Source: Pioneer Press
Create Your Own Treasures of the Season
The holiday season adds another dimensions to our lives and so we are not just working and caring for our families but thinking of ways to bring joy into the lives of others. As we hurry about in our efforts the air is festive in shops, offices, even on the sidewalks people are smiling for no apparent reason. Can’t we package this holiday spirit up somehow and take it home with us?
Of course we all have our traditions and these usually include the annual hauling out of the holiday china, special candlesticks, the menorah, the dried herb wreath, holiday dishtowels or, heaven help you, the plastic light-up Santa. Traditions are great for many reasons but not the least of which is to build memories fort he younger generation. Still, try something new and different this year.
Update Your Table Décor
Holiday china creates an instant festive atmosphere. “Holiday” china doesn’t have to mean the type that has a Christmas pattern running around the rim, though that can be quite nice. It can be as simple as using solid white or off-white china and mixing it with very festive serving pieces. This can easily be done no matter which holiday it is you celebrate. There are a number of great looking seasonal designs for platters and bowls that would add a holiday spirit to any table.
Add a new twist to your existing table linens with beaded cloth napkins or napkin holders. The beads and linen fabric are an elegant touch for any table. If you want to keep it yet simpler, buy a few spools of really nice quality ribbon, wired or unwired, and use these to tie around cloth napkins. The ribbons, especially on all white table linens, make a nice statement all on their own.
A clean crisp way to add a hint more color is to use a set of tinted crystal. If this sort of investment is not for you, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrell offer some colorful alternatives. Another twist on the regular tableware is to buy a few unusual serving utensils either something very artful that you wouldn’t use everyday or some antique silver. They needn’t match each other and collecting different patterned ones over the years may be a fun new objective.
If you like hands-on projects, create your own table center piece with some smaller greenery pieces, pinecones, etc. in a foam block and then add fresh flowers on the day your are entertaining guests. These items can be found at a nursery like Chalet, Smith & Hawkins or, for much less at Frank’s Nursery.
Other Ideas for the House
When decorating for a holiday season a few carefully chosen items are better than several decorative objects that either displace or crowd existing items in your home. If it’s appropriate, tie a ribbon around that piece of sculpture that sits on the living room shelf or coffee table. Put holy around the candle in a votive or drop in a few blue and silver balls to add some sparkle. Put a fabric runner on the top of the dining buffet.
Children do love the excitement of the season. A cozy set of flannel holiday sheets, used just during the holiday season is something they are sure to remember and look forward to year after year. Lush holiday hand towels for the guest bath is another annual touch the children will look forward to. If you have only grandchildren or regular young visitors, they’ll appreciate it too.
A wreath is one of the most common holiday decorations. (The wreath has its origin well before the beginning of Christianity. The wreath is a celebration of the season and the winter solstice, and not historically connected to any particular religion.) Try using grapevines to create a wreath. If you have access to woods near you, you can easily find the grapevines yourself. Short of this, buy a grapevine wreath and have your children add dried herbs or flowers to decorate it. Make some smaller ones and give them away as gifts.
There are some pretty fun and festive doormats for inside or outside and these are useful to boot!
More people see the outside of your home than will ever see the inside so why not extend the cheer outside. Garland is one typical holiday dressing for your light post or porch railing. Another idea is to use a large pot, painted bucket or even a galvanized or copper tub to hold an arrangement of greenery, tall twigs, pinecones and red berries. One nicely done container by the front door is all you would need to share the spirit of the season with passers-by.