21 December 2009

Decorating For Christmas

I don't generally do too much for the holidays. I think, like my mother, that it's kind of depressing to dress everything up only to have to take it down after the new year - especially in the Pacific Northwest where January means even more dreary gray weather. Winter can be trying in this part of the world.

The stores all had Christmas stuff out around St. Patrick's Day this year which was just kind of annoying. Once the calender turned over to December, however, and more and more neighbors started decorating and the Christmas tree farms went into overdrive, well, I caught a little of the holiday bug. I've always liked Christmas lights (which JD kindly offered to hang up for me) and, maybe it's a cliche, but I do like a pretty green wreath hung on a farm gate with the red ribbons blowing in the wind.

I surfed around a little and found instructions at Save On Crafts for making wreaths. I like this one because it instructs you to use coat hangers which are shaped into circles instead of buying specially-made frames. You cover the wire in floral tape and then wire about a million evergreen branches around the frame.

I spent about an hour cutting evergreen branches. Henry tried to help but didn't really understand the goal.


Then for about three days (not straight mind you just a couple of hours every day) I wired branches to the coat hangers. I made four altogether and, as I suspected, my handiwork improved as I went along. I cut the branches too long for the first one. On the side that the branches were pointing down, everything looked great. On the other, gravity had it's way with them and they flopped over in a very unattractive manner. I ended up using it for a centerpiece.

The second, which I hung by the front door, was slightly better but the branches were still a bit too long.


The third, which adorns the driveway gate was okay but the branches were too sparse. I could have used half again as many and it would have been better. I like the photo, though, with all the frost. That was a couple of weeks ago when it was getting down into single digits at night and the pipes froze! Brrr!


The final two, hung at the front gate and on my workroom door turned out the best, I think.



We have an abundance of evergreen trees here and the other raw materials are inexpensive so I may make more next year and see if I can sell them. There are several u-cut Christmas tree farms nearby so I might be able to take advantage of their traffic. I'll need to practice more and get my technique down. But I'll wait until it warms up a little and stops raining - sometime around July....

What decorating have you done for the holidays? Do you stick to just a tree? Or go all out like the Griswolds?


  1. Hi Kate! Your wreaths are so pretty, I like the bushy one the best actually. Henry made me giggle. We think dogs don't get the point, but of course they are thinking the same thing about us and they are probably right.

    I abstained from decorating this year. No tree, no lights, just my favorite Santa sculpture and a few of his elves came out to sit on a shelf. And I have zero stress related to putting away all the decorations this year - yay!

    Best of luck selling wreaths next year - I think that's a great idea.

  2. Good for you. Low-stress is the way to go!

    And speaking of selling. I'll be contacting you in a couple of months for some of your lovely fabric flowers but I'm thinking it will be a custom color. What kind of fabric do you use?

    For anyone reading this, check out Dubhe's site and shop

    She makes some beautiful fabric flowers and other goodies.

  3. I liked the wreath in the first picture best, but I'd settle for any one of them.

    I'm like Duhbe--I'm abstaining from decorating this year. I've even by-passed bringing out my little three-foot, ready-lighted, ready-decorated fake tree. This is an "off" year here, with our children otherwise occupied, so it's just my husband and me and our daughter's white (sort of) Maltese puppy, Samson, that we are keeping while she and her husband and younger son are in Germany spending Christmas with their older son. We are NOT giving him a Christmas present. I mean he is just a dog and Christmas is just another day to him. Ho-hum. It is an experience keeping a baby dog. It's quite a bit like keeping a baby person, but in some ways he's a lot different. For one thing, he can get around a lot faster (not to mention going down the hall and wee-ing on my carpet, which thank goodness is due to be replaced, anyway.). We've had him for two weeks, which must be--oh, what--a year in dog time? He's very lively and is full of personality and endlessly entertaining. We will take him to my sister's house for Christmas dinner, which, no doubt, will be another experience. We may eat and run.

    Keep working on those wreaths, Kate. It's certainly one of my favorite Christmas decorations.


  4. Those wreaths are beautiful! I haven't been in the Christmas spirit this year. I mean, I want to celebrate but not with gifts. :)

  5. Thanks, Mrs. Money! I did okay on my gifts this year but sometimes the thought of all that must-give-a-gift energy turns me right into The Grinch!


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