Holiday Decorating for Busy People

You love the holidays, but let’s face it: you have neither the time, nor the desire to actually decorate your home for the holiday season. At the same time, you don’t want to be mistaken for Ebenezer Scrooge. Is there a middle ground? Yep. Here are some holiday decorating tips for busy people.

Use everyday items

homemade tree

A homemade Christmas tree in Sydney, AU. Image: Red Agape Blog

“For quick and easy ways to decorate for the holidays I recommend using what you may already have in your décor and layering holiday items in,” advises Karen Otto at Home Star Staging in Dallas, TX.  “For example, you can adorn pottery, bowls, boxes, shelves and vases with fresh or faux-real looking evergreens.” In the photo above, homeowners gathered sticks on their property, and decorated with white clay tags and lights.

Otto also recommends using holiday cards (past and present) in holiday decorating to create super easy and stylish scenes for your Christmas setting.

red pillows

Red pillows add holiday cheer. Image: Lance Selgo, Unique Exposure Photography

Another idea for easy holiday decorating is to simply add holiday colors, such as pillows and throws that are red, green, silver and/or gold, Otto says. These items not only add holiday cheer, but also warmth.


This Edmonton home found a simple and fun way to decorate. Image: AMR Interior Design and Drafting

You’d be surprised what types of items may be laying around your house that can be used for holiday decorating. “I’ll stack my vintage coolers in the back entry for a welcoming holiday look,” Otto adds. “Don’t over think things – just adding a few simple touches in key rooms may be all you need to feel festive and in the spirit,” Otto says.

Decorate once for the season

Christmas tree

The tree provides decorations inside and outside. Image: Houseology Design Group Limited

You can also kill two birds with one stone. “Go double duty with your Christmas tree: by positioning your tree in the front window of the house, it can act as a decoration for both the inside and the outside,” according to Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Decor.” Nothing looks more festive than a beautiful tree dressed in lights, and this one trick can make your house look full decorated and cozy from inside and out.”


Classic fireplace wreath. Image: DeGraffenreid Photography

He also recommends using garlands and wreaths to decorate simply. “Most grocery stores and garden centers have fresh garland and wreaths ready to hang,” Stephens says. “For an even simpler option, head to your local retail store and buy the imitation version—these are sure to brighten up your home.” He says you can add a couple of Christmas bows and your home will be ready for the season.

Blow up Santa’s, snowmen and reindeer are a fun and quick one and done decoration,” says Sephens. “These festive light-up lawn ornaments are sure to be a hit among the neighborhood and are low maintenance.”

spray paint

Grouped objects in spray-painted baskets. Image: Rustoleum

Don’t overthink holiday decorating

Kymberlyn Lacy, principal designer at International Flair Designs, has some additional tips. “Place holiday ornaments in a decorative bowl or vases,” she recommends. “Fresh fruit such as cranberries, oranges, and nuts can also be used.” The baskets above were sprayed red and then filled with ornaments and birch wood logs.

“Create an ambiance to your room by adding holiday candles,” Lacy says. “Some of my personal favorite fragrances are Pomegranate Noir, Cranberry, and Festive Fir, to name a few.

She also says you can put an oversized Poinsettia on your coffee table, dining room table, or cluster them around your fireplace.

holiday decorating everyday items

Another example of every day items grouped together. Image: AMR Interior Design and Drafting

The holidays are often a stressful time of year, but don’t let decorations be the source of your frustration. “Have fun and don’t feel pressured by what anyone else is doing,” says Otto. “Whether going all out or deciding to keep it light, only you know what makes your holidays merry and bright.”

Also, don’t forget that you can always hired a professional.Hanging outdoor lights isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially if the temperature has already dropped,” says Stephens. “Skip the struggling and hire a professional—you can talk through design, color, and style without having to lift a finger.”

Looking for more easy holiday decorating ideas? Here are fun DIY decorations you can add to your home.

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