Christmas decorating can be a pleasure, but it can also be overwhelming. You don't have to use the same decorations each Christmas, and don't feel you have to bring out every decoration you have in your attic. Choose a theme to give your house a unified look. Use items that mean something to you.
Decorate with Christmas Cards
There are many ways to use Christmas cards to decorate. Tape them around a door frame. Punch holes in the edges and string them on thin ribbons if you don't want to use tape. Attach them to ribbons and tack the ribbons to the very top of the door, and have them hang down the face of the door. Decorate your kitchen cabinets the same way, attaching the ribbons to the top of the inside of the door. Make a card wreath by attaching cards to a big round cardboard frame.
If you have a bookcase or several shelves that hold knickknacks, put Christmas trinkets and bric-a-brac on them and string a set of white Christmas lights over, behind and around the items. Use a manger scene as the centerpiece, or unify it by displaying a collection of Santa Claus figures, snowmen or penguins. If you don't have suitable shelves, decorate the space on top of your kitchen cabinets in this way.
Look for a blank space on the front of your house, hang a wreath on it and then set up a spotlight in the yard to light it at night. Otherwise, maybe a fence in your front yard, or the side of a shed or a garage, can be the place. Inside, wreaths can go on any interior door; give each child a different wreath for the door of his or her bedroom. Wreaths can be made of many items besides pine boughs--grape vines, fabric, paper, flowers or pine cones--and you can add lights for an extra touch. Put a collection of wreaths on the wall to decorate a hallway or stairwell. Make a wreath out of red and white poinsettias and carnations, with bells mixed in, to decorate the front door.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Collect items to decorate your kitchen and bathrooms for Christmas. Look in after-Christmas sales ato build up a collection of seasonal accent pieces. Ideas include holiday towels and oven mitts, a colorful rug or bathmat, salt and pepper shakers, a Christmas sugar bowl, a special liquid soap dispenser or soap dish, a decorative cover for the box of tissues, and a seasonal centerpiece for the kitchen table.
More than One Tree
Get small trees for the kids' rooms and let them decorate them. If you have a family room and a living room, put a tree in each room. The living room can have the tree with a decorating theme--all blue and white, or covered with red ribbons, or with only white lights--and the family room tree can have the collection of favorite ornaments and homemade strings of popcorn. Your second tree can be a different type: a white artificial tree, or even a deciduous tree decorated with lights and ribbons.
Use Lights and Candles Inside
You can use Christmas lights indoors as well. String lights along the banister of the stairwell. Hang them from the ceiling of the hallway (get an electrical outlet that screws into a light bulb fixture so you can power it with your hallway ceiling light). Decorate the mantle with lights. If you can't or don't choose to burn wood in your fireplace, group votive candles inside it and enjoy the warm glow of a fire. If you don't have a fireplace, find a low table where you can place a grouping of candles, and hang the stockings from the edge of the table.