Gathering Branches

Over the weekend, I began to collect the essentials needed to dress my nest for the holidays. My goals with decorating this season are to keep it simple, natural, affordable and kid-friendly. So I began, like any good bird, by gathering branches. Three botanical staples will provide the backbone of my decor:

These traditional Christmas plants are an affordable way to have fresh, colorful "flowers" all season long. And contrary to popular belief, they are not poisonous (however their milky sap can irritate eyes and skin, so keep them out of reach from curious little hands & mouths).When choosing a poinsettia, look for plants where little or no yellow pollen is showing on the flower clusters in the center of the bracts. Those that have shed their pollen will soon drop their colorful leaves. Read this article on Pampering Your Poinsettia for more tips on choosing and caring for these beauties. I selected two big, full, deep-red plants for a total price of $8.00.
A Fresh Wreath
A fresh, handmade wreath is a natural, fragrant Christmas decoration that uses renewable resources. This year, I will hang ours inside the house where we can really enjoy it. (If you hang a fresh wreath inside, lightly mist it every day with warm water; indoors or outdoors, avoid placing it near heat sources or in direct sunlight.)
This lovely, 24" wreath caught my eye at the tree lot with a price tag of only $12.00! Of course you can make your own wreath with trimmings from your tree...but with my mind on keeping it simple, and with a great price, this handmade-by-someone-else wreath begged to come home with me!
A Fresh Christmas Tree
And of course, the main event - the tree. Fresh trees are the most eco-friendly choice, plus so beautiful & fragrant. Evergreens are not grown in my area, so we have to go to a tree lot; a cut-your-own tree farm sounds like a fun and educational family outing if you have one close by.We are moving our tree to a cozier spot than usual this year, allowing us to scale down the size and better meet my affordability goal. After a leisurely walk through the maze of trees, we selected one of the smallest on the lot (about 7 ft.) with a fair price tag of $39.00.So with all of my "branches" gathered (for only $59.00), we flew on home to get started decorating. I hope you will check back throughout the month as I share views of my nest, all feathered for the holiday season.

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