I know!! Even typing that headline seems anathema! How could I possibly even CONSIDER faux evergreen decor for Christmas?!
I — who celebrate the dings and scrapes in my 200+ year-old wood floors and would not think of refinishing them in my lifetime?! (Too much hassle, and they’ll just get scraped up again anyway.)
I — who look upon the uneven surfaces of my plaster walls and would rather give them an eggshell finish to HIGHLIGHT their character, rather than try to make them disappear?! (Nothing is going to make these walls look flat, so why try?)
I — who live in New Hampshire, where there are far more pine trees than people per square mile?!
Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, let me just ease your mind about one thing — I am NOT considering a faux Christmas tree. We live less than a mile from a Christmas tree farm, so not having a real tree would further aid the depression of the local economy and create bad blood between neighbors.
Let me back up a bit.
Decorating for Christmas — It’s Only Taken 8 Years
I’m late to the holiday decorating game, both this year alone and in the fact that it’s taken me nearly 8 years to get into doing it for real in our home.
If you’ve been a reader of The Saturday Blog for a while, you know that I advise careful interior design for the Forever Home (done in stages, if budget so dictates) and that I stress quality and character that will stand the test of time … rather than a quick fix that you’ll later regret and toss in a landfill (or live with and hate for the next 20 years).
I’ve kind of taken that attitude with my Christmas decorating as well. I’ve never had a Christmas tour of my home on the blog because only after completing the Remuddle Remodel did I feel that we had a cohesive enough space to really decorate (besides having the tree, these amazing cordless window candles, and some hand-me-down decorations that we just kind of slapped up anywhere).
I never wanted to buy decor that I would just end up throwing out the next year because it wasn’t well considered.
So THIS YEAR — 2020 — I was really looking forward to FINALLY begin decorating our home for Christmas.
I bought a few new items (I’ll show you in a bit), but I thought I would begin with natural greenery. Now, I’m no Martha Stewart. You won’t find tutorials here about how to make your own garland and wreaths. I buy those babies.
(I did watch a tutorial and made some red ribbons, though! Boy, did I feel like Martha then!)
There is so much beautiful inspiration out there for gorgeous interior greens, including this Instagram account of a Boston floral designer.
But, I can’t employ a floral designer to decorate my house, especially not one all the way from Boston! I was seriously tempted to order some fresh garlands from this Etsy seller, but I hoped I might be able to find something local.
So, since I’m not crafty, and I didn’t find some lush local garlands and greens, I went to Lowes at the last minute and picked up some wreaths and white pine garlands and added my simple hand-made bows. I was pretty satisfied with the results!
(Remember, this really is my first time trying to decorate for Christmas in a small-but-cohesive way, so be kind. ;).)
I’ve long loved the look of a wreath above a stove alcove, and I finally have one!
Ours is a “family” Christmas tree, rather than a “decorator” tree, with ornaments that are as old as the Handsome Husband and I are. It was one of our major goals in the Remuddle Remodel to finally have space for it in the heart of our home — the kitchen/converted porch. My mom made the Bucilla tree skirt with the nativity, and it’s one of my most treasured Christmas decorations. Next year, I’ll probably get some simple skirt to go underneath it to make it a little larger.
Things 1 & 2 made a train station for our Lionel train out of blocks, and I didn’t have the heart to take it down for this pic. That would be misplaced priorities indeed!
My mom also made the Bucilla stockings for the boys.
The above pine garland actually IS faux! I bought it years ago from a local shop, and it is so realistic! If I could find something similar, I might be a faux convert. Alas, the shop I bought it from is no more.
The cast iron reindeer stocking holders were one of my Christmas decoration purchases this year. Believe it or not, this is the first year we ever hung the stockings on our one and only fireplace mantel! (For a home that probably once had 6-8 working fireplaces, this is the only one left.) The middle stocking holder is empty, waiting for my niece to visit!
The nutcrackers were a gift to the boys from my parents a couple of Christmases ago. They finally have a place on the mantel!
In our dining room, I hung some Lowe’s swags from the windows on these hooks.
I decorated our vintage pressed glass chandelier with classic glass ornaments. The pine cone ornaments (similar here) were a gift from my sister — VERY New Hampshire!
Moss balls mixed with an inexpensive glass ornament set I picked up at T.J. Maxx, with white pine branches laid around my vintage celadon bowl.
I display our nativity (wise men not shown), which I received at my bridal shower more than 17 years ago (!!!!), on the dining room sideboard. I’ve always loved how different and colorful it is. The fabric is a piece of Fortuny fabric I purchased at the factory in Venice, when I went there with my mom for her 60th and my 35th birthdays. A treasured memory.
I started collecting Dept. 56’s “Christmas in the City” in junior high. Little did I know that I would end up living in NYC for 4 years way back then! However, I never had a place for it that was big enough until now. This year, I purchased a 72″ folding table and covered it with this burlap table cloth (pinned up in back) & this block print cloth in a Christmas-tree-with-a-twist theme.
My Quandary — Real Greens or Faux in the Future?
So, here’s my problem. When I was all enthusiastic about being a purist and getting REAL garlands, wreaths, and swags for our interior spaces, I didn’t really consider how DRY it gets here with the heaters on.
Yes, I’ve been spritzing all the evergreens with water — daily, in fact! — but they are still getting brittle. I’m sure that, coming from Lowes, they weren’t terribly fresh to start with or kept moist, so that’s a problem from the start. Nor did I know about soaking the cut stems or using anti-desiccant spray to seal in moisture prior to hanging greenery indoors until recently.
But I wonder — even had I taken those additional steps, would my greens STILL dry out fairly quickly? I’m truly looking for some guidance here!
Should I give the real greens another try next year, or cave and go faux — especially now that Christmas decorations are at rock bottom prices?
I’m wondering if this white pine garland might be as nice as the one I currently have over our library mantel.
I DID recently pick up these red bead garlands to replace the cheapie shiny beads we currently have on our tree for next year. Half off!
As well as this small galvanized tree collar — also on sale now — for the tree we put up on our farmer’s porch for the first time this year. It has yet to arrive.
I love the lights and star the HH bought for our little tree, but it does look a little naked and chilly with its ugly tree stand exposed!
This image was taken before we were dumped with more than 2 FEET of snow Thursday. Buffalo check pillow covers here. I hung these paper snowflakes & garlands inside in all the kitchen windows on both sides. Could I have made them? Sure. But I told you — I’m not crafty. But I love this easy alternative!
So — what should I do???? Should I buy some faux greens while they’re on sale? Or should I try again next year, but prep with soaking the stems and spritzing with anti-desiccant spray? What is YOUR experience, please????
I’m sorry that this blog has been more like every-other-week in the last month or two. I have had the boys home at intervals as the schools go back and forth between remote learning, in person, and our waiting for negative COVID tests. Being the lovely readers you are, I’m sure you understand!
I wish you the happiest and holiest of Christmases, however you may be celebrating your holidays this year. For me, 2020 has been a year of significant, difficult, but fruitful introspection — something that may not have happened should 2020 been like every year before. I hope that I will be a better person — for my family and others around me, including you dear reader! — because of it. If so, I am deeply grateful.
I will be back in the New Year with some client project previews & updates & hopefully some very useful new content for you as you continue in your own quest to create the Forever Home of your family’s dreams.