“Ask the Home Staging Expert®”: If Our House is on the Market, can We Still Decorate for Christmas?


Hi, Lori – With the holidays approaching, we need some advice.

This year made us realize how important our family is and how much we miss them, so we’re selling our home to move closer.  Currently, houses in this market are moving fast, which is why we thought we should get our home listed now.  A Realtor® friend advised us not to wait and said things likely won’t be slowing down between Thanksgiving and New Year, so my husband is anxious to get things rolling.

The problem is…Christmas!  Our girls are now 7 and 9, so it’s a very big deal to them and it’s always been a very big deal to me.  I tend to go full-Gonzo with the decorations during the holiday season and always look forward to it.  As much as I want to move, I do think it’s more important than ever to carry on the traditions.  My husband thinks the most important thing is to get the house sold as quickly as possible.

While I agree that all the decorations might be distracting to some buyers, I don’t want to ignore Christmas.  So many normal activities have already been taken away from our girls because of the pandemic, I think it’s just too important not to give them this holiday.  What do you think?  Can we still decorate for Christmas?

Christmas-Gonzo in Virginia


Dear Gonzo –

I get it.  I truly do.  This year, ‘normal’ has taken on a whole new meaning.  We all miss it, and I feel particularly bad for the children and elderly who’ve been cooped up and have to make so many sacrifices.  And with the world currently sitting on a tilt, who knows what next year will bring?

For you and your family, I think it’s all about priorities.  You seem to agree that now is the best time to get your home sold.  You just have to wrap your head around what that truly means.  The good news is, you can still have a fabulous holiday without going ‘full-Gonzo’ on the decor!  And turning it down to a level most potential buyers will find more acceptable certainly doesn’t mean you’re ignoring Christmas.

Personally, I don’t think any reasonable buyer is going to care about a holiday tree and a few decorations.  Just don’t let them overwhelm your space.  Your kids are probably old enough to understand that this year is a little different.  Not just because of the virus, but your plans to move, as well.  Get them excited about that!  Remind them of how awesome it will be to see Grandma and Grandpa so often!

Instead of an explosion of decorations to represent the holidays for you, get the kids involved in a flurry of festive activities!  Make your own ornaments for the tree.  Make bird seed ornaments and decorate a tree for the birds outside.  Bake up and decorate a GONZO amount of holiday cookies and mail them off to that family you’re missing.  Make your own Christmas cards to send.  It’s a long-lost tradition, but probably more important now than ever before.  You can also check around the nursing homes in your area to see what their policies are, as many of them do allow people to drop off cards and non-food items for their residents.  I’m sure plenty of them would LOVE to receive a holiday greeting or handmade painting from your girls!

So you see?  There are actually many things you can do to make the holiday special for you and your family and get your house sold at the same time.  And please remember that the children are going to pick up on your attitude about this new way of celebrating.  If you’re enthusiastic about it, they will be, too!  Just consider it an opportunity to explore some new options that very well may end up turning into holiday traditions in your new home.

Wishing you and yours all the best and hope this helps!

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact lori@homestagingexpert.com.

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