28 November 2010

The Hunt for Dingy-Duplex Christmas Decor 2010

Nothing gets me into the spirit of Christmas like giving, but decorating sure helps!  We have some decorations we love ~ like our collection of Lenox Snowflakes; however, when we sold our house and moved to a temporary home, we sent our rarely used items packing and chose to only live with the "essentials."  Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments missed the cut.  It's not worth disrupting the delicately balanced storage unit to unearth them, but we still want to honor the season by creating a festive space.  Thus, the Hunt for Dingy-Duplex Christmas Decor.  

The Plain & Simple Criteria:
  1. Budget-friendly (and by that, I mean mostly free)
  2. Disposable and/or Consumable yet Eco-friendly (My least favourite thing about decorations is packing them up and storing them after Christmas.  They usually hang around taunting me until mid January.  How awesome would it be if decorations disappeared after December 25?)
  3. Non-chokeable
Here are a few of the ideas I've come up with so far (And yes, they are just ideas.  That's my role in this family ~ I'm "Planning" and my husband is "Execution"):

  • Bringing in Nature:  I can't think of a better way to bring Glory to Our King, than by showing off His creations.  Somehow, the simple beauty of natural elements always sings louder praises than a dancing Santa and a singing reindeer.  Artfully arranged pine cones, bare branches, berries, and greenery combine to make interesting arrangements, and all of these things are readily available along the roadsides of Arkansas just waiting to be collected.  To spice them up a bit, we could paint the pine cones or the branches and add a touch of glitter.  The Tot would love the opportunity to dip something in glue and glitterize it.  Best of all, after Christmas, it all goes to the compost pile ~ surely glitter will help it break down faster.
  • Paper crafts are another frugal & disposable way to involve Tiny & the Tot in decking the halls.  My three-year-old is a master at making confetti with her awkward preschool scissors; I'm betting she could learn to make paper snowflakes.  Construction paper may be an obvious choice, but what about a window collage of snowflakes made from Christmas catalogs. Our mailbox is full of them this time of year.  When she's bored with the scissors, she can paint Mary, Joseph, and the wise guys in this super easy cardboard tube nativity.  Mary might even get a little bit of bling by the time Princess Messy and her glitter glue are done.  Not to be outdone by her big sister, my Tiny Princess plays a role in Christmas too.  She works hard to provide empty diaper boxes.  Wrapped up like pretty packages, they'll make quite an impact lined across the top of our bookshelves. 
  • I dream of a day when I can decorate the bottom half of a room.  For now, everything has to be higher than the curious reach of a one-year-old-human-vacuum-cleaner ~ a rather TALL one.  Everything she touches goes straight to her mouth, well, almost everything.  At Grandma's house yesterday she refused marshmallow coated sweet potatoes only to be found snacking on dog food.  The daddyman keeps complimenting her on her shiny coat ~ poor baby.  Whatever we decorate, if she can reach it, Tiny will taste it, so it has to be non-poisonous and non-chokeable.  I'd much rather find her munching on some cinnamon applesauce ornaments, a candy cane, or a strand of garland made of popcorn, cranberries, raisons, bay leaves, dried orange slices, gummy bears, spicy gum drops, or marshmallows.  

There you have it... nothing too fancy, nothing too expensive, nothing that will create clutter, or have to be packed, moved & stored in a few weeks.  Not too much waste, and just enough bling to let Tiny & the Tot know it's a special time of year.  Hopefully, they won't choke on it.  ~ Plain & Simple As That

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