Decorating for the holidays, naturally

A vintage toy cushioned in a bed of pine on a patio tabletop says “Merry Christmas.”

The simplicity of natural (or natural looking) holiday decorations is part of their appeal. A basket of cones, a garland woven of pine, a swag consisting of magnolia and boxwood, and rosemary posies tied with red ribbons: Besides being inexpensive and easy to make, decorations crafted from nature add homespun charm.

Start by collecting materials from your surroundings. Herb gardens offer rosemary, lamb’s ear, and thyme…perfect for nosegays and mini-wreaths. Look to the landscape for evergreens. Holly, boxwood, English Ivy, and magnolia provide the makings of wreaths and swags. Nuts, pods, cones, and fragrant boughs are abundant in Texas’s forests and woodlands.

Before heading out to collect, grab sharp clippers and bags. Wear gloves. Obtain permission before collecting on someone else’s property. If you harvest fruits and berries, leave some behind for wildlife. And, always collect more than you think you’ll need. It’s fun to share!

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Wealth of ideas

There is no better place to get decorating ideas than holiday home tours. The featured homes look their festive best, and the price of admission goes to good causes.

All images for this story were taken at CASA of the Pines Christmas Home Tour in Lufkin, TX, by Diane Morey Sitton.

Even a wood rack by a back door takes on a festive appearance when embellished with cones, pine branches, and cedar boughs. Add berries for color.

A walk in the East Texas woods yields pine, cedar, magnolia, yaupon, and other natural greenery to decorate a porch and a porch swing.

Lamb’s ear, an herb with gray foliage, adds to the holiday cheer when used in wreaths, candle rings, and other décor.

Combine magnolia, pine, and other greenery (natural or natural looking) to create a decorative door spray.

Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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