To combat the busyness and consumerism of the holiday season I've decided to decorate less, buy less and love more. And I encourage you do think about it as well. But that doesn't mean turning your back on decorating or enjoying the lights and beauty the season has to offer. Simply use what's meaningful to you, and then DIY some simple and natural decorations to mark the specialness of celebrating.
This weekend, I'm challenging you to pull out your holiday decorations and evaluate. Are there items that are meaningful? Maybe sentimental? Put them aside to make sure to use. Then separate out anything that you will not use because it's broken, outdated or just 'too much' and donate it. Get it out of the house right away. Simplify what you have to work with and it will be a lot less overwhelming.
If you end up with not much left (either because you've purged or because you didn't have much to begin with), think about what you could use that's easily accessible and free, instead of going to the store to buy new. Can you find greenery at a local tree farm, farmers' market or a friend's country home? Can you find sticks and branches on a walk in the neighbourhood? What about birch bark or pine cones? Do you have left-over fabric scraps to use as ribbon or tree ornaments? Old holiday drawings of the kids' that could be framed? Cozy plaid blankets or festive quilts? Books, including the Bible, that can be stacked together on display? Or how about good ol' cranberries and popcorn? When you get creative, you can do a lot for not a lot of effort or cost.
The goal is to simplify your holidays by only having on display things that will make you smile. Things that evoke a joyful memory, or tickle your senses, or are just plain beautiful. They connect you with family, friends and nature. They have enough space around them to stand out and make you stop to admire and slow down so that you can enjoy the season.
Here are 10 ideas for DIY Christmas décor using things you can easily and cheaply find:
1. A DIY wreath from natural materials (these are two simple ones that I made this year.)
2. Birch bark ornaments.
3. Mini-trees or boughs in vintage buckets and repurposed soup cans covered in birch bark or fabric scraps.
4. A simple centrepiece of greenery in a nice bowl on a trivet or serving board.
5. DIY Christmas art with branches and cranberries - great for mantel decorating.
6. A bowl or plate displaying vintage ornaments.
7. A basket of cozy blankets with a sprig of greenery added.
8. A stack of pretty and naturally sweet-smelling soaps tied with a ribbon on display in the bathroom.
9. Fancy doilies and linens from days gone by paired with a bowl of chestnuts or cranberries.
10. A big wood bowl, crate or basket of colourful scarves and mittens along with an ornament or two on display at the entry.
I hope this sparks some ideas on how you can pare down your decorating this year to use only what you already have that has purpose and meaning. Good luck this weekend and have fun!