We really should stay serious: discuss the writing process, share advice, and enjoy (criticize) my new short stories. And I should be writing! But I’m only human, so I don’t always stick to schedules and rules. Not surprisingly, these days I’m preoccupied with Christmas, and in particular one very important aspect of it: decorations.

 

Since I prefer to spare our planet any waste I can, I lean toward do-it-yourself festive decor. I include in this my dog, Rafa, who puts on his festive sweater and chases white feathers and silver ribbons around the living room. So, come join us—try out some of the DIY ideas Rafa and I have come up with over the years!

 

Decorative branches

During a winter walk, pick up an interesting branch (without leaves) and bring it home. Paint it white (but don’t be too careful, keep it rough). Use ribbons to hang it in whatever you decide it looks good, e.g. in the window, above the fireplace. Then decorate it according to your preferences.

 

Pinecone garland

Collect some pinecones (you’re going to walk a lot for these DIY decorations). Once you’ve thawed out from your winter quest, get a piece of string. Glue the cones to the string and hang it wherever you like. It not only looks good, it smells great!

Pinecone wreaths

I prefer heart-shaped wreaths, but suit yourself. You’re going to need yet more pinecones and some other decorative stuff, like ribbons and rowan berries (see below), as well as a bit of paint if you like. Stick the cones together, using wire if necessary to give the wreath a nice shape. Paint it. Add some more decorative elements (although I prefer to keep them fairly simple). Hang it on the door and watch the neighbors go green with envy (a handy Polish expression, but apparently you have it in English too!).

 

Holly in bottles

Get some empty glass bottles (this part’s really easy) and some branches of holly (also not very hard). Stick the branches in the bottles like a bouquet, and then place the bottles around your home. You can stuff the bottles with moss, if you want, to give them an extra touch. This is great for busy people who don’t have much time to decorate but still want to impress.

Rowanberries

Collect some rowanberries. This is almost impossible, at least where I live, because the blackbirds love them. If you somehow get ahold of some, string them on a thread and use this as a Christmas tree decoration.

 

Stick snowflakes

Another good one for folks who are short on time. You can make fine decorations with nothing more than sticks! Pick any three, and using a thread or string, attach them together in a snowflake shape. Decorate the center with nuts and dried fruit, maybe a little cinnamon, and use this as a table decoration.

 

Dried fruit

Dry some oranges and apples—if Christmas Eve is coming fast, use your oven so that the process is quicker. Use these in place of Christmas balls on your tree. If you have a pet, make sure it doesn’t eat your fruit.

Gingerbread

I’m sure you can manage to bake some Christmassy-looking things out of gingerbread. They can taste like crap, no worries. They make great Christmas tree decorations—if your pets don’t eat them.

Cinnamon sticks

These things smell like Christmas and make perfect decorations just about anywhere. Scatter them liberally around your space!

 

Candies

For your Christmas tree, and for consumption—by humans and animals, of course. Make sure your pets don’t eat the wrappers!

Nuts

I love walnuts, but it’s not easy to make Christmas balls out of them because they’re pretty hard. They look perfect in candleholders, though, or simply scattered around on the table. Go nuts!

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