Chelle Doll
 
 
    
 
(Chelle Doll)
 
 

 
My "red tree", decorated primarily with florals, and topped off with a festive Santa Hat, is a great source of inspiration for the festive family with little time to set up their holiday spread this year. (Chelle Doll)
 
 

 
Chelle Doll (left), brother Ken Ashworth (middle) and mother Jan Ashworth celebrate Christmas in 1972. (Chelle Doll)
 
 

 
Festive additions don't have to be green and red; you can also match your Christmas additions to the existing color scheme of a room. (Chelle Doll)
 
 

 
(Chelle Doll)
 
 

Decorating for the holidays can be a chore -- especially if you are like me. I love different themes, so we have four trees, which means four times the work (but oh so much fun). I always start in the living room early in the morning and typically get the last tree done sometime in the late evening. Most of the time I don't plan to do it, it just hits me that morning. I have a cup of coffee and the tote hauling begins.

This year, it was a little more difficult to be in the mood since it will be the first without my mother. I could have let this dampen my spirits, but I didn't let it. Instead I cranked up the holiday tunes and with every ornament I put on the tree, I reminisced about Christmases past and what my mother did to make sure every holiday was special and memorable.

Growing up she would decorate our house to the nines for the holidays. Until today, I didn't realize all the influences I have from her in my décor: the traditional Santa, the candles, the little plastic reindeer like her mom had. Our home growing up was always warm for the holidays. You could feel the Christmas magic in every corner. I try to create that same magic for my family, especially the grandkids. I feel most people decorate their homes in ways that make them feel good. I am no exception. To try and help take some of the chore out of decorating this year, here are a few tips to inspire and save time:

* Use flower stems and berry sprigs to fill in your tree. They add life and fill the tree quickly. My red tree went together in about 20 minutes because most of it is florals.

* Be creative with your tree topper. We use a Santa hat for the tree in our family room. One of my other trees has glittered spays and ribbon on the top. The sky's the limit.

* Get your super glue ready. No matter how good a person packs, there will be casualties. Super glue fixes it quick!

* Organize your ornaments by color. It will be easy to mix and match different colors each year or put them all together. No one says you have to use them all! Switch themes each year to mix it up!

* Bring your passions into your trees. Our bar area has a Dallas Cowboys tree, complete with ornaments. It makes people smile and is a fun challenge for me every year to find a new ornament for it.

* You don't have to be traditional. Our dining room is done in teal and gold, so don't think if it's not red and green it's not Christmas. Ornaments come in lots of different colors; so fill a glass vase with them and bring the holiday spirit in that way.

* Trees come in all sizes but if you don't have room there are other ways to decorate. A lighted house with a little fake snow can give you that holiday glow for your room.

* When you pack everything away this year, put everything from that tree in the same box so it's easy to duplicate again next year.

It is always a lot of work but it is really worth it for me. I sit in my finished room now, grateful for the wonderful woman who gave me the passion for life, the drive to be creative and the wonderful memories of holidays past. I decorate with that same passion she had -- and I am so thankful for that.



 
Chelle Doll has been crafting for over 42 years. The original owner of Urban Girl, Chelle does sculpting, sewing, beading, stained glass, quilling and paints with acrylic, watercolor and her new favorite, alcohol ink. Her motto? "Craft until your fingers fall off, then hot glue them back on and keep on creating".