Deck the Halls with… Boughs of Holly!

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of holiday shopping, with all its glitz and sparkle to tempt your Christmas-loving senses.  So easy, in fact, that a trip to the store for a few simple Christmas decorations can leave you feeling less than festive, as you wade through the resulting plastic, packaging and waste.  I can attest; I’ve been there. This year, in an attempt to keep Christmas simple, I’m keeping Christmas natural.

The lyrics of the classic Christmas carol still ring true today.  Deck the halls with boughs of holly!  That seems pretty doable – just go outside and snip a few branches.  If you’re not lucky enough to have a holly bush at your disposal, try using cedar branches or take a walk in the woods and see what kinds of greenery, cones and berries you can find.  Use your scavenged treasures to make a wreath, centrepiece, tree ornament or anything else you can dream up. 

Here are some natural Christmas decorations you can try making, or simply use as inspiration for your own holiday creations:  

Simple Pine Cone Tree Ornaments – If you can cut string, tie a bow and use a glue gun without burning your fingers, you’re crafty enough for this simple Christmas tree ornament from Ashley at Make It and Love it.

P.S. When crafting with cones, it’s a good idea to bake them first to keep insects and sap from messing up your work.

CA---PineConeOrnament

Natural Floating Christmas Candle – This one from Better Homes and Gardens is pretty simple – just add greenery, colourful berries and a floating candle to a mason jar of water and, voila – floating Christmas candle!  Use beeswax or soy candles to keep it natural and preserve indoor air quality.

FloatingChristmasCandle

Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments – The hardest part of this craft from Katie at Upcycled Treasures is using a mitre saw to cut the log into slices.  If you’re fortunate enough to own one (or know someone who does), the rest is easy.  Decorate the wood slices free-hand with your own Christmas design, download printable templates (provided with the tutorial) or use festive stamps.

CA - WoodSliceOrnaments

See the blazing yule before us!  With more inspiration from that classic carol, try your hand a making your own natural yule log.  Place it on your mantle, coffee table or use it as a centre piece on your dining room table.  Here are a couple of options:  

Natural Yule Log – This natural yule log from Michelle at The Painted Hinge involves hot gluing candles to the log.  While I think drilling holes for the candles is safer, this is a good way to get-it-done, if you don’t have a drill and the skills.  As with any candles, just don’t leave them unattended. 

YuleLogCandles

Miniature Yule Log This simple miniature yule log from Carolyn at homework requires no drilling or candles, so it’s safe and easy to do.  Simply decorate a small log (if you’re lucky, you might even get your hands on one that’s pre-cut) with natural materials like evergreen branches, berries, cones and cinnamon sticks.

CA---YuleLogMini

Don’t worry, you need not spend your remaining waking-hours from now until December 24th with a hot glue gun in your hand.  Remember, the point of a natural Christmas is a simple Christmas.  Do what fits into your holiday prep schedule  and do what fits your crafting comfort level.

If purchasing is more your speed, there are options.  This year, intimidated by the prospect of making my own wreath, I ordered one from The Wreath Maker at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Christmas Craft Fair in St. John’s.  Check out local shops and craft fairs in your community for ready-to-use natural Christmas decorations.

Wreath

Sign we joyous all together!  Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Christmas.  But, as much as I can get swept up in the shopping, it’s not really the stuff that I love.  It’s the cozy feeling I get spending time in a warm, festive home with family and friends around.  Keeping Christmas natural gives you back your time to spend with those you love.  And it doesn’t hurt that is protects this province we love too.  

Have a Holly Jolly natural Christmas!

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