Fear of Missing Out at Christmas?

Experts suggest where to focus when decorating time is running short

It is a weird sort of calculus, but the time when you most want to decorate for the season dovetails with the busiest time at work and school.

Then you look over at your neighbor’s home, and it seems like overnight, it has bloomed with enough holiday decor to make a Griswold envious. Across the street, a tasteful display of lighting and vintage decorations has sprouted among the manicured shrubbery.

What gives? How did they find the time?

“My number one suggestion would be to just hire me,” quipped a laughing Keely Vendig, owner of the faux-floral company Navy Blooms.

“I have so many clients that are working moms and dads,” she explained. “Everyone’s just busy, and we are elves and come in, we put it all up, we clean up, and we’re gone.”

But if you must DIY your decor this Christmas, Vendig suggested focusing on one thing and doing it well. 

“Obviously, it would be the Christmas tree because not only is it beautiful and you have the lights, and that kind of stuff is reminiscent of Christmas, but it’s also a place where a lot of people put like their presents,” Vendig said. “It’s a center, almost like a cornerstone.”

Second, she said, is focusing on perhaps a mantle display. After that, see what gaps you have and what you’d like to use to fill them. She also suggested setting up calendar reminders throughout the year to help create a game plan.

“I’m a little bit more of a planner, and I think if you set reminders, people would feel less overwhelmed,” she said.

Focusing on what is meaningful and what gives you joy during the season is essential, too, said Dallas author Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Her book A Loving Table explores family traditions. 

“It kind of goes back to either starting or carrying forward a tradition,” she said. “If you really know the meaning behind what you’re doing, you can focus on the things that are more meaningful and get rid of the rest of it. That’s what really will resonate with your family and your guests.”

Whitman said that while she is “not good at keeping things simple,” she also recognizes that it gives her a lot of joy to decorate her home for the holidays.

“It’s really not about comparing yourself to your neighbor or others,” she said. “It’s really about finding out what is meaningful for you and for your family and what works for you.”

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, former Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy.

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