I've always been the type of person that likes to bring a lot of green to my Christmas atmosphere.
For years I've used pine branches to bring that Christmasy feeling. The smell of pine tree filling the room while listening to the fire dancing in the fireplace always brought peace to our home.
Lately I had to abandon this tradition. Not because there is anything wrong with pine branches, but simply because I don't have any enough pine trees around me to use them for decorations. Pine trees are not native in this area of Croatia. There are no pine forests here, only pines we have are the ones that people plant. So making a full pine branch decoration like wreath or centrepeace is very hard. Of course we still buy our Christmas tree to decorate it on Christmas Eve but other than that I can't use it to decorate the house anymore.
Luckily I have a very nice neighbour that always says "take what you need" so I gather pine cones that fall from her trees and cut a branch or two for my yard decoration, but the lack of the necessary amount is forcing me to use other materials.
Sure I could buy my decorations, nothing wrong with that. But I like to make my decorations different than the rest. Special and more like me...a green mess. 😄
This year I wasn't really planning to do a front yard display without spending money, I planned to buy more lights, few ornaments and couple of plants to make my yard look good. But due to some unexpected problems + my galloping forgetfulness I was left with not having any new decorations 2 days before Advent. The only thing I bought were candles (I guess my title should be Christmas decorating with only 3$) and I had to get by with what I had at home.
So I started gathering all the extra decorations I had, few plants I found in the woods, few dried plants I managed to gather during the summer and when I finished I had this.
It probably lacks that elegant touch and glamour some would want from Christmas, but I live in the woods, surrounded by trees and animals...do I really need a glamorous display?
I guess I would call my display a functional one.
So lets start from the beginning. I had lots of restrictions in my decorating because as many of you know, living in the village with moody winters requires having at least one extra amount of firewood close to the house in case of the blizzard. Also I couldn't move the small bench I have in front of the door cause we need it all the time and also I couldn't move my metal stairs cause they are too heavy for me to move them around.
So I had to do something with those things in mind.
First I decorated the metal stairs. I had some old lights that stopped working but my dad was kind enough to replace the plug and burnt parts of the wires and I could use them again. I used them to bring the lights to my display. I added a few green plants I had, my Grinch I made when I was 15 and my stairs were almost finished.
All my stairs needed was a touch of green (like that Grinch wasn't enough). 😝
I like to fill my decorations with simple green arrangements I make out of evergreen plants I find in the wild. Few pine branches I got from my neighbour, ivy, mistletoe and a touch of Rose hip just to bring some colour and my stairs are done.
My mum made another arrangement similar to mine
It was supposed to stand next to our door but I had to move it because in my moment of inspiration I made a flower basket.
Ivy, green Hydrangeas, few pines and apples and I got a pretty green stand.
Remember my big wooden crate I used for my flowers?
Now it's clean and full of woods.
It holds another small decoration on top with a glowing pine jar. Nothing too fancy, just a few lights in a jar.
When it comes to my door wreath I didn't show any effort. I used the one I made last year and saved cause I though it was cute enough to use it again.
And as for the candles I mentioned earlier. I used them for my advent wreath. Only it's not a wreath. 😊
So I guess with a little effort you can make a nice Christmas decoration without spending a lot of money. Who knows maybe next year I'll even do my own candles 💖