Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to turn our full attention to the Christmas season. While retailers seem to be pushing the holiday earlier each year, Thanksgiving weekend marks the traditional time that people put up their Christmas lights and drag boxes of decorations out of their garage and begin decorating to bring the proper festive mood into their home.
If you are looking for new pieces to add to your Christmas collection or ideas of how to arrange your decorations in a new and attractive manner, Tooele’s Main Street home decor and craft shops offer a variety of creative Christmas crafts and ideas on how to display them.
Kathy Gilson, a Stansbury Park resident and local crafter who displays her work at Home Touch where she also works part time, offered some advice on Christmas decorating trends.
Santa Claus, snow men, angels and religious items are traditional and remain popular for home decorations, but elves have been very popular and hard to keep in stock this year, according to Gilson.
Gilson attributes the popularity of Santa’s diminutive helper to the popular Christmas children’s book “Elf on the Shelf.”
In the book, Santa reveals that he deploys scout elves that sit in homes on a shelf and listen to the children in the home and then return at night to the North Pole to give a naughty or nice report to Santa before returning to the home to sit in a different location.
“Elves are very popular this year,” said Gilson. “You may find them sitting on a mantle, a book shelf, or displayed in a variety of rooms.”
New decorations may not be needed. Old decorations can be worked into new displays with a little twist.
“Homebodies Furnishings and Accessories displays a variety of baskets and bowls filled with old ornaments,” said Whitney Ewell, an employee at Homebodies. “When you get through decorating your tree and you have ornaments left, you can arrange them in a basket or bowl and display them in different rooms of your house.”
Colors for this year include the traditional green and red along with silver, gold and black. Other less traditional colors such as blues, purples and browns are also common.
“The in-thing for this year as well as last year are decorations that are bright and glitzy,” said Gilson.
Pam Acosta, owner of Creative Edge, encourages people to think out of the box and use non-traditional colors to decorate. She said bright and bold colors, and not being afraid to be a bit whimsical, are perfect ways to bring a unique edge to their holiday decorating.
“Mix things up a bit. Use a variety of texture and varying heights,” said Acosta.
Creating a focal point is important, according to Gilson.
“Start with one main decoration and decide where in the room you are going to display it so it will be the center of attention,” said Gilson.
Once the focal point is in place, add other items adjacent to it but make sure the distance is equal to the width of four fingers apart, Gilson said.
Items should be displayed in groups of odd numbers, particularly three or five, according to Acosta.
If you hang something on the wall, add two more wall hangings, one on each side. If you put figurines or other objects on a table, put them out in groups of three or five.
“The display of things in odd numbers creates a display that is more visually appealing and attractive to the eye,” said Gilson.
Gilson suggests building display areas with common themes in your rooms. Keep your Santa Claus display together in one area and your nativity scenes in another separate area of the room or in another room. Don’t mix your themes, Gilson said.
Acosta added that home decorators should look up and start at the top of the room and work their way down to the floor using the full height of the room.
Ewell added that displays should include items of different heights and wall hangings should be at different levels, not in a straight row.
Gilson also encouraged the use of doilies, runners or cloths under displays to add color and texture to the display.
Lighting is important to Acosta, who recommended looking around your house for lamps that you already own that could be used to throw accent light on your decorations.
Colors should be generously used, but there should be a common color scheme for each display area.
“Keep your earth tones together in one area and your bright colors in another,” said Gilson.
Sweet Lizzie’s offers a variety of new and traditional Christmas candies to fill your candy dish and round out your decor with a bit of taste.
“Chocolate is popular every time of the year, but the flavor of Christmas is peppermint,” said Lori Showell, manager at Sweet Lizzie’s.
Peppermint, popularized by the candy cane, is a dominant flavor for Christmas. At Sweet Lizzie’s you can find peppermint in many forms other than the traditional stick candy with a crook. Sweet Lizzie’s has peppermint malt balls, taffy and pretzels covered by white chocolate with peppermint crystals embedded in the chocolate.
With sight and taste taken care of in your holiday home decorating, Gilson suggested that you also include olfactory ambiance in your holiday decor plans.
Popular candle makers make seasonal Christmas scents including Tuscan Christmas — a mixture of cypress, clove and mint — or Christmas tree. Year-round scents that mimic the baking of Christmas goodies such as sugar cookies, baked apples and pumpkin spice are also popular.
With a little work, you can have your home looking, tasting and smelling like Christmas to help you and your visitors get in the holiday mood.