I love decorating for the holidays. I also love not spending a lot of money (indebted grad student, etc., etc.,) or time (since we're not actually going to be in the city on December 25th). So, no full-sized Christmas tree for us. Here's how I decorated our apartment for Yuletide: I spent $7 on some branches of red berries and $5 on a mass of delicious-smelling eucalyptus, and sprinkled in some things I already had lying around. Voila! Instant Winter Solstice festiveness. Above, my bedside table--Naked branch scavenged from Central Park, berries, eucalyptus, crystals.
These crystals strike me as icicle-like, which is why I find them particularly fitting.
The best decorations of all: Ones that come attached! Acorn caps and eucalyptus berries, bobbles that come free of charge.
The coffee table arrangement: The big red branch is a bit of Columbia landscaping I borrowed last year. When the foliage about campus dies down in the winter, the ingenious landscapers stick big branches painted a glossy red in the flower beds and strew pine branches around to keep things visually interesting. For the longest time, I thought that their bark was naturally cherry red, and I was fascinated by them. Come February, the red sticks started falling over (they're just branches stuck into the earth, no roots), so I snagged one and carried it home.
Using a pearl necklace I have as a garland, plus the last of the Halloween pumpkins. This miniature wooden chalice (original use: egg cup) also strikes me as festive, as does the gold label on the jar.
I love how the shapes of the red branches play against the white negative space of the wall.
And finally, the dresser. On the right, a lemon verbena scented candle and a bee's wax candle, and even more eucalyptus. I love the stuff. I have an emotional attachment to it since it grows in abundance around the Bay Area, especially around the San Francisco Bay, and the scent of it instantly transports me through space and time. Also, so does the sight of it--I was looking at a display of Australian birds at the American Museum of Natural History the other week, and the exhibit was, of course, packed with eucalyptus trees (they're native to Australia, after all). Just looking at the faux trees in a diorama of faux Australia overwhelmed me with nostalgia and homesickness for California. At least winter break is fast approaching!
On the left, the very last pumpkin, a cartoon I always have up given to me by The New Yorker to commemorate my summer internship there, and a dried pomegranate. Want to make your own decorative dried pomegranates? Here's how: Buy two pomegranates in early December, leave them on the coffee table, forget about them, go to California for winter break for four weeks. Come back and there you are! Dried pomegranates! These have lasted intact for a whole year now.
Here's hoping things are merry and bright for you and yours in the face of ever-lengthening days!