I am looking at Christmas decorations from the viewpoints of going local, going green, and going frugal. My husband and I also feel the pressure of wanting to fit into the neighborhood, which seems to be of the electric decoration persuasion. Giant light displays are in my genes. Dad always outlined the entire house and yard, except during the energy crisis in the 1970’s when that was forbidden. Even now, he hires one of the grandkids to come do the ladder climbing. That’s dad’s side of the family. Mom’s side of the family, all of the cousins in Roy, Oregon, suddenly when Christmas extravaganza nuts for several years in the 80’s and 90’s. They strung lights all along their farm properties and composed moving light sculptures using farm equipment. It became a real holiday attraction.
But our new house is of a design where you would need a crane (or a very tall ladder) to put lights up on the front. Our neighbors with the same design have been content to outline their garage doors and front window and to put lights around their front yards. But we are averse to using cup hooks or staples to attach the lights, which would be necessary as there isn’t any lip to attach light clamps to around those areas. I decided it was best to go as “green” (as in non-electrified) as possible.
Taking a cue from another neighbor, I bought large red felt bows at Michaels to place beneath the carriage lights on each side of the garage. Then I went to Shorty’s Garden Center for a fresh wreath for the door. I was taken aback at the $59 price tag for the wreaths I liked best and settled for a $19.95 wreath, deciding to add my own bow and other decorations to it.
I bought a wreath hanger for the door that says NOEL in red letters. My plan is to shop the after-Christmas sales and buy any further decorations at half price or less. I would like to get a silk wreath so that I wouldn’t need to buy a new one and recycle it each year. That would save both money and space in the recycling. I had such a wreath 10 years ago that I bought at a craft fair. But my husband tossed it in the trash without considering that it was supposed to be used year after year. I’ll have to coach him better.
I bought a large poinsettia for the Great Room and a small one for the dining table. Those are my other two recyclable items. I wish they grew here like they do in Los Angeles. Houses in my mother-in-laws neighborhood have giant, gorgeous poinsettias growing in the yard.
I put up my artificial tree, enjoying the ease of it all. But I am thinking that I should look into replacing it with one with LED lights, if I can find one at the after-Christmas sale. The little tree lights do give off plenty of heat, a sign of wasted energy. It’s fun to decorate the new house as we have more surfaces that can be used to hold my nativity set, etc. But my plan is to take it slow and steady, looking for items after Christmas such as and advent candle holder and a nice artificial garland for the mantle.
I would like to buy locally crafted items, but for some reason I have missed announcements for holiday craft fairs. I’ve done some web searches but haven’t come up with any conveniently located. I shall continue to keep my eye out for those.