Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deck the Halls... Simply!

I know the posts have been sparse lately, to say the least. We've been blessed to host out-of-state company on two separate occasions in the last 3 weeks, so I've been having fun with family and friends. In between I managed to get a few things up around the house to make it festive for the season.

I'm convinced with our media saturated lives, we crave the simple and uncluttered. Our eyes need a break! But they need beauty, too. Keeping the adornments simple and not over done allows us to focus on a few items really well.

And can I add that decking the halls shouldn't take a week to put up OR to take down? As much as I like to decorate, there IS more to life! Like building snowmen, reading a good Christmas book, taking a hike in the brisk afternoon air, baking cookies with the kids...

However, I will confess I took the opportunity to deep clean the main room as I put up a few things. It was sorely needed and easiest to do at the same time.

The fireplace mantle got the biggest transformation. I removed the large picture that normally hangs between the sconces and dug out an old window I had been saving for a project. The sconces themselves got red bows and old tree toppers (stars) were used to fill in along with a couple of red plates I had (usually I have yellow plates up on the mantle). As for the greenery... we have a wood stove that heats the house. Nothing can be close enough that would be flammable, so no stockings or garlands. But even with that limitation, I was pleased with how it came out.

To the left of the mantle I added more windows, a pine wreath (I just switched out the bow to coordinate, and a matching chicken. The green rosemary tree is a bit too small, but that will be planted in the garden later and I may add another larger one if I come across it.

On the right side of the fireplace is a large red armoir my husband made for me years ago (how convenient that it matches the holiday!). I removed some flowers on top and added antlers that an elk shed behind our house a few years ago. The sun bleached them white and they were perfect on top! Makes me think of reindeer antlers. I'm going to add another little rosemary tree on top in another galvanized pail to bring more green and some needed height.

A basket with a white pitcher and red mercury glass balls are all that was needed. I REALLY like these and I may buy a couple each year to put on the tree as well. They look rustic, antique, and glittery without being overdone.

The hutch is mostly the same, but I pulled out a few items and replaced them with red and white things. A few pieces of greenery and viola!

The NOEL angels were my mom's when she was a little girl and the antique bells were my grandmother's. I love using selections from their Christmas decor for my own decorating. Sweet memories!

The Italian made nativity was also my mother's, now an antique. It sits in a creche made by my husband on a table behind the sofa in the center of the room.

On the opposite wall is another half hutch that has very little to adorn it, but just enough. I removed a summery bouquet and threw a fun berry wreath around one of my VERY favorite pieces... a ceramic sheep. While this is MY favorite item, it's a joke for the rest of the family. When I bought it, I ran in a store while the family sat out in the car (not interested in the shop I was excited to see). After quite a while, I came out with the sheep that the store keeper had wanted to part with and gave to me at about half the original price. I was THRILLED. My husband? He started laughing so hard, tears streamed down his face! He couldn't believe I was so excited about it and that it looked... well... odd, I guess. Of course, this set the girls to laughing and apparently embedded in their brains as a permanent memory! I still don't see what was so funny.

Oh, notice the screen door to the right? I wrote about it earlier and long story short, the shop keeper accepted an offer I made and it's now at home on my pantry!

The china cabinet got the same treatment as the rest... just re-worked with those things in the right colors taking center stage along with a little greenery. I typically like to use fresh greens from around the yard, but these will be added closer to Christmas as it dries out too easily. If I'm going to spend money on the fake stuff, I like to at least get the kind that looks as real as possible.

There you have it. I don't think I spent even $20 on all this. Almost everything was from "Christmas Past" and got re-worked in some way or another. Or it was an everyday item in the right color palate. A frugal Christmas fits our family philosophy so that we can give more and not overly participate in the commercialism of the holidays.

The tree is yet to go up and I'll post additional photos of other rooms later. But for now, get to writing your own holiday or Christmas post as the Barn Hop Ladies will be hosting a special Monday event on December 17th where we will link up related holiday posts instead of the regular homestead post. That way we can share and enjoy more terrific ideas for the holiday season!


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