Oh, hey Monday!
My first Christmas in SF I decided I was going to buy a tree. I knew that even though I would see my family on the actual day, being away during the season might be a bummer, and it would be my first winter without the Chicago cold. How would that feel? It felt great, by the way. So I went to one of my favorite websites since I moved, overstock, to find the perfect fake tree for my apartment.
Now, I know in Illinois, it’s divided down the middle between artificial and real trees. My family always used an artificial tree that my dad loved (haha) putting up every year. But here in California? When I admit that I’ve never, ever, in my life cut down my own tree with my own hands and my own ax and my flannel tank top because it’s too warm for actual flannel, people look at me with horror.
What about the smell, they ask. Don’t you miss the evergreen smell?
To that I say, there is a wonderful candle that creates that smell for me!
Regardless, last year, my tree didn’t come for awhile so I have slowly and secretly been decking the halls of my studio (yes, before thanksgiving) so that this year and last year could average out.
Here are my tips for decorating for the holidays in a small space:
- Understand that for the majority of the year, you will have to store your decorations so make sure you have enough storage before you go buck wild. Figure out your storage situation before you buy anything.
- Prioritize the things that you can’t live without. I knew I wanted a tree but 99% of my ornaments are really cheap. This year I almost bought these expensive ornaments and I thought: why? My tree looked gorgeous last year and I am sure I can use this money for some other christmas decoration that I will spot…which I did. On an anthro stocking for $30.
- Use what you have. If you notice in the pictures, I already have a lot of silver and gold in my apartment. So my silver elephant has an ornament on his trunk and so does my gold one. I wrote a Christmas verse on a chalkboard I already use on my mantle. My gold sequin hanger from Pearls and Pastries is in a more obvious spot. I put mistletoe above Beyonce. (Just kidding on the last one.)
- I also like to stick to some “winter” decorations along with Christmas ones so I can leave them up a bit longer. Also, all of that goes on sale right after Christmas and so…good deal. The winter dome on the mantle, which I wanted so badly before Christmas, went on major discount after Christmas.
- If you, like me, are away from you family, still go through the motions. Turn on those Christmas lights! Put up the tree! Also, it helps your family worry a little less about you.
My space is not much but I do love decorating for the holidays. It reminds me that seasons do exist in other parts of the world. Once I was walking down the street, the air a bit brisk, and I thought: I could really go for a pumpkin spice latte. Then I remembered it was June.
All the Christmas cheer also connects me to my family back home. My mom loves nutcrackers and has a beautiful collection of them. My stepmom recreates Santa Village inside their house. And my little sister watches Christmas movies year round. Before she could speak, we would say: What does Kevin do (from Home Alone, for you scrooges who don’t know who Kevin MacAllister is)? And she would put both hands to her face, open her mouth wide and let out a little scream from the infamous scene where the kid put on aftershave.
Decorating for the holidays also gets me into the spirit. It is is a daily reminder that I have Christmas cards to send and presents to buy and I do all those things joyfully, with twinkling lights.
I can’t wait to show you San Francisco decorates for the holidays.
No matter what size your space, how do you decorate for the holidays?
Fa La La, La La La Laaaaah,