These Christmas decorating ideas can help bring festive elegance to your home this holiday season.
Elegance - with a 3-year-old? Yeah, right. And let me call my uniformed nanny - it's the butler's day off.
Seriously, though - festive elegance can be as simple as accessorizing with a few luxurious fabrics.
Think velvet pillows or slipcovers, cozy faux fur throws, or beaded organza table runners in brilliant seasonal jewel colors.
Here are 8 easy Christmas decorating ideas to get you started.
To make room for the festive stuff, pack up some of your usual decor and put it away until January. This is Christmas! If you don't have many decorations, enjoy the clean look for a festive change.
Or, just candles - lots of candles - in the same color, but in varying widths and heights. Corral them on a sterling silver tray.
Bring out your traditional Christmas ornaments and blend them into your new design. You can also make your own handmade christmas ornaments to add to your family collection.
String tiny white lights throughout the living areas. That way, at night, the whole house will twinkle with the classic warmth of the holidays.
Drape lights to frame windows, over tall houseplants, along doorways and bookcases. Dim your regular lights and enjoy.
Don't mix funky Frosty the Snowmen with elegant Father Christmases, no matter how tempting using all your favorite decorations may be.
Instead, choose one or the other as the theme for this season. At the very least, keep the themes uniform in each room.
For example, if you have both types of decorations, you could do a fun Santa theme in the family room, and a more formal, sophisticated theme in the living room.
Collectibles such as your favorite wooden nutcrackers - or china Santas - are always more visually striking when grouped together instead of spread about the room.
They'll stay fresh through the season and be a lot less expensive. Use the wired kind of ribbon for best decorating results. Loosely twist two colors around a strand of twinkling white lights. Or, drape the ribbon duo down a banister or across a mantel.
Don't just decorate table tops and mantels: hang ornaments and decorations from tall house plants, chandeliers, even mirrors and plants. If you have ornaments too delicate or precious to risk, display them on a high shelf.
Consider having small trees in the family room or the kids' bedrooms and let them decorate them just the way they want.