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Ho, Ho, D’oh! – Top 10 Holiday Decorating Mistakes

The Griswolds taught us more than you think about holiday decorating. Photo courtesy of christmasvacationcollectibles.com.

Whether or not you decide to take the advice offered in last week’s blog—our top ten tips for decorating your home—is based solely on preference, as you may already have your tried and true methods, procedures and designs that complement your home perfectly. However, it may behoove any holiday decorator to step back and examine their routine to ensure their style and approach meet their intentions of a festive holiday scene—without any potentially embarrassing or hazardous downfalls.

In addition to family, food and gifts, decorating your home is just one of the highlights of the holiday season, so be sure to make the most of your resources; but, choose wisely. From safety vulnerabilities to tacky props and more, here are our top 10 holiday decorating mistakes to avoid:

1.  Not Making Room – Decorating for the holidays calls for changing the everyday into the special. While your usual trinkets, decorations and personal touches work well throughout the year, adding your holiday things on top just creates clutter. Remove the regular pictures, knick-knacks, plants, and so on to make way for all your holiday pictures and treasures.

2.  Unbalanced Ideas – Loading the exterior of the home up with thousands of lights and plastic props didn’t exactly work for Clark W. Griswold, and it usually doesn’t work for us, either. When placing seasonal decorations around the inside or outside of your home, be sure to keep a tasteful balance to avoid creating a more chaotic look, which makes rooms uncomfortable. Also, don’t turn the outside of your home into a glowing eyesore of lights. Make a more prudent choice and go with a more minimalist approach.

3.  Decorating for Adults – To clarify, this one only counts if you plan to have children around through the holidays. If so, be sure to decorate with children in mind. Do not put breakable or sharp ornaments with small parts or metal hooks where small children can reach them. Trim protruding branches that extend at or below a child’s eye level, and keep lights out of reach.

4.  Unsafe Trees – Natural Christmas trees provide the scents and sights of the season. However, they also pose some risk of fire. To minimize this risk, choose a fresh tree and keep it watered at all times. The trunk of a properly watered Christmas tree should be sticky to the touch. Never leave a lit Christmas tree or other decorative lighting display unattended. Inspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections and broken sockets. Also, never put the tree within three feet of a fireplace, space heater, radiator or heat vent.

5.  Hidden Tree – Now that you found the perfect live tree for your home, don’t hide this prized-decorating item in a corner, but near a front window to add cheer to those who pass by. Many make the Christmas tree the focal point of all interior decorations, so be sure to keep it front and center for your decor.

6.  Overnight Lights – It’s understandable to want to display your hard work of blinking bulbs and flashing reindeer at night, but leaving them on at all hours is bad for the environment and your relationship with the neighbors. Turn Christmas lights off before you tuck in for the night.

7.  Cord Overload – Electrical needs must be met when stringing lights throughout the house, but safety also must be in mind. Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not run an electrical cord under a rug, as they can get pinched and the insulation peeled away to expose the wires. Also, plugging too many extension cords or light strings into one power tap can overload a circuit, increasing the risk of fire.

8.  Decorate In the Box – Sure, red and green are the classic color combination for the holidays, but golds, pinks and navy blues can work, too. As mentioned in our previous post, white and green conjures thoughts of winter. Think outside the box when decorating, and guests will surely take notice.

9.  One-Room Show – Don’t limit your decorating to just the room with the tree. Bring the holiday celebration into every room. Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to put scented candles and smaller seasonal knickknacks.

10.  Know When to Say When – People get excited once the holiday months start rolling around, which is why it seems that Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier every year. Putting up decorations too early can lessen the impact of your grand display. Likewise, there are a few who don’t seem to want to let go of Christmas and keep those lights blinking well into January—and beyond. No when to say when. Our area offers pick-up services for trees, click here to find out when they are in Sarasota County.

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