Holiday Decor for the Rest of Us

The other day, when I told my friend and Christmas aficionado, Patrick, that I did not need a new Christmas wreath because I already have one, he let out a series of shrieks and gasps followed by a few hail marys and a threat to call 911. He wondered: how can I not cover my home top-to-bottom in garland and grosgrain ribbon. Easy, I thought, I just don't do it. Then, if the lampshade fits posted this little gem on her site:

and I got to thinking... I am hosting Christmas at my house this year and it probably wouldn't hurt to put up a few minimalist holiday artifacts.  Read:  easily procured and assembled, no felt Santas, no baby jesus in the manger, definitely no blow-up lawn decor and probably a lot of spiked eggnog.  I've searched the web high and low and have only managed to find a few non-offensive displays. 

I love the clustered baubles above (ok, I love just about anything in clusters) but am worried about having thousands of tiny broken pieces of glass by my door.  Wanting to avoid litigation with my holiday guests, I might try one of these options instead:


Top 2 images: Point Click Home, Bottom 2: Living Etc

Since all of my ornaments will be scattered around the house, it's probably best if I do a paired down tree.  I mean, really paired down:

Clockwise from top left: Living Etc, Bo Bedre, emma's design blogg, and Bo Bedre

And, while we're at it, perhaps we could screw the tree altogether and just break off a few branches:

All images Bo Bedre, except bottom right: Living Etc

OK, OK, fine, maybe just a wee little baby tree:

all images Bo Bedre

And one more little tree for your little one:

Bo Bedre

Since I am LITERALLY the only married person I know who is not pregnant right now, I expect to see these little guys popping up in all my friends houses in just a couple of years.  Then I will go home to my clean house.

For under-the-tree decor (that's really what the gifts are for, right) I'll turn to these images for inspiration:

Nothing says "have a holly jolly christmas" like presents wrapped in dead animal flesh, right?  I do have to admit that I am totally smitten with the all-white paper and ribbon.  Holiday paper you can use year round:  done and done.

With a stack of albino gifts and a few random branches piling up, I may want to consider some other oddities to toss around.  You know, spice it up a bit:

Plastic animals and a mitten advent calendar?  My guests are going to cry tears of holy water.

Celebrating Hanukkah instead?  Please please dress up your table with this:

Menorah from Walter Living

And, finally, be sure to tie in a little familial personality.  My step-dad runs his own wholesale business and has a love affair with shipping boxes.  Yes, like the brown ones that you, um, ship things in.  But just the really nice ones. (don't get him started)  The running joke in our house is that Randy would take his box-security blanket to bed with him to snuggle up with at night if my mom would let him.  So, for our family, this tree would be perfect:

via the style files 

Now go get your glue guns and bags of glitter, none of us, myself included, have any more excuses for an undecorated holiday home.  You're welcome, Patrick.