Lessons From Scrooge: Christmas Simply

The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is that it’s so overlooked. Between Halloween and Christmas, you can hardly find a package of Thanksgiving napkins amongst all of the inflatable spiders (gross) and Rudolf lawn ornaments (even grosser). It used to frustrate me, but now, I see it as Thanksgiving’s quiet little victory: it has surpassed commercialism. It is simply family, friends, food, football and…fankfulness… ?

I long for Christmas to be as simple. To be what it was in the olden days: a time for family to come together, share some homemade gifts, sing songs and play games. Nothing makes me think of an old fashioned Christmas like A Christmas Carol. What our dear old friend Ebeneezer Scrooge learned at the end of the story was not that he ought to spend more money, but that he ought to be more giving. To give of his time and love. But I can almost guarantee you that if Dickens had written a sequel to A Christmas Carol, that even the transformed Scrooge would have had a Christmas budget.

So does our family. And after I had used up that budget on two strings of Christmas lights, it was time for me to get creative.

Since we live in the woods, natural Christmas decorations are pretty easy to come by. If your home is in the city, don’t fret. There’s probably quite a bit you can find in your own backyard that can be transformed into Christmassy looking things. But if not, why not take a trip to the mountains and collect some fun items to bring home? (Just be sure that the area you’re collecting from allows you to take those things out of the forest. Some people think they own the place and haven’t learned the lesson of sharing. Silly people.)

First item on the agenda is a pretty box of lights, celebrating the Light of the World.

IMG_5131

I’m kind of a sucker for sparkles, so glitter is a staple in my craft supplies. I gathered some glass bottles that I’d been collecting (these are from salad dressings, and cold coffee beverages), my glitter and Mod Podge…

IMG_5111

I poured in a touch of water and added a blip of Mod Podge, then swirled it around the glass. Then I sprinkled glitter around the edges.

IMG_5112IMG_5113IMG_5116

I had a few old flower boxes that I found whilst dumpster diving one day and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use one. I added some cardboard boxes to give a little height, laid burlap on top, then added some battery-powered twinkle lights in…

IMG_5126IMG_5127 IMG_5128

I arranged the glittery bottles, along with plain glass bottles and containers and some Cedar branches and out came a pretty little piece for the entry buffet…

IMG_5131

Next up…a snow lady made from leftover mini-pumpkins from Thanksgiving. This was a fun project that I did with the kids. I don’t have the photos of the process, but it’s pretty self-explanatory…

IMG_5165

We stacked and hot-glued the pumpkins, painted them, added a pine-cone hat, little branchy arms and used sewing pins for her eyes and mouth.

Another kid-friendly project is trees-in-a-can. You can use old tin cans, jars, or little pots. We went with tin cans that I’d been saving. I hammered some holes for drainage…

IMG_5121

Then we went around the property and dug up some little trees (this was a great time to learn some fun lessons in nature too!). We added some good mulch and soil…

IMG_5123 IMG_5124IMG_5125

Then decorated them…

IMG_5171

For these little Cedars, I dipped some sheet-music in coffee to give an aged look, then tied them with some twine and added faux berries. (The candle in front is a baby jar wrapped in lace.)

IMG_5175

I love this little Pine. It’s celebrating with all it’s might.

IMG_5152

This is our Charley Brown tree. I used a big baked-beans can and added some paper doilies around the edge for some ruffles.

IMG_5148IMG_5182

One last item: a deer. (A glittery deer, of course.)

IMG_5162

I printed out an image of a deer silhouette, then in sections, painted the image with (you guessed it) Mod Podge, then sprinkled it with (uh-huh) glitter…

IMG_5163 IMG_5164

When it was all dry, I touched up the edges with a dry brush…

IMG_5166

Then I hung it in an old wood frame that I painted white and washed over it with a watered-down grey paint.

IMG_5177

It’s a happy homemade Christmas…

IMG_5188