Christmas Simply Designed 39

Keep it simple but significantFor the last few years I have been on a mission to simplify my life. We all tend to collect a lot of stuff. Sometimes we pack it away and we even forget we have it.

Four years ago, I slowly started to get rid of a lot of my stuff in preparation of a move. Some decisions came easy, others more difficult… but go it must as I was in the process of looking for a smaller place to live.

One of the easier tasks was thinning out way too many Christmas decorations down to those which were the most significant to me. For years, I have decorated my share of Christmas trees and holiday settings… mine, my clients and stores I have worked in. However, the last several years,  I have been  doing less and less for myself. The simple truth is, despite how much I loved putting it up, I loathed taking it down and packing it back up. Can anyone relate?????

Terri's Christmas Tree

Terri’s Christmas Tree


It seems every year, my tree continues to get one more round of editing. 

This year I did not feel the push to hang all of the ornaments I had already narrowed down to. (Yep, feeling really lazy this year.)

I choose only the most significant.

The best way to highlight significant ornaments is to first create a base and  rhythm with ribbon and other repetitive items.  (That’s my tip for the day!)

A few years ago I started wiring three balls together because it just had a little more pop. (As well, as later being a little less work as well. ha ha. )

The gold and silver wire mesh ribbon helped beef up my pencil tree that does not overwhelm my smaller living space. 

I like the way the ribbon trail creates pockets of space where those significant ornaments can rest and beckon attention.

It is those significant ornaments that make the Christmas decorating the most fun . 

Thoughts start rushing back to memories of years past.

I always get a little choked up.

And I am sure I am not alone  in that.

Christmas ornament collageMy favorites are ones my Mom gave to me and I always get a little sad ’cause I miss her so much.

Other treasures are the collection of nativity ornaments that my cousin has given me

every year for as long as I can remember.

(My cousin is my best friend, my mother, my sister, my counselor all wrapped in one.

She has been with me through thick and thin and knows my deepest secrets.)

And, oh, yes ….. Baby’s First Christmas ornaments…..

(I can hardly believe my kids are all grown up now, one married and the other with a significant other.)

Christmas mantle slice

I have no regrets of getting rid of some of my over done garlands

and going with something simple on the mantle that gives a quiet nod to the season.green_strip_small

Pieces of my Mom’s Lennox Nativity Scene are located in various spots in my décor

rather than the traditional nativity set up.

It is symbolic to me in knowing that the  wise men, the sheppard, and the angels

were not actually all there at the same time.

(I have to admit the wise men and angels actually stay on my mantle year round.

Not so much lazy this time, but simply a reminder

of my own personal journey to find Christ.)

christmas nativity

I like to use a piece of my art as a backdrop for the manger scene.

(I am always game for something a little unexpected.)

This piece is titled “On My Shoulder”.

(You can learn more about the story behind the art here.)

Simply Significant Christmas fb header



39 thoughts on “Christmas Simply Designed

  1. Reply Caroline Trinidad Dec 20,2015 1:42 pm


    Your tree is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing those details of your life. I knew you were special! I too, have been simplifying and am so grateful to know that it’s a right of passage, not one of anxiety. 😉 Again, thank you so much for this wonderful article!

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign Dec 21,2015 12:35 am

      Yes, I have been on this journey to simplify my life the last few years. Getting geared up for yet another layer to edit this coming year.

  2. Reply Silvia Dec 19,2015 9:32 pm

    Terri, your tree is stunning, but the thing that I love most is the manger scene. My mother used to do that in Christmas and I did when my kids were little. Is a way to not forget the true means of this holiday. You art as a background is perfect.

  3. Reply Kathy Gunthorpe Ashdown Dec 17,2015 9:44 pm

    Terri, I loved the ideas in your blog. I’d never thought of using ribbon on a tree! I especially like the idea of grouping several ornaments together. Thanks for the great ideas. Love your artwork and your tree is beautiful.

    • Reply TerriDavisArtDesign Dec 18,2015 3:53 pm

      Thanks Kathy! I never used ribbon before last year. It does help fill out the tree so I don’t have to use so many ornaments!!

  4. Reply Shannon Dec 17,2015 9:35 pm

    Love your tree!

  5. Reply Manifesting My Destiny with Lorii Abela Dec 12,2013 10:51 pm

    Great Christmas decorations! Your Christmas décor ideas are unique. When do you usually start decorating?

  6. Reply Robin Strohmaier Dec 10,2013 11:18 pm

    Terri, what a perfect post for this time of year! I love the blues in your tree, too. The photos are stunning.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 12,2013 5:58 pm

      Thanks Robin for stopping by! I have always favored the blues over the traditional reds for Christmas. Just speaks better to how I have decorated my home.

