Link love :: Kick off the Christmas season with simple home decor

by Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

ornament in snow
Photo by Gaëtan Bourque

I love decorating for Christmas starting the first weekend after Thanksgiving.  Something about all the food and family puts me in the mood to dust off the Christmas carols and start adorning our home with the spirit of the season.

We’ve got two basic guidelines for holiday decor:

  1. If at all possible, make it by hand.
  2. And no matter what, keep it simple.

In my opinion, with seasonal decorating, less is more.  Your collection of vintage ornaments piled neatly in a glass vase and simple green wreath hung by grosgrain ribbon makes more of an impact than random Christmas crafts cluttered here and there.

As with everything else in your home, remember the classic quote for decorating for the holidays – “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

This weekend’s link love is all inspiration for your Christmas decor.  And if you have more links to share, please do so in the comments.

Alright…  Now you add to the mix!

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  1. I like making some homemade items every year and less is definitely more. I have the directions for some easy, inexpensive vintage ornaments at I can’t wait to start decorating! Thanks so much for the links above.

    mary beth´s last blog post…Reindeer Food {easy Christmas craft}!

  2. I like simple greenery on my mantle.

  3. I’ve committed to an all handmade Christmas this year, and I have been posting tutorials on my how-to blog Some are pretty simple, others take a bit more time. The best part is that many of them can be made with crafting and other items you already have on hand. I didn’t purchase any extra supplies to do these projects! Thanks for sharing these links, now I have more to add to my growing list!

    Francine´s last blog post…More Sneaks

  4. Great collection of holiday, inspiration! I love gathering stuff from outside – pinecones, magnolia leaves, pine branches – and using those around the house. Also, the simplicity of shiny glass ball ornaments hung just about anywhere is a favorite.´s last blog post…Link Love

  5. I don’t generally make my own decorations, but last year I bought most of my decorations at the thrift store. And after the holidays were over I bought some Christmas stuff I really loved when it was super discounted. I plan on using that stuff this year. I’ll also probably donate some old stuff to the thrift store.

    tara´s last blog post…Green Is The New Black Friday: Deals, Steals and Gift Ideas!!!!

  6. we usually buy one new tree ornament every year – this year it was an Elmo ornament picked out by our 4 year old. i have a huge collection of Christmas decorations for the entire house, all bought when we owned a larger house years ago. We now live in a much smaller home, and so i’m paring down the collection and probably 40% is going out of the house to Goodwill. This year i’ve also decided to repurpose a wreath bought on clearance at Pier One years ago into a centerpiece with a hurricane + candle in the middle of the dining room table.

    Krista´s last blog post…For Krista

  7. Hi Tsh! :-) Thanks for the links and for including me in your list. I am having the most unusual holiday this year, since we are trying to move at the beginning on January we are up to our ears in packing and house projects.

    Everything we do this year for the holidays will be VERY simple. My son and I made our own paper garland (I’ll show off our handiwork this next week) and I will have probably just a small tree in our kitchen. This year we are truly focusing on our blessings and time with our family and less on the gifts & decorating. Less is more will be our motto this year for sure. I am actually REALLY looking forward to the simplicity of it and enjoying each little thing we do together as a family.

    melissa @ the inspired room´s last blog post…Four Weeks Until Christmas! Holiday Linky Inspiration!

  8. Hi, I’m Liz, the originator of the 3-D snowflake, and I’d love, love, love it if you’d link to the snowflake page directly. The address is: :) And if you don’t want to well, no worries. Thanks!

  9. Hi Tsh,
    Your post came just in time – I am thinking about decorating for Christmas and this is the first time in years I will be doing that. So I am going to take on board your 2 guidelines , especially to keep it simple. We were struggling with the idea of what kind of Christmas tree we’ll get and decided to get a tree in a pot. This way I won’t feel guilty about cutting a tree just so that we could have fun decorating it and it won’t be cluttering the house because we’ll put it in the backyard.
    Enjoy your decorating and maybe show us some of your ideas?

    Emma´s last blog post…Childproofing – locks that do work

  10. thanks for all the decorating tips. I really need it since when comes to decorating I feel like I have two left hands.I am going to try to in-coperate some of your ideas.

  11. I don’t decorate much. Most of the ornaments that go on the tree are homemade that my kids (18,12,11, & 8) have made through the years. They love too see their old ornaments on the tree every year.

    Shelly´s last blog post…Free Rag Quilt Patterns

  12. Don’t forget about planting some paperwhite bulbs, getting out the Charlie Brown Christmas CD and, above all, getting your heart and head in the right place so you can experience the season mindfully and joyfully!

    julie´s last blog post…more Walden Pond, less Wal-Mart

  13. Thanks for sharing these great links! I’ve been looking for some fun, simple ways to decorate for Christmas this year & love a lot of these ideas. I also wanted to share a post I put up this morning about making some tinsel ornaments – we had fun making these yesterday afternoon:

    Rebekah´s last blog post…How to Make Cute Tinsel Ornaments

  14. After reading your post, I piled our vintage ornaments in a beautiful glass bowl we received for our wedding. My husband loved it! He has strong opinions so that’s saying something :) Thanks for the suggestion.

  15. We buy a special ornament every year and now that we have grandchildren, the ornament depicts a favorite book, movie or new experience that we shared. As the grandchildren are getting old enough to help decorate, it just makes my Christmas to hear them retelling the tales of our “firsts” and other memorable events. They also get to hear a good deal of family history from the older ornaments.

    Mary´s last blog post…Consider adding a taste of Savannah to your Thanksgiving menu …

  16. Tsh, I like the “less is more” idea. Less is more elegant, too much is gaudy and who wants a gaudy Christmas tree? :)
    .-= Richard´s last blog ..How To Decorate A Christmas Tree =-.

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