December 29, 2011

My Holly Jolly Christmas

To say my Christmas decorating this year did not
turn out like I had thought it would is an understatement.
I had fully intended to repeat and expand upon last
year's theme of snow/snowflakes but after I got back
home after a week of babysitting my cute
grand daughter I did not have the time or energy to
get all of those decorations out of the attic.

All of the other houses on the street had their decorations
and lights up when I returned December 12th. 
I had spent the week between Thanksgiving and the day
my flight left for Colorado decorating the church
and the hospital nurseries where I work.
My house was like the black hole on the street.

Inspiration hit me when I passed an abandoned business
that had huge holly bushes that, in my opinion,
could use some pruning.  Hoping not to be arrested or
kidnapped, I loaded up my car with holly cuttings.

And, oh yeah, the boxwood needed pruning too. 

I got an old wreath out of the attic and stripped off all
its decorations. I added a layer of cut boxwood stems
on top of the artificial greenery with floral wire. 

Once I got a good base of boxwood, I added some fir
branches that I brought home from the Christmas tree
lot where I purchased my tree with floral wire too.

I added these other layers to the wreath to add volume to 
the wreath and save the harder-to-find holly for the top
and final layer of the wreath. 

  Then the berry-laden holly branches topped it all off.

Finally, some sign of Christmas decorating 
was on the front of the house.

I couldn't decide whether or not to add a big red bow
but I never had the time to go back and do it so
the decision was made for me.
The urns on either side of the door got arrangements of magnolia, fir, and holly
 but the pictures did not do them justice so I'm not even adding them.

Early one morning I went to my secret magnolia tree
 for donations from it too. I mixed holly, magnolia,
 Christmas tree clippings and boxwood for a mega
 arrangement at the mailbox.

The greenery on the mail box post was attached with
floral wire (available in floral section of craft stores)
and the rest of the greenery was just stuck into the dirt.

The backdoor also got a greenery arrangement in an
urn. To make it easier to make the branches stand up
I used floral foam to stick them in. If you want a
greenery arrangement to last a long time use wet
floral foam. In this instance I just used the cheaper
dry floral foam in the urn. 
Floral foam is also available in craft stores. 

The ONLY decorating that had been done before I
left town for my babysitting gig was a centerpiece
that I put together for Debbie's Holiday Copy Cat Challenge.
More photos of the centerpiece can be seen at  Holiday Copy Cat Challenge

I expanded on that centerpiece and added other
silver elements and more greenery.  Since I had silver
out for the challenge, I dug in the attic for more silver
items.  So Debbie's challenge, along with the holly, became
the theme for this year's decorations at my house.

I found these red chargers at Ross a few days before Christmas for about $1 each. 
I loved the pop of color that they added to the holiday table.

Another place that got the silver and holly treatment
was the mantle. Below is a night-time photo...

...and a day-time shot of the mantel....

Not that anyone else would notice but I also tried to keep
the holly theme going even with food presentation.

This year's Christmas tree was done in silver.

The "jolly" part of my "holly jolly Christmas" was that I got
to see so much of my family over the holiday.
Even though we have down-sized, I was happy that the house functioned well for our gatherings.

Not only did we love seeing each other but we had
 lots of fun too. The kinect game was a "jolly" 
way for all ages to interact.
We just put away the coffe table and had enough room for dancing games and action games too.

So, this Christmas the decorations were last-minute-ish but
pretty thanks to the abundance of cut greenery from
 around town and silver items from the attic.


  1. Your Christmas touches look beautiful especially that wreath! I love all the fresh greenery and holly you added around.

  2. I love your wreath and centerpiece. Looks like you had a fun time with family. Happy New Year!..Christine

  3. Your decorating turned out beautiful. I love the holly and greenery with the silver.
    Glad you had a wonderful time with your family.
    Happy New Year!

  4. Popping over to say hello! love your festive christmas with your family...looks like ya'll had a lot of fun together! that wreath you made is amazing! I host a garden party May - October...looks like you might be able to share some fun ideas with the rest of us? Cheers to 2012
    xoox, tracie

  5. Well, even if you didn't do all you planned to do it all looks great. And just think- less to take down and put away.

    I love that your pruned the abandoned property. Send them a bill!

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year's celebration-xo Diana

  6. The story about your pruning those neglected bushes at that abandoned property is too funny! Lol I think your home looks beautiful and festive. Most importantly, all enjoyed being together! Looks as though you had an incredibly fun Christmas!

    Happy and Healthy 2012 to you and yours,
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  7. Oh, that wreath on your front door turned out SO nice! Perfection! Everything is beautiful and it looks like your house is the fun place to be!

  8. Prune the property really paid off for you!
    Thank you for for sharing at Potpourri Friday. I wish you a healthy, prosperous and sparkling New Year!

  9. I more prefer your copycat.

    Yeah, family is the most important to us. Rain or shine, we must bond with them.

    A year or 2 times, meeting them is priceless.

    Happy NY.

    Greetings from Stockholm,

  10. I love all your decorations. And looks like your family had so much fun too. Happy New Year!


  11. YOur decorations were all gorgeous and the pics of your family are so precious. Looks like the perfect Christmas. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, marty

  12. Your decorating is very pretty with all of the greenery. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  13. Lovely! Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

  14. Just stumbled upon your post, OMG! I am so excited to discover another "plant adopter" with the storms our trees endured (not) this year, I got plenty of stuff too. I love your door wreath..and now have an idea for next year! Bwahaha! Happy New Year.Check out what I did with the greens if you get a chance. Great look fellow adoptee! :)

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