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Decorating for the holidays Crunchy style

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:43am

Raised by a mother who cheerfully and voraciously celebrated every major and minor holiday with paper plates, napkins and cups, exterior and interior decorations and flowers in season, I fell naturally but not nature-ly into festive adornment.

My enlightenment, or should I say, growing discomfort with the multitude of mass produced holiday decorations has led me toward a more natural, environmentally friendly approach. That and the fact that I can’t begin to afford the high end wood, pottery and fabric offerings, has encouraged me to venture into homemade decorations too.

So, gone are the plastic decorations and polyester outdoor flags, though not necessarily the paper napkins, admittedly with a bit of guilt. Replaced are the plastic table decorations and even the store bought pottery ones in favor of handmade, simple décor that grows as The Hamster ages.

Inside, I pull out my holiday tablecloth, napkins and dishtowels, some of which I’ve had for years. To feed my shopping habit, I do purchase new ones every once in awhile from Big Lots or another off price retailer. My DS’s tiny table gets a refresher too. I buy a yard of holiday fabric and sad to say, without hemming, toss it over his table.

To decorate the house, I collect pine cones and scatter them in groupings with polished rocks in various places in the house and place candles of various sizes on glass trivets. Stockings on the chimney and lots of fresh wreathes adorn the living room. The bathrooms get tiny glass holiday figures and bowls of red and white polished stones. In the bedrooms I use fresh greens and fabric dolls with quickly sewn red felt outfits.

Outside, my natural décor breaks down a bit, as I do use electric Christmas lights, though I could use luminaries – paper bag or tin can ones are great. Several poinsettias add color and, I’m thinking about replacing my handmade autumn scarecrow with a handmade snowman.

As The Hamster gets a little older, we’ll make felt banners – buying felt by the yard at the fabric store and cutting out Christmas designs and gluing them. OK – maybe sewing them on. For now though, rather than buying 25 different decorations this year, I’ve decided to go minimal. Then each year, I’ll buy or make a few more things, rather than replace them every few years. I’m always on the search for ideas. I found that on many retailer sites, there are some great ones. The key, I think, since my son is young, is to keep it simple and involve him in the decorating and seasonal activities.

We’ll add a few permanent decorations each year. So, for this year, it will be mostly garlands and wreathes…MMMM…it will smell nice around here.
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