Saturday, November 28, 2009

Next Holiday, Please

I'm going to be really annoying and promptly follow a Thanksgiving post with one about Christmas/Solstice.  I hate it when one holiday is barely over and people are already rushing to prepare for the next.  But... I'm making a conscious effort to be more festive this year, so I'd better not put it off for too long.

We usually don't decorate for holidays or make too much of a big deal about them, aside from making and eating a lot of food.  Don't get me wrong- we celebrate.  We just don't spend money making it look like we celebrate.  For example, I don't buy wrapping paper EVER.  I reuse the stuff other people buy or make my own out of paper bags or newspaper.  I just can't spend money on something that will be quickly ripped to shreds.

Last year we didn't get a holiday tree- I thought it was much more practical to not get a tree than to go out and buy one, only to then compost it a few weeks later.  But, honestly, it made me sad to not have a tree or other decorations up.

This year I'm going to try to do a little more holiday stuff. So today I went to a garden store and bought a little bunch of winterberry branches and some stems of  ??? with cool with yellow pods on the top to go in my vase on the table.  As I was browsing around, I was  tempted to buy bunches of evergreen boughs and wreaths, but they were so expensive!  I don't think I can spend $40 on a wreath.  But as I was standing in line, I realized that I have 3 different evergreen trees in my yard and the same grapevines that the wreaths are made of.  And pine cones.

So I went home and clipped some boughs and then tied on a ribbon that someone must have bought to wrap a present for one of us (because I didn't buy it!)

Then I ripped down some grapevines from the fence and wrapped them to make a wreath.  I love the bare branch wreaths the best.  I wove in a couple of different evergreen branches a pine cones, too.

Maybe not quite as perfect as the professionally made wreaths, but this will do.  I'm pretty pleased with myself-  I did a little decorating and didn't have to feel silly about buying a bunch of stuff for the compost bin!

Anyone have any other ideas for DIY decorations?


Erin said...

Wow, Liz - they look great, as always! Did you have to soak the vines to make them pliable enough?

You have such a good eye for these things.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea, I wish I had evergreens around my building for that, but instead today I went and bought a vintage aluminum tree.

Ever made gingersnap ornaments? Maybe without a tree it would be a little strange, but you could make a mobile out of them or something. Although making food for decoration might seem wasteful too (?).

This is maybe more Scandinavian, but I like to make woven paper hearts like the ones shown here:

Liz said...

Thanks! Erin- nope. No soaking necessary. I just barely had to bend them to twist them around each other.
Swellvegan- Gingersnap ornaments are a great idea! I think I will get a tree this year, so maybe I'll make some. I LOVE the woven paper hearts. I bet my boys would like helping with those!
Thanks for the ideas!

Unplanned Cooking said...

I share your sentiment -- and then rushed out and bought a Christmas tree on Black Friday. At least you were creative!

Catherine said...

I have a cheap, reuseable tree -- it kind of looks like crap, but I have so many ornaments, it doesn't matter! (It also doesn't matter, then, when the cat chews on the tree!)

We made TONS of stuff growing up -- my mom was very crafty -- and now they have a whole attic of homemade Christmas decorations that they don't put out but can't get rid of, because one of us made it! :)

Your creative efforts look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Your wreath looks so festive and professional--well done! We used to make a lot of our decorations when I was little, too, and those are great memories...I bet your boys will enjoy helping you with decorations :-)


CB said...

i've made origami stars from foil paper i got a long time ago- if you pack them away nicely, they'll keep for years.

that's mostly my way to save on decor- reuse my ribbon. i bought a bunch i really liked one year- wired is the best for this- and just smooth it out and roll it away for next year.

and use the trimmings from the bottom of your tree for decor- i always have to cut some to make it fit well in the stand. this year instaed of buying pine roping (which i know is ridiculous but i really love it) i'll take it with some ribbon and wire and decorate the railing on the porch.

Crystal said...

I am really a big fan or folk or country decorations when it comes to the holidays- We have a plastic tree mostly because it's a one time cost- and we don't have to kill a tree each year to be festive! This year we made our own wreaths from vines as well- and they are the best! I plan on making my table and mantle pieces from pinecones- and greens that I find in the woods- as well as oranges with cloves, traditional popcorn and cranberries... and whatever else I can find- you can make salt dough ornaments and paint them as well. One great score for us this year- being the first in our new home.. is my husbands grandparents gave us like 20 rows of lights- and stuff for the outside of the house, I love free stuff!!!