The festivities are here and what better way to sum up a year full of uncertainties with the joy that Christmas brings! And while there are various ways we all like to spend our holidays, one thing stands out, we all like a well decorated home and how it opens wide the doors for the Christmas spirit to come in.
Bringing this festive spirit home is, however, not all about the Christmas tree. Even when it remains a big Christmas tradition, we explore other ways to bring the noel spirit home to make it feel more Christmassy.
Even before you get indoors, you can have your outdoors make a subtle statement that you are ready for the holidays.
Eunice Murungi, an interior designer, shares that a simple way to do this is by hanging a wreath at your main entrance. “Though wreaths are not a very popular idea in Uganda like they are in the Western world, believe me, it will make the statement.
You can opt to go for artificial ones or make your own using artificial garlands or natural materials like cedar leaves which are relatively easy to get,” she says. You can also enhance its beauty by adding a few Christmas balls or ribbons to it.
If that is too much work for you, you can just have a Christmas themed rug at the main entrance. Such a rug can also work well with the wreath if you are seeking a bolder statement.
A beautiful alternative to a tree that will scream that you’re all in and stirred up for Christmas are garlands. Murungi notes that one can never go wrong with these, plus, you can always customize them into a number of things for your Christmas decor.
She explains that draping garlands on your door and window frames inside the house and any other empty spaces of your living room walls is a beautiful way to decorate. “You can mix up the garlands to have green ones and the sparkly gold or silver ones. Again, these can be spruced up with ribbons, Christmas balls, bells, stars or artificial snow decorations at every joint of the draping,” she says.
We all know that Christmas decorations wouldn’t be complete without Christmas lights. Instead of garlands, she says that you can still drape Christmas lights on your door/window frames and around the room. You can also mix the lights with your garlands.
On the other hand, Alice Namatovu, an interior designer and tutor at St Jude Vocational Institute, Masaka says you can take it a notch higher with a Christmas themed rug in the sitting room.
Just make sure it blends into your existing decor. Alternatively, if you cannot go those lengths, you can have Christmas themed cushion covers for your sofas to get the message home.
Murungi adds that if you don’t want to go into the nitty gritty of decorating, colour can come into play. “Red, green, white, gold and silver are generally acknowledged as Christmas colours and so, you can be intentional with these. You can, for example, have your curtains, chair covers, rug and a few other things in your living room boldly highlighting these colours,” she explains.
Another simple way to decorate your space is using gift boxes.
“Gifts resonate well with the Christmas spirit and being very deliberate to have as many gift boxes wrapped in Christmas colors and beautifully stacked in a corner in your living room will do the trick. Do not worry, they do not have to be full real gifts inside, but can be used decoratively,” says Murungi.
As a family you can also decide to wear Christmas themed clothes like Santa’s hat, shirts and sweaters with Christmas messages or themes.
When we talk about Christmas, we are talking about joy, merry making and that can never be complete without music.
Namatovu shares that playing Christmas music is one other way to get the Christmas feel and mood in the atmosphere, so, whether it’s the legendary Boney M, Philly Lutaaya or religious hymns that get your groove on, play that music and get the party on.
From the living room, you can move your Christmas spirit to the dining area as well. Since this is where the magic will be taking place on Christmas day as you share meals with family and friends, there is a lot of attention you can give this area, starting with your dining table.
To make a subtle statement, Namatovu says that one can use Christmas themed tableware such as plates, cups, table mats and tablecloth / runner, or table tissues.
Alternatively, creating a centerpiece that resonates with the Christmas mood for your dining table will get the message home. “This can be a wreath like the one on your door, only enhanced by some candles,” Murungi advises. Speaking of candles, these are a great way to bring the Christmas spirit home. “You can decide to go all out with candles on your dining table; just be sure not to burn your home up and take extra caution if you have children.
A basket/ bowl with Christmas goodies such as cookies, cakes and other treats can also work as a good centerpiece,” she adds. A basket full of fruits can also work well for the occasion. These can be accompanied by tying ribbons in Christmas colours on the dining chair backs, to enhance your message and the Christmas spirit.
Christmas decoration can go all the way from your living room to the bedroom, says Murungi.
You just need to be creative about it. Like the case is with the living area, draping garlands over the head of your bed will make your bedroom feel all festive. Adding christmas lights to the garlands will also do the trick as well as create a warm ambiance.
Additionally, you can change the room to a christmassy feel by adding christmas colors to your bed. You can use bedsheets, pillow covers or a bedcover to do this.
If that doesn’t suffice, using a small christmas tree beside your bed or on the nightstand or christmas lights in a clear vase will achieve the desired effect.
As for the bathroom, the same drapes can work for example when used around the mirror frames. Other things one can play around with is using christmas themed bath mats and towels. Candles can also be used around the bathtub.