The Art of Beautiful Living

‘Tis the Season for Crushed Poinsettias

We don’t put up a million trees at our house.  I don’t have anything against it personally and I do think that a house completely decked out is a wonder to behold.  Of course, some of that wonder is “I wonder where they store all of this?” and “I wonder where they get the energy needed to do this?”  Individual differences are a crazy thing.  It is one of life’s great mysteries why one person is a neat freak and another is happy with clutter.  Some folks are organized and some struggle.  Some have beautiful, effortless (or so it seems) lives and then there are people like me who are constantly wondering why things look like they gave up half way through the process.  I finally figured out that sometimes (sometimes) it isn’t our fault.  Sometimes things just need a little something extra.  This is what happens to me at the holiday season when it is time to deck the halls with poinsettias and other Christmas decorations.

Case in Point…

Every year, we joyfully bring out the Christmas decorations on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I love this day!!!  We have invested in storage bins (most of them red and green to denote their contents) to protect the ornaments and other decorations.  That has been an excellent investment and, personally, I think we should buy a couple of new bins every few years because we add a few new ornaments and decorations.  When we bought the first storage bins, we bought only what we absolutely had to have and then crammed stuff into them.

Which brings me to my next point.

The stuff-the-bin method is okay when we are talking about the stockings and tree skirt.  It doesn’t appear to be so great of an idea when I start pulling out crushed garlands of poinsettias.  Can anyone relate?  Maybe I am the only one who, in a post holiday season rush fueled by exhaustion, just shoves stuff back into the boxes from which they came.  I am secretly excited that I’m not  going to have to clean around all the decorations.  It could just be that I am frugal whether it comes to money or space and refuse to allow the pretty silk poinsettias and garlands the space they need.  Regardless, I have once again just pulled out some less than fresh looking florals and wondered if it was just better to trash them.

Being of Scottish Heritage…

I am too cheap to just throw them away, but too OCD to use them as is.  There were empty little stems where clusters of leaves had fallen off.  The flowers were angled in the wrong directions and their petals bent. (Can you iron silk florals? Let’s just say no and move on…)  So what on earth was I supposed to do with these less-than-perfect garlands?

When what you have, really, is a collection of parts, the  smart thing to do is to just go ahead and break them down into those parts and do something fun with them.  Here are a couple of projects I did with two poinsettia garlands.


The Lantern


Jerry’s mom and dad gave us this lantern a few months ago.  The lantern is a family heirloom and because of that, it is precious.  It is black, battered, and just perfect.  Unfortunately, it has sat on the hearth in our addition sort of ignored and not highlighted like it deserved to be.  For the Christmas season, I decided to give it a bit of a boost in the cute department.  I added a few pieces of the garland to the top and bottom and now it is all ready for the holidays.


The Naked Light Pole


We bought this light pole last year in an attempt to make the rental house a bit more festive since there is only so much you can do to a rental.  (I must admit that, while grateful to have a home, I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t in the new house…the vicious stomach virus that got everyone over the holiday didn’t help my attitude.)

The light pole has an outdoor rating and we had it at the gate at our house.  Beside the greenery, there isn’t much to this light pole.  The wreath on top was anemic looking.  The wad of greenery at the bottom looked sad.  The entire piece needed to be “gussied up” a bit.  Bring in the poinsettia garlands parts and VIOLA! the light pole has gone from drab to fab (at least I think so!).

In order to make it look less naked and more proportional, I added poinsettias to the base and increased the overall height of the “wad of greenery” at the bottom.  I removed the bow from the top and moved it to the base.  On top, I increased the perceived circumference of the wreath by spreading all the tips out as much as I could.  Of course, this left a huge, unattractive, gaping hole in the wreath which I tidily filled with some of the poinsettias.



Y’all have fun with your projects and let me know what you decide to gussy up this season.

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