  7. Reply Gilly Dec 8,2013 6:22 pm

    So beautiful Terry, I love the blues in your tree, I’m getting in the Christmas spirit!!

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 9,2013 7:45 am

      Thanks for stopping by Gilly! I have always favored blues for Christmas over the traditional red.

  8. Reply Ana Maria Batista Verrusio Dec 7,2013 6:29 pm

    Terri, you are a woman of courage. I like simple, but I cannot resist a beautiful Christmas ornament. It seems that I buy more each year…I get so carried away. I practice the less is best philosophy in everything, but Christmas! The last time all my ornaments actually made it to the tree was probably about 26 years ago.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 7,2013 8:48 pm

      Sounds like you may need more than one tree to accommodate all your ornaments! How do you decide which ones you are going to use? Do you switch them up from year to year?

  9. Reply Robin Maria Pedrero Dec 5,2013 6:07 pm

    My eyes are drawn to the stunning blue!!

  10. Reply Michelle Edwards Dec 5,2013 12:31 am

    I love the santa ornament. I tend to like the old world Santas more than the big guy in the red suit! 🙂

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 5,2013 6:38 am

      Thanks Michelle! The santa ornament is one of the many handcrafted ornaments I have collected through the years. Each one holds a special memory of that particular year.

  11. Reply Marilyns Goodie Bags (@GoodieBagMarket) Dec 4,2013 10:38 pm

    Awww, I love that mouse ornament it is so cute yes even though I don’t like mice. great idea to do it on Thanksgiving day.

  12. Reply Simona Dec 4,2013 5:53 pm

    I love the little mousy in the tree!
    This year I said I won’t buy any more Christmas decorations. We mixed the colors we bought previous years and guess what – it turned out pretty well! Yay to simplify life in general and spending less on what will stay in a box in the garage on average of 11 months a year…

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 6:54 pm

      Thanks for noticing the mousy! It is very special to me. My mom gave it to me after my first child was born. And yes, I agree, there are times you can just remix what you have and come up with something pretty terific!

  13. Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 5:31 pm

    Thanks Kelly. I have to admit I too enjoyed relinquishing a little control and letting my family help a little more with the decorating. I was busy enough in the kitchen, lol, since we dived in and decorated on Thanksgiving Day!

  14. Reply Kelly Dec 4,2013 4:55 pm

    Your christmas tree looks beautiful. I relinquished a lot of control about how my tree looks this year as well. It actually felt good to let someone else put the ornaments up while I sat back and enjoyed my hot chocolate..

  15. Reply upliftingfam Dec 4,2013 3:17 pm

    I have always tried to moderately decorate my house for Christmas, I have kids and the more stuff I have out the more my youngest can get into. This year he loves taking ornaments off the tree and gazing at them. Most of the ornaments I do have on the tree have some sentimental value.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 3:22 pm

      My kids are grown now, but I remember those times well. This year I think they appreciated more me pointing out certain ornaments that marked a milestone in their life when growing up.

  16. Reply Norma Doiron ´*•჻. (@NormaDoiron) Dec 4,2013 2:58 pm

    Your article made me laugh as this is the first year I let my daughter & son in law decorate my tree. All the ornaments are in the front part of the tree; if you’re sitting on the side of the tree, it’s empty! Tee-hee… I do need to rearrange a bit but you are right. Let us not forget the reason for the season! x0x

  17. Reply casavilorainteriors Dec 4,2013 1:03 pm

    That’s what it’s all about. Family and memories. I have been on that same mission to simplify. I moved from a 4200 sf home to a 2500sf and got rid of alot of stuff! I am still not finished with my Christmas decorating, but I am taking my time until I can get the kids involved.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 2:43 pm

      Understood! That is one reason I decided to decorate on Thanksgiving. My kids are adults now and it was the only time I knew I would have both of them here at the same time.

  18. Reply Roslyn Dec 4,2013 10:11 am

    As always, done with elegance and heart.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 10:24 am

      Thanks Roslyn! I am trying to find that right balance of showing people who I am as well as offer them information that will help them with their own decorating dilemmas.

  19. Reply kungphoo Dec 4,2013 10:01 am

    Really cool decorating! We are pretty basic over here.. but we do both holidays so there is a big mix.

    • Reply Terri Davis Dec 4,2013 10:27 am

      It is good to keep things basic, especially when celebrating both holidays during the season.

  20. Reply Alexandra McAllister (@alexandrawow101) Dec 4,2013 9:29 am

    I love your tree, Terri and also using one of your paintings as a backdrop is such a beautiful idea. Simple is good! 🙂

  21. Reply BlueEyedSpirit (@cheryl_relf) Dec 3,2013 4:59 pm

    Beautiful Terri! Loved walking through!

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