Sponsored by Sears All opinions my own.
Ah, the holidays.. A time when blogland freaks out and bloggers all over try to upstage each other’s beautiful homes. Actually, that happens every day, but the competition is more intense around Christmas.
Well Sears and Kmart took note of our love for all things Holidays and recently launched the Best-Dressed Home sweepstakes. Basically, they’re on a mission to find out how people from across the US decorate for the holidays.
All this begs the question of how our family decorates and what YOU can do to decorate regardless of whether your budget is limitless or very limited:
FIRST UP, OH CHRISTMAS TREE
Maybe it’s because almost 60% of Americans** feel the most essential decoration for the holidays is the Christmas tree, but in reality all Christmas trees are beautiful. Modesty aside, ours is also beautiful:
- Do you have decorations from when you were a kid or that your children made when they were kids? Use them! They’ll make your tree that much more endearing.
- You’ll read more about this below but collections also look great on your tree. My mom and I made those Mrs. Claus dolls and fabric-wrapped foam balls when we lived in Colombia and we still use them every year now (12+ years later). “Old” treasures like that become priceless over the years.
- Incorporate nontraditional elements, such as wrapping bows. See how pretty ours look just hanging down ;)?
For starters, we’re very much like 41% of Americans** in that we’ve always been about classic décor–anything too old or modern doesn’t belong in our home. And like 37% of Americans**, we’re also really into color–reds, golds, and greens, with the occasional silvers and blues/purples, deck our halls every year.
- Don’t have big fancy gold-leafed plates to put on each place setting? Skip them and/or replace them with vibrant place mats to introduce some contrast.
- Don’t have candelabras? Replace them with two of your favorite Christmassy items, like two Santas, two nutcrackers, or skip them altogether.
- What about china? Do you really need china? Well you can do what my boyfriend does and argue that if he doesn’t use something enough, he won’t buy it, OR you can let me guide you into investing in something that you won’t use as often but that’ll last you possibly decades. So get the china. Or at least really fancy(-looking) dinnerware that’ll make you feel special each time you use it.
- And yes, our table really stays like that for a big chunk of the holiday season.
We also like collections: I love owls, my mom loves nutcrackers.
She also loves Santas. I don’t know why, exactly, since Colombians don’t believe in Santa, so I guess it’s because ours look so cute in general :). (You’d have also seen some on our dining room table, above.)
- The key to a good collection is to not get it all in ONE day or one year. Instead, set some money aside to buy one, a couple, or a few elements every year and overtime you’ll have a collection full of timeless pieces.
- That said, what do you or members of your family like? Bows? Snowmen? Santas? Nutcrackers? Owls? Deer? Old-fashioned train sets? Regardless, it’s important that you not go crazy and spend all your cash in one sitting. Get a few items each time to start your collection, ensuring you buy quality pieces that future generations can treasure.
Because we were going to move to Texas earlier this year, we went through a big purge and sold/gave away a lot of our things, including our beautiful lighted toy elephant and horse you may remember from this picture last year (#sadface):
So this year, we decided to start anew and with the help of Sears purchased these two deer and tree that should look OH-SO-gorgeous in the snow:
- Wreaths, yo! In Colombia, we had a beautiful wreath on our front door (we lived in a penthouse, so no front yard for us) but here our front door is “hidden” by our porch door so we haven’t felt the need to buy one for outside use. But I so wish we could have one now! The best part is that they’ve become more and more affordable each year, so if you can, get one.
- Front yard décor: These are also becoming more affordable, which fortunately open doors (pun intended) for increasing your curb appeal around this time of year. You can find lighted wired animals for around $30-$40 (or less if on discount!) and smaller lights for a walkway for even less at Sears and Kmart.
- Not much green space between your front door and the sidewalk? Wreath and garland it up, baby!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, A NATIVITY SCENE
Because, Colombian. And “novenas.”
- Your Nativity can be as big or small as you’d like, though if you go to a Hispanic home around this time of year don’t be surprised if you see a ginormous/highly ornate one that occupies a whole wall. Nativity scenes are very popular in Latin America.
- We also pray a “Novena” to spiritually prepare Jesus’s birth. It’s made up of several prayers and goes from December 16 through the evening of the 24th (for nine days, where each month represents each month Mary was pregnant with Jesus). That’s also why you’ll see a lot of hispanic homes decorated before the beginning of December: we want to be ready to pray the Novena and for any visitors that come around this time. (Did you know that only one in four Americans will begin to deck the halls one month before the holiday**? Now you know who we are!)
NOW, IS YOUR HOME THIS YEAR’S #BESTDRESSEDHOME?
Decorating for the holidays is a tradition like none other—from decking the halls to trimming the tree—every family has its own unique way of getting their home ready for the season.
To celebrate the uniqueness of this holiday tradition, Sears and Kmart are launching the Best-Dressed Home Sweepstakes to capture how you and others across the US are decorating. Between 11/17-12/26, visit http://bit.ly/BestDressedHomeSweeps, answer the poll questions, and upload a photo of your home decked out for the holidays for a chance to win Shop Your Way points!
- 60 people will instantly win $50 in Shop Your Way points—you can enter daily
- 1 grand prize winner will win 1 million Shop Your Way points
Sears Wants To Help Yours Be The #BestDressedHome
The holidays are right around the corner, and no retailer is better prepared to help you deck the halls than Sears. Exhibit A: We got our outdoor decor with my $100 gift card—what a great value! Exhibit B: These fantastic ideas:
- The new DieHard LED holiday lights at Sears come with a 5-year warranty, stay cool to the touch and never flicker. If one light goes out, the others stay lit
- The seven-and-a-half-foot Color Switch Plus 49 Function Fraser Fir at Sears is for you. Create an amazing lightshow in your living room with the touch of a button. The tree offers 49 different lighting and color combinations
- You can create a miniature Christmas village in your home with collections from Lemax, Department 56 and Coventry Cove. (Awww!!)
- Your house will be the jolliest on the block with a wide selection of lawn ornaments, inflatables and more
- From trees and ornaments to wreaths and garlands, Sandra Lee and Jaclyn Smith have two fabulous holiday décor collections that will bring style to your home
Remember: You have until December 26 to enter the sweepstakes and win lots. So show me your décor, submit it, and good luck! Now tell me: What’s your fave Christmassy element in your home?
**Findings from a Kmart & Sears survey.