Tag Archives: Holidays

Keeping the Christmas Cheer

I love Christmas time. The carols,  the lights; they bring a joy into my heart that I could soak in forever. The rest of the year is just sort of blah. And alas, with February closing in fast,  it was definitely time to take down the last remnants of yuletide cheer, the wreath.


A wreath on a front door seems warm and welcoming to me. It says, home is where my heart is and I welcome you in!  A wreath also symbolizes eternity (I learned that from religion class) and being a newlywed, I like being reminded that the man I promised forever to is in our home waiting for me. Yes, I get all that from a wreath! Of course even evergreen eventually dies and once the wreath came down, life just started to feel regular again. And regular isn’t good enough for me.  Fortunately I am resourceful (thanks dad) and creative (thanks mom). wpid-IMG_20130123_101630.jpg

The Christmas wreath I bought way back in December for about $12 had a great metal frame which, although the pine needles that adorned it were dry and yellowing, definitely had some life left in it. I made a trip around our yard to see if I could find some appropriate branches to replace the tennanbaum remnants.

We’ve got this tree which I believe is eucalyptus. I could be wrong. I probably am. But since the majority of my bridal bouquet (see above) was made of seeded eucalyptus, it makes me happy to believe that’s what it is. The leaves have turned a beautiful green and the seeds a really pretty purple. Perfect!

I got out my sheers and went to work cutting back some of the branches which were clearly overgrown. Twenty minutes later I had a gorgeous new wreath and I much brighter yard.

Voila! eucalyptus wreath - instagrammed

It was so easy to make. I’m sure I’ll be able to use the frame again and again. Not bad for 12 dollars.

recycled wreath tutorial

Here’s a brief run-down of what I did….

1 – Use pliers to pull back the metal teeth (that’s what I’m calling them b/c I don’t know what they are called.)

2 – remove old branches

3 – cut new branches to desired size and width. Mine as you can see are about a foot but you can make them smaller, as long as they fit into the teeth.

4 – Lay the branches overlapping around the circle.

5 – Tuck the last branch under the first one and close all the teeth and them.

5 – Enjoy the beauty that is your creation!

There’s a picture on Pinterest (feel free to follow me there) that I’ve seen a few times. It says, “Breath, you’re home.”  Hmm…makes you think.

While I’m always happy to be home, I do occasionally bring the stress from the outside world through our door. Without having a sign that blatantly tells me to chill, I’d like to think this simple wreath can be my reminder that I’m home now, safe and sound, it’s warm and cozy inside, and my loved one is waiting for me! Kinda sounds like Christmas right?! Here’s to keeping the cheer year round!


String up the Lights!

It’s difficult being away from family at this time before the holidays.  I wish they could see how I’ve decorated my home and share with them warm meals and other festive goodies.  Luckily this year I’ll be flying back to New York this Christmas Eve and the following morning will be just as it was before I moved to another state.

It’s odd living in California in the winter time.  For years, the holidays meant it was cold outside and taking a walk down an illuminated street was accompanied by a warm cup of cocoa and a few layers of wool.  As crazy as it sounds, I do miss the cold, however nice it is to not have to bundle up all the time.  In fact, one of the coolest parts about this sunny side of the country is Christmas on the water.  My Florida family have been telling me about this for years.  Decorated boat parades and Christmas light contests.  It was not until I traveled 3000 miles away from my norm that I was able to take part in this fantastic holiday tradition.

Last night, after some delicious sushi and Saki, The All-Star and I drove down to Naples in Long Beach to enjoy some of their festive flare.  The temperature of the air was probably 60º which was the first “hooray” in my book.

Here’s a little bit about Naples for those who don’t know….  Many of the homes are on canals which run throughout this little part of town.  What makes it so unique (for me) is that the front of the homes are on the canals instead of the backyards, (which is what I’m used to), and there’s a sidewalk between the water and the properties with little bridges to walk and drive over and for boats to pass under.  It’s a very cool part of town.  Over the summer The All-Star and I kayaked through this area, not realizing at the time we were actually looking at the front of these beautiful beach dwellings.

So last night was the judging contest for this year’s “California Dreamin'” Christmas theme.  There were lots of folks walking up and down the canals and connecting streets, admiring the hard work of these most fortunate home owners.  A very cool sight to see.  I have to say that although I certainly do miss Christmas in New York, (not a whole lot beats that Rockefeller tree), seeing this light show on the water does get me into the holiday spirit.  How lucky I am to be able to experience both sides this year…the cold weather with the love of my family to keep me warm, and the warm weather with the excitement of the holidays to bring joy into my heart!

Happy Holidays!