by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
Y’all know how I feel about Christmas, right? That glorious holiday spirit. The season of making and baking, crafting and giving. Simply wonderful.
In the past few years, I’ve strayed from decorating every inch of Bedford Manor. I mean, it’s just me and the cats here, and I doubt they care how many stockings are hung unless they’re filled with catnip and toys.
Instead, I set up a few inexpensive decorations the week of Thanksgiving, and let them stay up until after New Year’s. They’re easy, quick, and I don’t feel like I’m drowning in Christmas when I walk through the house.
For starters, I set up my Nutcracker Village. This is the twelfth or so year since I started collecting. What started as “I would like this set of four” turned into a beautiful holiday tradition. Each one I have is unique. This year, I set them on top the living room display cabinet, and hung the smallest ones on the tabletop tree.
The mantle is next. One string of garland and a few oversized, old-fashioned jingle bells add some Walton-esque atmosphere.
A long, narrow tray holds votive glasses and decorative glass stones. Battery tea light candles complete the look. You can piece this look together with inexpensive thrift store and dollar store finds, or purchase a complete set online and at holiday home decor stores.
My new decorative contribution this year is the pine cone/bell mix. I simply took a large clear vase and mixed small pine cones and colorful jingle bells. Near the top I placed a battery tea light candle, and covered it with a few more cones and bells. The flickering light reflects off the shiny bells and casts pine cone shadows on the brick at night, and in the daylight the colors are just as bright and lovely.
It took me two days to decide if I wanted the “hassle” of setting up the big tree this year. Since last year I’d only set up the tabletop one, and I finished NOLA this year, I decided I’d celebrate and bring back my Mardi Gras-themed tree. I took three strings of lights: purple, blue, and green, and zigzagged them up and down and around, draped long ribbon from the craft store, and hung beads and masks I picked up at the local party store.
The beauty is, when the season is over, it’s just as easy to pack and store as it was to set up.
So, from all of us Nuts here at Bedford Manor, we wish you a very relaxed and affordable Holiday season.
And Frankly, My Dear . . .: That’s all she wrote!