Transitioning Decorations from Christmas to Winter

For the past month or two, I've been mulling over some ideas for how to stretch holiday decorating dollars. When the stores start to put out Christmas decorations in late fall, I get so excited to add a few pieces to my holiday collection! But when the decorating budget is tight, it can be hard to spend money on home decor items that only last a month or so during Christmastime. Do you face the same struggle?

Let me walk you through how I transitioned our hearth and mantel decorations from Christmas to winter. Then I've got some general principles to help you think about how you can do the same—all with the goal of helping you get the most bang for your decorating buck. Here we go.

I was really ready to take down the Christmas tree this year. Our living room is our everything room, so it very quickly starts to feel full and cluttered. (The Cozy Coupe is on vacation in the basement because we just needed some room to breathe. :) ) The Christmas tree came down the day after Christmas.

Bright Christmas Decorations
Bright Christmas Stockings on the White Mantel

But I wasn't quite as ready to say good-bye to some of the fun, bright Christmas decorations on the mantel. I just bought the Christmas garland and art print this year, so I wanted to keep them in the mix for a bit. So we went from this for Christmas:

Christmas Mantel with Bright Colors

To this for winter:

Easy Winter Decorating Ideas

The stockings came down for Christmas morning and didn't go back up. With the stockings gone, the mantel looked a little bare, so I moved the bright garland from the mirror to the mantel. I repurposed a snowflake stocking holder to hold the garland in the middle. The bright colors in the garland really pop off the white and it looks bright and cheerful—just what we need for these dark winter days!

On the left side, I kept up the Calm and Bright print, but took down the feather tree and added back in some colorful vases. I also left up the silvery berry garland I had under the mirror for a little texture and sparkle.

Bright Mantel Decorations

On the right side, I took down the trees because I needed to put my snake plant back up. A fresh art piece leans against the mirror and an elephant my sister brought me from India rounds out that space.

Bright Winter Mantel Decorations

But I didn't get rid of the trees entirely—they just moved down to the hearth. I turned on the string lights in the fireplace and it feels nice and cozy.

Mantel Decorating Ideas

It was a really easy transition that feels wintry but not necessarily Christmasy. So here are some ideas for you to think about as you take down your Christmas goodies (and maybe scoop up some things for next year in the after-Christmas sales!).

1. When buying Christmas decorations, consider the long-term.

I am certainly not trying to take Jesus out of Christmas. Not at all. Invest in an advent calendar, Jesse tree, Scripture art print, or other special Christmas traditions and decorations that point to Christ. Absolutely.

Advent Calendar

But we often put up other items, too, as we transform our homes for the Christmas season. Some of the decorations we can buy have the potential of lasting past Christmas, and here's our chance to stretch our dollars.

I have an example. I was seriously eyeing these pillows at Target back in November and snapped this shot to illustrate this concept.

Target Pillows

Two very similar pillows, right? The same colors, shape, feel. Neither screams Christmas, but the reindeer pillow on the right leans toward Christmas a little more than the one with the embroidered stars, wouldn't you say? So if you were going to spend your money on one pillow to update your home for Christmas, I think the star pillow on the left would give you more long-term flexibility than the other. With the right items, I could see it being used year-round!

And the star pillow on the left ended up under the tree for me this Christmas! Can you believe it? My amazing sister-in-law Lauren picked it out for me without me saying a thing. She just has that gift of gift-giving! So I will have a chance to test out whether it can be used year-round.

Living Room with White Walls and Graphic Patterns
Bright Living Room Pillows


2. Consider a different color scheme.

Red and green is Christmas—it just is. Yes and good and wonderful. And if red and green are your home's year-round colors, then buying red and green Christmas goodies will work well for you long-term!

But if you don't have a red and green home, look at what you already have and head in that direction. If you tend toward neutrals, look for Christmas decorations that fit that feel. Think texture—feathers, woven, embroidered, knit. These items in a neutral palette will last long after December 25.

For me, it was brights. These are the colors I already have in my home. And Target's brights collection made that really easy for me this year!

3. Think winter.

Certain theme-y items are Christmas only, such as Santa, stockings, elves, or Christmas ornaments. But lots of Christmas decorations fit into a more general winter theme and can therefore last long into January (or March if you live in a climate like Minnesota's!). Think unadorned trees, wintry fabrics such as tartan/plaid or sweater knits, berries, simple wreaths, snowflakes, stars, bare branches, logs, or twinkly lights.

For example, I took the stocking off the dresser in our bedroom and I will probably keep this corner like this for another month or two. I could remove the ornaments from the birch branch or take the branch down altogether, but I think they look fine for beyond Christmas!

Easy Christmas Decorations
Easy Christmas Decorations

I used texture with the branch and silver tree and the plaid feels wintry. But instead of red and green, I went with a little different color scheme that already worked in our room, and that gives this corner's decorations a bit more longevity!

Thanks for reading, you guys. I realize this post might have been better written at the start of the Christmas season, but if you were helped by it, you can pin it and use it next year! Or maybe I'll repost it at the start of the Christmas season in 2016. My hope is to give you budget-friendly ideas to decorate your homes, so I do hope this helps you stretch your decorating dollars and use what you have in fresh ways. Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Thanks for all the support in 2015, and see you in 2016! :)