Monday, November 17, 2008

Seasonal Decorating

In the US, fall seems to signal a time for celebration. There are celebrations to mark the end of the harvest season ... apple festivals, leaf festivals, wine tastings and corn mazes. There are pumpkin patches at Halloween and German food at Oktoberfest. There are state fairs and art festivals. In November there is Thanksgiving and December brings Christmas, Kwanzaa and all kinds of winter festivals. We're not alone in this ... there are celebrations all over the world for all kinds of reasons.

With each of these celebrations, we typically decorate. Decorating, as a matter of fact, has become big business ... so big that we see Christmas decorations in October and Valentine hearts before New Year's Day. Unfortunately, most of the decorations on the market today aren't very kind to the environment.

So ... does that mean that we shouldn't decorate? Not if we green it up. Here are a few suggestions for decorations that won't hurt the environment:

  • Use cornstalks, pumpkins and bales of hay to create a fall scene.
  • Make a scarecrow (use burlap, straw, old hats and clothes) and let him greet visitors to your home.
  • Collect colorful fall leaves to decorate a table or fill a vase.
  • Display gourds of all sizes, shapes and colors.
  • Use baskets ... fill them or simply display them at odd angles.
  • Make a cornucopia.
  • Use bunches of deep red grapes to decorate a table or place them around bottles of wine on the bar.
  • Pick beautiful apples, arrange them in your nicest bowl and use them as a centerpiece for meals with friends and family.
  • Bring colorful container plants indoors or arrange them around an entry (chrysanthemums, flowering cactus, ornamental kale, flowering cabbage, dusty miller, etc.).
  • Make a wreath from natural products (pine cones, Rosemary, thyme, sage and berries).
  • Decorate a mantle with a natural garland made from evergreens.
  • Don't forget our feathered friends ... fill the nooks and crannies of pine cones with peanut butter, press in bird seed, and hang in a tree. It'll not only make the birds happy, it'll make any tree look festive.
  • Use fresh produce from the farmer's market as decoration. Pomegranates, oranges and walnuts make lovely decorations.
  • Does Holly grow in your area? Snip a little for mantles or to place around candles (natural candles, of course).
  • For those who decorate a tree, use strings of popcorn, small pine cones and cranberries for natural beauty.
  • Make a Gingerbread House.
  • Does it snow in your area? Build a snowman.
  • Are holiday lights a must? Use LED lights. And rather than string lights, of any kind, on the outside of your house, string them on the inside, around windows. Any heat created by the bulbs won't be lost.
  • Let food be a decoration. Cookies, candies and holiday breads, displayed in festive dishes, add warmth to any celebration.

Not only will your decorations be beautiful ... they'll be earth friendly as well. And that's another reason to celebrate.

As Always ... I'd love to hear from you!