Holiday Decorating Traditions

Holiday Decorating Traditions

On behalf of Hacienda, Krystin and I welcome you to our inaugural No Place Like Journal’s Holiday feature. 

If you celebrate the Holiday Season, our hope for you is that, amid the busyness and bustle, you will take precious moments to sit and relax with a mug or glass of your favourite beverage while you reflect upon the Season and upon the past year, and that this Holiday Season will create for you cherished memories to carry forward. For our family, an integral aspect of the Season is family traditions that we endeavor to keep and pass on. These traditions are often reflected in our holiday décor. 


(I purchased the Magi figurines at a craft show, shortly after my husband and I moved into our home almost 20 years ago and they've been a part of our Christmas decor ever since. I love the details in their garments and in the gifts that they are holding. The nativity scene, a gift from a friend, was hand-crafted in Bethlehem.)

Here are some images shared by Krystin’s mom, Camille, who appeared with Krystin in an earlier NPL Mini Video session. These displays showcase Camille’s love for seasonal flora and greenery that she features in her holiday décor. 

Camille Sampson

(Watch Camille's NPL video)

Keeping holiday decorating in mind, we reached out to previous featured contributors to the NPL Journals and asked them to share their holiday decorating ideas and traditions. If you want to read their original NPL features click the link below each name!

We were thrilled to receive these beautiful images and accompanying descriptions from some of our past contributors, including incorporating reused materials and natural elements from the garden, to inherited, handmade, gifted, and vintage ornaments, to hand-sewn stockings for the entire family, including pet family, to the marriage of cultures, to the blending of modern with vintage, and a daughter’s hand-painted ornaments, and even a whimsical combination of Halloween and classical Christmas décor. 

Please do enjoy these beautiful images and vignettes as presented by each participant and in their own words.

Roni Brown

(Read Roni's NPL feature)

Celebrating Christmas to me is about enjoying family and friends. Even though consumerism is amplified at this time of year, we remain committed to being mindful of our impact on our beautiful planet. A secondhand Christmas tree was found years ago, and it is used to this day. The tree is adorned with vintage ornaments and natural elements from the garden. Presents are wrapped with reused paper and remnants of fabric. My grandchildren are introduced to preloved toys, that are so quaint and adorable. It is very important that we emphasize our gratitude for all the joy in our lives.

Nicky Bruun-Meyer

(Read Nicky's NPL feature)

This little set of wood musicians were made in Germany before the second world war and belonged to my grandmother. They then travelled to Norway, when she married my grandfather, and then on to South Africa after my father was born. They eventually ended up in Canada, when my parents immigrated here, and have now been passed on to me. I love that they show the path my family has taken over the last few generations.

Like my home décor, I love a mix of vintage and handmade on my Christmas tree. I grew up making a lot of ornaments with my mom, using stuff from fabric store surprise bags, and the tradition continues today with friends. Fun fact, my family painstakingly removes the tinsel from the tree each year and has been reusing the same stuff for decades! Tinsel covers a multitude of sins on a tree, and I love the extra sparkle!

A few years ago, friends and I designed and made a selection of laser-cut ornaments of iconic Toronto buildings that we sold at the Spacing Store. Here is the OCAD building, and we also had Honest Ed’s, the Sky Dome, the CN Tower, City Hall, and the Flatiron Building. I love having this little bit of local history on my tree!

Mitch & Keri Evans

(Read Mitch and Keri's NPL feature)

Having now settled into our home, we've been able to focus more on holiday decorations, and how they reflect the sensibilities of the rest of our space. This year we wanted a pine tree and decorated it with mostly hand-crafted ornaments, as well as ones gifted by and inherited from our families.

With our holiday décor, we have been enjoying mixing vintage pieces with more modern ones, as well as mixing our cultural traditions by celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.


Loma Hecker

(Read Loma's NPL feature)

We have put up “Nightmare before Christmas” theme decor for the past few years which, I might add, were all homemade. For Jack Skellington, I used a plastic Halloween bucket for the head and glued PVC pipes together for the body.  I built the doghouse and the Christmas & Halloween town signs as well as the teeth and eyes on our wreath out of foam board.  We love Halloween around here so why not make Christmas a little spooky.

We still enjoy the classic Christmas décor inside, but we must include the whimsical side to things. We have three large trees, four small trees, and one large sequence tree. Christmas in our house must be filled with laughter and fun for the kids while still creating the feeling of warmth, Christmas joy and coziness. 

Mariana Silveira

(Read Mariana's NPL feature)

Each year, for the holidays, I try to accomplish two things decorating-wise; to never have to edit my home to accommodate Christmas décor (I really don’t have the space to put away any furniture), and to use what I already have.

The ornaments on my tree are almost all inherited. They belonged to my mom, and she purchased them from a store not unlike Hacienda, when I was a teenager. They are all handmade and still in amazing condition. My mom relinquished them to me and now enjoys them in my home. I also have a few vintage ones I have acquired over the years. As well as some porcelain orbs my daughter painted “abstract style” in kindergarten. My favourite by far. I make all my arrangements (which aren’t many) including the poinsettia one on my coffee table, using things I have at home. 

The reindeer under the console was purchased at IKEA for my daughter Antonella’s first Christmas fourteen years ago (she was one month old). It is very special to me and is the first thing we put out every Christmas.

Molly Skelly

(Read Molly's NPL feature)

We like to transform our mantle and showcase our nutcrackers. We love stockings and I have handmade them for my kids and husband. Mine was handmade by my aunt when I was a child and the pets each have their own too! 

Our tree is full of ornaments, from our travels and gifts from my mom who loves to give ornaments to each of us each Christmas. Our favourites are the tin ornaments we bought in Mexico and anything our kids have made.

These wonderful images and accompanying stories from our past NPL contributors brought us such joy and inspiration. We hope you experienced the same.

As we approach the New Year, we invite you to continue enjoying our No Place Like Journals as we bring you home décor ideas and vision, in the coming year and going forward. 

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones and Best Wishes for the New Year.

(Article written by Francine Fleming)

Krystin & Francine
on behalf of Hacienda
Your Home is Your Haven

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