Sorry for my silence over the past few weeks… But you know that feeling when you get home from vacation and just can’t get your head in the game? So I thought I would write about something that I do want to write about. Christmas!
I know most of you completed decorating for the holiday season by now, but I thought I would share with you all my new decorating strategy which both cut down on my usual holiday consumption and upcycled some things!
Although I admire the visual beauty of a themed tree and decorations, I can’t but help wondering what people do with their old ornaments… Turf them? Store them? Give them away? It seems wasteful. So for that very reason our family has a variety of ornaments which are family heirlooms (mostly from my grandma) and select ornaments which Steve and I have got while traveling.
My first tip is to either snag some vintage or family heirloom tree trimming decorations from your family. My Dad had a box of older ornaments which he didn’t hang anymore so I said I would take them. They are quirky and fun and certainly make me smile every time I unpack them. The other place I recommend looking for vintage Christmas ornaments are at thrift stores and especially flea markets. They often have partial sets of glass ornaments and interesting one-off pieces.
In the past I have decorated the exterior of our home with either store bought or forged greens. I would need somewhere between 45 and 60 stems to do the front of the house. This year I decided to try something different which would be reusable year after year. I went to the local thrift shop and found a couple boxes of plastic ornaments. I removed their hangers and strung them along a meter of floral wire (twine or yarn would work as well.) I then used Christmas tree trimmings and a handful of foraged greens to fill the cedar window boxes and I wound multi-coloured twinkle lights through them. When that was complete I laid the garland of balls over top of the greens and in between the lights. Now I have a charming window display which uses less than half of the required greens and I managed to upcycle existing ornaments which will last for years to come.
As for the remainder of the house, I have always aired on the side of minimalism as a decorator. This year I decided to utilize leftover wedding decor items from my own wedding (the cedar slice) and from my friend Rebecca’s wedding (thanks for the birch candle holders Bec!) Again I inherited a handful of vintage apple ornaments from my Dad which I displayed in various spots around the house such as with the birch candles and in a Christmas serving bowl. I also filled two simple 12″ glass vases with unused plastic ornaments, arranging them along side a recycled milk bottle filled with curly willow branches wrapped with twine, and seveal Christmas crackers.
I find that by being creative and utilizing existing decor items (like vases, platters and candles) you will find that you will consume and accumulate less items for the holidays in the form of decorations. This means that you will have less to store, organize and pack up every season, leaving you more time to enjoy the real purpose of the holidays, spending time with family and friends, enjoy good food and drink and most of all, relaxing.
As I hinted at yesterday, I am looking forward to my next post, my annual Sustainability Resolutions! Again I will be counting down 18 resolutions ideas for 2018, so if you would like to suggest one feel free to leave it in the comments section!
Cheers and Happy Holidays Everyone!