Going Green for Christmas
Many of us are totally on the living green kick; however, with the holidays approaching, it is very easy to slip back into our old traditions…no wait, remember not long ago I commented in another blog that my grandmother had been green when green was just a color? Well, here are some of the things that she did naturally during the holidays and I thought I’d pass them on to you in an effort to help you continue to live green. Hope you enjoy these great GREEN tips for the holidays!
When you purchase wrapping paper for your special gifts, look for paper that is recycled; OR If you want to do something a little crafty, different and unique, use a brown paper bag like the ones at the grocery store and some decorative stamps. If you can’t find a brown paper bag, try using brown shipping paper. You can find that at any shipping facility and the decorative stamps can be found at craft stores such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.
This year, think about purchasing a live tree in a pot that can be planted in your yard in the spring. If you decorate with sparkly tinsel, go ahead and leave small bits of the tinsel on the tree when the holiday is over and you set the tree in the yard. Then you can put bird seed in the tree and help Mother Nature through the balance of the winter in feeding our feathered friends. Make sure that if you use a live tree, whether potted or cut, that you keep it well watered so as to avoid the needles drying out and creating a fire hazard.
Mother Nature gave a friend of mine some great ideas on decorating her tree a few years back. My friend who was a single mom had little money to spend on Christmas decorations and was more concerned with taking care of the other needs of her family. So, she and her children went into the forest where they gathered pine cones to create the decorations for their tree. With a little bit of ribbon and some glitter, they created decorations that sparkled and made for one of the most beautiful trees I had ever seen. They pine cones also served as natural air fresheners. In addition, they relied on an age old tradition of making a garland of popcorn and cranberries to drape around their tree. A small suggestion here is that stale popcorn crumbles less than fresh and if you use a plastic needle, the cranberries will stay looking fresh longer. To enhance the fragrance, my friend added a drop or two of evergreen oil that you can purchase at the craft store.
Other things that make great natural ornaments are the shells from walnuts. These can be decorated with glitter or gold or silver paint and maybe some small ribbons.
Decorating other parts of your Home
You can always decorate your home during the holidays with citrus fruits and pomegranates. Both will hold their beautiful rich color at room temperature for a long time and look very festive. You can use left over branches from your tree as a base and then just lay the fruit on top for a quick decoration for your holiday parties and get-togethers.
Another great idea for a center piece is to place several pine cones in a small basket or bowl then add a touch of color and possibly some small evergreen stems. These can be both decorative and fragrant.
Another fun idea for decorating your home during the holidays is to use your old and new Christmas cards, either as hanging decorations on your tree or placed strategically along the mantle of your fireplace.
This is another great way to use old holiday cards. Turn them into invitations to your holiday gathering. All it takes is some scissors, glue and a little imagination and you have a unique invitation to your great party!
I know, some of this sounds a whole lot like being a Martha Stewart or as my mother would have said in the old days, a Betty Crocker; however, by using some of these GREEN ideas, not only will you continue to be “living green” and saving some money while you’re doing it, but it will give you a chance to bring back some of the great traditions of the season.