That doesn't mean it hasn't been hanging out in the guest room for a few days! With every litter box trip to the basement, up has come a tree or a swag or a box of favorite treasures. And now we throw open the doors and let it escape!
Decking the Halls
Everyone has their own style, their own favorite ornaments and decorations, their "look." Those who have followed my holiday posts in the past know that I tend to go for a lot of trees! There is this part of me that wants to be more minimalist so that everything shows to its best advantage. And this other part that says "I love this stuff and what other time of year can it go out?"
My holiday stuff has been accumulated over years of family and friendships and a little bit of shopping. Pretty much everything I have means something to me. There are the swags I bought when visiting blog friend Diana several years ago, the oldest ornament on the tree, my favorite snow guy -- you get it.
|Grandma's ornament -- the oldest on the tree.|
If you are a Santa person and a Snowpeople person, consider bringing out the Snowfolk after the holiday and enjoy them through the winter. It changes things up a bit after the holidays but you still get to enjoy your favorites.
There are so many wonderful decorating sites, this probably won't bring you brand new ideas but I'm offering a few that are worth remembering.
Use collections. If you collect a lot of Santa figures, for example, consider grouping some of them on a mantle or in a vignette. My vintage postcard collection comes out in a number of ways -- on wall display and tucked into branches on one of my trees. My "Whimsical Whittler" ornaments are always grouped together.
Go to the closet. Look at baskets you might use for other purposes and repurpose them for holiday decorations. Extra ornaments can be grouped in a basket or bowl (cut glass or silver is especially pretty!) for a low table arrangement. A punch bowl or silver tray or serving dish also works well for these groupings.
Look up! Use your space. If you have cabinets with some ceiling clearance, whip out a child's chair (or doll chair), add a teddy bear or holiday figure. Maybe a garland would work better for you. Use all the space.
|Southern Exposure used a child's chair, square styrofoam wreath form with floral picks, small faux tree in an urn atop a wardrobe to add interest at a higher level.|
|I bought this jingle-bell garland with my blog friend Diana during a visit several years ago. It remains one of my decorating treasures, reminding me of a wonderful day.|
|Southern Exposure: A lighted wreath frames a clock over the mantle while twinkling stars and candle sconces add a glow.|
Give the Chandelier Some Love! Whether your are using garland or ornaments, any chandelier can get a makeover with a little bit of sparkle! This is another spot where you can use ornaments that don't quite work on your tree.
Simple is lovely! A white ironstone pitcher with red blooms? Elegant and easy. (Carnations are especially inexpensive). Take the poinsettia out of the foil wrapper and put it in one of your garden urns or a fabulous pot -- or even a country basket. Add a few sparkles to a crystal bowl.
Don't Forget the Dollar Store. If you are looking for extra bits to add to wreaths, arrangements or for a bit of emphasis, check out the Dollar Tree. You might find good picks to include in indoor and outdoor arrangements for a bit of sparkle; golden beads to drape on your tree, the stairway banister or from a balcony loft (perhaps along with greens); grapevine wreaths which can be spruced up by wiring greens or boxwood, along with some shiny tree ornaments; or sparkly stars or snowflakes that you can hang on your chandelier (along with ornaments that might not fit on your tree). A dollar store evergreen can look mighty cute in a copper container!
Group by Color. It seems like red and green are prevalent during this season but you may be into blues, purples, gold or silver. Try grouping some of your arrangements by color. Stack holiday-colored quilts and blankets, for example. Or, be like my friends Bob and Roger. They have lots of trees, too. The presents under the gold tree are wrapped in gold papers, the blue tree in shades of blue and so on. It boggles my mind, all that wrapping but it looks beautiful!
Can you do it yourself? Maybe! And it may save you money. Last year my friend Jan and I saw beautiful pots of greens ranging from $40-$60 at the greens market. We returned home filled with ideas. For $5 at a garden store we bought evergreen branches and for very little more, some floral picks at Michael's. I put an old birdhouse to work and Jan brought some red willow branches. In less than an hour we had a $40+ arrangement for under $10. If you already have dirt in the pot from your outdoor planting, you can put the branches directly in the dirt. Otherwise, simple styrofoam will hold it all very well.
If you look at the photo above, in the background you will notice the base of my outdoor tree, which is sitting in a pot. To cover the rocks anchoring the tree, I used a faux evergreen wreath. It looked tons better than years before. Depending on placement (wind is a factor), spanish moss might work well too.
Here's one more quick idea. If wreaths are your thing, you can make a very pretty "Angel Wings" wreath in about ten minutes. Take a styrofoam wreath form and wrap it with one or two white feather boas (or whatever color you choose). Secure with T-pins or floral wire. It can be embellished with ornaments, hung on the wall or used on a table as pictured. Total cost under $10.
Some of these tips (and photos) were inspired by a holiday visit to Southern Exposure; others were ideas I grew up with or encountered along the way through any number of sources -- friends, magazines, my own imagination.
I have a collection of holiday decorating ideas from Southern Exposure, many requiring little expense. The list is far too long to include in entirety and some wouldn't make sense without having seen the examples but I would gladly email you my top 25 favorites. If you want a copy, let me know in the comments and if you are a "no reply" blogger, leave your email address as well.