This will be a Christmas to remember

Christmas 2020 may be unlike any other Christmas in recent memory. Families will probably celebrate largely in isolation, socializing only with those with whom they live and seeing other loved ones via Zoom, thanks to the pandemic.

Many will decorate as usual or even more than usual in order to lift family members' spirits. Others who usually entertain lots of family and friends during the holidays might take the year off from extravagant inside decor because there will be few to enjoy it.

It is probably safe to say, however, that everyone will probably still unpack some of their favorite decorations, and many people will even invest in new ones, especially if they have experienced a life-changing event during 2020 like a move, a marriage or the birth of a child.

Beloved ornaments and holiday decor, accumulated over the years, are comforting touchstones people revisit every holiday season - even this one. Adding new items to your holiday decor lineup each year is also exciting and important.

"People will still want their house to feel happy and since so many people are working from home, they may even find more time to decorate - between phone calls and other work," said Laurie Kane, owner (with her husband, Joe) of Treetime Christmas Creations, 22102 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington.

While trends in holiday decor change over the years, most homeowners add to their Christmas collections gradually, Kane said.

Homeowners who have more than one tree generally allow their main tree to become a "family tree" that is a living scrapbook of where they have traveled and what they have done, while other trees within the home end up as themed trees, often reflecting the homeowners' hobbies, avocations or collections (like sports, cars, snowmen and so forth). But younger homeowners who don't yet have as many "life experience" ornaments often choose to theme their main tree until they eventually collect enough lifetime ornaments to cover a large tree.

This year there are several hot Christmas decorating trends for those themed trees that are reflected at Treetime Christmas Creations, Kane said.

"The first one is the Mountain Lodge tree, which has a warm Alpine look. It is a snow-covered tree that features white and blue floral picks, interesting wild branches and twig garlands alongside birds, white owls and ski-themed ornaments, like lift chairs," she said.

Next, is the Precious Metals tree featuring big round Christmas bulbs alongside crystal ornaments; copper, silver and gold strings of beads; and even tree "jewelry" to give an earthy yet modern feel, Kane said.

The Blush tree is very glittery featuring platinum-colored glitter and birds, butterflies and other ornaments in shades of blush pink and purple for a dreamy, fanciful look. These are usually placed in dining rooms and bedrooms.

"Our Santa's Magic Shop area in the back of the store features several whimsical trees including a 16-foot tree covered in elves 'gone wild,' as well as a snowman tree and a gingerbread tree," she said. "This room also features a life-size furry singing reindeer that the children love and beautiful battery-operated water lanterns that resemble snow globes."

Small, tabletop trees are another hot trend and an easy way to bring an element of the holidays to a room like a bedroom or a study. You can even use one or two on your dining room buffet, Kane said.

New color-changing novelty LED lights are particularly popular this year, she continued, because they now have eight-function ones that show clear lights, multicolored lights or pastel lights (depending on your mood or the color of the room you want to accent) and they flash, fade, twinkle or change colors.

"Battery technology like this has made it easier to bring touches of holiday lights to places like mantles, centerpieces, tree toppers and even porch pots," Kane explained. "Homeowners love the atmosphere that can be created by lights. Some are even adding additional lights to their pre-lit trees, trying to make their trees literally glow from within."

New this year are unique stocking holders that young homeowners are grabbing up and lovely handblown tree ornaments made in Poland, she added. "Because of COVID, the Huras Family artisans were literally hand-blowing these ornaments in their homes and garages, we have been told."

Treetime also has a Design Studio where designers can make custom bows, garlands and so forth for customers or they can teach them to do it themselves. Post-pandemic (future Christmases), Kane is hopeful that they once again offer group classes.

Fortunately, Kane said, the store ordered its custom trees early this year. Because they are made in China, there were sleepless nights about whether or not they would be delivered. But they came in during September, she said - two months later than usual - but much earlier than many of their competitors who won't receive their trees until closer to Thanksgiving.

For more information, call Treetime Christmas Creations at (847) 527-8880 or visit

  Precious Metals at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  Mountain Lodge at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  Precious Metals at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  Singing Reindeer at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  A Huras handblown ornament from Poland at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  Laurie Kane, Treetime owner at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
  Crush on Blush at Treetime at 22102 N. Pepper Road, Suite 101, in Lake Barrington. Brian Hill/
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