I’m just not in the mood to drag my crappy-looking fake tree out of storage, and allergy issues put the “ki-bosh” on having a real one, so I compromised.
This is “Donald” adorned with his Christmas finery. He resides next to my back entrance door.
This is my back door. I wired two 9′ greenery swags together and wrapped it with 2 strands of small white lights and 1 strand of larger bright-white teardrop shaped lights. I used thin floral wire and fishing line to string the plastic, weather-proof balls to the swag and finished the whole thing off with a couple of bows in the corners. The wreath is wrapped in white teardrop lights. The “bells” in the middle of the wreath are tiny terra-cotta planters that I threaded upside-down on heavy wheat-colored string then tied a silver bell to the end of the string. Then I tied all 8 or so of them together and fastened to the wreath. I finished it off with a big bow. When I wrapped the lights around the swag, I made sure that one of the strings ended near the top, so I could plug the wreath into it. I then plugged it into a dusk-to-dawn timer. Ta-Da!!
So, instead of setting up my tree in the foyer, I hung a greenery swag, stuck some berry picks and a few ornaments on it. Here I wired a couple of cheap-o 9′ greenery swags and three slightly more expensive 6′ “cedar branch and pinecone” wreaths together, then wrapped this with two strings of tiny white lights. One string was plain white lights, the other was bright-white; I like the tiny lights, and the contrast of whites gives the whole thing a nice depth.
My “piece de resistance” and homage to my Scots-Irish roots–the tartan wrapped deer head. Of course, I couldn’t ruin one of our best heads, so I first wrapped the head and the base of the horns in foil. Then I sprayed the foil-wrapped skull with spray adhesive and stretched the fabric over it, folding and snipping where needed. More of the spray glue keeps the fabric tight. I peeled the foil away from the horns, and was quite pleased with the results. When I take it down, I’ll simply peel fabric and foil away and leave the skull unscathed (fingers crossed).
Several years ago, I bought a dozen frosty white glass bulbs and googled a bunch of “M” fonts. With black, red, green, silver and gold Sharpie markers, I copied several different “M” designs on the bulbs to make monogrammed ornaments. I also collect abandoned bird nests from my yard, and I use them as natural decorations along with hornet and wasp nests–abandoned, of course!
Over the entertainment center, you can see that I’ve used some more of the monogrammed ornaments.
The fireplace mantel. The “trees” on the left: one is a styrofoam pyramid that I glued wine corks and red and silver balls to. I took a few branches that my fake tree shed and glued them around the bottom and to the top, then finished with a nice bow for a topper. The one on the right started as a plain grapevine form; I used 8 long picks of red berries, bent the wire ends of each, stuck them through the top of the tree form so that they hung down the sides, and hot-glued them around the tree. I pulled apart a pre-made candle ring, and glued some of the red-and-white and frosted balls to the tree to fill in some of the bare spaces and to give it a little more color, and topped with a red and white ribbon bow.
On the right: several years ago we cut down some river birches and I talked the boys into cutting up one of the larger branches into three pieces. I then drilled large holes (about 3″ x 3″) in one end of each with a large paddle bit, sprayed them with a clear sealer, and placed a glass candle-holder in each of the drilled holes. Last year, I bought a bunch of the red-and-white candle rings for 75% off. I took some of them apart and used in other arrangements, but these I simply set the branch candle-holders in them.