The Christmas season is here, and those of us who are living in our RVs full-time have to carefully consider how we want to celebrate the holiday. After all, we are very limited as far as space goes, and squeezing a full-sized Christmas tree in the corner may not be practical—or in some cases, even feasible.
So, how do we decorate and celebrate during the most wonderful time of the year? Well, there are many options. Throughout my travels I have met a variety of different kinds of people, and just as you’d find in a sticks-and-bricks community, each and every family had their own special way of doing things when it comes to Christmas celebrations.
Based on what I have observed, it would seem RVers are just as creative in the Christmas celebration category as they are on any other holiday, making for some very fun, festive, and unusual ways of celebrating the season.
Below I have gathered a list of some of my favorite RV Christmas decorations, traditions, and ideas to share with all of you. I hope this list inspires you and helps you decide on some great new Christmas traditions for your family to try out as you gather together in your tiny home this holiday season.
— Trim the Tree —
Christmas just isn’t complete without a decorated tree shining brightly to remind you of all the wonderful Christmases past. Unfortunately, putting up a traditional tree in cramped RV quarters is not usually a possibility. Below are some of the clever solutions we have seen people use.
Many families opt for a tiny tree to put on their dining table. This can be decorated with miniature ornaments and regular lights, and some even come pre-lit. This is a great solution for those who really want something as close to a traditional tree as possible. However, it does take up valuable table space, something that may not work for many people.
This option is perfect for those in really tiny travel trailers, or anyone with toddlers or pets who just can’t seem to keep their hands off the decorations. Felt trees are easy to make (simply cut a tree shape from a large piece of green felt) and can be hung on the wall and covered in colorful felt cut-out “ornaments” that can be rearranged as much as you (or your little ones) desire.
This is the perfect solution for anyone looking to have a “regular” tree. An outdoor tree can be an artificial version or a live version, and can be decorated just as an indoor tree might be. However, it is important to keep in mind that the tree will be exposed to whatever weather may come your way, so outdoor lights are a must, and ornaments that may be ruined by moisture or cold should be kept inside.
One interesting option we have seen is a “Christmas branch.” This is simply a leafless branch taken from any ordinary tree and then hung on the wall. The branch is then decorated with a variety of ornaments just as a Christmas tree would be.
— Deck the Halls —
Of course, trees aren’t the only type of Christmas decoration to be considered. From lights to stockings, decking the halls is a big part of Christmas for a great number of families. If this is the case for your tribe, consider some of the suggestions below.
Whether you are looking to hang a felt tree, stockings, or indoor lights, Command hooks are an RV decorator’s best friend. These amazing hooks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, can hold a decent amount of weight, and can be removed from the wall quickly and easily without any damage.
If you will be moving a lot during the Christmas season, dealing with traditional Christmas lights may not sound like such a great idea. However, with a light projector such as this one (https://www.amazon.com/Star-Shower-Laser-Lights-Projector/dp/B0135OA3PO), you can have an amazing Christmas light display no matter where you may wander. Best of all, you completely skip the headache of putting them up and taking them back down later.
On the other hand, you may want to go ahead and put up lights, but you fear the tangles that come from storing traditional lights in the ever-moving RV you call home. If this is the case, a nice set of rope lights will solve all your tangle problems without taking away from the beautiful light display on your site.
Looking for a quick, easy, and compact way to decorate your camper that won’t fall apart the moment you move to a new location? Window clings are an ideal solution for bringing holiday cheer with you wherever you go. They are inexpensive, easy to put up and take down, and they never shift, no matter what kind of holiday traffic you may be dealing with.
— Fill the Stockings —
Gift-giving is a huge conversation topic on RV groups and forums. After all, there is only so much space to fill in a tiny motorhome or travel trailer. Thankfully, there are quite a few options for gifts that won’t consume all of your free space. Here are some of the kinds of gifts you might want to consider giving the kids this year.
When trying to decide what to give your family this year, it is important to keep in mind that a present doesn’t have to be a physical item. In fact, “experience” gifts are sometimes the very best thing you could possibly buy someone. Whether it’s a gift card for ice cream, a voucher for indoor skydiving, or a membership to a local museum or zoo, your family is sure to adore a fun experience and the great memories that go along with it.
A great number of families are picking up on the trend of limiting gifts altogether. After all, most of us already have everything we need, so why would we add unnecessary junk on top of that? There are many ways to decide what limits you would like to put on gift-giving in your household. One of my favorites is to give each person in the home something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. However, many families simply put money limits or number limits on their gift-giving.
As an RVing family, you likely spend a lot of time outside. If this is true for you, why not look for some outdoor gifts? These won’t take up living space in your home, but will offer plenty of outdoor fun. Some things that fit into this category include portable hammocks, bicycles, a mini trampoline, and comfy folding chairs.
— Set the Table —
Let’s face it, cooking a traditional Christmas dinner in a tiny RV kitchen is next to impossible. Instead of ruining the day by undertaking this incredibly difficult task, consider one of these options instead.
Order a Pre-made Dinner
Many restaurants and grocery stores offer pre-made Christmas dinners. If you really want a traditional dinner with your family, this is a great option. However, it is important to make sure you have enough room to store all of the food until its time to dig in.
Attend a Potluck or Party
If you are staying in a campground that caters to a good number of full-timers, chances are they are putting on some sort of event. This usually includes a meal (for a fee), or a potluck dinner. If your campground is not hosting such an event, look into hosting one of your own! If there are enough full-timers in your park, it will likely get a good response.
Of course, there are no rules stating you must eat traditional holiday food on Christmas. If the usual turkey-and-dressing just seems too overwhelming, why not mix it up and make spaghetti, soup, or even enchiladas this year? Your family will have just as much fun, and you won’t be left slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end.
— Conclusion —
No matter how you decide to celebrate Christmas this year, you are sure to make some fabulous memories. After all, being close to family is what makes Christmas truly wonderful, and you can’t get much closer than you are when living in an RV.