Cabin Christmas Decorating

What are your plans for the holidays?  Will you be in the mountains, cozied up in a wintry cabin?

Whether you're getting ready for a cabin holiday, or if you're just dreaming of one, here are some beautiful images to get you inspired for decorating and spending time in a mountain cabin this season.

Perhaps you're planning ahead and arriving in style with everything you need to make the holidays fabulous for you and your guests.  Each year I see lot's of grandmotherly types arriving on their own, days before the holidays begin, to open their houses, air out the linens, bring on the decorations and make that de riguer trip to Costco and Whole Foods to stock up for the crowd soon to arrive.  Their Range Rovers and Jeeps are packed to the gills with wrapped packages, European cheeses, extra cashmere throws and plaid ribbons.

Or, perhaps you'll arrive in a rush to a rented vacation home, exhausted from a heavy work schedule and the effort of packing and organizing a busy of family with winter clothes, holiday gifts and ski equipment.  "Oops", you'll say upon arrival, "what about a Christmas tree and decorations?"

What tree?

You might be at either extreme or some place in the middle, but whomever you are, not to worry.  The mountains are a place that lend themselves perfectly to the Christmas holidays and whether you go overboard with Christmas bounty or simply provide a few tasteful hints of Christmas spirit, it's all about the beauty outdoors and the togetherness inside.  

First let's look at some folks who've obviously planned ahead...

Perfectly Decorated Christmas Lodge
In the lodge above, abundantly generous greens on the mantle, a beautiful floral arrangement on the coffee table and a tall simply decorated tree make a big Christmas statement.  Keeping the scale large and the concept simple while avoiding a lot of fussy little elements is key to this look.

Below, another elegantly decorated mantle relies mainly on Christmas greenery.

Pine boughs and pine cones are all that need be added to create holiday magic to this already perfectly accessorized cabin mantle-piece.
Greenery is always tasteful, beautiful and natural, especially when it's added in ample proportion to the room and the elements within.

However, if you're not into the effort, simple rustic mountain-appropriate decorations are wonderful in cabins for the holidays...

Candlelight and a simple pine bough.

A nordic blanket and a pair of ice skates give a cheery Christmas welcome.
Christmas chalet-style.  An antique bench, red and white linens and an old rusty pie tine with a simple candle and pine sprig.

Sometimes it's more about family, friends and good food than anything else.  A simple treat of cocoa and snacks says Christmas better than any elaborate decorating display, below. 

Years ago, before we had moved to Tahoe, we arrived the day before Christmas Eve to find that every decent Christmas tree in town had already been sold.  Finally I stumbled on that very last and saddest little excuse of a tree found in the parking lot at the 7 Eleven. It truly was the tree that every other person had rejected. We brought it home and the kids dressed it up with a string of lights, construction paper chains and homemade cookies.  They probably loved that tree more than any of the elaborate trees I had painstakingly created in our Beverly Hills home in years prior. 

So if you find yourself struggling to pull a tree together at the last minute or you don't want to fuss much, remember, simple can be beautiful...

A small tree in a tin bucket with a few lights is all you really need.
Remember, it's your holiday.  You're here to have a good time.  Feel free to avoid all this...

Not necessary--get out and ski instead!
But if you're the type that simply loves to create beauty, why not focus on a pretty front porch.  Yes, it will require a little effort, but your family and guests will probably love a festive winter welcome for Christmas at the cabin.

Can I come too?  You just know there's going to be some good food and fun folks here.

A perfect winter picture.
Welcoming committee!

A simple wreath can be all you need when the architecture is this good already.  Just make sure you get a nice large wreath, in scale for its use.
A rustic welcome.  A few buckets, an old chippy table and an antique sled all get pulled together with armloads of greenery.
When it comes to sitting down to dinner, maybe you'll be dining in a cabin that is the perfect setting for Christmas dinner, below.

This place looks like a Christmas movie set.  Not much effort required to dress it up.
Or maybe you're the type of person who will always make beauty wherever you are...

Simple but pulled together with thought and intention.  A lovely look for any cabin.
Or maybe you're the type to let nature do the work for you and have your holidays be all about celebrating the beauty of the high country.  After all, it was already created in perfection.  It doesn't really need your help... even one little bit.  Take eveyone out to dinner!

It's important to remember that there is no right or wrong in holiday decorating.  It need not be conventional, expected or especially, expensive.  To demonstrate this, here's a video from Kathryn Ireland showing a festive holiday table she set using inexpensive items she already had, flowers from her garden and neighborhood (heavens...she confesses on TV that she regular goes out in the night and clips flowers from her neighbors!), children's artwork and inexpensive collectibles found around the house.  Perhaps it might not look like the conventional idea of Christmas, but it's beautiful, inviting and anybody can do something similar using items on hand or found inexpensively at flea markets or discount stores.

Remember, it's all about the joy...

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