This year, it took weeks of kids clamoring at my lap, begging to put up our holiday decorations to motivate me. While a gorgeous tree, white lights and a roaring fire fill me with holiday spirit, the idea of getting it all out, with the kids in tow, and creating a fresh look with a decade’s worth of old items overwhelms me a bit. And finding ways to love what I’ve got in new ways so that we have an updated holiday look can make the season even more special.

This year, it took weeks of kids clamoring at my lap, begging to put up our holiday decorations to motivate me. While a gorgeous tree, white lights and a roaring fire fill me with holiday spirit, the idea of getting it all out, with the kids in tow, and creating a fresh look with a decade’s worth of old items overwhelms me a bit. And finding ways to love what I’ve got in new ways so that we have an updated holiday look can make the season even more special.


I love pulling out ornament after ornament, recalling when it was purchased, who loves it most and the story behind it. Tradition exudes from every item, every pore this season, and I’m not at all suggesting we skip that part of the experience. But changing the way things are used or displayed is a great way to love and honor items you’ve been collecting for years. 


Be inspired


If you haven’t decorated yet, seek some inspiration from your favorite stores. Visit them early and often to see what’s hot in holiday décor. Maybe they’re using lots of nature-inspired items; go home hit the yard or forest preserve to replicate the look with pine cones, beaded twigs or acorns. If you find an item you love and just can’t live without, use it as your inspiration while integrating all your other beloved holiday items at home. Find even more inspiration in a great new “book-azine” titled Holiday: With Matthew Mead. It’s chock full of great homespun décor ideas.


Get out of the box


While you’re unpacking, switch things up. If you normally display something in one area of your home, pick a new place this year. If you have ornaments that you love, but they no longer make the cut for your tree, consider placing them in a large glass vase as a centerpiece with an instant pop of color. Place white lights in a dark corner for an unexpected bit of holiday style. Decorate wall art that you use year-round to welcome the holidays throughout your house. 


Shop the halls


A whole year going by between usage of our cherished holiday items means we often forget what we have or ways we’ve decorated in the past. Shop your cabinets for pretty dishes or glassware. It might not match, but when tied together with similar holiday items or seasonal affects (such as a few old ornaments, beaded garland or even cinnamon sticks), your old items can take on new holiday life. 


Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and two labs. Join Molly on her family’s journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality in her columns or visit her website at www.mollylogananderson.com.