The Incomplete Mission
December 15, 2021
A time to share and care
December 15, 2021

 Creating outdoor spaces for Advent and Christmas

By Kevin Allister Garcia

We have arrived at the fourth week of Advent, where we light the fourth candle on our Advent wreath known as the Angel’s candle symbolising Peace.

It is also a time when preparations for our Lord’s birth move into high gear and eagerly anticipated festivities and gatherings with loved ones take place.

In Luke’s gospel we are told of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, who joyfully proclaimed, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45).

Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, the season of preparation during Advent should strengthen our faith in the promises of our Father.

While public health regulations due to Covid-19 have changed how we gather and celebrate, we can still create inviting spaces to host family and friends, albeit on a smaller scale.

This week, we look at outdoor spaces—backyards, balconies, and patios for this purpose. In addition, I’ll share three design trends that are likely to become even more popular in the new year.

The outdoors provide us with abundant natural light and air and are beneficial to our mental health. Make use of shady spots provided by trees or the shadows cast by buildings. Inspect the area for any potential hazards like insects, before setting up your seating area to avoid injuries during your gathering.

Outdoor furniture manufactured from weather-resistant materials are best for outside. In your search for outdoor pieces, durability and comfort should be paramount while also ensuring that any fabric components are moisture/mildew resistant.

Of course, decorations are the norm during this festive season and can be included to liven up your décor. Potted plants, Christmas lights, candles and lanterns create a warm and cozy ambience.

Always practise safety when using these items—for example, never exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation when connecting multiple light strings, don’t leave lit candles unattended, and monitor your pets around houseplants as some of them can be poisonous.

Thank you for joining me over the past few weeks of Advent. I do hope you found my tips and suggestions useful in creating family-oriented spaces within your own home.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at kevinallistergarcia@

From my family to yours, do have a safe, happy and Holy Christmas.

The global pandemic spurned several design trends and listed below are three that I expect will grow in popularity in the new year ahead:

  1. Houseplants: Proven to help purify the air we breathe and lift our moods, houseplants present the opportunity to bring nature inside as venturing out has become significantly curtailed.
  2. Multi-use spaces: Our homes have become the centre of increased activity and spaces must be reimagined to accommodate a host of routines. Dining tables are now also spots for online school, living rooms double as yoga studios, and bedrooms convert into home-offices.
  3. Sustainability: Concerns over climate change increased the focus on how today’s needs for products and services can be met without irreparably damaging the environment.

To meet these challenges which were exacerbated by the pandemic, many interior designers and homeowners are recycling, refurbishing and/or repurposing items they already own.

Doing so keeps otherwise discarded items out of our landfills, while reducing the demand for new products which consume our Earth’s natural resources in their production.