Tonawanda News

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November 17, 2013

DESIGNS BY DANA: Use nature's bounty to decorate for holiday season

Tonawanda News — Question: How do you like to decorate a home for the holidays?

Answer: For me personally, the upcoming holidays are meant to be a time for family, friends and special traditions.  

I enjoy reverting back to older days when the atmosphere of the holiday season was simple and relaxed; when a handmade sweater was a special gift or a fresh-baked pie was looked forward to with anticipation. I like to continue this feeling through my indoor holiday decorating.

As much as possible I try to bring the outdoors in and let nature supply the special trimmings for the season just as it did long ago. There is something special about getting the family together on a brisk, sunny fall afternoon to gather pinecones, chestnuts and evergreen branches. Later we sip hot cocoa as we sort and trim what we’ve collected.

I use florists’ wire, foam and red ribbon to arrange our gatherings into various centerpieces, wreaths and swags. Fresh cuttings last a long time along with the bonus of the great aroma they provide.

Holly branches are another favorite of mine; they look nice layered on window sills, poking out amongst items on shelves or grouped together in a vase. If you don’t have any holly bushes of your own most floral shops should sell branches at this time of year. Holly is very hearty and the red berries add just the right amount of color to any arrangement.

Clear glass serving pieces are perfect for natural holiday decorating. Fill bowls with nuts and cranberries; center an ivory pillar candle on a footed cake plate and surround it with acorns or holly; group together various-sized drinking glasses, and fill some with nuts and berries and place ivory votive’s in a few others. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

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