Monday, November 26, 2007

Green Christmas

We don't start hanging the greens until after the Army-Navy Game, but my mind's been hard at work.

We've decked our halls with rich colors, needlepoint stockings, and blown glass ornaments the last few years. After admiring Pottery Barn's pale greens and whites, I walked into Walmart...only to be greeted by a giant tree covered with chartreuse globes. Call me trendy, but I'm ready to lighten and brighten our look.

I can't afford to replace what few decorations I own. I'll have to find a fresh take, free of cost. I'm starting with this green bridge cloth, which we bought as a gift for my late grandmother-in-law. It might look good angled across the table, with a centerpiece of citrus fruit.

In the meantime, I'll be busy scavenging for more light green and yellow accents: in my gift closet, in the rag bag, and outdoors.

Do you change your holiday decorating from year to year? If so, how do you do it on a budget?

31 comments:

Munkamama said...

our holiday decorating stays pretty much the same. I do buy one or two things here and there (usually 2nd hand or deeply discounted) - but most stays the same.

It has a kind of nice familiar feel to have the same decorations and things in the usual spot. My ds is already worried b/c we've reworked our living room and the usual Xmas tree spot is occupied by a bookcase w/plants on it. I told him where we would put the tree and he was NOT happy. I never would have thought the placement of the Christmas tree would be any big deal at all - but it is to him. We might be able to work it out so the tree can go back - but I ain't promising him!

Elizabeth said...

I'm mostly sticking to my usual stuff. But, I am going to do centerpiece with lemons and herbs loosely based on something that I saw in Southern Living. I haven't chosen which of the containers that I have on hand that I'm going to use yet.

martha said...

A cheap can of spray paint can unify thrifted glass globe ornaments, twigs, even pinecones. Folded paper stars and ribbon streamers in your chosen color can add to your theme, without costing too much.

laurel said...

I changed up our holiday look a little last year. We had moved into a house with a very wooded lot, plus I have three sons (and a husband who is a hunter), so I went for a more woodsy, Audubon look. I used more natural elements in my decorating...pine cones, nuts, pomanders, cranberries, etc. in hurricanes. On the tree, I added birds nests (from our yard, after the birds had vacated), as well as pheasant feathers. I also picked up a few bird ornaments from ebay. I am enjoying this look and will probably keep it for a long time. I don't change things up ever year, and when I do, it isn't expensive or elaborate. I do love to change things up by using them in different rooms and in different ways.

Lyn said...

Compared to others I am pretty sparse in Christmas decorating (I only have 2 small containers of decorations). With an extremely tight budget I refuse to hand over money to anyone I don't have to.

Whatever I do use though will be either what I have in hand already or from nature. Simple, basic & fits my budget perfectly.

I enjoy seeing your creations from what you already have. I think frugal creativity is a wonderful thing.

Kathleen Grace said...

I just use what I have thrifted throughout the year and add cut greens from the yard, silk flowers that I buy clearanced out at end of season sales and a very few new items. I have lots of different colors so I can use just what I want.

Linda said...

make your own! :D

Last year's christmas cards are a great source for making new balls for hanging in the tree :)

Mary Ann said...

So far I've used the same (nice, but few) decorations each year, but I tend to set them out/up differently each year. It always looks a bit different! Because of your influence, I used lots more free and natural decorations last year. It looked great and I plan to do that again this year. Best of all, I didn't have to store all of that!

Chas said...

I am not too trendy, I stick with what *I* like most of the time. I do appreciate what is new and pretty. I usually just add new homemade or gifted or thrifted items to our holiday decorations...
I am really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your new light green and yellow look.
Have a great day...
Chas
http://www.homesteadblogger.com/chas

Homemaker of the 21st Century said...

Each year I set a budget of either $25 or $50 (whatever I can afford) to purchase one new Christmas decoration. This year I got one of those inflatable snowmen (8ft tall!!) for only $29 at Walmart. I was so excited to get such a price on it, usually they are close to $100!

Homemaker of the 21st Century

Cyndi Lewis said...

I would love to change decor every year but that is not in our budget. When we first got married we picked out jewel tones for our tree but last year so many of them had been broken and were looking 14 years old that we invested in some new very traditional red, green and gold glass balls for the tree. The old jewel tone balls (including some chartruese) are sitting in a glass apothacary jar on our kitchen table. Mostly I try to mix things up by not putting decor in the same place every year.

Peregrina said...

