Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmahanakwanza!

Happy Holidays everyone! After decades of dreading the winter holiday season, I've been trying to embrace it. I'm constantly trying to buy/have less stuff, so I've been on the lookout for decorations that are upcycled, functional, and easy to store. I'm pretty happy with how my spread turned out this year:

First, the tree: Despite never owning a Christmas tree, I've received a lot of ornaments as gifts. Inspired by Pinterest a few years ago, I flipped over a tomato cage, put a rubber band around the top, and wrapped it with lights and garland. Then I hung on all the ornaments I had. Here are a few phone pictures from 2011 and 2013 to show the evolution (plus lots of cats). I also made that tree skirt out of some leftover fabric, but I didn't use it this year since the tree fit perfectly on my extra-deep windowsill (above).

Decorating with wrapped presents is another trick I picked up (fortunately, my cats don't mess with ribbon). Those giant curly bows? Every year I go through the Xmas morning wrapping-trash-mess and pull out all the ribbon, then condense it into giant bows to use the next year. My family makes fun of me, but it serves multiple purposes: (1) I can justify using a ton of ribbon to make really fluffy bows because otherwise it would go straight to the landfill, (2) I don't have to curl all the ribbon every year, (3) it saves money/waste. Oh, and that foam gingerbread house is from a kit for ages "3+". I made it with my sister while drinking wine and watching Death Comes to Pemberley. Maybe it was the wine, or the distraction of a murder mystery, but I'm a little embarrassed to admit how many times I messed up a craft meant for toddlers.

And now my favorite part - snowflake curtains!!! I just cut regular copy paper into squares, then folded it into sixths, embraced my inner second-grader and cut and cut and cut. It was pretty fun to see how crazy slivers of paper turned into elaborate snowflakes. Once they were all done, I smoothed them out with a dry iron, then glued them on clear jewelry cord (because I had a bunch, but fishing line would also work). Lastly, I tied the cord around tension rods and hung them up. Here's a work-in-progress pic:

I'm REALLY excited about how they turned out! I was a little worried about condensation, but they seem to be holding up well. I even had a few strands leftover, so I sent them to a a friend who now lives in Texas, in case she forgets how awesome snow is while she celebrates Xmas in her pool.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season!

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