Decorating Your Home for the Holidays

It may seem early to our readers around the world, but in Canada the day after Halloween marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. Gift guides and wish-books from retailers arrive in the mailbox, and the windows of shops are decorated with garland, glitter and the occasional tree. Even Starbucks has replaced their white cups with their traditional, red holiday ones.

We’ve barely put away the ghoulish masks and spooky ghosts and my boys are asking when we’re going to put up the Christmas tree. I try to be all zen about it and remind them that the holidays are weeks away but there is no denying that those weeks are going to pass in the blink of an eye and the bulk of holiday happiness resides squarely upon my shoulders.

So whether you celebrate Christmas or just like to create a cozy home for winter, here is a round up of my favourite items from Indigo, President Choice Home and The Home Depot.


I love these copper mule mugs. They add sparkle and shine to the table and can be used at any festive meal.

Mule mug

These Woodland Cabin napkins are reminiscent of Kurt Cobain and the grunge era, but there is something undeniably Canadian about this print.



Cake plates are my new favourite tabletop accessories. Last month we did a post on DIY flower arrangements and used this wooden pedestal as the focus point. Additionally they are a great way to display ornaments, treasures and of course desserts.

medium pedestal

medium marble and wood pedestal Dessert plates are an inexpensive way to add whimsy to a table. These ribbon plates are less than $35 but if you wanted to choose something with more longevity, consider the New Year’s Eve Countdown plates that could do double-duty for a birthday celebration.

ribbon plates

Snow globes have come a long way from tacky tourist souvenirs. These globes would standout on any mantle or atop a stack of books arranged on the coffee table.

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Last year I bought some festive pillows on a whim, successfully transforming my living room into a Christmas-y nook. Santa is not for everyone, but these current designs have staying power and will last long past his visit.





PC Home

I was amazed to learn how much of the PC Home line is designed in Toronto. The creative minds behind the 2014 Holiday collection were on hand to answer questions at the holiday preview and to be honest, I was impressed by both their ingenuity and their desire to create products for every day life. They get that people are clumsy and Waterford crystal chips. They understand that Santa mugs are irresistible to little hands. Above all, they understand that we want beautiful, functional design for our home at a reasonable price.  All the items here are available at Real Canadian Superstore and select Loblaw banner stores.


My sister-in-law does a cookie exchange with her friends every year and this tin would be ideal as the chalkboard surface allows for the giver to write a message on the lid.


My most favourite holiday accessory is this faux crystal glassware set. The bowls and the glassware are so well crafted you’ll be amazed when you discover it’s plastic! So stop worrying about chipping your finery, lay this out for Christmas dinner and pull it out again come patio season.



PC Home outdid themselves when it comes to ornaments.   Beautiful colour palates from muted pastels, to icy jewel tones and classic holiday. For the price, I’ve seen nothing comparable. IMG_1296 IMG_1310

Home Depot

Usually I am opposed to chotchkies but the holidays are the time to bring them all out! Go hog-wild! Clutter-up them surfaces! These are a few that I am clearing space for this year.




But it’s this tree that has me trying to reconfigure my living room.  Imagine two of these book-ending a sleek, modern fireplace. . . .hmmmm, maybe it’s time for a new fireplace.


Sadly, I am not on the payroll so I didn’t receive a penny for these recommendations. However, I was invited to their holiday preview events and they were a lot of fun! For more images of what’s new and in stores, follow 4Mothers on Instagram.


Decorating With the Boys

We’re still working on establishing holiday traditions are our place, but one thing that has taken hold here is making our own Christmas tree decorations, and then of course decorating the tree together with our things.  I started this years ago, I think when my oldest son was just three years old.  There are lots of things that little children can help make; here are a few of our staples.

  • Salt Dough Ornaments – so easy to make, perfectly tactile for little hands, and fun to paint (sparkles!) and decorate.  These hang on from year to year if you’re careful with them.  To make:  Mix 2 cups flour and 1 cup salt, and add 2 Tbsp oil.  Slowly add 3/4 to 1 cup of water, until you have a smooth, clay-like consistency.  Make shapes that you like, and then bake at 250 degree for about an hour.  If you want to hang your ornaments, remember to poke a hole in it before baking (a straw is ideal for this, but I never have one and just use a bamboo skewer).
  • Dried Orange Slices – older children could help slice these, and then you just bake in an oven on low temperature until they’re dry.  They smell lovely, are so pretty on the tree, and even young kids can poke them with picture wire to make hooks for hanging.
  • Popcorn and Cranberry Strings – simple and festive on the tree.  It’s best to use day-old popcorn for stringing as it’s less likely to crack when you sew them together.  With supervision, little hands can do this, especially with a yarn needle that’s not quite so sharp, although I tend to give my kids regular needles as they’re more effective in poking the popcorn and cranberry.
  • Miniature Wreaths – these are little squares of fabric (that don’t fray) strung on a strong thread (like embroidery floss or fishing line) and then tied together to make a circle.  We have scrap fleece so we use that, but felt or wool (felted or boiled) would also work well.  I made these with the kids originally for window decorating, but they have since grabbed them for the tree.

We don’t have our tree yet this year, but just yesterday afternoon, and I swear I didn’t stage this, my boys spontaneously started making Christmas decorations.  We had driven home from a lesson in the dark, during which they excitedly pointed out every house that had holiday lights and decorations, and this must have spurred to them to their own creations.  They ended up making wreaths on their own from construction paper – I couldn’t participate because I had to make dinner and take care of the (sick) baby.  But I watched them fold, cut, colour, and tape these to our front window, working cooperatively the entire time.

I know these decorations from the outside may not look like much, but I love that my boys feel that they have the capacity and wherewithal to make Christmas treasures with their own hands, which of course they do.  I hope that our annual makings for the Christmas tree foster this.  Our tree will display our things, including a few gifted ornaments and artwork that they boys deem appropriate, and this works for us.