It can be easy to get caught up in the consumerism that surrounds the winter holiday season. However, it would be a pity to forget the festivities, gift giving, and decorating all together. The winter is the perfect season to celebrate the warmth and light of your home with family and friends. As we often spend more time indoors, it is also a nice time of year to bring nature inside as you decorate for the cold dark winter months. Here are a few ideas from our holiday preparations:
Decorate with Items Gathered from Nature:
You’ll be surprised how differently you look at a field, forest, or roadside ditch if you’re on the hunt for beautiful natural materials. I noticed the twisty curl of yellowed field grass, found a flowering weed still hanging on tightly to its fuzzy white seeds (I didn’t want them to fly away inside my house), and admired the patterned swirling in the dead sunflower heads standing tall in my garden. I noticed that sumac berry clusters were bleached a lighter color on the top from the sun and rain.
I had to venture into an unmowed meadow in order to find pine bows I could reach and clip. The lower branches were all dead in the forest, where green leaves and needles must grow in the canopy to harvest energy from the sun. I immediately fell in love the with hollow curves of empty milkweed pods. You wouldn’t believe my excitement when I came across a healthy winterberry bush growing in a ditch. I reverently clipped a few of its branches, laden with beautiful bright red berries.
Bows, branches, stems, seeds, and dried flowers can be beautifully arranged in sprays, wreaths, and on flat surfaces like tables and mantlepieces. Not only are they beautiful, they’ll make your house smell like a piney forest.
Light with Beeswax Candles:
Rather than burning paraffin (a petroleum product) in your home, choose from the wonderful selection of beeswax candles. You can often find ones made by local bee keepers or artists. Their beautiful glow is accompanied by the sweet scent of honeycomb.
Give Hand Made or Home Grown Gifts:
Though I appreciate the sentiment, I never liked the idea of gift-free holidays. I love the feeling that accompanies giving and receiving gifts with family and friends. However, I do think it is important to put a value on the time and thought, rather than the money, invested in each gift you give. Here are some ideas for gifts that you can grow or make yourself.
Wishing you happy preparations for your holiday season!