Friday, November 20, 2009

A Joyous Diversion ...

Celebration ... a joyous diversion!

Isn't that a wonderful definition? People, throughout time, have taken brief respites from their lives to celebrate ... to come together and observe something bigger than themselves. We focus on special foods and spending time with friends and family. Often there are traditional ceremonies to observe and sometimes gifts are exchanged. Typically, to further divert our attention to the joyous ... we decorate our homes.

Seasonal decorating is big business. Turn on the television and you're bound to see advertisements for holiday adornments. Walk into any store and you'll be greeted with decorations of all sorts. The trouble is, most of those things aren't very earth friendly. The unfortunate truth is that celebrations, of any kind, typically generate a lot of waste.

So, in preparation for the the upcoming holidays, here are a few ideas for decorating ... in an Eco-friendly way:

  • 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 center pieces.

  • Does Holly grow in your area? Snip a little for mantles or to place around candles.

  • Speaking of candles, opt for soy candles which are much better for the earth.

  • 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 stringing 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.

Being kind to the earth ... now that's truly part of a joyous diversion!

As always ... I would love to hear from you!