I do have my favorite things, and I usually alternate them out every other year or so...we have a small place, so too much is just...too much.

My mom and I live about 6 hours away from each other now, and we trade items for a couple of years at a time. It gives each of us a fresh take on things, while still surrounding us with the familiar. We are always careful to remember what the other wants back, or what can be given away when we tire of it.

Anonymous said...

I now have one teenager and one almost-teen. Instead of me decorating, I let them decorate for Christmas.

Last year, I gave them $20 and took them thrifting. They picked out some glass ornaments, a small artificial tree, a candy dish or two, and a few other decorative items. Then they combined their finds with our Christmas stuff and decorated the living and dining rooms.

They made the rooms look festive -- groupings of candles, red-and-green tablecloths on the end tables, a jar of ornaments.

Even if it had looked ugly, [it didn't.], I would be able to live with it for a month. I'll probably do the same thing this year.

-- Jora

Mod Girl said...

After several years of silver and red we decided to make this year livelier with some bright, loud colors -- lime, pink sorbet, coral, ice blue. We bought all of our new decorations (balls and bobbles) last year right after Christmas at Target for 75% off and promptly packed them away for this Christmas. We also were able to get 4 new stockings -- chartreuse and white -- for a total of $3.00! I'm excited about pulling out our new decorations this year...but we'll wait until after the first of December!

Amy said...

Back when we were DINKs (dual-income, no kids) I went way overboard buying Christmas decorations. Every year I put up seven, yes seven, trees of various sizes throughout the house. (Some are tiny bathroom sized.) So, these last couple of years I have mostly resisted the urge to buy anything new- I really should be purging instead!

I do rearrange the trees and ornaments-- I do theme trees, and some of the small trees only have lights.

the feathered nest said...

I knew last year that I would be changing a few things so I bought at the after Christmas Clearance sales. I do have a Christmas decorating budget because my husband really likes to do the lighs outside and every year he adds to them! Whatever is left over from that goes to freshening my Christmas decor. Also, everything can be painted. I do alot of that :-)
Manuela

Anonymous said...

I do not change out my Christmas decorations. I like the familiarity of the old things. But...I do sometimes use them in different ways, place them in different rooms, etc. Usually the kids have made something in school that I like to showcase, so that adds a bit of newness to our home.

I look in the stores & see all the gorgeous stuff there...but somehow, most of it just isn't "me". Love looking at it in other people's homes, though.

Brenda

Mar said...

I'm not even sure what I have for Christmas at this point! We moved on 12/29 last year, so no tree; we went out of state for a week the year before, so no tree then either (bored cats alone in home with Christmas tree for one week - nope, not a good idea!) I'm pulling out the boxes this weekend to see what we have; I know we've bought a few things in the last couple years that will be a surprise to me because we never really put them out. Since this is our first year in this house, we also need to decide what to put where. We have two fireplace mantles and lots of little nooks and crannies that are original to our 1930ies home. I can't wait to decorate it this weekend!

As far as changing up, I've never done a wholesale change, but I have bought new items that fit in and have donated or tossed items that I just don't like (almost all of them gifts that we never liked). We stick with background colors of burgundy and gold, but incorporate a LOT of color in our decorations. Most of the tree items are "things", not balls - angels, snowmen, tiny nativity sets, cats, souvenirs from vacation spots, and ornaments that represent our interests (ballerinas and dolphins for my daughter, a tiny sewing box for me, etc.) My daughter is big into penguins this year, so if I can find an ornament that wasn't made in China (lead paint concern), I'll buy it - I know, good luck with that one!

Ewokgirl said...

I don't care about decorating enough to change stuff up from year to year. I might add something, but rarely do I take anything away. Usually we just get a new ornament or something.

Last year I bought all the materials for making a thing to display our Christmas cards, but I never got around to actually putting it together. I guess that'll be our new thing for this year.

TJ said...

Up until this year, I always did a themed decoration and always on a budget. I tend to stick to purple or blue decorations. So one year it was clay stars that I made then painted with sparkly purple. Cost less than $3.00.

The next year it was a bag of eyeore ornaments that we got free from yardsale leftovers.

One year all my wrapping paper was this amazing green, blue and bronze clearance paper that looked amazing with the blue lights. It was all purple wrapping when I used the stars.

I stick to white, purple, or blue lights so that I can use whichever work best with the theme. Then I look through what I have and pull out anything that matches.

Amy said...

