Deck the halls with boughs of Holly: natural and traditional ways to decorate your home this festive season.
We try our best to keep our healthcare, diet and lifestyle as natural as possible so why not make our surroundings in keeping with this theme? Thousands are spent year after year on decorating the home during the festive season. Many people do keep some of their decorations year after year but there are always additions and quite often a need for change arises and out go the old and a whole load of new is purchased. So, for a change this year how about creating your own decorations, give your home a boost of nature which in turn can even promote good health as well as Christmas cheer. If you look outside your door (and the box) you’ll be able to discover a whole world of mother nature’s gifts waiting for you to spruce them up and make them Christmassy.
Adding more plants to the home not only adds a welcome touch of nature but also cleanses and promotes better air quality. During Christmas time you can add little extra adornments to them to add some festive feel.
These are not only great natural aids for the open fire but add a very festive touch to the home. Being hardy, they last the whole season and maintain their appearance. You can add them to table centrepieces, add a little spray snow or some ribbon, or intertwine them with greenery to make a Christmas wreath. Even bursting out of a tin bucket, a collection of pine cones brings a warm and cosy feeling, especially when draped in some lights. Attach a ribbon to the base and hang them from the window at varying lengths for a homemade window display.
One of the original Christmas plants which you can find growing wild, or something close to it! A decent sized bunch of leafy branches in a vase gives you an instant festive decoration, add some hessian string around the edge of the top of the vase or a coloured ribbon to add extra seasonal appeal.
Simple bare twigs can create amazing festive decorations; arrange some long twigs in a big glass vase, lay out twigs in ever decreasing sizes and attach to a single piece of wood to make a Christmas tree shaped decoration, simple bundles wrapped in decorative ribbon or around a candle tied with ribbon, all make for effective additions to the seasonal atmosphere.
Oranges & mandarins
A festive fruit due to their seasonal appearance can be used for a range of decorative purposes. Spike and make patterns with dried whole cloves and arrange in a dish, Scoop out the top of an orange leaving the exact size and shape hole for a tea light, place one inside and light for a beautiful Christmassy candle with orange scent. Even hang them from the tree and use them as a healthy snack for the family when they come to visit – far more nutritious that a candy cane!
Any pine or fur type tree, olive, or even rosemary bush have the best, most durable branches for creating decorations. Arrange some cuttings into a star shape by attaching to strips of wood and create a star-shaped wreath for your door. Add some battery powered LED lights for added festive cheer. Or simply place cuttings in a jar or vase. Take some sturdy thick candles, wrap the lower part in hessian string and place on a bed of cuttings. Olive sprigs look beautiful placed carefully upright around a white candle and held in place with a white ribbon, make sure your leaves aren’t too high up the candle to prevent them burning. Add red winter berries for an extra touch of Christmas spirit.
Red apples can be used in place of baubles and other unnatural adornments – place them delicately on the tree or attach a ribbon by spearing it through the centre and tying at one end, then hang them from the mantlepiece. Green apples can add to a table decoration centrepiece or similarly attach a red or gold ribbon, even a sprig of pine or rosemary and hang from the window pane, mantelpiece or bannister for example.
If you can find some, you know what to do with it – hang it high up around the house and trick your nearest and dearest to meet you under it for a Christmas kiss!
If you already have plenty of Christmas lights, don’t limit them to a newly bought tree, you can dress any leafy green plant (indoors or outdoors) with them to bring out the nature of Christmas. Don’t opt for buying new lights if possible and get traditional with natural candles, you’ll find the atmosphere far more cosy and romantic, (especially essential oil-based ones) and keeps the electricity use down*. Opt for calming and relaxing essential oils such as lavender, patchouli, or Christmassy combinations such as cinnamon and orange to truly bring out that Christmas ambience.
*We wouldn’t recommend using candles on the tree, as was the tradition, as of course this is a major fire hazard – and make sure they’re all extinguished before bed!
One of the true scents of Christmas, cinnamon adds that earthy depth of flavour to any room. Attach cinnamon sticks to the outside of a large candle with some natural string to create a festive feel and aroma in the home. Create six-pointed star shapes with cinnamon sticks using a glue gun and attach a ribbon for some aromatic tree decorations.
If you start collecting old jars, driftwood, pine cones, tree clippings, discarded glass bottles, etc. and get creative you’ll find some amazing thrifty and simple ideas online which will not break the bank, nor the planet and give your home a natural, authentic and unique Christmas atmosphere. Happy creating!
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