Mom Tested Tips for Easy Holiday Decorating


Growing up, my parents’ home was always decorated. I have such happy memories of putting up window clings, hanging holiday lights, and placing hearts, leaves, and shamrocks around the house. To this day, my mom can magically switch from holiday to holiday overnight with a wide assortment of decorations.

While I have always loved celebrating the mainstream holidays, I didn’t do much in the way of decorating until I had kids. So, how do I manage to decorate for holidays without making myself insane or breaking the bank? Here are some of my tried and true practices:

  • Start with Bins: I have ONE small to medium-sized bin for most holidays (Halloween and Christmas have more). The bin is clear so that I can see exactly what decorations are inside. I do my best to store the bins in order of the season and keep them from growing. If I get a new decoration, something old has to go!
  • Be Resourceful: Do you have old toys lying around? I’ve been able to re-purpose my Beanie Babies: bunnies for Easter, spider/bat/black cat for Halloween- you get the idea. I use my kids’ artwork from last year for this year’s decorations (and then replace it when the new stuff shows up). Looking for something new or specific- try The Dollar Store- they have a surprising assortment of decorations. (Go early, before the holiday to really stock up as sometimes the good stuff flies off the shelves.)
  • Books Can Be Decorations Too!: We use books to decorate our house too! I attempt to keep at least a majority of our holiday books in their respective holiday bin. This gives us something ‘new’ to read, educates my children about the holiday (sometimes), and provides decorations I want my kids to touch. If you don’t have books on hand, your local library should (be warned, though, some libraries shorten the rental time of holiday materials during their specific holiday season.)
  • Put the Children to Work: My children actually get excited to ‘clean up’ from one holiday knowing they can decorate for the next. It is not an easy road- but they are learning to pack up and handle fragile things. They get to think about where an appropriate place to put a glass heart dish might be- not on the kids’ table but on the dining table. My son is learning how to plug in lights, my daughter loves to move around the window clings, and I’m productively burning some time on a long day (that’s the best time to decorate/redecorate.)

Decorating has become a tradition in our house. It will be an evolving process, and I hope that my children will hold on to these memories and maybe even grow sentimental about some decorations.

Do you decorate for the holidays? What are your tricks?

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Jaclynn knows a good thing when she sees it, that’s why she and her husband, Dave, decided to raise their son and daughter in Brookfield, the same Milwaukee suburb where they grew up. After earning her English degree from UW-Madison, Jaclynn attended Marquette University Law School and worked for several years at a small Milwaukee firm practicing estate planning and elder law. When her son was born a few year ago, she followed her heart and became a SAHM. She is now the mother of two, having welcomed a daughter last June. When she's not managing her family circus, you can find Jaclynn instructing or taking classes at the Barre Code. Jaclynn would be lost without dessert, family friendly breweries, books, comfy pants, and the moms who have helped her navigate the labyrinth that is ‘momming’.


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