I really like to switch it up a bit, but this year I don't feel like I have the time. I am hoping to add a couple of new elements to our holiday decorating though, but it probably won't be an entire transformation :)

I am drawn to those same colors, and have been dreamily flipping through the Pottery Barn catalog myself.

Debbie M said...

I'm sure my answer is quite horrifying, but I do the mostly same thing each year. I display all the cards I get plus two favorites I save from year to year. And I recently bought a small artificial tree and have decorated it with things that can stay on all year (not icicles). When it's time to decorate, I just remove the cover, set it on the piano, and plug it in. Oh, I also like to decorate by wrapping presents early and displaying them until it's time to give them away. And my pine tree is getting big enough that it's making pine cones now, so I may bring a few of those in.

I have a small place and no kids. Also I'm lazy.

There are plenty of other places to see fresh, new looks (besides my house!). I like to walk around the neighborhood and look at other people's lights. Then come home and have some hot chocolate.

Anonymous said...

I had a verrrry busy year with decorating jobs and loss of a key employee so all Christmas decorating is up to the kids this year, and they love it red and green. Glittery and polka-dotty red and green.

I desire to felt an avocado/lime striped wool sweater into stockings to replace our motley collection. That, and crackle paint some urns a buttermilk color and fill with red silk dahlias for the mantle. We'll see if it gets done : )

ModGirl's plans sound so cheerful!

In spite of being tired of dark tones, Smith/Hawken wreaths in Target captured my attention this year ... thick silk double-faced chocolate satin ribbons and small silver balls in magnolia ... or pine? can't remember... but pretty.

deb meyers

Thrifty Gal said...

I'm afraid I have one teenager and one tweenager that will not let me deviate too much from year to year. But your ideas sound beautiful! Please post pictures when you get the chance :)

Kim said...

I bought so much stuff over the years at after-Christmas sales that I really don't need another thing. I rarely buy anything new now, except maybe more lights. We are looking at maybe replacing our artificial tree soon (after Christmas, of course). We've been using it for around 15 years now and it's shedding more and more each year. I imagine even the artificial ones wear out eventually!

Janette said...

We started when the kids were babies. Every year they made an ornament and then we did a family picture ornament. It looked bare for years- just those and a few Christmas balls from our time in Germany. 25 years later we take out each year and look with wonder at how we all have changed. It was the best tradition I have ever been introduced to.
My daughter starts this year. Her baby is 3 months this Christmas. We already have the ornament for their tree!

ancient one said...

This year is no tree for me. Haven't had one inside for years. In the last few years, we strung lights all over outside. Not this year!!

This year I'm only putting out Jesus things. Most from yard sales or dollar stores. I'm old!! I don't want to have to drag too much stuff down from the attic and hate having to put it up afterwards...LOL

I've started some decorating... Come over and see...

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I rotate stuff around ,especially ornaments. I used to put up SEVERAL trees many years ago, before kids. I had a big tree in the LR, a smaller more ornate tree in the dining room, and then when the kids came, I put a tree in each of their rooms with special ornaments that suited their likes and baby days, etc.

Well, I'm too tired now to do all those trees. We do ONE BIG family tree in the LR now. I have more than enough ornaments, so I rotate them around year by year. The biggies, like our first christmas, baby ornaments, and the like go on every single year. But the cute santas, knick knacks and other non-essentials take turns.

It makes it interesting for us :)

Other than that, I don't do much changing up. I'm a creature of habit.

Jane said...

I don't put it all out every year. Not only is it less to put away later, but the things that stay tucked away one year feel fresh the next.

Also, I love to use those dollar religious candles at the grocers. Sometimes I tie a twig and sprig of green with some ribbon around them and go woodsy. Other times I wrap them with pretty wrapping paper or colored paper with cut outs. This makes the candles look new each year.

TracyMichele said...

I do two things.. I hit all the after Christmas sales and buy things that will go with my Christmas decor the following year.

And when I decide to change my look a little.. 2 words: Spray Paint. One year I took many different objects and sprayed them gold to make a uniformed mantel presentation. SO pretty.

Tiffany M said...

I've been married 5 years now, but this is our first year to be in a house rather than an apartment. I started pulling out stuff this week and realized that I have VERY little in the way of Christmas decor (other than ornaments).
I have decided to resist the urge to go crazy in the stores. I am going to set a budget of $30, and only permit myself to buy things that are 50% off or better. After all, I still have years to find Christmas treasures, and don't need to find them all now! This also tells me that when I hit yard sales I can give the Christmas items up for grabs a closer look!