A Warm Welcome to Our Holiday Season…

I found a perfect location for a wonderful Holiday decorating story, my own yard. The first snow of the season always inspires us, reminds us of the rebirth and purity of our earth. As it thaws and melts, it soaks the earth, preparing the ground for an explosion of new life each spring. It falls thousands of feet in silence and lands without a sound, reminding us that Christmas is a time to block out the noise of the world at least for a day.

In our home this year, there is a project brewing.  Our kitchen remodel is in full swing, so this year we aren’t hanging our family ornaments, or glass balls and the snow we will be using is sheetrock dust!! We decided Mother Nature is helping us decorate this year! (Besides, some of us may be a little short on the decorating budget, but that’s no problem!) Just a pinch of creativity, taking inspiration from the different design elements all around us to create an inspired Christmas Theme of our Own. There’s something uniquely special about using almost all natural elements for Christmas ornaments.

The Christmas tree is often considered the heart of holiday decorating. Drawing inspiration from the beauty around us, this primitive tree is simple but worthy of capturing the Spirit of the Season…Homemade hearts cut from birch bark in the yard, grapevine branches twined into balls and pinecones we collected as the fall leaves were raked, all found a place on this humble Christmas tree.

You might find this humorous, but after the tree was trimmed with just the pinecones and the freshly wrapped cinnamon sticks were tucked in among the tree branches, I felt that the tree was done and I could very easily have lived with it decorated with just those two items! The girls felt differently and decided on adding a bit more…

Near our fireplace we used pine branches cut from one of the trees in our yard placed them in a pretty blue pot from the porch. We used adhesive, some flour and sugar and coated the branches. Placed an old Cardinal that was in a box found among our Christmas decorations and placed some pine cones in the lanterns, coated perfectly with sap and they look almost painted, we added some lights and voila!

Sometimes the stress of holiday shopping, finding the right presents for your loved ones and panicking about how to cook a Christmas dinner without a kitchen can make you forget what the holiday season is all about. So, if you’re feeling less than ready for the holidays (like I am) take a moment and look outside today and just Breathe! Be inspired and stay warm…

And stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland…

 

XOXO

Michele Conti

 

The Family Tree…

 

The family tree is so special every time I put it up. My children ask why I always get sad when we put the tree up and I tell them it’s a good kinda sad. I explained these memories on this tree are so sweet and time just goes by so fast. The tree is full of old ornaments from our parents, firsts for each of us, many meaningful ornaments, and handmade gifts. Decorating it is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas Season.

I’d like to share some other traditions that aren’t as well known…

 

Wreaths – Christmas if full of meaning, not only the tree but also the wreaths on our doors and the meaning behind them is not what you might think. These decorations weren’t invented to spruce up your front door. Christians believe wreaths represent thorns worn by Jesus and the tiny red berries represent his blood.

 

Candy Canes – People disagree on the origins of this holiday staple, but many say the white represents purity, the red represents Jesus’ blood shed, and the shape is supposed to be the staff of the Good Shepherd. Think about that the next time you enjoy this minty treat.

 

 

Tinsel – This shiny metallic  glittering decoration symbolizes light, to ensure the forces of darkness would not have any power.

 

As a designer I always drool over the beautiful trees in department stores and adore trees with a theme! However, my Christmas trees have not always been stunning or a shiny glamorus themed beacons of light. In the beginning they were collections of mismatched, homemade and sentimental ornaments. Not like those you’d see in the magazines.  No, was our family tree that was chock full of homemade ornaments, ones that were given to us, or made by the children.  I would get an ornament for my children each year that would reflect whatever their interests or hobbies were at that time. There have been musical notes, sports themes, and Hallmark Keepsakes ornaments too.

Of all holiday decorations, the tree is perhaps the most iconic. The tradition started, because in many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away evil spirits and illness, according to history. What ever your traditions are, hold them close because this season also passes quickly. So just for today, I thought I’d share some of the holiday spirit…true holiday spirit. Well get back to decorating tomorrow. So…

 

As Always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

XOXO

Michele Conti