It's the simple things that make the holidays bright!

Simple...the older I get, the simpler I try to make it.  It takes one day to set out all the decorations and hang wreaths (I'm up to 19 now!) and one day for the tree.  Then I get to sit back and enjoy my very own holiday wonderland!

Here are just a few "simple" ideas for easy decorating for the holiday....

Outdoor lanterns.  I bought 4 of these on summer clearance a few years ago.  I gave two away and kept two. I painted one black. These are great for both Christmas and fall decor!  In the fall, I fill them with pine cones and add a "fall" pick and bow.  For Christmas I just switch out the bows and picks and add a few ornaments.  I don't even have to pack them away...they are pretty year round, even without holiday decorations!

This candle holder is another example of something that is used year round.  During the holidays I set it in the middle of a foam wreath adorned with holiday garland and picks.  Simple....

Don't forget your guest bath!!!  I stick with colors that match the bath decor...a few little hand towels, glass rocks with a candle, a holiday soap dispenser and a few little knick-knacks!  After the holiday, I just store it all under the cabinet!  Nothing fancy but very festive! It takes about 2 minutes to decorate this room for Christmas....

Okay, I need to explain this one.  All of my kids hunted when they were little.  The boys and Katie all shot their first deer when they were 8-9 years old.  Me...um, never happening.  But they loved it.  So I have all these antlers hanging around that I really don't have anywhere to "feature."  Right now they are all hanging in my garage. A few years ago I broke the base plate on one of them and then got a quirky little bug and decided to do something fun.....

I glued and painted the base red, painted the antlers glittery silver and stuck a red nose on it! IT'S RUDOLF!!!  I was going to do the others and put little name plates on them...Rudolf, Donner, Blitzen, etc  But my grandson is only six...not sure he would find much humor it it!

A few berry stems and picks will dress up any vase!  And a beautiful Lenox angel from my mom!  Not every tree ornament has to be displayed on a tree!  Sometimes they are just as beautiful sitting out on a shelf!

This little guy traveled all the way from Colorado.  Every year when Brian and I vacation in Colorado in the fall I pick up something for the holidays!  This year it was my snow birds, last year my little snowman!

Again, simple little touches that are easy to set out and store!  

You won't find this happy couple in any home decor department.  My grandmother made the Raggedy Andy and Ann dolls for my oldest daughter...32 years ago!!  Last year I made little Pilgrim outfits for the fall and Santa outfits for Christmas.  Sometimes the most precious holiday decor can be cherished heirloom pieces dressed up for the holidays!!

Garland, pine cones, ornaments...the simple touches here and there are what make a house feel "festive." 

A little garland and a few little snowflake ornaments.

A simple little "Santa" cover for the lamp shade.  I made it out of the scraps from the Raggedy Santa outfits!

 Garland over the front door....

Garland over the front door....

A trio of Snowmen.. And the tree?  FIVE DOLLARS at an auction...and it works...seriously!

These are just a few of my holiday decorations...

Keep in mind...I have been collecting and decorating for the holidays for MANY years. In recent years I have avoided the "fad" decor in favor of more traditional pieces that I know will last many years.  Fad decorations are great here and there...but they shouldn't take up so much of your budget that you don't have the ability to add quality pieces every year! 

And remember...you can buy holiday decor at garage sales, clearance sales and auctions throughout the year!  

In the next week I will feature my simple holiday wreaths, simple and inexpensive gift wrapping and the crown jewel, the tree!