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New Christmas Traditions for a New Home

Moving into a new home means a complete fresh slate. Things like old habits, and even traditions can be tossed out and remade. Take this opportunity to create new Christmas traditions to really make the holidays special with these ideas.

I am a creature of habit. Take my holiday decorations, for example.

As much as I'd like to deny my love of all things red and sparkly, and as much as I covet new items on store shelves, I thrive on knowing I can pull out my fur-trimmed tree skirt and wedding-themed ornaments every Christmas season.

For the last five years or so, I have placed the same red sequin wreath above our mantle, hung homemade felt stockings and put a flannel-clad Santa on top of our tree.

I love the mix of glitzy red with soft, cozy materials. It defines Christmas for me.

But, habits are made to be broken, right?

My family moved into a new-to-us house this year, and the transition has put a major damper on my usual holiday decorating. Our house is a spacious, but not too big, cottage built in 1950. With its commanding features and quirky nooks, it seems ill-suited for my collection of holiday decorations stuffed in red and green storage bins.

This house needs something less flashy and more classic, less trendy and more vintage to fit its mid-century cottage style. So, it is with slight nervous trembling that I am veering away from my self-imposed holiday style and taking an all new approach to decorating for Christmas.

Starting with a blank canvas doesn't mean elaborate, though. I don't want a room that looks like it was pulled straight from the pages of a catalog. I want a room that is us. To make sure that happens, I've made a checklist, and I've checked it twice.

First up is the color scheme. Usually red is all I want for Christmas. This year, I'm hoping to get used to gold, silver and other metallic. These finishes provide plenty of holiday sparkle, and are somewhat neutral should I want to add other colors later.

Next, I want to bring in vintage flair with book page crafts. While the technique may not be true vintage, a forest of cone-shaped trees made from folded pages on the mantle and framed words on the entry table looks just right in my home.

Finally, comes the Christmas tree. Oh, the tree. We'll still pick out a Fraser Fir the day after Thanksgiving. It will be bigger, because our living room is open and the ceiling taller. We will still have a place for the handmade creations from preschool, the ceramic Starbucks cups and the mascot figurines from our alma mater.

But, I want to add garland. Or, maybe tinsel...silver icicle shreds dripping from all the branches. And, big colorful light bulbs instead of the usual miniature white strands. If tinsel and bold lights don't speak to the 1950s and our house, I don't know what will.

And, if none of these ideas work out, I'll try something else. Perhaps burlap stockings with my family's silhouettes painted upon them? I want to find the style now that becomes decorations my young daughters look forward to later.

You see, this new house of ours is meant to be a forever home. It's the house I want my girls to come back to as college freshmen and bring their babies to as young moms.

Though I'm venturing from my holiday decorating comfort zone, I'm not really stepping away from traditions. I'm simply redefining them.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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