Home and the spirit of Christmas - Weekend

Home and the spirit of Christmas

3 women inspire through their homes adorned for the season

By Naomi Liao and Irene Labucay
STC Masscom Interns


FOR most of us, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! There’s something about the warm atmosphere of this special season that reminds us of home, family, and most importantly, of the Holy Infant’s birth. And among the many family traditions, adorning our homes with the festive colors of the season is essential. Three homeowners have opened their doors to give us a peek at at how they’ve taken home Christmas decors to a whole new level of meaningful style:

Noellynne Solante

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and for Noellynne, the longing for Christmas begins much earlier. Noellynne and her family hail from Davao City and they moved to Cebu two years ago. “Back home in Davao, I would start decorating after halloween. But ever since I moved here, I decorate as early as October. Mainly because it’s lonely being away from my family and Christmas always makes me and my children happy. So I want to feel the Christmas Joy as early as possible.”

Noellynne believes that as a mom, it’s her role to make Christmas happen for her children, and decorating for the season is a big factor in making Christmas look as good as it sounds. “When I do the decors, I want to evoke a feeling of joy in my home. Whenever you feel Christmas, you start feeling good. I love it when I hear my kids talking about Christmas past and they reminisce about good memories, she says. “In my home, when the gifts start piling under the tree, I have a daughter who picks up each and every gift and she starts happily shaking it. She’s been doing it ever since I can remember.”

Noellynne loves everything about Christmas, especially when it’s all about family. “I love the decors. When stores and shops decorate, I take time admiring them. I love making a list of gifts for my family and buying them. I love wrapping gifts. I love the excitement of Christmas Eve when we all look forward to the gifts. I love Christmas food… my mom’s embutido, the Christmas Ham, etc. I just love everything Christmas.”

Noellynne took her passion for switching on the Christmas vibe after her mom, who used to adorn their house with Christmas decorations and make sure that it’s way better than last year’s. Noellynne does not purposely splurge on decorations, and in fact, some of her ornaments are 10 years old. She just adds several items every year.

“I am a firm believer of buying only things that give you a thrill of joy when you touch it. So all my Christmas ornaments in the tree are things that I have no plans of letting go since I love each piece. They were carefully selected,” she admits. “It usually is a happy time for me whenever it’s that time of year when I unpack my boxes of Christmas decors from storage and I get to touch the ornaments. It’s like seeing an old friend again after so many months.”

Rather than buying new ones, she believes that her Christmas decorations have become close to her heart and bear value. “This tree is the same tree I had in Davao. This year, I did not buy a lot. I got some pillows and a couple of poinsettias and also a Santa Cookie Jar.”

And her tip for beautifying your homes this Christmas? “When buying decor, think long term. I don’t usually buy the season’s latest trend. I stick to what is classic. That way, I know that I can continue to use it every year as long as its not broken,” Noellynne says. “Whatever looks good for you, probably looks good. So just display your own style. Holiday decorating can be exhausting if you try too hard. Your best christmas display should still be the love and joy in your family.”

Candy Uy

Adorning homes with Christmas decor as soon as the “ber” months kick in isn’t unusual for Filipinos. Candy Uy is of no exception. As soon as September arrives, she starts decorating her home, slowly at first, then kicking into high gear right after halloween. She gets the job done soon after, capturing the happiness Christmas gives her through her decor.

As her motif is aimed at bringing out the glow of the season, Candy says she loves how Christmas brings out the best in people. “When the season comes around, people seem to go out of their way to show a little bit of kindness, a little bit of care and a little bit of happiness,” she adds.

So who inspired Candy to make Christmas more meaningful by decorating their home? Her mother, of course. Though growing up wasn’t a bed of roses for her, Candy remembers vividly that even if they lived a tough life, her mother taught them how special Christmas was. “Our mother would always go out of her way to set up the Christmas tree even if it meant using Perla bars, hand whip them until foamy to create a snowy effect on a leafless tree bark she bought at Freedom park to serve as our Christmas tree,” Candy reveals. Thanks to what her mother taught, Candy wants her children to always experience Christmas as something beautiful, starting with a nicely decorated home.

When shopping for decor, Candy factors in the price, durability, and the items’ possibility of being used again. When it comes to decorating, Candy always takes into consideration what her mother always told her: “My decors are never expensive. Again, I remember my mom would tell me and my sister that things don’t necessarily have to be expensive to be beautiful.”

Candy does not change themes every year. For instance, she loves the beach so much that she always incorporates it with her decorations. “I stick to the coastal turquoise theme. When I feel like it and when the budget is ready, I might follow another theme,” she says. Her decors are usually those on sale. She has also been reusing decor from the previous years, but she has given some of it to family and friends. “After all Christmas is all about giving,” she quips.

Candy’s tip for new home owners in decorating is to just find a theme that feels right for them, one that would bring out their passion for decorating. “All those who want to decorate should consider items that are on sale, especially those that are off season. Thinking ahead about your theme allows you the time to plan ahead as well. It also gives you a heads-up on the off season offerings,” Candy adds.

Aleth Lim

Christmas is a celebration dedicated to our Savior Jesus and that is the main focus of Aleth when she decorates her home during Christmas season. The essence she tries to capture when putting on her decor is to focus on Jesus and the things He has sacrificed for us. “Focus should always be on Jesus who came to this world to save us from our sins. The decors are just to put color and life for the occassion,” Aleth stresses.

The thing Aleth loves most about Christmas is that it has always been a season of sharing. For her, decorating adds even more life to the Christmas Spirit. Aleth puts in extra effort in making sure her home is well decorated to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

Aleth is a homemaker in general. “I just love to arrange things and make spaces in the house look alive and relaxing,” she says. This is the main reason she loves to decorate her home during Christmas. Aleth thinks Christmas decors should not be expensive. She reuses some decors, combines them with others and even arrange them in different ways to make it even more beautiful without spending too much. Aleth does not change themes every year, but one thing that remains permanent is her main reason she decorates: to have Jesus as the center of her Christmas decor.

For those who are just starting their own home, Aleth offers this tip: always buy decors that are simple, safe, reusable and beautiful to the eyes. “Look for decors that will fit to your budget and yet give life to the Christmas season in your home,” she adds.

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