Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A modest Christmas

I've shown you pictures of our mantle and table decorated for Christmas--and that's almost all the decorating we've decided to do this year.  This is our first Christmas with a house, and I don't see a need to buy all of our Christmas decorations all at once.  I made an early decision that we wouldn't buy a tree this year.

But doesn't this ladder-as-Christmas tree from the cb2 catalog seem just perfect for our current lives?

I decided that I would buy a nice big wreath for our front door, and maybe 5 smaller ones for our front windows.  I've always loved the look of a house with white siding, black or green shutters, and lighted wreaths hanging in each window.  (Even before we bought a house with that color scheme!)

And then I discovered that I'm a total wreath snob.  And a cheap-skate.  Bad combination.  I blame my upbringing.  My parents' yard is several acres, full of plants that make for perfect Christmas decorations--boxwood, holly, magnolia, hemlock, nandina....  I'm used to producing wreaths that would cost at least $50 if bought in a store for just the cost of a wreath form and some ribbon.  Which means I'm stuck now that I'm far from my parents, and the stores are full of expensive wreaths that just look terribly fake to my eyes.  (I know it's only going to be seen from 30 feet away on the street, and that will make--almost--all the difference, but still....)

So wreath shopping was a bust, but I still wanted to do something to announce our Christmas spirit to the neighborhood.  So I grabbed my large spool of ribbon, and less than $2 later:

I think the boxwood and it's bow look better with a coating of snow and from this unexpected angle, don't you?

I got the boxwood from P's brother's place last month.  They're a little small to make an impression now, but hopefully they'll be more striking next Christmas.  I'm planning on having them around for the long haul! 

That's why I didn't plant them in the large fiberglass pots I normally have by our front stairs--I didn't want to dig up the boxwood next spring when it's time for colorful annuals.  So I picked up a pair of galvanized metal pails from our local hardware store and drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage.  Then I worried about rust around the holes, and called P for advice.  He sensibly pointed out that I had a half a can of spray paint that promised to prevent rust for exterior applications--and that it happened to be silver, at that!  I put a thick coat on the bottom.

We'll see how long the pails last before they rust too noticeably--this is definitely an experiment!


Lauren said...

Ahahaha!! Funny. Well I'm a house snob & poor - so I guess we're in the same boat re. wreaths. Can't you guilt-trip your parents to UPS some shrubbery?

L said...

I'm not sure why I didn't think of that! My mother had the reputation for successfully mailing me the most outlandish things when I was in college, from refrigerated cakes to helium balloons to delicate Christmas cookies to yes, a live boxwood wreath.