Finding the best natural seasonal decorations is easy because they are in your own backyard. You don’t need to buy the icons of someone else’s place and culture when you are surrounded by your own.
As it gets colder outdoors, we often bring reminders of the season indoors with us. This could be the end of the Autumn leaves—the bitter end if you just can’t face raking them up—or evergreens if the world around you has turned mostly grey.
The tradition of bringing evergreens into the house during midwinter is a reminder that the green spring will return. The persistence of green through the stark winter warms our living spaces. Bringing evergreen boughs into the house is, of course, the origin of having a tree during midwinter then, later, Christmas holiday season.
What surrounds your house? Conifers, perhaps. If you are really lucky, holly or mistletoe. Bay. Palm trees. Whatever you have can work as a holiday decoration. This might also be the time of year that you realize you want to plant evergreens next year so you will have more green around you all winter.
My clever child, who is consulting with me on ideas for winter decorations, points out that not everyone has a yard. He doesn’t think that a Festivus pole is enough to brighten up the urban home, so he suggests that you go to the park. Another way to find abundant evergreen is to go to sellers of trees. When they trim trees to fit tree stands, they often giveaway or sell inexpensively the bottom branches.
5 Way to Use Natural Decorations This Winter
Trim the Tree
If you are surrounded by pine cones, tie ribbons to them and hang them on your tree. Pinecones and acorns can be used as ornaments all over the house. Put them up high if you have very young children.
String a Garland
Sew through individual leaves to create a hanging garland. I like to use thick, red thread sewn through the dark green, teardrop-shaped leaves of the bush outside my front door. It adds a nice touch of color.
Make a Wreath
Gather evergreen boughs into a circle and you have a wreath. You may need to use string or wire to hold them, but it is very easy to do. Many people put wreaths on their front door. In my neighborhood, people put them over the lamps in front of our houses.
Surround the Candle
Midwinter is the time for lights, for festivals of lights in many cultures. If you make candles part of your winter decorations, surround them with evergreens. Be careful of using dried leaves near candles, though.
Wear a Crown
Decorate the people! My family like wearing crowns: birthday crowns, holiday crown, or just because crowns. Gather up the last of the Autumn leaves or a bunch of evergreen leaves into a wreath that you wear. You probably won’t want to use conifers, since they can poke as well as leaving sap in your hair. Getting sap out of a child’s hair is no fun. At my own midwinter wedding, I wore a crown of bay leaves because there was a big bay bush in my in-laws’ yard where we held our reception.
Don’t run out and buy those holiday decorations. Look around you and see what you can do with what you already have. Stay warm and green this winter.