Decorating for Christmas – Stairway Edition

Decorating for Christmas – Stairway Edition

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way right now.

A.  This post is not to suggest that I have any real or superior knowledge about decorating anything.

B.  If you feel that decorating for Christmas obscures the ‘real’ reason for the season well…look we just aren’t going to get along.  So please move on.  The internet is a big place and I’m sure you can find someone out there to agree with you. Try googling ‘how my mom ruined Christmas’ or something.

This set of instructions is for mychildren.  Here’s the thing.  I usually do this stuff while they are at school.  So they actually have no idea how this deal comes together.  And what if something happens to me?  Can I really allow my precious angels to go forth into womanhood without knowing how to decorate for Christmas?

No friends.  No I cannot.

So here we go.


  • You gotta get a whole bunch of greenery.  Yes.  It must be fake.  If that offends you, again, get out.  Fake greenery is pliable and easy to work with.  If you are desperate for the fresh pine smell, spray it with air freshener or something.  Take this stuff and wrap it generously around your handrail.  (If you don’t have a staircase, no biggie.  This will work on anything from a doorway to a doghouse if you are creative enough.)  Basically decide how many times it needs to be wrapped to look really good and then add one to that number.  This is the foundation.  It has to be solid.  Spend 10 extra bucks and make it look good.


  • Lights.  Let’s talk for a minute.  If you are doing this for the first time, try to buy really good LED lights.  Unfortunately most of us start decorating when we are young and poor.  That means we use the ‘piece ‘o crap’ lights.  This is what I use.  Every year I vow to replace them.  But before Christmas I don’t want to spend the money and after Christmas I never have any money.  So year after stinkin’ year I replace the crappola cheap lights with additional cheap lights.  Why must they be replaced, you ask?  Well the answer is simple.  THEY ARE CRAP!!!  Do yourself a favor.  Just buy four or five sets early in November.  You are definitely going to need them.  Trust me.  So once you have your lights, start wrapping them.  Make sure they are plugged in and working as you wrap.  I promise if you do all this work and then realize that your cheap, cruddy lights don’t work, you will be mad enough to burn the house down.  One last thing on lights.  You can’t have too many…seriously.  If you trip the breaker for the entire house, remove one set.  That’s pretty much the rule.




So now you have the staircase wrapped and lit.  Looks pretty good, right?  Don’t worry about the light cords and stray branches. We are going to cover all that stuff up with holiday goodness.


  • Ribbon.  I change ribbon constantly.  Like I seriously have a problem.  Spend some time choosing the ribbon.  Try hard to fall in love with it.  Get the widest, best quality ribbon you can afford. And get lots of it.  There’s a lot of different ways to wrap the ribbon.  I usually go all the way up and then back down criss crossing them.  This is a  pain and results in bad words.  If you wanna stay away from that, I feel ya.  Just wrap it in one direction all the way up.  It will still look good.  (Not as good as mine but live with your choices, mmmk?)




  • Ok.  Now this is really coming together.  But we ain’t done.  Let’s add some hangy stuff.  You can hang just about any light item from your greenery.  I collect small and large ornaments here and there.  I add more every year.  And, honestly, I regret nothing.  If you want to decorate your home in some kind of minimalist, fancy pants, feng shui kinda nonsense.  By all means.  Go  for it.  Get yourself a burlap bag Christmas tree skirt and one sprig of holly for your mantelpiece.  If that’s the way you choose to celebrate Jesus’ birthday then so be it.

But I raised you better…

I try to hang the stuff with some kind of plan in mind.  Try to space things equally and mix colors and sizes.  Usually I hang the giant ones first and then fill in the rest. It doesn’t have to be perfect.  In fact, remember that sentence for the rest of your life.  Nothing is going to be perfect.  Do your best and call it good enough.

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  • Ok.  Almost done now.  The almost last thing is the picks.  These are the decorative things that you stick in the top of your railing.  Again, you can’t have too many of these.  I buy a bunch every year when Hobby Lobby marks them 90%off.  (Note :  There is hardly anything I won’t buy at 90% off.  This is why I am currently devising a craft project using 40 pointsettias.)


  • The only other thing I would add is a few bows.  I can’t show you a picture because my bowmaker is missing.  I’m not accusing Kevin of hiding it from me.  Nevermind.  Yes I am.  But eventually there will be bows.  And there you have it!


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One important thing to remember.  Choose your color scheme early and stick with it for life.  Don’t get sucked in by trends.  Not NOBODY is going to be using all that lime green stuff to decorate in 10 years.  Pick a traditional palette.  You won’t be sorry.

Hopefully I will still be alive and mobile when you guys start decorating your own homes.  If so, I will come help you out.  I’m guessing I will have scads of free time once I am not spending all day raising you and stuff.

Also Kevin says we have to downsize to a small storage building size home once you all grow up so I’m going to need you to take a bunch of this stuff off my hands, ok?


  1. This pretty much encapsulates why you’re so fricken awesome.

    Now, write more instructions for your beloved girls. I will read it all!

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