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These are the top 6 holiday decorating trends for 2018

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Photo: James Bombales

Starbucks rolled out their holiday cups, retail stores are blasting Michael Bublé and Americans are about to celebrate Thanksgiving — which means it’s definitely not too early to begin discussing the year’s most popular holiday decor trends. Etsy’s resident trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson says that this year, “the traditional is getting a twist.” Forget about classic color combos and 25-piece boxed ornament sets because 2018 is all about fresh hues and personalization. Read on for Isom Johnson’s top six festive picks.

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1. BOHO(HO)







Boho Christmas Stocking with Pom PomFa La La La Llama OrnamentLarge Multi Coloured Yarn Pom Pom WreathMacrame PlacematPainted OrnamentMulticolored Handmade Pom Pom Garland

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a resurgence in bohemian flair throughout home decor, from the rise of wabi-sabi, to macrame, embroidery and pom-poms,” notes Isom-Johnson. To give your holiday decor a relaxed, boho vibe, embrace earthy textures, 70s-era colors and handmade items with slight variations.

2. (MAY YOUR DAYS BE) NEON + BRIGHT







Laser Cut Acrylic Joyeux Noel Tree DecorationMenorahPink Disco Ball OrnamentsNeon Personalised Christmas SackMid Century Car Christmas DecorationInitial Star Personalized Decoration

“One of the biggest trends on the rise is using neon tones to deck the halls, a bright look inspired by city lights and billboards,” explains Isom Johnson. Consider purchasing a white artificial Christmas tree and pairing it with vibrant, retro-inspired ornaments — like this adorable vintage car with a bottle brush tree on its roof.

3. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT DECOR







Vintage Style Kitsch Beaded Wool Taco Christmas OrnamentHand Lettered Typographic Cheese BoardSardines Glass Serving PlatterDonut DreidelHandmade Porcelain Mussel DishesHandmade Sequin Ornament

Got a foodie on your list? Gift them handmade serving platters or a sweet dreidel with a sufganiyot design. According to Isom Johnson, Etsy has seen a significant increase in searches for tacos, donuts and avocados this year — yum!

4. MODERN FARMHOUSE FOR THE HOLIDAYS







Wood Candle HoldersMini Pampas Grass WreathHeirloom Advent CalendarPom Pom Fairy Light WreathWood Slice Plate ChargersRustic Christmas Ceramic Plates

Modern farmhouse isn’t going anywhere (see: Chip and Joanna Gaines getting their own television network). “Shoppers can evoke this rustic-yet-modern style with touches of greenery, mistletoe, linen and metals like galvanized steel,” says Isom Johnson.

5. PEACE ON EARTH







Peace Joy Love Cutting BoardLove, Peace, Noel and Joy Ceramic BaublesPeace Dove Shape Wood OrnamentStamped Butter SpreadersOlive Branch Peace On Earth Print

The chaos and violence of our modern world makes us yearn for peace and tranquility — especially during the holidays. “It’s always a trend to spread messages of kindness and love,” adds Isom Johnson. Look for pieces with dove or olive branch motifs, or go for something more literal with a printed statement.

6. PERSONALIZED ENTERTAINING







Personalized Cinnamon Stick Table DecorationsPersonalized Metallic Name Drink CharmsWreath Name Place CardsPersonalized Botanical Mirror Drink CoasterCosmic Place CardsMoth Place Cards

Make your guests feel extra special during this cheerful season with personalized name tags, drink charms, coasters and more. Not only will it help them find their seat at the dinner table, they’ll also have a little something to take home and remember the occasion by. “Searches related to “customizable party decor” have increased 19 percent so far this year, and “personalized decor” garners over 189,000 search results on Etsy,” says Isom Johnson.

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New home? Prepare for the unexpected

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(NC) Buying a house, getting married or having your first baby are all major life events that are likely to affect your finances. But whether you’re in the midst of a major life event or not, it’s important to check in on your finances regularly to maintain good financial health.

Your financial health encompasses things like your spending, savings, borrowing and future financial plans. It also means dedicating a set amount of savings for unexpected future events. It can even include optional credit protection insurance, such as TD protection plans, to help cover your debt balances in case of death, a covered critical illness or total disability.

Even though it can be tough to think about the unexpected, life is unpredictable and it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Find more information at td.com.

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Mortgage pitfalls to avoid

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(NC) Throughout life, you may have moments where you’ll make a large purchase or invest in a costly item, like your family home. But whether you’re in the market for your first new property or already have a mortgage, leaving this asset unprotected can be costly.   

Insuring your housing financial debt, as well as debt for other big-ticket items like a new boat for your lakefront cottage or keepsake jewelry like an engagement ring, is a smart investment in your well-being.

To help protect your debt balances like a mortgage, your bank may have optional credit protection insurance products.

“Your home is one of your biggest assets, yet illness can happen at any stage of life. Worrying about your mortgage when the focus should be on health isn’t a situation anyone would wish for,” explains Shirley Malloy, vice president at TD. “Fortunately, we offer mortgage protection to provide coverage for your outstanding balance should you face a covered critical health event.”

Mortgage protection can be purchased whether you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or already have a home financing solution. But what about protection options for credit card debt?

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year, many Canadians are trying to plan for the unexpected to protect themselves and their finances,” says Malloy. “TD balance protection plus is an optional product designed to help you deal with your credit card payment obligations in the event of a covered event, such as loss of employment.”

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Is your internet too slow? It’s probably not you

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(NC) We all know the aggravation of a school lesson that just won’t stop freezing or the family video call that looks more like a photo montage. And, as we adjust to the impact of COVID-19 on our day-to-day, that slow connection can have frustrating consequences.

Working from home and learning remotely, both need fast, stable internet, something not enough Canadians have yet. Even if you have fast devices in your home, if the infrastructure in your area is not optimal, your connection won’t be either.

Right now, cities have the infrastructure needed to ensure access. But rural and remote communities are hugely underserved, with fewer than half having high-speed internet, and fewer than a third of households on reservations have high-speed connections.

Fortunately, change is coming. The Universal Broadband Fund is backing projects across Canada right now to ensure the reliable, high-speed internet connections families need to work, study, access services online, and safely stay in touch with each other.

The fund existed before COVID, but as a response to the pandemic, its timetable has been moved up by four years to a target of 98 per cent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026. With the faster pace, at least 90 per cent of us should be connected by the end of 2021.

The fund is focused on improvements in rural and remote communities across Canada to fix the disconnect between internet access for urban and rural households.  This means more remote work opportunities, better access to remote learning and safer access to healthcare, no matter where you live.

It’s not just for good connections at home, either. The improvements mean much better access to mobile networks on highways between remote communities. The result is better, safer navigation and access to emergency services for your family, even on the road in the middle of nowhere. Mobile projects will be focused on serving Indigenous communities and the roads leading to them.

The shape these improvements will take in your area will depend on where you live. Canada is huge, and its communities are hugely diverse, with diverse needs. Keep an eye out for local projects — they’re a small part of something much bigger.

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