Don’t you love to hear someone say, “I remember holidays at my grandparents’ house. I loved the smells and the decorations, especially the _____________. That was my favorite!” Do your kids, grandkids or family friends have specific decorations they always comment on?

When our grandchildren come to our house for Christmas, they expect to see this as a centerpiece on the dining room table.

At our house, we always light the candles of this German Christmas Pyramid several times during their visit, just to watch the turbine at the top and the figurines rotate around the center.

To our kids and grandkids, this signals Christmas. What is it at your house? Is there a favorite holiday piece that you always feature?

No matter what holiday we celebrate, decorating makes it feel special and sets this time of the year apart as being important. And decorating for or with our grandchildren makes memories.

Note: If you don’t have children or grandchildren, perhaps there is another child in your family or in your circle of friends, who would love to help you decorate. Let’s call them your grandchild for the sake of this article.

We all know that baking together or decorating holiday cookies or cakes is one way to make memories. But chances are, we already do that. We might even have matching aprons to celebrate the holiday together.

Besides food, decorating with things that remind us of the season just makes the time of year even more special.

If We Live Alone

If living by ourselves, we might be tempted to NOT decorate, thinking it is too much work or it is not as much fun when it is just us. But let’s reconsider and share the love of the season with someone.

If Our Grandchildren Live Nearby

In case we live close to our kids and grandkids, we may want to ask them to help us decorate. Depending on their age, ability and willingness, they may want to choose which decorations to display or help us make new decorations – or even help us place them around our house.

Sometimes that means putting our preferences aside, just to make memories with them. If their tastes are totally different from ours, we could consider allowing them to decorate ‘their’ room, while leaving the rest of the house to us.

A great place for new ideas is Pinterest.com. We can create a shared Pinterest board for the holidays where we and our grandchildren can pin items we might want to create together – or even while apart.

We can allow them to choose from the board, giving them some input in the final projects. If we have a little extra money for decorations, and opportunity to take them shopping, two great places to find inexpensive decorations or craft supplies are second hand stores and ‘dollar’ stores.

There are many great blogs about holiday decorating which you can browse. That’s where I got some great new ideas for doorway scenes, fireplace decorations, and general themes for new holiday décor. Some of my favorites are Tatertots and jelloLiz Marie’s Blog and Star Furniture Blog.

If we need more ideas, we can just Google these words: “decorating for ________” (the holiday we are celebrating). And we’ll get all kinds of ideas.

If we choose the ‘images’ tab on our search engine, it will display only pictures! That’s a fast and easy way to search for decorations (and any images, really). Together with our grandchild, we can scroll through those pix for the ones we like.

If Our Grandchildren Live Far Away

What if our grandkids don’t live close by? If they’re coming for a visit, like mine, we may want to decorate on a smaller scale, yet display prominently those pieces we think are important to them.

I’m going to be sure to put out the decorations they made for me when they were small, along with some pieces their mothers made for me when THEY were growing up. They love to see childhood pictures of their parents.

If Our Grandchildren Will Not Be Able to Visit This Year

In case we can only see our grandchildren on Skype or FaceTime for the holiday season, why not create a special setting, a special corner or a ‘photo op’ with a few of their favorite pieces, a new piece or just something very festive.

Then, when we turn on the camera and they see our face, they will also see something that they identify with the season – something that brings back good memories.

I’m certainly not suggesting that we go ‘all out’ and decorate every inch of our house and yard. But just a few well-placed items will make this holiday special. They will lift our spirits and give us joy in remembering times past and in seeing the excitement in the eyes of our grandchildren.

One year, my husband and I decorated, just minimally, in anticipation of our grandchildren coming for Christmas. Plans changed, and they did not make the trip to see us.

We decided we could not let those decorations go to waste, so we invited friends in for a light meal, and we were pleased that the house was already decorated. Seeing holiday decorations brightened their holiday too.

Let’s not think of the effort. Let’s think of the memories. We are creating memories for a lifetime for and with our families.

What central piece do you use when your grandchildren drop by for the holidays? Do you prefer to let them decorate with you, or would you rather do it all by yourself? If you happen to be lone during the season, do you decorate your house? Please share your favorite grandparent-grandchildren decoration projects that brought lots of fun and made many happy memories.

Let's Have a Conversation!