December 11, 2008
There seems to be two approaches to holiday decorating these days: creating old-fashioned, multi-color displays or exhibiting modern, monochromatic arrangements. Either can be beautiful; it’s just a matter of personal preference.
For most people, seeing an old-fashioned Christmas display with lots of colorful ornaments and glass balls, multi-hued lights, garlands, tinsel, angel’s hair, a nativity scene, plus a star, angel or dove on the top of a tree, brings back fond memories of childhood.
Those who, instead, favor modern holiday decorating tend to use simple ornamentation with only one or two colors to create a streamlined effect. This “less is more” style is, in many cases, considered to be the “green” means of holiday decorating. It can also be a money-saver. If you are interested in this alternative, here are a few things you might consider:
1) Getting LED holiday lights which use 90% less energy than conventional lights; they last a lot longer and are safer, too, because they are cool to the touch and reduce the risk of fire. (Note: Remember to turn off all of your lights when you go to bed and whenever you leave home.)
2) Decorating with edible treats like popcorn and cranberry garlands, ginger bread cookies and chocolate. The garlands can be put out in the garden after the holidays are over, for the birds to enjoy, and guess who gets to eat the gingerbread and chocolate?
3) Filling a bowl with pinecones that are collected from those on the ground (and not those still hanging on the trees) and tying the bowl with a raffia or ribbon bow. If you prefer a punch of natural color, fill one or more bowls with one fruit i.e. all green limes, all green Granny Smith Apples, all red pomegranates, all red apples.
4) Gathering a few downed branches and displaying them in a tall glass vase with one type of ornament or a number of bows, strategically placed, on a few limbs.
5) Opting for a quietly refined effect by using all white, all gold or all silver accents. These timeless colors can be reused, year after year, to enhance your rooms, and they won’t compete with your existing color scheme, fabrics or furnishings.
6) Getting a real tree that can be recycled and composted when the holidays are over instead of an imitation that will ultimately wind up as landfill. Besides, would it really seem like Christmas without the wonderful scent of evergreen wafting through your home?
Ironically, keeping things simple and maintaining a conscious, green mindset may be the ultimate old-fashioned approach to holiday decorating, of all.