While I am excited about decorating for Christmas this year, I’m definitely not ready to start decorating. I recognize that social media has joined retailers in the push to rush into the next season and there is understandably a lot of resistance to that. We’re still enjoying fall leaves, making soup, and the early days of wearing sweaters and we’re not ready to set up the tree and go Christmas shopping. So, I’m not sharing this post as a call to start decorating. I decided to share this post now since I’m sure I’m not the only one who is thinking through Christmas decorating and what I might want to make and/or add this year. You can view this post as a chance to do a bit of browsing, considering, and planning so when you’re ready to decorate, you’re ready!
For the past three months, I have been purchasing a few things each month to add to my Christmas decor this year. The main thing I wanted to add was faux winter greenery. I used to use all live greens, but when we moved to Minnesota and switched from hot water heat to forced air heat, it dried out in a matter of days. It’s pretty frustrating to spend $100 on fresh greens only to have them fall apart in a crisp before you even get to enjoy them. So, I started searching for faux greens that looked realistic. The good news is that faux greenery has improved so much in the last ten years or so. Gone are the flimsy plastic needles wound unnaturally around one long string of garland. Now, you can get garlands made with molded needles and a branch structure that looks very realistic. They are an investment, but it’s ultimately cheaper than buying fresh greens year after year.
Here are a few of the things I’ve purchased as well as some old favorites I’ve used in previous years that are available again.
The chunky knit stockings from Crate & Barrel (hanging from the mantel above) weren’t available for a couple of years, but they are back! I’m often asked where I got them, so I wanted to share. I have used them for the past six years and I love the way they look. They are made well and have a classic look. I customized the stockings with velvet ribbon and brass bells.
This year, I bought a few more Norfolk Pine garlands. They really are some of the best, most realistic-looking garlands that I have found. Since they are pricey, I’ll just add two to three each year until I have a nice collection to use each year. I like using them on the mantel, on top of wardrobes and cabinets, over large pictures/mirrors, and around doorways.
And, this year, I added one of the Norfolk Pine 24″ wreaths. Since I already have a nice wreath for the front door (you can see how I customized an old wreath HERE), I’ll likely use this wreath in the kitchen.
I am always on the hunt for faux juniper. It is my favorite winter green (naturally, it’s blue & green), but it’s not easy to find a faux version that looks realistic. I found some juniper branches available at Pottery Barn this year that look pretty nice…
I like that they are large enough to tuck into a vase, but they can also be used to fill out and add texture to wreaths and garlands. I also got one juniper garland from Afloral. It looks nice, but it is a thin garland and wouldn’t look great on its own. It’s definitely better for cutting up to use as “picks” or to weave with another garland.
Because they are green and add great texture, I am feeling drawn to dried limes this year. I’m actually working on drying my own as I type this (and I’ll share it if it works well), but I bought a pack of dried whole limes as well to use in wreaths and garlands. I think they’d also look pretty in a bowl with nuts and pinecones.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve used these beautiful brass birds from Terrain as ornaments and embellishments and I was so happy to see they were back again!
I thread them on velvet ribbon to elevate them even a bit more…
While looking at their other Christmas offerings, I found this brass Merry Christmas banner. I love that it has an antique feel and can be used in a variety of ways. I’m not sure how I’ll use it, yet but I know I’ll enjoy playing with it and figuring out where it looks best.
Now, I have a lot of painting to do in order to get ready to decorate! I hope this gave you some inspiration, though, or pointed you to products you’d like to add to your Christmas decor before they sell out.