Like pretty much anywhere else in the world, the coming holidays on the island are all about coming together as a family, with friends and other people we love. But somewhere along the way and as a consequence of all that giving, sharing and joy, our schedules have become so hectic that we find ourselves struggling to pencil everyone in. Fact is that most of us run around from grandparent’s house, to parent’s house, to office party to friend’s gathering, to Christmas parties and pagara shows and don’t see our own room or apartment for the next couple of weeks.
If you are anything like us, you cherish your space and would love to bring at least a bit of holiday cheer into it. Take these quick decorating tips to transform your apartment or room into a welcoming place for the holidays.
1. Turn on your brights
There is nothing that says ‘Christmas’ better than a million twinkling lights. Make it a treat to come home by decorating your doorstep (or door to your room if you live at home) with a few strategically placed lights.
We bought three boxes of icicle string lights at Roosevelt Center (about 50 guilders a box). Invest in a few packets of 3M hooks (available at Antraco) to fasten the lights. It’s an easy way to put up the lights and as easy to take down after the holidays without chipping the paint. Use the white ones (they hold on better than the clear ones) and reinforce the strings with decorative tape.
Above our porch table, we hung a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign (La Curacao for about 50 guilders) in the same shade of warm white as the string lights. As a finishing touch, we changed our porch lights from bright white to low-wattage, 220v incandescent bulbs (available at ElectroTech) to create that warm glow at the door without overpowering the already bright icicle lights.
2. Oh, Christmas Tree…
Let’s face it, no Christmas is complete without a Christmas tree. If you don’t have the space for a full-sized one, there are still many options out there. Place a tiny one on your desk next to your computer for some holiday cheer or incorporate a branch into your Christmas decorations (see tips below.) Our Christmas tree (Roosevelt Center, 90 guilders) stands proud on our coffee table. Although the tree isn’t that big, it appears majestic and smells great too!
3. Extend the warm glow
Keep the festive feeling going by scattering a few Christmas decorations throughout the space. We opted for a lot of candles in the living room and bedroom.
All you need is:
– a glue gun
– 1 wine glass
– 1 water glass
– 1 cylinder vase
– 1 tea light holder
– 2 small stubby candles
– 1 large stubby candle
– 1 log
– 1 decorative string
– 1 tree branch
– 1 decorative plate
Put the large stubby candle inside the cylinder vase and set aside.
Heat the glue gun and measure the decorative string needed to decorate the wine glass. Start at the brim of the glass by putting one drop of glue and attaching the string. Work your way down, along the stem by adding drops of glue and attaching the string along the glass and stem. Add one of the small stubby candle and set aside.
Measure the string needed to decorate the water glass and cut. Knot the string around the top of the glass and secure the knot with a drop of glue. Add the small stubby candle.
Arrange the vase, wine glass and water glass on the plate. Add the log (we sawed off the lower part of our Christmas tree) and branch et voilà. Make a couple of arrangements and place them on the table or near your bed. Light the candles as soon as you’re home.
(decorative string at Kooyman for 9,99 guilders glasses and tea light holder at La Curacao for under 6 guilders each candles at any supermarket)
And last, but not least wishing you all the timeless treasures of Christmas: the warmth of home, the love of family and the company of good friends. Merry Christmas from all of us at Bacon & Rags!