Home Improvement

Deck the Halls

It’s hard to believe just how quickly this year has flown by, but given that holiday decorations are popping up around town I suppose it really is time to deck the halls for the holiday. Each year, I try to have most of our decorations and two trees up by the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend here in Old Town. 
Many people near and far come to Old Town this weekend to enjoy the festivities, and I like the exterior of our home to be ready for the occasion. 
This year’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend kicked off on November 30 (the parade is always the first Saturday in December), so it felt super early to be buying our trees. But it also served as a great deadline to get us motivated since we also throw a formal scotch tasting and dinner party on the Friday night of this weekend! With all of the work on our basement project it’s been tough to divide our time between fun and function, but by our party that night we were in pretty good shape as far as holiday decor goes.
Just like with our fall decorations this year, I tried to make use of as many fresh greens as possible. Our home in Maryland is a great source for fresh greenery, so I made a quick trip there to snip some evergreens and boxwoods, and cut a few berry-lined twigs. 

I’m not sure what the berry branches are exactly (my guess is some kind of invasive plant that while choking out surrounding vegetation, happens to look pretty this time of year). With my stash from the other house, the branches we trimmed off our live Fraser firs, and two dozen roses and a bunch of berries from the grocery store, I was ready to start making fresh arrangements.
Out front I added some of the fresh greens and red berries to our two urns, adding a colorful, festive feel. It was as easy as sticking the branches into the dirt. No wire, no tape, just a little elbow grease. 

I put a little more effort into decoration for the front door. Using a two foot long piece of scrap wood, I wrapped it in a red ribbon (affixing it with hot glue), and then using our staple gun tacked on pieces of fresh greenery and fresh berries.

I had intended to make two of these, one for each French door out front. But time was short before the party so I made just one for our interior door. A few years ago I picked up an antique horn in a junk shop, so I added this to the greenery to give it a little more visual weight and interest, topped it with a homemade plaid bow, and called it done. 

But back to the flowers I bought from the grocery store. I divided the two dozen roses and sprig of berries among three vases. 

I created a low, densely packed arrangement for our dining room table. 

For the living room I made a slightly taller arrangement adorned with the same plaid ribbon I used on the front door.

I also created a tiny arrangement for the family room, but in a total blogger fail, forgot to snap a photo of it. I can assure you it was lovely. (Sigh.) 
I also created a small natural arrangement for the kitchen. It sits behind our sink, next to the framed Christmas ornament box that was passed down to my grandparents.

Like we’ve done in years past, we put up a smaller live tree in our sun porch that features clear and mercury glass ornaments and white lights. 

And while we were able to put up our main tree, we simply ran out of time to decorate it before guests arrived. In an effort to make it look nice for our dinner party, we adorned it with lights, garland, our tartan topper, and a simple skirt made from a few yards of rough burlap. 

We did put the ornaments on the tree (a week or so later) but I have to say I really liked the look of the tree in its more natural form. Maybe that’s me just being old and tired, or maybe it’s me embracing simplicity this year. But while we took a much simpler approach this year, with all of the projects we have going on including our massive overhaul of our basement, I think it’s okay to cut ourselves some slack this year. After all, the holiday season for us is about spending quality time with friends and family, and making new memories while celebrating the past…regardless of how many projects are completed or how decked out our home may be. 
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