Want a fun way to boost your mood? Start decorating for the holidays. The process of decorating and seeing the resulting changes in scenery, not to mention the fun colors and festive lights, are proven to increase the production of dopamine (aka the "happiness hormone.")
For some traditionalists, holiday decor starts going up as early as November 1, immediately after Halloween. Perhaps that's why we've seen stores put out their holiday decor so early this year. Either way, we encourage you to brighten and adorn your house to your heart's content. Here are some fun holiday decorating tips, ideas, and trends to try this year:
Glorify your garland
Garland is traditionally made with greenery such as pine boughs. There's nothing wrong with that -- it's beautiful and plentiful in Georgia, but consider trying other natural elements. We've seen garland made from magnolia leaves, eucalyptus, cedar, juniper, and boxwood. Once you've got your base greenery, dress it up with ribbons, fruits, berries, fairy lights, and flowers. Southern Living offers excellent ideas for garland for your tree, but it's also gorgeous to see on doorways, banisters, and fireplace mantles. Another Southern Living tip: "Our golden rule of garland: Always let each end fall all the way to the floor. To ensure the right length, measure your mantel's height and width before shopping."
Welcome a new wreath
This year, anything goes with wreaths, so experiment and have fun. Natural elements are trendy, so try a wreath with organic materials, such as herb sprays, twigs, fruits, nuts, and moss. Or opt for one that's more bright and modern, made entirely out of shiny, multi-colored Christmas ball ornaments. Keep in mind that you don't always have to hang a wreath on your front door. Instead, try laying one flat on your tabletop as a pretty centerpiece. Place a few candles of varying heights and complementary colors in the middle, and you'll have an instant, lovely decoration for your dinner table.
Try a new tree
Live trees will continue to reign supreme -- you just can't beat that fresh and festive pine scent. But we're also finding that asymmetrical and sparse trees will be popular this year. LED twig trees from last year continue to be trendy as well. What's admirable about those is that they're a charming accessory all year round. And if you're interested in creating a fun, retro, holiday atmosphere, those cute ceramic, tabletop Christmas trees are making a triumphant comeback.
Optimize your ornaments
Get inspired by your surrounding landscapes and decorate your tree in a local spirit. For example, you could create a Lake Oconee tree theme with unique ornaments of boats, paddles, life vests, buoys, fishing lures, bobbers, etc. Another idea is to have a golf-themed tree with miniature golf clubs, golf carts, tees, and golf ball ornaments. Or go with a simple, natural theme with pretty birds, pinecones, deer, owls, and snowflake ornaments.
No matter how you deck your halls this year, the future looks bright. Last year's pandemic taught us the importance of health, family, and friendships. We're excited to gather back together in beautiful homes that easily accommodate our joyful celebrations with loved ones. That's a part of what makes our Southern Living-Inspired Community so warm and inviting. We'd love for you to visit to experience it for yourself. Let's start planning your visit today. Who knows? You might end up happily decking new halls this holiday season. That's certainly something worth celebrating.