Design & DIY

Bringing nature and simplicity into your holiday décor

Christmas decor

There is nothing better than walking into the cottage at Christmas time and smelling the fresh pine of the tree you cut down yourself—or got from the grocery store parking lot if you are last minute like me. No judgement from this corner.

A practical idea is putting a small tree on a table, either as your main tree or a as a secondary tree in a smaller room. This is an especially great idea if you have young children or pets and are afraid of them pulling the tree over. This will be the first year in awhile that I can put my tree on the floor for that very reason. Now I just have to worry about offending my two-year-old when I rearrange all of her ornaments from the bottom third of the tree to the whole tree. And “absolutely not!” to those of you who are saying I should leave her ornaments where she put them, because she’s just expressing creativity. You are right, but I just can’t do it!

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In addition to the tree, there are many ways to bring nature inside for the holidays. I always like the simplest way, not only because it is easy but because I sometimes think that simplicity stands out more when it comes to holiday décor. For example, in a time when graphic punch and fonts are so popular, something as basic as putting small evergreens in ironstone containers and placing the letters J.O.Y. around them has huge impact.

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And I never tire of a good pine cone arrangement. This goes back to my first crafting days when I made my mom a pine cone wreath—I have the glue gun scars to prove it! But pine cones do not have to be complicated. Throw some in a few urns of varied sizes and you have a great holiday grouping.

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An equally simple solution: Hang pine cones from some beautiful satin ribbon. It’s so simple and inexpensive you could do it on all of the bedroom doors in your house using different, but coordinating ribbon (unless, of course, you have a four-year-old that is prone to slamming doors for emphasis!)

If you are feeling more ambitious, why not create a mantle arrangement that contains antlers? Where to get them is actually up to you, because I don’t have a clue—I just know they look spectacular. My only word of advice: Make a point to explain to younger ones that Rudolph did not suffer in the creation of the mantle decoration.

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And I would like to end on the simplest note—seasonal fruit, mason jars, and fabric. The recipe for this arrangement is cost-effective, too. All it involves is a trip to the fruit aisle in the grocery store; a couple of pasta nights using Classico sauce (great jars by the way!); almost any red and white fabric, and; a few pine tree branches that you grab on the way to or from the cottage. Look how great it looks as the centre piece for your holiday table.

Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder,

‘Tis the season for celebration and simple decorating. Wishing you all a great holiday, however you decide to decorate!