for bright colours and many people love to add a certain element of surprise to their Christmas décor. For those that love to “keep up with the Joneses” in terms of their festive interior décor, every year gets a little more over the top with people competing for the best decorations in their neighbourhood.
Consequently many of us end up creating something that is far too over done, outright dangerous or they spend so much time focusing on certain things that other decorations are left out or get minimal attention.
To help you create the best home décor possible for the festive season and to impress your guests, family and the rest of your neighbourhood’s homemakers we looked for some of the most common mistakes people make with their Christmas decorations to help you to avoid similar mistakes.
Christmas lights are probably the most important of all your decorations.
Many people have become quite competitive with their outdoor festive lights in certain neighbourhoods, making them very popular places to visit over the festive season.
Unfortunately, many have become too competitive with each other as to whose home will be shining the brightest and forget about their good intentions of reducing their power consumption.
Consider using solar powered garden lights as well as LED Christmas lights which use less power than standard lights.
It’s also important to remember the electrical danger all the lights on a property pose, especially for small children that are attracted to the shiny colourful lights.
Going Over The Top:
This is pretty obvious but some people still go overboard without even realizing it.
Remember that the rest of your home is just as beautiful as your Christmas decorations and that the more decorations you add the less practical your home becomes because some of the ornaments will be in the way.
There is also the issue of colours that do not fit with the rest of your home and we encourage you to create a Christmas with a colour scheme that will suit that of your home rather than the traditional red, green and white.
Seeing as we have Christmas in summer, consider a summer theme with natural summer elements instead of trying to create a winter wonderland during the hottest time of our year.
Crockery and Silverware:
If you have a set of expensive crockery and cutlery that you never use, now is the best time to do it. Beautiful crockery already adds to your interior décor before you’ve even thought about table decorations.
Certainly, if you’re outdoors having a braai, use the paper plates, but for those special evening get togethers, don’t use the paper plates just to get out of washing dishes, make the effort of using your best.
This is a special time of year that calls for special measures and you’ll most likely find that after the meal, friends and family will gather in the kitchen anyway to help with dishes, giving you even more time to bond and share special moments.
Don’t forget your bathroom! If you are receiving guests they will surely be using your bathroom so do a little extra and decorate your bathroom as well.
Again, don’t go overboard; a few bright candles with a Christmas theme or a string of tinsel around the bath or in front of the window will liven up the décor.
Place your Christmas tree where most of your socializing will be done.
In SA most people leave their Christmas tree inside while they spend the days outside because of the December heat. Put the tree outside to keep the festive spirit where it belongs, between friends and family.
Consider decorating a live potted conifer that you can plant out in the garden when it outgrows the pot so that in the future, you can decorate it outdoors (make sure you uses baubles that will survive our hot South African weather).
Christmas Baubles and Ornaments:
If you are placing Christmas décor and other baubles around your home and not just on the tree make sure children cannot reach them, not just for the delicate baubles’ sake, but for the children’s safety too.
Also make sure they cannot roll of the surface where you placed them; some baubles are made of materials that are much sharper than normal glass when they break and these tend to break very easily!
With the south-easter blowing constantly in the Cape during this time of year, keep in mind that as doors are opened and closed, drafts will blow through and disturb lightweight ornaments and other décor that isn’t fastened in place. Consider using a bit of Prestik under ornaments or make sure you don’t have any decorations up where a draft can blow them down.