Simple Holiday Decorating in 2020

I think we can all agree it’s BEEN A YEAR… So I’ve been giving thought on how to keep this years’ Holiday decorating for simple, small gatherings uplifting and peaceful.

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2020, I’m kinda over you …

I don’t think 2020 could have been crazier if it’d tried! I’m over it – are you?! But, as an eternal optimist (more often than not), I’m ready to get through second lockdowns, keep the holidays small and simple, and move onto greener pastures in 2021! Can I get an AMEN?!

We’re all in different parts of the world, and that means varying restrictions for gatherings this Holiday season, but that doesn’t have to make it any less meaningful, or restorative, or peaceful. While we’re hoping to have all of our kids home (who have all been careful and/or quarantining in their own places), I know it might just be some of us in one space reaching out to each other on screens as best we can. I can’t do anything about that. What I CAN do, is create a space that still feels like HOME, even through a monitor, for our little pod of 8.

… but there are still reasons to celebrate!

We could opt out of the holidays this year entirely, and no one would even know. It’s just too much, right? But I feel like we do need to pause for a moment together as a family and just be grateful for the past year, for the fact that we’ve all managed to stay healthy, for the fact that no matter crazy happens in life what we have each other. The holidays are a good time to re-connect a little more closely and encourage and uplift each other to forge ahead. To share a peaceful moment of soul revitalization.

My focus this season won’t be on buying things none of us really need (leaving Amazon box carcasses out of our backyard), or on having all the latest and greatest decorations. It won’t be on over-decorating the house or on planning a never-ending calendar of events (obviously!). So what WILL my focus this year be on?

Mostly, I want to focus on really checking in with the people I’m closest with – how we’re each doing, if we’re holding up at all, making plans for the next year, coping with the ebb and flow of lockdowns.

Simply that.
HOME. Reflections and memories of who we are at our core, here in our home.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN thyme watercolor border graphic artwork

Keep just ONE Tradition alive …

We have ALWAYS had a big, gigantic live tree decorated with ornaments collected over the years. In the past Nana would give each of us kids one new ornament a year to start collections of our own, and I started doing the same with my own 4 kids fairly early on.

This year, though, I think I’ll continue the tradition but simplify it. No big fussy hugeness about it. A smaller tree, warmly lit, with soft, comforting creatures and a few memorable family ornaments. I want to focus on familiarity and family.

… while taking the opportunity to start some new Traditions

It’s time, with our kids being older now, to do what my family did as I got older – replace presents for each other, with money gifted in aid of others in need. Honestly, there isn’t anything we NEED anyhow, but there are so many others falling on hard times. With my parents/siblings, we eventually started donating to the local Union Gospel Mission instead of gifts about 30 years ago. With our passion for food and my ongoing COVID donations to our local Food Bank, that will probably be our focus this year. We’ll pool together what we can and focus on giving to others from now on.

How to Support Your Local Food Bank

(click below)

Food Banks Canada
Feeding America

Using what we have …

As an extension of warm, homey vibes this year, I want to focus on things we already have to decorate. Things we are familiar with, that evoke memories of other moments together over the past years. Like using our favorite little lit wreath ‘plants’, or bringing out ALL the vintage brass candlesticks, or filling up a favorite driftwood piece with festive ornaments. Not a lot of fuss, not a ton of bright colors, just warm and inviting. White fluffy cotton heads, organic gauzy table runners, faux ‘snowball’ heads of Hydrangea, Nana’s old silver cutlery, our sparkling crystal thrifted glassware…

… and Cooking what we know!

This year I want to focus on COMFORT FOOD. It doesn’t have to be themed, or ‘Christmassy’. It just needs to warm our hearts along with our bellies! Whether it’s Nana’s old Roast Beef dinner or one daughters favorite Yams, a side of puffy Gougeres or whatever, we’ll see where our family favorites take us!

Need some menu ideas / recipes? Check out THIS PAGE – I try to keep it updated!

There are also recipes along with every chapter of ‘a story of belonging’ JUST FOR YOU!

alison kent HOME KITCHEN design gather elevate compose home cook a story of belonging
alison kent HOME KITCHEN thyme watercolor border graphic artwork

I want to extend peace and love to YOU ALL this odd, weird, crazy, unusual Holiday Season!
SO, I’m inviting you into a bit of our home this year! Download it, watch it on YouTube, and this year, just —

This is one for your TV this Holiday Season! Throw it on loop? Is that a thing?! LOL!

How are you planning to celebrate this year?!