Making Your Home Feel Like The Holidays: An Interview With A Holiday Fanatic


Photo Credit: Hava

One of the many ornaments owned by KayT Garrett.

Luiza Decenzi and Havana Garrett

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, St. Lucia Day, or any other winter holiday, the months of December and January tap into a festive atmosphere around the globe. The holidays are especially regarded as a time to strengthen relationships and spirituality while relishing traditions and recollections of the past. 

From banners and stockings to garlands and wooden angels, KayT Garrett has been known to go all out for the holiday season. Between hanging wreaths and organizing advent calendars, she’s transformed her home into a winter wonderland. This year, the Boise Highlights had the pleasure to gain insight into the inner workings of her traditions.


Interviewer: Would you say you are a person who likes to decorate for the holidays?

KayT Garrett (KG): Yes, I love to decorate for the holidays.


Interviewer: What is your favorite part of decorating for the holidays?

KG: My favorite part of decorating for Christmas is pulling all of the decorations out of storage, particularly the ornaments for our Christmas tree. One of my family’s traditions, since I was a child, was receiving an ornament each year. When my siblings and I moved out and started our own families, my mom gave us our childhood ornaments.  I’ve continued that tradition with my own family.  I like to link the year’s choices for each family member to a place we traveled or some other activity that was significant during the year.  When it is time to decorate the tree, I love unwrapping the ornaments and reflecting on the memories associated with each one.  


Interviewer: Do you have a favorite decoration that you put up year after year?

KG: I have several favorites.  My family celebrates Christmas, so some of my favorite decorations are two nativity sets that we put out each year.  The first set was my mother’s.  When I was young and my mom was working very hard, she would buy one or two pieces of the ceramic nativity set each year. She built it over time and it was always very exciting to see which piece she would add.  The set contains two angels that look like my brother and I as children that were her favorite pieces.  My mom passed the set to me a few years ago and it is one of my most treasured holiday decorations.  We have a second wooden, toy-like nativity set that we gave our daughter, who is now eighteen, for her first Christmas.  When she was younger, she would play with the set each year.  It has become a favorite tradition for her to set up the wooden nativity each year. 


Interviewer: Would you say you have always been a fan of Christmas?

KG: Yes, I think I’ve always enjoyed decorating for Christmas. I have very vivid memories of holiday decorations from my grandparents’ and parents’ houses from when I was very young.  So, I think it’s always been important to me. I remember a Mr. and Mrs. Claus that my mom and grandma made by folding newspapers.  And I remember one year when we made garlands out of popcorn and cranberries.  When I was in High School, my mom did professional decorating for local hotels and a few private homes. I loved helping her, and it was a fun thing we did together. 


Interviewer: Would you say that your experiences decorating for Christmas growing up have shaped your traditions for decorating now?

KG: Absolutely my experiences growing up have shaped what I value during the holidays now. I have carried on many of the traditions from my childhood, like the Christmas tree ornaments.  Hanging and filling the stockings was also an important and fun part of my childhood that changed as I grew up. I have quite a few of the decorations that my mom has passed on to me as well.  But I have added some of my own spin on the decorations too, which has been fun. I like the creativity involved in decorating; maintaining traditions while also mixing it up each year.   


Interviewer: Do you have any tips or advice for people who might be decorating for the holidays this year?

KG: My advice would be to have fun with decorating and to not worry about having it be perfect.  Develop your own style and enjoy the creative process, rather than trying to emulate something you have seen in a magazine or on Pinterest. Make your decorations personal and develop your own family traditions.