Thursday, March 5, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

My parents built a vacation home on a mountain in Arkansas and that's where we spent Christmas this year, so we needed to figure out what kind of decorations/theme we were going to go with since it would be our first Christmas at the mountain house. Since the house is on a mountain, in the woods, the most obvious theme was nature/woodsy and that's what we went with.

I know this post has nothing to do with baking, but it has to do with Christmas and that's what this week is all about!

I tried not buy a whole lot for this tree, because I wanted to make things from limbs and pine cones to make it more authentic, but some stores have great nature items for Christmas trees that were just too good to pass up. I bought fake birds (yes, fake birds) to hang in the tree. They went really well with the nature theme. I also bought plaid ribbon with wire in it so it's easier to shape around the tree branches. I found large (very large) plastic acorns and scattered them throughout the tree. Red berries were also very prevalent on the branches and the fireplace mantle in the house. I found that I could buy fewer berry branches if I fanned them out as much as possible.

The homemade decorations consisted of large pine cones with red ribbon hot-glued on them so they could hang from the tree. Also, Ben and I made wooden stars out of small sticks. We broke the sticks so that we could have 6" pieces. First we made a cross, then put 2 sticks on the diagonals and hot-glued them together and put a small pine cone over the hot-glued center just to add a little extra flair (does that make sense?). I think that the cutest homemade decoration was the bundle of cinnamon sticks tied together with a gold or red ribbon. We added small fake berries and branches to make them look more nature-like.

At the top of the tree, instead of putting a star or angel, we put a large rooster, and then added these sticks with feather-covered styrofoam balls on them (which my sister hated, but I loved).

I bought the decorations at either Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge. Both had 50% sales before Christmas, which is always a plus!

For the dinner table, my mom and I bought 3 birch wood vases from Pottery Barn. I put small styrofoam blocks in the bottom of them so I could stick pine needles, berries, and other things in the vase and they would stay. The 2 table runners were also from Pottery Barn and we decided to use 2 shorter runners, instead of 1 long runner just to add a different element to the table.

Ben and I went on a walk around the house and we saw the perfect Charlie Brown tree! We decided that it was absolutely necessary to cut it down and bring it back to the house and have our own Charlie Brown tree outside on the porch. So cute!

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