In case you were curious about the Christmas kitty at the top of our pages... that's our cat, Pooh. Pooh has a twin sister named Puff, and Puff and Pooh actually have their own website (don't look at me, it was my wife's idea).
By: Patricia Stelzer
Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year, especially when it comes to decorating. Problem is, people tend to get carried away. For those who like the rustic styles, it can become a real struggle to match the holiday décor with the general theme of the home, both inside and out.
That doesn't need to be the case. So many decorative touches can be achieved by the simple incorporation of basic, natural items like sprigs of evergreen stuck loosely among the everyday accessories, or by simply switching one item for another of the same style and period.
Mantles can be enhanced with artificial greenery and holly berries placed amongst candles or other cherished pieces that are part of the daily scene. Replace some year-round pieces with old Santa figures or reproduction ones, and don't forget to use Christmas signs as replacements for the ones usually hanging on walls. Bowls of fruit (wooden or artificial) become part of the holiday season when a few pinecones and pieces of greenery are stuck in with the fruit.
So often, the sin of holiday decorating comes from overdoing a good thing. Simplicity is more eye-catching and memorable than enormous amounts of holiday decorations inundating the senses. Using a theme for each room also makes an impressive statement. Santa for one room, snowmen for another, Nativity scenes and religious reminders in another, are ways to heighten the enjoyment of all that is good and right with the season.
It should be noted that in Colonial Williamsburg and Pleasant Hill almost all decorations are done with those things available and part of their everyday lives. Wreaths incorporating fruit, swags of greenery held in place by simple red bows, candles surrounded by pine cones and greenery, are the simple, but attractive and tasteful decorations preferred, and these are in keeping with the rustic style that says welcome to visitors, whether in a home or a business. A live poinsettia or rosemary tree gives a festive touch to any room, and the rosemary tree will offer up a marvelous fragrance as well.
Enjoy the holidays. Don't become overwhelmed by the rush to change everything in your home. Keep it simple, and pick what you really like. Then just add it to already existing decorative pieces. Replace only those that you want to with holiday decorations, and do it judiciously, following your own preferences. Doing it this way makes it much easier to return to the everyday norm once the season passes.