This week afforded me the opportunity to haul out my Christmas decor in order to add ambiance for a non-profit event.  I have a number of black lanterns that often become the focal point for winter centerpieces.  With the lanterns, candles, evergreen sprigs and colorful ornaments create a cozy table arrangement.

With Christmas quickly approaching, I landed on some fresh inspiration for my own outdoor winter decor.  For several years I have used the predictable evergreen wreath generously trimmed with red ribbon, pinecones, etc.  I determined that this year my wreath would not emerge from the basement.  Time to stretch some creative muscle!


The Raw Materials



My husband had trimmed our birch trees last fall and I couldn’t part with the branches.  There had be some way to use them decoratively.  They leaned against our fence for an entire year while I pondered their fate.

Fresh from the Curb


Several weeks back I rescued blue spruce boughs from the curb before the town wood chipper truck arrived.  They inhabited the garage while I mulled over their use.

A rustic barrel seemed just right to contain all these treasures, so it surfaced from my decor storage area in the basement.

With loppers in hand I went to work to create a rustic, natural winter arrangement for my front step.  I resisted the urge to cut down the birch branches but worked with their length in proportion to the space they would fill.  Mindful of the fact that guests would not want to be stabbed by one of my treasured branches I had to be practical about this arrangement.

The angle of my porch affords the perfect spot for a sprawling arrangement that doesn’t assault visitors.   Someone asked if I would add wrapped lights, but I have decided that would detract from the natural look.  A floodlight on dark winter nights will be just right.

So this year no evergreen wreath, no garland, no red ribbon, no glistening outdoor ornaments.  I’m taking a different path and will enjoy the change of pace.