Christmas decorations (that shine beyond Christmas for year round joy)

living creatively
by holly TUCKER

29TH SEPTEMBER 2023

For Christmas decorations that are not just for Christmas, here are some ideas from small businesses I love...

Creative ways to repurpose Christmas decorations

Deck the halls with boughs of love from Holly falalalala-lalalala. ‘Tis the season to be jolly falalalala-lalalala.… Sorry but anyone who knows me knows that my soul absolutely comes alive when I get to decorate my house — especially at Christmas. But what I really love is getting to flex my creative brain and think how I can choose a few beautifully made pieces for my Christmas decorations list that I’ll keep for life, and then mix them up with what I’ve already got. That means I’ll have lots of different, fun looks all year round, repurposing all my treasures and being super efficient (and you know how I feel about efficiency!).

Environmentally friendly Christmas decoration ideas: good for the planet and for the pocket

Not only are long lasting Christmas decorations better for the planet, but they make more sense financially too. To my mind, it’s worth spending a little extra on beautifully made, high quality items and to ‘buy once and buy well’. Anything else is a bit of a false economy, because unless you’re truly in love with them, you’ll only want to replace them later anyway (if you need ideas, take a look at my Christmas decorations collection — trust me when I say there are some real treats this year from UK small businesses).

Winter birds spread out on colourful wrapped presents

Winter Bird Garland

east end press

Year round decorations you’ll love

So what kind of decorations are we talking about here? From the Christmas tree decorations, to the Christmas table — hold onto your (festive) hats as we’re about to get rather colourful. That means, these decorations don't just have to be associated with this time of year but could be just as at home at a birthday party for example…

  • Think colourful, plastic-free garlands — anything made from recycled fabrics or Strinsel (string tinsel no less — so clever and each strand is unique. I now use this for practically every occasion in our house!).
  • Handmade reusable crackers — I commissioned the brilliant Happy Crackers to make Frida ones for us last year and they also graced our table on Mother’s Day too. You can hide different treats and messages inside, depending on the celebration.
  • Imaginative Christmas tree decorations — I like to hang things that aren’t traditional baubles like birds for example, or you could choose mini glass frames that you can display different things in each year? Or little Poetry Pharmacy pill jars could be hung and then use them as dinner party place settings for another occasion. Whatever works for you.
  • Who said your Christmas tree topper has to be an angel? — what else would look majestic there or have meaning for your family? We’ve popped everything from Elvis or the late Queen Mother, to a peacock on top of ours.
  • Star lights, fairy lights, candles and candleholders — these all feel festive but can be used as ambient lighting year-round if you choose cleverly.
  • Magically worded signs and banners — ones that say ‘Believe’, for example, or ‘Magic’ can be used post-Christmas too.
  • How to repurpose Christmas wreaths? — a wreath can still shout ‘Christmas’ even if it’s non-traditional so the more colourful the better in my book (then it can be used on other occasions or double up as a centrepiece or wall art even, too).

Sustainable Christmas decorations that bring nothing but joy

Like most of us, I make a real effort these days to avoid plastic. What I hadn’t really thought about though, is that when it comes to Christmas decorations, it means I’m building a collection for life — beautifully crafted ceramics or fabrics that are made to last and that will stay in the family for generations to come. Thinking they might bring joy to Harry one day or Harry's kids even makes me so happy.

When to take Christmas decorations down (UK 2023)?

Who cares?! Personally, I relish the fact that I don’t have to take down all my Christmas decorations on the 12th day after Christmas (which for Christmas 2023 will be on 5th January 2024 FYI). When everyone else is going through the laborious task of boxing them all up and packing them away to sit and get dusty for another year, I love that many of mine will still get a chance to shine as I move them around the house.

Now that’s the versatile Christmas decorations covered, from plastic-free garlands, to colourful wreaths. If you need some inspiration for your gift list this year, try my gifts for him, gifts for her or even gifts for cheese addicts (we all know one!).

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