I don't consider myself a particularly crafty individual. I do appreciate a good DIY, but only when a ready-made solution isn't cost-effective or aesthetically superior. But there's something about Christmastime that inevitably taps into some repressed get-out-the-glue-gun-and-sequins-and-construction-paper facet of my nature. This year was no exception. In fact, our Holiday Halls donned a decidedly handmade and homespun attire.
This being our first Christmas without the hot pink fir I'd hastily, and in hindsight, questionably, banished last year, finding a new tree was at the top of the list. I had visions of a cozy unpretentious Scandinavian-esque Christmas tree – semi-sparse with naturally irregular branches, dripping with handmade garlands and haphazardly strung lights. (Pretty sure I just made it pretentious with that description.) For a second I considered going the real tree route, but swiftly thought better of it on account of us being forgetful, lazy, and generally prone to resent all things that require/need something from us. Note: working on that in preparation for Bebe's upcoming arrival. Not ready to invest a lot of money in an artificial tree, I checked out a couple thrift stores, with no luck.
So out came the four foot vintage aluminum tree I've had for years – not grand, but it gets the job done.
As you can see my recent love affair with the color red continues. An assortment of red, orange, and blush round ornaments lend a fiery and festive feel to the glistening silver tinsel branches. Simple gold himmeli ornaments dangle like Christmas jewels. And it may not be the Scandinavian tree of my dreams, but I still managed to make and haphazardly drape a garland in cheery red, pink, and golden hues.
I'm not usually one for embracing the traditional red and green Christmas color scheme, but this vintage tree topper felt like the perfect punctuation mark.
If you thought the extent of my Christmas crafting was homemade construction paper garland, there's more. I've long since harbored an affection for those charming Christmas villages. There's just something so magical about miniature rows of historic houses with small specks of light gleaming through tiny paned windows! I decided to try my hand at creating a village of my own, but with a more whimsical, colorful, and, ahem, imperfect bent.
I'll go into more detail about the process in a later post, but I do love the way it turned out. It's uncomplicated and approachable, certainly befitting my homespun label. But more importantly it adds a dose of childlike cheer and wonder.
The only downside to an aluminum tree is not being able to add Christmas lights for fear of fire. I quickly realized just how much I missed that warm glow. Adding garland and lights around the Christmas village helped, but the bay window on the other side of the room still felt left in the cold. The solution: more garland, some outdoor bulb lights casually looped from the curtain rod, and a perfectly imperfect wreath (aka dollar store garland wrapped around a large embroidery hoop). It's just homely enough to work – reminiscent of old-timey Christmas tree lots, or maybe just a used car lot.
And then, of course, there's even more garland in the dining room because in my world Christmas isn't Christmas unless you're walking under a ceiling dripping in layers of celebratory shimmer.
The rest of the decor in the dining room remained pretty simple, though you might notice we also did a little rearranging in here. I may not have had to accommodate an oversized evergreen, but that didn't stop me from using Christmas as a fun excuse to upend the room's layout. I'm happiest with the piano in the bay window – where it feels satisfyingly stately and important – and moving it there helped free up more space around the table.
Much like Thanksgiving, a red plaid piece of fabric, this time folded, forms a casual table runner. Depression era champagne flutes in the loveliest shade of icy green are reimagined as stand-in candle holders. And the old holiday decorating classic – assorted ornaments in a bowl – rounds out the vignette.
Overall, our holiday decor is a bit more restrained this year, but the happy handmade vibe is enough to keep me jolly through the season.
Happy Christmas season to you all! May it be full of treats and festivities, and crafts (if that's your thing).