Ho Ho Oy! Holiday Design Made Easy!

Decorating for the holidays is: Fun? Daunting? Mystifying? Stressful?

Got a mixed up family full of: Hanukkah? Christmas? Kwanzaa? Newtonmas? Festivus?

Wanting to make it: Classy? Fun? Youthful? Colourful? Taseful? Cheery? Cozy?


My head hurts too.

So let’s simplify a little, shall we?

I grew up in a Jewish home.  Super envious of my bestie down the street, whose dad was a minister and whose Christmas seemed glorious!  And, as the years passed, they invited me for tree trimming…I remember all too well having to figure out where the fake limbs went years after their colour coded stickers had fallen off.  There was always a little gift for me under that tree.  And I even got to go to the church a few times and listen to all the beautiful songs.  It was amazing.  And at my place?  Hanukkah was a bit more, um, chill?  Gifts: Check.  Doughnuts: Check. Menorah with candles: Check.  That’s it. BO-RING!  So now that I’m a grown up, with a hubby and some kiddies and my own home, that Hanukkah celebration has reached for the stars!!!

And here’s a little of how I get my holiday decorating in order:

Your Colour Choice

I’ve seen Santa’s dressed in red, dressed in gold and all multi-coloured.  It’s a mystery how he decides what to wear on the eve of the 24th every year, with so many options!!  But choosing one might be easier than one thinks!  Take a look around your house.  What are your accent colours?  What colour are your walls?  That’s the starting point.  Your holiday design should complement, and electrify your everyday design.  If you’ve got red dining room walls, a pink bulbous tree may not be the right direction for you.

My home is white, sand and blue (lots of turquoise), and so my holiday decorations are layers of blues and silvers.  They work with the holiday of Chanukah, but also with my décor.

So take a look around.  Is gold your thing?  Or silver?  Red or Navy?  Start there.

Best Christmas Gifts 2010 Kids Children
we mercury cut glass hurricanes

Pick your theme

So, who’s coming over for the holidays this year?  A few adults?  That’s perfect for a classy, formal look.  But if you have your entire family of 40 coming over, ranging from crazy toddlers to rickety seniors….you might want to think about a more fun approach, without any baubles that you had to dip into your savings for.  You’ll want to keep things fun, light and ‘family friendly’.

The Great White North

This year The Canadian Winter themed holiday design is making it big. Maybe you start with sparkly animals and birds to put out on your mantle?  A basket of plush toys?  Some egg nog mugs that scream Great White North?  Even wrap up your gifts in themed bags!  Just keep your colours down to a minimum…white, red, gold?  Whatever you love.

we glitter owl ornament
Glitter Owl
West Elm
Basket of Buddies! Try filling with a Moose in RCMP Garb!! Or maybe an Olaf?
Basket of Buddies!
Try filling with a Moose
in RCMP Garb!! Or maybe an Olaf?
Pretty Branch Menorah
West Elm
natural-forester-nutcracker cb
I LOVE this Nutcracker!!
Natural Forester Nutcracker Crate and Barrel
buri-squirrel-ornament cb
Squirrel Ornament
Crate and Barrel
polar-bear-melamine-plates cb
Totally Great White!!
Polar Bear Plates Crate and Barrel


Going traditional is a choice many of us make, for many reasons.  Design ethic, religious feelings and sentiment to name a few.  As years go by, family traditions act as t common thread, keeping us close to those from the past and honoring them into the future.  For those reasons, traditional holiday décor will always be the most popular choice.  An ornament given to a newborn who now celebrates with their own children; a story book with dog-eared pages and hot chocolate rings on its cover; a menorah passed down over generations.  Whatever your tradition is, it’s meaningful to you and worth designing around.  My dad used to play the harmonica a lot during the holidays.  I am going to have to find one to give my son this year.

menorah-napkin cb
Hanukkah Table Setting
Crate and Barrel
fa-la-la-dinnerware cb
Christmas Table Setting
Crate and Barrel


Our house is pretty fun for the holidays.  Our yearly party includes lots of kids, and dogs and rickety old people (insert smiley face here), so we do our best to make sure that breakables are not a part of our décor.  We do lots of crafty things, including making our own ornaments with salt-dough, making holiday cookies and other decorations.  I’ll be posting all those crafty things on my Facebook page as this season gets going, so take a look there for instructions and great ideas that can be altered for any holiday.  My first one will be my home-made advent calendar ( a bit less $$ than these and pretty fun to make!).  It’s almost done, so check on my page for instructions in a few days! It can be found at https://www.facebook.com/monacointeriors.ca

christmas-winter-clothes-countdown cb
Christmas Advent
Crate and Barrel
cb hanukkah-countdown
Hanukkah Advent
Crate and Barrel


Ever see a magazine with images of holiday décor and think, “Wow! I could never afford that!” Well, that’s just not true.  When picking out your holiday décor, try sticking with one or two colours, and make sure one of them is GOLD!  Well…this year… or you can go silver too…that seems to be a recurring trend…whatever you choose, just make sure it sparkles!!  And, with that sparkle, pair glass or crystal, and one colour such as white or pale blue, etc.  All the sparkle needs a little flat to bounce off of, so make sure you have plenty of plain as a back drop for oodles of glitz! Below, take a look at this oh so chic Golden Moose!! Takes that whole popular Great White North theme to a very glamorous place!  And personally, that lady in blue is very Chi-Chi Fou-Fou in by books!  And with her blue outfit, she’ll fit right into my decor this year…gotta have her!!

we golden deer
Golden Deer
West Elm
lady in blue nutcracker p1
Lady In Blue Nutcracker
Pier 1 Imports

Last Notes

Don’t be afraid to be both crafty, and innovative!  Simple dollar store items can go a long way!  Take a look at this wreath I put up last year.  It’s hanging on a door in my hall.  Simple snowy white and pretty blue ribbon is all it takes to make a door go from every day to holiday cheer.


Whatever you do, make it FUN and FESTIVE and RELAXING!

Have a terrific holiday season, and keep in touch.

From our house to your house, we wish you warmth, peace, happiness and love.

Have a terrific day!

(and, of course, Olaf)