Celebrating the Holidays in an RV
A Full-Timer Shares Her Family's "Nice List" on how to Deck the Halls in Your Rig
For most people the holiday season brings about a feeling of joy and warmth to their hearts. We are filled with memories of holidays past, and we look forward to creating new memories during future holidays. And, for most people holiday memories are centered around a particular home or aspect of said home.
So what happens when you decide to spend the holidays on the road, away from that home? Do you forego traditions you’ve always held near to your heart or do you create new ones? Well, what if it could be both?
Whether you’re a full-time RVer, part-time RVer, vacationer, or weekend warrior, a holiday season on the road can be just as special and meaningful as holidays spent in a sticks-and-bricks home. The key to making sure your time on the road for the holidays is just as meaningful as it’s always been is to make sure you keep old traditions alive while traveling or being in your RV.
As a bonus, along with keeping old traditions alive, the novelty of being on the road gives you the opportunity to create new memories and traditions for your family. By using holiday decorating as an anchor, you can transform your rolling home into the memory maker your stick home has always been.
Let’s Talk Turkey
Maybe festive gobblers and colorful leaves are a focal point for November around your sticks-and-bricks house. Just because you’re in a smaller space doesn’t mean that has to change. The only change may be bringing in smaller elements of themed decor and placing them around your rig.
Remember making paper turkeys in grade school by tracing your hand on brown paper, cutting it out, and adding colorful feathers? That still makes for a fun, affordable project, and the materials (and even the finished product) takes up very little space.
You could also take a colorful fall bunting and drape it across the windows. Another fun, yet simple, decor aspect could be switching out your throw pillows for Thanksgiving color plaid or printed ones. Even just one or two pillows can help get you in the holiday mood!
Do you typically decorate your sticks and bricks with elves, reindeer, and Santa Claus? Or maybe it’s all blue and white, or even black, red, and green. That doesn’t have to change just because you’re in your RV. Simply find smaller, more RV-friendly pieces that bring just as much joy to your space. Just as you can make your rig Thanksgiving-friendly by adding themed accessories, the same can be done in December. Changing out your normal throw pillows for some featuring jolly old Saint Nick or other themed items, or draping colorful holiday bunting, are simple ways to make your home on wheels feel more festive.
While you’re decorating for the holidays don’t forget to take advantage of the trim around your RV’s slideouts as a space to hang decor. Using the slide trim as an alternative to a mantle (if your RV doesn’t have an electric fireplace) is the perfect way to give your rig that special holiday touch.
Taking garland or pine swag that is interwoven with (or includes) miniature tree lights and hanging it around the slide can be done just like you would on the mantle in a stick home. Adding simple ornaments or pompom bunting adds an even more fun design element to the decor.
If decorating the bedrooms and bathroom is also your thing, don’t forget to add touches like more throw pillows and blankets in the bedroom, and holiday-themed towels or even a shower curtain in the bathroom.
And, let’s not forget the tree! For many of us, holiday decor is centered around a tree. Even with the smaller confines of an RV, a holiday tree is another easy element of decorating to continue while you’re in your home on wheels. The key here is finding a small-scale tree that fits in your rig. Many hobby or big-box stores (not to mention online markets) sell smaller artificial trees that are the perfect size for an RV.
Once you’ve found the perfect tree for your space, decide whether you’d like a tree skirt or some sort of covering for beneath the tree. Most standard tree skirts will likely be too big for your small tree, so you’ll need to get creative with this decor element. Maybe you purchase a yard or two of holiday-themed fabric and try your sewing skills, or maybe you simply place the tree in a basket of some sort.
Trim Up the Tree
What about decorating the tree? This is where you can get really creative. One extra special way to bring your travel memories into your holiday memories is by choosing to make your own tree decorations. Some fun examples we’ve done are an old-fashioned popcorn garland and drying out slices of oranges and cranberries to create some custom decor. What makes this option even better is that once you are ready to put the holiday decor away, these garlands can be thrown away instead of taking up storage space somewhere in your rig.
Make it personal: Ornaments can be made using shells you’ve collected at beaches all over the country, or you could also use pinecones or interesting rocks you discovered during your travel adventures.
Many families collect ornaments from each place they travel throughout the year and place these on their RV holiday tree, but the cost can add up quickly. Our budget-friendly solution for this is to collect magnets at each stop and hot glue a little twine to the back of each one. That way, our holiday tree is a personal road map of all the fun places we’ve visited over the years.
Decorating in a smaller space doesn’t mean a smaller dose of holiday cheer—it just means decorating on a smaller scale. Doing so provides a great way to challenge yourself and your family to get the creative juices flowing with each element of decor in the smaller area you have to decorate. So, put on your Santa cap, fire up the hot cocoa, and create some new decorating traditions for your home on wheels.
A basket for your holiday tree would also provide a multipurpose purchase that can be used after the holiday season is over and the tree is put away. So always keep those multipurpose items in mind when making any purchase for your rig!