Decorating For The Holidays – Keeping It Simple

By Nikki Tilley | November 29, 2021
Image by Tammi Mild
by Nikki Tilley
November 29, 2021

I don’t really go all out decorating for the holidays anymore like I did when the kids were small, but there’s one tradition I started last year that reminds me of the little things. 

DIY Garden Décor

I may not go crazy these days, but on occasion I still dress things up a bit, usually in autumn. That’s when I typically add a little extra touch with decorative gourds, a pumpkin or two, maybe some dried corn stalks and, of course, mums. In fact, that’s how I ended up with so many of these beautiful fall flowers. I catch them on sale and buy two to three pots and then replant them in the garden somewhere later. I’m starting to run out of room.

And then there’s the pinecones aplenty that drop to the ground. I love using these for DIY garden décor as well as craft projects. Acorns too, although the only ones we have in our yard are the little bitty acorns from the willow oak trees. If I want any big ones, I have to forage the woods for them. There’s not many evergreen conifers to choose from though, except pine trees (white pine is actually quite pretty) and eastern cedar juniper – one is too sappy, the other too ouchy to touch. Still, they work well for short-term decorative displays.

Other than that, I really don’t do much for the holidays. I have plenty of greenery from all my houseplants. And on occasion, I may add something festive to those, like a bow or small ornaments.

I did try something new last year that I’m thinking I’ll do again this holiday season. I found a semi-large tree branch that had fallen and liked its shape. I cleaned it up some and brought it inside. I found an old jar and stuck the branch in it. Then I stuck that in a large decorative container and added some fill to keep it straight, sturdy and more attractive. Afterwards, I dressed it up with tiny ornaments and made myself a nice Christmas tree branch – Charlie Brown style. You’re probably wondering why I would put so much effort into what’s essentially just a large twig. Well, it took me back to a time when my daughter had just turned one and it was just the two of us. Money was tight. I had no Christmas tree. No decorations. Not much of anything really. But I wanted her to have the best Christmas possible, so we took a stroll outdoors in the woods and found this broken, but live, pine tree branch. It was perfect! I brought it in and stuck it in a pot of water to hydrate it. Then I added some paper decorations and whatever else I could find. This was our tree that year and she was so happy. I even hung a couple makeshift stockings on the wall with thumbtacks. 

Sometimes, all you need when decorating for the holidays is something simple. After all, it’s the little things in life that matter most. And it was this little tree branch that reminded me of that. I saved that branch and will again display it with pride. It will be my new tradition so I never forget the little things.

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