2020 Holiday Decorating Trends: The Year to Find Joy in the Moment

[Guest article by Julietta Harding]

2020 has been a year like no other, and we’re all facing a holiday season that bears no resemblance to seasons past. We’ve been asked to stay home and celebrate only with those who live under the same roof. No Nutcracker ballet (a tradition in my family), no Christmas parties, no caroling, no Macy’s Holiday Parade.

This year we will need to adapt to a new way of doing the holidays, but adapting doesn’t have to be unpleasant or less joyous. Maybe this is the year we worry less about having the grandest decorations, the biggest feast, or the largest pile of gifts under the tree. Maybe we can find joy in the moment and become more connected to the meaning of our celebrations rather than the hustle and bustle of holiday fatigue, as well as the hefty credit card balances that many of us face at the beginning of the new year.

In that light, holiday decorating trends may be a little different as well. Three 2020 themes have emerged due to the different limitations we’ve experienced in 2020, and all of them have ties with deep-rooted ideas of comfort.

These trends are nature, nostalgia and the color blue. As gifts will likely become less extravagant and more thoughtful this year, so will our holiday decor. That might be a good thing for both our mental/physical and economic health in a time where many people have found these things quite imposing. We could all use a little soothing.

So here’s my take on the 2020 trends for celebrating the season.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed to live in one of the most innately beautiful places on earth. Our natural world is abundant with evergreen trees, snow-capped mountains, and rocky ocean shores. Green, brown and white, with a little berry red for accent, is our familiar winter palette. Bringing that palette indoors during December can bring comfort and joy to an otherwise difficult year.

Collect evergreen branches, pine cones and other natural treasures to festoon your table, mantle and staircase. Try your hand at forcing bulbs such as paperwhites, hyacinth and amaryllis: dry orange and lime slices and string with dried cranberries and cinnamon sticks. Tie candles with sage leaves or eucalyptus stems. As a final touch on the eve of opening gifts, tuck rosemary sprigs into bows and stockings. Not only will your home be fragrant and inviting, but it will also impart the healing aspects of nature throughout your celebrations.

Nostalgia is always comforting. Remembering holidays spent with grandparents who festooned their trees with “Shiny Bright” ornaments and tinsel, memories of favorite toys found under the tree on Christmas morning or spinning the dreidel during Hanukkah, listening to our favorite
holiday music and feasting on foods that became a part of family tradition are all things that make us feel warm, happy and consoled. Decorating your home to pay homage to these memories can take the edge off these challenging times.

Candy canes, jolly Santas, gingerbread houses and vintage toys…along with a palette of green, red and gold, can be good medicine for a heart that longs for holidays past. Remember Christmas paper chains? Hand-cut paper snowflakes? Make these and sprinkle with glitter or sequins and hang throughout the house. Wrap packages in retro papers and bring in the

Finally, a blue Christmas has nothing to do with sadness – quite the opposite, actually. Pantone’s color of the year, Classic Blue, has inspired many a holiday theme in department stores and designer’s homes in 2020. The most calming color in the spectrum, blue, evokes a mood of starry nights and quiet, frozen lakes. It pairs beautifully with silver, gold, copper and white, and brings a sense of magic to the season of wonder.

Blue shimmers with sparkly white snow, and you can bring that feeling inside by combining blue ornaments with glittery silver accents. Blue and copper create a rustic feel, while blue and gold combined are majestic and royal.

Pair blue winterberries or juniper berries with metallic ornaments and faux snow on your mantle or tree, then add blue and white lights for lots of sparkle. Blue ornaments placed in glass cloches make a lovely accent. With the color blue, the possibilities are endless.

Whether you are adorning your home with your traditional decorations or trying something new this holiday season, I hope that, most of all, you find peace, comfort and joy in this most unique and challenging time. For myself, I see this season of 2020 as a time for contemplation about the essential things in life and lessons not to take for granted the
ability to enjoy the sense of community the holidays bring. Conversely, in quiet times, we can be more creative…and in this sense, we can forge new and more meaningful traditions for ourselves and our families. These traditions can be expressed in the way we decorate our homes. The season’s material gifts are often forgotten after time, but the traditions we establish form the memories that last for generations. Let the creativity begin!

[Julietta Harding is the design director of Chez Toi Design, based in North Bend. As a design professional for more than a decade, she enjoys creating personalized, functional and sustainable spaces for her clients. As a former journalist, she enjoys writing about those spaces.]

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