Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays from Chicago 2-Flat

I like to decorate for the holidays. Many years our home has not lent itself to this for various reasons. Anywhere from the house was such a mess it seemed a moot point to we were just to darn tired to we had no extra money.

Now that our home is done to the degree of being livable and not a source of embarrassment, I get to have some fun. There are ways to do this without spending a fortune or looking like an over-decorated retail establishment.

This is where some of my squirrel-like tendencies pay off in spades. For example, over the years whenever I have purchased a wreath or centerpiece or beautifully wrapped gift, I carefully removed any of the embellishments that could be re-used. I also save all my Christmas cards and someday I am going to do something really cool with them- mark my words. It helps to have a basement to store these things.
So, this year I was able to cut way back on my spending. Instead, I made my own centerpieces and cut way back of fresh greenery for the outdoors. I only decorated the 2 pots on our front porch and added red ribbons, which are very festive. A string of colored lights around the door, and finis! Cost was about $30.00 for the greenery and bows. I saved money by forgoing the wreath also.

In the dining room, I spent not a dime. The fresh flowers were scavenged from my office. (We get fresh flowers every week and they get tossed on Fridays if no one wants them)

A card "tree" is a great way to display cards. Buy it once and you have it forever. These will mos likely be on deep discount after Christmas on

The centerpiece is simply a piece I had with acorns from Steve's parents yard and some of those embellishments I had squirreled away. I'm not saying it's anything "fancy" but it's casually festive in a way I like. If I was going to go "hog wild", I would probably be inclined to hang evergreen boughs over the windows with some kind of red ribbons. Not this year though. :o)

Here's another little piece I made entirely with scavenged items. The fresh greens came from trimmings from our tree.

I got these matching ornament wreaths at Pier One a few years ago 50% off after Christmas.

Of course, trees are expensive so it's hard to save there. And you want a fresh one that will last. I don't do a tree every year, but this year we will be home and I am off from x-mas till New Year's. I plan to spend several days curled up in the living room with a good book and this is really relatively cheap entertainment when you divide the cost over all that time.

Plus, there's just something about a real Christmas tree. It's romantic and impractical and it's nice to be that way once in a while.

When Steve was bringing it in, I was struck my how strange it is to take this poor tree and cut it down and bring it into a house. Don't trees belong outside growing in the ground?

But then how perfect is it when we are all cooped up inside because of the cold and snow to bring the outside inside to keep us company? Not practical and maybe not so "green", but I promise I will bring mine in to be mulched after the holidays. And I promise to cherish it.


Sandy said...

Hi, Jocelyn! Your decorations are beautiful. Less is more and ends up being beautiful -- it makes me cringe to see some of the overdone homes!

I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays.

Jocelyn said...

Thanks Sandy- you too!!

Green Fairy said...

Your home looks wonderful and festive. Happy holidays to you!

Saul Menowitz III said...

Merry Christmas 2008.

Saul Menowitz III said...


Saul Menowitz III said...


Why S? said...

I'm late to the party but I want to add that I've long felt bad for the poor trees that are cut down every year and we won't succumb to a store bought artificial tree. We've making making our own "trees" for years. It demands some creativity but it can be fun. But sometimes it's just demanding. Especially during the remodeling process. It's expensive but maybe next year we'll get a nice live tree that can be re-planted in a forest somewhere.

Anyway, your decorations were lovely. Happy '09!