Festivity Without the Insanity :: 3 Easy Decor Areas That’ll Step Up Your Seasonal Decorating

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3 Easy Decor Areas That’ll Step Up Your Seasonal Decorating

Before I was married or had kids, I would spend countless hours on Pinterest imagining all the ways I’d decorate my future home to celebrate each holiday. I had visions of elegant tablescapes and fireplace mantels done up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mardi Gras, you name it.

When we bought our home just days before welcoming our first baby, I very much wanted to be that mom who’d have the house cheerfully welcoming each holiday. I loved the idea of our kids growing up in a home that builds up the excitement surrounding each holiday just like my parents did for my sister and me. (Nowadays, a big part of this is pulling out a basket of books that go along with that upcoming holiday’s theme, like books about Christmas and Mardi Gras.) Though I knew it likely wouldn’t be as elaborate as the ideas I’d had before, I was still determined to make it happen.

Three kids later, reality has a way of getting in the way of Pinterest perfection. After working a full-time job and juggling household and social responsibilities, I don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to decorating. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep my sanity while still making the house look more festive.

I focus on three main areas:

  1. A festive garland or two hung somewhere conspicuous
  2. Throw pillow covers in the living room & on the bench in the foyer
  3. A tiered tray with contents that are easy to swap out with the seasons

Speaking of seasons, let’s talk about how I break my seasonal decor down. Here’s what I focus on month to month (obviously depending on when Mardi Gras and Easter fall):

January – Mardi Gras
February – Mardi Gras/Valentine’s Day
March – St. Patrick’s Day/Easter
April – Easter/Strawberries (since we live in Ponchatoula)/Crawfish
May – Crawfish
June – Independence Day
July – Lemons
August – Back to School
September- Football
October – Halloween
November – Thanksgiving/Fall
December- Christmas


In my home, I hang one or two garlands for each holiday. I have a fireplace mantel in my living room as well as a set of shutters hanging on the wall above my kitchen table and I usually hang a garland on both. I prefer sturdier garlands (as opposed to paper) that I can reuse year to year, so I usually look for ones made of felt or burlap. My garlands come from really anywhere I see something I like. Amazon, Target, Etsy, HomeGoods, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree all have affordable options. Hanging a garland across a mantel, hutch, entryway, window, etc. is a really simple way to signal a celebration is in the air.

Throw Pillows

One of my favorite ways to dress up my home for an upcoming holiday is to swap out my sofa’s throw pillow covers. I have a set of 4 18×18 throw pillow inserts from Amazon and I have several sets of covers dedicated to specific holidays that I cycle through each year. It’s practically effortless to change the covers and it instantly changes the look of the entire room. You can find throw pillows for just about anything (search Amazon for “<insert theme> throw pillow cover”) and you can buy them individually or in sets. There are also sites like Qualtry that offer affordable personalized throw pillow covers (as I type this, they’re running a $5 personalized pillow cover sale). Our Christmas covers are all personalized, and each of my kids has their own “First Christmas” pillow with the year on it.

Pro Tip: Buy pillow inserts a size up from your pillow cover size (i.e., a 20×20 pillow for an 18×18 cover) to make the pillow fuller.

Tiered Tray Decor

Like so many women in suburbia, I fell victim to the ubiquitous farmhouse decor trend of the past few years. I don’t have many farmhouse-style pieces, but I do have those shutters on my kitchen wall along with a “Gather” sign and a wooden tiered tray that I love. I got this tray from Amazon, but they have them just about anywhere that sells home goods these days. I also have a few sets of these wood bead garlands that I use with most of my seasonal decor on the tiered tray (I own several sets because I also use them on my Christmas tree).

While you can find decor for your tiered tray just about anywhere, my preference is Amazon because it’s the easiest. You can search “<insert holiday> tiered tray decor” and find tons of options that will fill your tray effortlessly.

Personally, I like a few small signs mixed in with some other elements depending on the theme. For example, my husband officiates college football, so football season is pretty big in our home. My football-themed tray starts with circles of astroturf that I cut to fit the tray, a set of “football-tiered tray decor” pieces from Amazon, and a few tiny pennants and helmets for our favorite teams. Get as creative as you want! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I use a larger tiered tray and decorate it like a witch’s apothecary — you can read all about how to make your own here.

I recently bought this set of interchangeable frames that come with their own seasonal designs — and for less than $15, I think it’s one of the best deals on Amazon! The frames are of great quality and I know that I can print my own designs to add to the frames if I wanted to. I highly recommend this if you’re looking to make your tiered tray decorating as easy as possible.

Now that my oldest is 3, he understands that different holidays mean different things. He is increasingly interested in what each piece on the tiered tray means and how it relates to what’s coming. I love to see his excitement grow when he sees the decor change — it makes the magic maker in my mama heart feel like I’m doing something right.

How I Organize My Seasonal Decor

Some of my decor is stored with the rest of those items in the attic (I have large storage bins for big holidays like Mardi Gras, Halloween, Christmas, etc.), but smaller “themes” like crawfish, strawberries, and football get stored in my dining room buffet cabinet along with all my pillow covers. I keep tiered tray decor in a few inexpensive pencil boxes and the garlands all in a small storage bin. As I remove the pillow covers to store them, I wash and fold the set together like a square. I keep them lined up in a storage basket like file folders in a drawer so I can see what each set is at a glance.

My system isn’t perfect, but it is doable — even for a busy mama!

What tips do you have to make holiday decorating easier?

Joey Yearous
Joey is a New Orleans native, Dominican alum, and LSU grad who joined the ranks of motherhood in the summer of 2019. She and her Colorado born-and-raised husband, Phil, left their Mid-City apartment for a house on the Northshore about ten days before they welcomed their son, Sam, into the world. A short 19 months later, their daughter Sloane arrived and their caboose Nicholas completed their family 17 months after that. Though she’s always had a passion for writing, it’s her work in whole-home generator sales that pays the bills. Her 3 kiddos keep her busy, but when she’s got a free moment, you can find her cooking, trying new restaurants, and listening to true crime podcasts. A consummate Pinterest fanatic, she’s always looking for her next DIY project or recipe to try. She believes good senses of humor and random acts of kindness make the world go ‘round.


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