To celebrate the coming of a new season, I like to transition my decor. I like to think about the five senses and help my family to be happy and cozy at home in ways other than using store-bought holiday items. I’ll show you how I have transitioned from fall decor to Christmas and now to winter.
Fall is not just Thanksgiving or Halloween and winter is not just Christmas. Fall and winter are both seasons unto themselves apart from holidays. My family doesn’t need me to tell them it is a new season — they can see for themselves by going outside! — but my family does enjoy the senses that help them celebrate each season. Fall is a season with its own smells, tastes, and sights. I know for a lot of people, fall is their favorite season! I started to move into fall by taking out summer decor such as bright throw pillows and pulling out throws, moving from big salads to soup, planning trips and having gatherings that celebrate things we love about fall, buying new fall candles, and thinking about certain kinds of music that celebrate fall.
I’m pretty much a minimalist decorator, so when Thanksgiving is over, there isn’t much to put away before thinking about winter. I bring in branches with colored leaves and this past year bought three beautiful pumpkins to use inside and outside and had candles all around the house and wreaths for the doors. I don’t want to usher in Christmas right away, preferring to wait until about the middle of December. I took down the fall wreaths, gave the pumpkins to the animals in our woods and threw out the branches. I have some textured pillows for winter and some heavier throws to use on our couches and chairs. I make sure the comforters and quilts are on our beds. I like to have candles that smell like pine instead of leaves and pumpkins. I make sure we have lotion and gentle soap for our winter skin. And I move away from pumpkin recipes to things that are spicier and smell wonderful, such as gingerbread and chai. In the fall, since it is quite warm here, we still eat a lot of salads, but in winter we tend to enjoy more soups and stews. And we drink more coffee and tea, so it’s fun to have some new ones to try. I like to add winter things slowly to the house, just as I have done with fall, and usually bring out something about every week until I’m satisfied. I notice that nature does the same thing: we don’t wake up one day to total fall or total summer (although in the South sometimes summer comes pretty quickly!).
For Christmas, I enjoy putting up a tree and decorating the mantel with fresh cedar. I have a Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen and enjoy adding some things to it and a few things in the kitchen. I like to decorate the kitchen and dining room tables with candles, fruit, and fresh greenery and put wreaths on the front and back doors. After Christmas, I leave up a few things that seem like winter to me. I leave these things up until the end of February. Then I will start to transition to spring.
I am a novice at crochet, but I made a couple of chains with pompoms for the den and dining room windows. I use them at Christmas and then leave them up for the rest of winter. I have some felt embroidered hearts I made for the kitchen windows and a garland over the sink and will leave them up until after St. Valentine’s Day. I have red accents in the kitchen anyway, so I can leave my red pitchers and red transferware in the Hoosier all winter, but I use some boxwood instead of cedar in the pitchers. And we certainly want to continue to have candles all winter, so if I have been given any as Christmas presents, they are a welcome addition.
As far as music goes, I really enjoy Advent hymns (actually, more than Christmas music!) so I still listen to that playlist sometimes throughout the winter. Music is not so much my thing, but I do listen to audio books in winter when I’m in the house, snuggled on the couch with my cup of coffee or ginger tea. And we enjoy watching movies or listening to music in the evening.
I want my family to enjoy all the things that go with each season. Craft-store decorations are not the only way to celebrate the season! I prefer to think about the five senses and look at nature and welcome the beauty of each season God has given us in that way.