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Simple Christmas


It appears many of you are getting into the holiday spirit. The search keyword “Christmas” topped the charts last week, which means that you are all looking for Christmas inspiration. I’m currently preparing our annual alternative Christmas tree ideas round up post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you some simple decor ideas to set the tone for the holidays, without necessarily adding the expected Christmas tree, yet.

Here are a few ideas for a simple and chic Christmas mood at home. Many of these ideas inspire me to get creative this season, and add a bit of magic to my holiday decor. What style are you going for with your holiday decor this year? I’m all into simple details to set the festive holiday mood.

Simple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By DesignSimple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By Design Simple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By Design Simple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By Design Simple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By Design Simple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By DesignSimple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By DesignSimple Christmas Decorating ideas - via French By Design

Pictures from Elle DecorationIdeas MagazineLa Petite CuisineAmber Ceramics



  • Matt

    I may be called a scrooge with this comment, but we are only in November! I never decorate until December!

    • French By Design

      You are not a scrooge, @Matt! Every year, if I wait until December to post about Christmas inspiration, I get many comments that it’s too late and people wish they had the inspiration ahead of the season. Plus, over here, Christmas preps start after Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is next week. Cheers.

  • Ardith

    These are some lovely ideas, Si. The word delicate comes to mind when scrolling through the photos. It is Christmas with a light “sleigh” of hand. This approach gives the holiday a magical touch as you say. For me it even harkens back further to Pagan celebrations that utilized simple, natural elements as decoration.

    Looking forward to this year’s roundup of alternative Christmas trees…even while I am excited about making this year’s Thanksgiving meal. Cheers, Ardith

    • French By Design

      Oh yay, excited about Thanksgiving as well, this year, I will try to make my own cranberry sauce, from scratch – I never dared to try before. Do you happen to have a good recipe I could use, @Ardith? Happy Thanksgiving! Xo.

      • Ardith

        I do and I’ll get it to you tomorrow. :)

      • Ardith

        As promised, here is the recipe I’ve liked using for years now:

        Yield: 2 1/2 cups of cranberry sauce

        – 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
        – 3/4 cup water
        – 1 tbsp lemon juice
        – 1 cup sugar
        – 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
        – 1/8 tsp ground cloves
        – 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries
        – 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
        – the zest of one orange or lemon

        – Add all of the ingredients together and simmer on low heat until thick and the most of the cranberries have popped, stirring regularly. Adjust flavors to taste.

        Cheers, Ardith

        • Ardith

          P.S. It’s a good idea to rinse the cranberries before adding them to the pot. Don’t tell anyone, but there have been times I’ve forgotten this step.

          FYI, I use a medium size pot for cooking this recipe.

          (Sorry, I’m sleep deprived today.)

          • French By Design

            Oh my, you are truly the best, @Ardith! Definitely trying your recipe and calling it « Ardith’s cranberry sauce »… You’ll be at our Thanskgiving dinner table! Thank you so so much! ♡♡♡

          • Ardith

            Hello again, Si. I just made this sauce, so I wanted to share with you how I finish making it. I let the sauce simmer (# 2 on my electric stovetop), stirring it occasionally. When it looks like a lot of the cranberries have burst (this can take up to 45 minutes), I smooch them all down into the sauce with the back of my silicone curved spatula. It should be pretty thick already at this stage, so I take it off the burner and let it cool completely.

            Once it cools, I go ahead and spoon it into a serving dish (I actually use a clear glass cereal bowl), cover it with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator until ready to serve…at which point it will be nice and thick.

            FYI, no, I do not strain it, but some people prefer to do so before chilling the sauce.

            Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving week, Ardith

          • French By Design

            Oh, so sweet of you to follow up with recipe details. Trying it today, so your final recommendations are on point! I’ll let you know how it turns, so excited! Thank you so so much @Ardith! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! Xo, Si-

          • French By Design

            @Ardith, your sauce was a hit in our house! I carefully followed your instructions, and it was so good – and pretty easy to make! Thank you again so so much for sharing with me! Xo, Si

          • Ardith

            Phew, that’s a relief, Si. I am so glad that sauce worked for you. I hope you had fun making it and the rest of your menu. I also hope it was a joyful day for everyone.

  • Lindsey | This Miss Cooks

    We’re all about the greenery over here, in fact it’s how we plan to decorate our wedding next year. It’s especially nice to have just a little something for the days surrounding Christmas since we’ll be traveling for the actual holiday.

  • What Mum Loves

    I love the simple xmas decor. Without all the unnecessary clutter :)

  • Of Ashes & Bones

    I have a weakness for lights+jar! I love the simple and clean look. I didn’t realize it until today when I got my morning coffee and saw most of the places already put up their decorations! it’s so exciting to get the holiday season coming

  • Angie

    Love the simple and natural decor. Also, you can give me Christmas ideas in July, that’s how long it’ll take me to chew on it and put it up! It’s never too early for me. Thank you so much!

  • Ramona

    I love all the inspiration here! All of this ‘softness’ could be up after the holidays because it doesn’t ‘scream’ Christmas. Just simple and loveliness.

  • Chloe Holgate

    This is so beautiful but I would miss the tinsel