Ummm... where is November going?! It's flying by so quickly! So the other day on Instagram, there was some post by some company about pumpkin spice. I caught myself shaking my head, like pumpkins had expired on October 31st. And then I was reminded there was an approaching food holiday with dry turkey and that pumpkins are still acceptable right now. Whoops.
My Mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year and while I'm happy to pass the hostess baton onward, I'm still confused why Mom makes a sweet potato casserole. If your Thanksgiving side item can double as a dessert, don't do it. I vote savory over sweet when all 12 of my servings of food on one plate are touching one another. Stay away, sweet taters. You're just a confused vegetable that gets mixed up with real vegetables. It's like, "oh here's my boy who acts a bit feminine so we're gonna dress him up in tutus." No. Maybe the little girly-boy likes pants! So I say you take sweet potato and give him some salty. Ever tried crumbled feta and chopped green onions with a bit of S&P on your sweet potato? It's amazing. But whatever, Mom's gonna put the ASS in casserole with that number (Hi, Mom!). Anyway, I was talking to Mom the other day and she was on the fence about decorating for Christmas. Like, she wasn't even going to do it this year! The horror! I get it though- she's had a rough year and after losing Bob this past May, things like dressing the house in garland and lights aren't the best idea ever. But then again, garland and lights are the best thing ever! So I told her she has to put up her tree and I agreed to help her- before Thanksgiving. Are y'all not decorating before Thanksgiving? You totally should if you're hosting dinner at your house. I mean, don't mess with the tree yet (especially if you do a real tree). But garland and string lights can be generic and sort of neutral, like they don't necessarily scream out, "Baby Jesus!" I break them out and do up a quick front porch string light display when (or rather, if) it snows in Winter. They're cool in the backyard during the summer. So get to it- light up Turkey Day already!
If you don't know, I decorate homes for Christmas this time of year and it's oh so much fun! Never mind that my nails and fingers look like shit and a manicure right now would be pointless. If you're opting to do your own decorating, mind if I offer some tips? Great!
Garland: anything goes. Don't feel like you have to stick to the traditional green garland in the Christmas section. Check out the floral department too and throw in some ivy or other stuff that looks a bit different. But do fluff your garland, please.
Lights: I love the twinkle/random sparkle ones. I love C9 multi-color bulbs and my upside down tree has a few brown spots from the bulbs resting too hot on the white branches- that's probably not a good thing, huh? Don't skimp on lights, buy extra. They'll burn out, piss you off and you'll be thankful you have the inventory! Personally I hate LED lighting. Hate it. But you do you and I'll do me.
Floral Wire: I use green floral wire and wrap it around my garland and the bannister when I'm decorating stairs. Keeps everything in place where you want it and you don't know it's there. Just snip when you're ready to take it all down.
Ribbon: I like to choose 3 different but coordinating ribbons when I'm doing stairs. Always buy more than you think you'll need! I cut mine into strips- this really stretches it so you're not wasting any in areas that can't be seen. I like to tuck the ribbon into the garland and do only that, no floral wire. It can always be adjusted, it's easy to pull out and then you stack your ribbon strips all flat and neatly in a box for storage. Like the garland, check out the ribbon that's not in the Christmas section, like in the fabric department or fabric store. Christmas ribbon is good but it's fun to mix it up. Wired is good. And I steer clear of the super sheer/thin ribbon- it looks cheap. Wider is usually better.
Sprays: I love sprays; they're fillers! Have an empty spot? Shove a spray in there. They're so easy because you literally just shove them in. Buy 6-8 and get 3 different but coordinating kinds and start there.
Bows: If you have all that is mentioned above, you really don't need bows. The peak of my garland, where I wire it to the bannister, I'll usually gather more ribbon at these peaks and add some sprays or wire in a dangling ornament or tassel.
Timers & Remotes: Don't rely on manually plugging and unplugging everyday. It's not the 90s. Add timers to your outlets or I use a remote system so I can click on/off anywhere in my house at anytime.
Take your time! It's a process and hanging the garland is like a puzzle, trying to get it even. Some of the larger stairs I've done will take me around 4+ hours to do and I like to think I work fast but I'm pretty detailed so that adds on a lot of time. Mantels are a lot easier and I've never used hooks or things to keep the garland in place. I like to set it on top of the mantel and it's fun to take ordinary items from around the house and use those too. I have yet to decorate my own stairs and with the addition of a fun blue tree in my foyer, I don't know if I want to use the plaid, sweater print and burlap ribbons from last year. I kind of want to switch it up and do something simple but I'm not sure yet!
Below are some pictures of the amazing homes I've helped with this past week, concluding this post with pictures of my own home's progress... a sloooooooooow progress. This is why I start so early, folks!