Ever since I can remember the Christmas season was a wonderful time for decorating. As a child, I can remember watching my mother decorate and then as I got older I enjoyed helping. Our yard was the source for most of our holiday decorating. We had a huge Magnolia tree in our backyard that my mother and I used to clip beautiful branches from. We also had numerous pine trees (we had six planted in the front yard alone – one for each of us siblings) and Holly bushes laden with red berries. With all of these items collected, we would spend hours decorating the fireplace mantle, the front doors and the dining room table. I loved all these found things from our yard and I also enjoyed the collecting and decorating we did with them. But, I viewed this part of holiday decorating as a quick, simple and inexpensive plan – after all we only needed to step outside to collect natural elements for free! Once I had my own home I realized that the most beautiful holiday decorating comes from natural and found things. You sure can’t smell artificial greenery!
Carrying on the tradition
So, throughout the years my home has traditionally been decorated with much of the same things that I grew up with. Greenery comes either from the yard, leftover trimmings from the tree or from the woods.
When my children were young we used to love to sit in the evenings together watching Christmas specials and movies like “Miracle on 34th Street” while we strung popcorn to use as garland on the tree. Talk about memory making – a slow, relaxed evening stringing popcorn as a family can’t be beat! And, who cares how much popcorn you eat along the way!
Year after year my three children traditionally hunted (yes, Sammi did, too) during Turkey and Deer Season. No holiday season was complete without them returning home with mistletoe they had shot down from the trees for me to hang. It was a wonderful holiday tradition they enjoyed. What memories we all have of them bringing the mistletoe home to me and then hanging it in the foyer as a symbol of love in our home.
As you can see, using elements of nature in my holiday décor is important to me. This makes my home beautiful in a non-commercial way! And, I love the smells, the freshness and the feelings natural decorating gives to my homespace. Why not incorporate some natural decorating in your own home this year?
Ways to go natural
Here are some simple suggestions that you can use either decorating alone or making it a family affair for building memories and traditions:
- Use fresh greenery from outdoors to grace your front door, staircase, mantle, dining table or coffee table.
- Gather found things in nature like dried pods, dried wildflowers, dried hydrangeas, pinecones and twigs to artfully arrange in baskets or as part of your garlands and centerpieces.
- String popcorn and cranberries and use as garland to hang on the Christmas tree or as part of your fireplace garland.
- Decorate lanterns with nuts or cranberries nestled around a large candle.
- Surround a grouping of candles with fresh greenery with red berries or other found treasures of nature artfully arranged throughout the greenery. A grouping of candles looks beautiful on a console table, mantle, coffee table or any other space you can safely allow candles to be placed.
- Make a centerpiece for an occasional table with a small log. Cut the log in two. (Plan to use the cut side on the table with the uncut side facing up.) Using a circular saw cut three holes in the uncut side of the log and place small candles or votives in the holes. Nestle the log on a bed of fresh greenery.
- Artfully stud oranges with cloves and place in a wooden bowl as a centerpiece for your kitchen table, coffee table or hearth.
- Hang Mistletoe in doorways or from your foyer chandelier.
Whatever style home you live in, whatever décor you enjoy- you can incorporate nature in your holiday decorating. Go outside today and pick from nature’s bounty wonderful things to grace your home with. And while you are there, breathe in the glorious fresh air!
Be sure to check out Living in Perfect Harmony’s Facebook Fanpage each day of December from Dec. 1- 24 for daily decorating tips and helpful hints for the holiday. Enjoy the season!