It’s official — my favourite time of the year has started with the lighting of the Christmas tree! I am a bit of a sucker for all of the traditions and this year, I agreed to host my entire family. Not only are all 22 of them coming for Christmas dinner, they are staying the night.
The reality of this endeavour is just starting to set in as I make the list of all the things I need to pull this event off . . . and the costs keep going up!
Of course, I want to do it right the first time so I am setting the bar high and for me, that includes bringing in a lot of fresh boughs, berries and a real Christmas tree.
It’s a tradition in my family to bring some outdoor elements in when we celebrate Christmas. In fact, I start getting festive the moment the smell of fresh evergreen greets me at the front door.
So, this year I am sharing my home with you so that you can see how we do it, in hopes you might get inspired to run out and cut some boughs right before your guests arrive.
Choose your branches carefully
Cedar smells great but dries out really quickly. I love using fir and cypress because they hold their needles longer even when they get crispy. I also mix in some boxwood because the round leaves are a visual counter to the long and slender needles of the other evergreens in my arrangements.
One of my favourite parts of the holidays is the reappearance of red! That deep crimson or scarlet colour that ‘pops’ when the light levels are low and the skies are cloudy.
Often associated with Santa’s coat, this red is the perfect outdoor accent colour for your home to get you through December.
Before you run out and buy a lot of red elements, there are a few design tips that you should follow to make the outside of your home stand out:
Offset your red elements with green
I’m a huge fan of red with green boughs of cedar or balsam. The two play off each other extremely well because they are on opposite sides of the colour spectrum.
One of my many pet peeves around the holidays is the use of hanging baskets filled with branches and boughs. Now don’t get me wrong … I’m all for adding a little green to the front of the house, and using the existing hooks on the porch or on each side of the door is a great way to do it. Just make sure you do it right.
The reason hanging baskets look so good in the summer months is partially due to the trailing ivies and sweet potato vines that dangle down the sides. This hanging element creates a vertical line and fills the space (and hides the bottom) of the planter. I think the holiday baskets also need a hanging element instead of just a bunch of branches sticking out the top.
So here are two simple ideas for you to try at the front of your own home this year.