Thursday, December 10, 2009
Decorating with Branches | Family Economics
By Cathe Holden
My favorite, easiest, and no-cost holiday decorations are fresh greenery swags created from branches trimmed from Christmas trees and tucked about my home.
Every year before we bring the tree into the house for decorating, there are several low branches that need to be trimmed from the bottom of the tree in order to have enough bare trunk for clamping into the tree stand. As the branches are cut by my husband, I scoop them up, shake them out, wipe off the sap at the cut ends and bring them in the house as free holiday decor. Before leaving the tree lot, I usually ask for any cut branches that are available for the taking.
Once inside, I arrange most of the branches over the tops of framed pictures and mirrors throughout our house. By taking two similar-sized pieces, I crisscross and tuck them behind the top of the frames. The simple weight of a frame against the wall holds the branches in place. I also like to tuck actual or faux berry stems about the swags and an occasional bow.
I place additional branches along the fireplace mantle. I also tie a few together with ribbon and hang from the center of the front door. I add branches to the tops of cabinets and even a few in the bathroom above the sink mirror and shelves.
This year, for several reasons, our family has opted to purchase and decorate an imitation Christmas tree. But you will still find me down at the tree lot looking for free branch decor. If you are planning for guests over the holidays, pick up some branches to place down the center of your table around jars of candles. The fresher the branches the better for table decorating, so if possible, it’s a good idea to visit the tree lot the day of the party.