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A Cheery Delight

December 19th, 2011

Most years, my front porch is all decorated this time of year with fresh pine greenery, big white Christmas lights, grapevine stars, terra cotta pots, pinecones, and all things natural. I spend the better part of a day outside stringing garland and lights and adding a touch of the holidays to our home.

This year however, my front porch is bare, there is no pine garland, no white lights, and no grapevine stars. I never got around to buying the garland and I haven’t been able to find the time to pull out the stars. It’s kind of sad, I really miss the big white lights shining through the front windows during the evening. I didn’t want to go completely without any outside lights, that makes me sad.

We are not completely devoid of holiday cheer in the garden. Some big colored lights were strung in a small blue spruce out back for our Christmas card photo.


Generally I’m not a colored light kind of gal, but I find them to be a cheery delight when I see them through my kitchen window in the evenings.

The nice thing about this little strand of lights is that no one else can see them but us. It’s like our own little holiday display on the back hillside. The extra nice thing is that it will take me all of two minutes to take down the outdoor holiday decor instead of the usual couple hours.

Do you add any outdoor decor/lights to your home during the holidays? Which do you prefer: white or colored lights?

All-Natural Outdoor Christmas Decor

December 5th, 2009

I spent the day yesterday putting Christmas up out front. When it comes to outside Christmas decor I’m a big fan of the natural look so I stick to all-natural ingredients. No big blow-up things, colored/flashing lights, santas or plastic things decorate our home. We stick to an all-natural Christmas.
grapevine_star_with_fresh_pine_garland
It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright. It wasn’t very warm, so I started around 11 am after it had warmed up, frosty fingers don’t do well wiring lights. I unrolled the garland and stretched it out on the front lawn to dry. Then I carried containers of lights, pine cones and grapevine stars down from the attic.
Christmas_lights_and_pinecones
Of course all of the strands of lights have to be checked to make sure they work and any burnt out bulbs get replaced. I find that buying an extra strand or two of lights is a cheaper source of replacement bulbs than buying those little replacement packs.
white_christmas_lights
Then came the wrapping of the lights around the garland (we get a lot of wind here so this is a necessity). Out came the ladder and up went the garland, I find that I like turning the lights on while I’m putting them up. The lights go on a timer when I’m finished so they come on after it gets dark and they go off around 11 pm.
ladder_and_Christmas_garland
It’s always tricky getting each swag to be the same, or at least close enough. I’d put up one and climb down the ladder head out to the front of the lawn and see what I thought. It sure is a good amount of exercise putting up this garland!
fresh_Pine_garland_with_white_lights
After getting the garland up, I realized it was two o’clock and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. My stomach was grumbling, so I headed inside and warmed myself with a steaming bowl of chili. I ate in the living room so I could enjoy what I had accomplished with all my hard work.
bowl_sihlouette
After lunch it was time to wire the pine cones into the garland and put the grapevine stars up.
pine_cones
The pine cones and stars were laid out so I knew where they were to be placed along the garland. Adding the pine cones adds more work, but I really like the end result!
pinecone_and_christmas_lights
Fresh_pine_garland_on_porch
Along with the pine cones I use grapevine stars everywhere. I made star topiaries to flank the front door. These were put in big terracotta pots (out came the tomatoes out and in went the stars).
Front_porch_Christmas_decorations
Some greenery was added to finish them off and a few smaller terracotta pots were filled with pine cones. I left the watering can up there as well because I thought it looked nice, although I may replace it with my old zinc one. I may add a few more pots filled with other natural things as well.
Terracotta_Christmas_decor
Not too long after I was finished with the front porch the sun started to set. I could hardly wait for it to go down, I was so excited to see what the lights were going to look like in the dark!
sunset_on_pine_garland
The lights came on at 5:30 and it finally feels like the holiday season at Chiot’s Run. I hope that people driving by smile and get that feeling of Christmas. I always do when I pass houses all dressed up for the holidays!
Christmas_lights_at_night
This is the view from the inside of the house. I love sitting on the couch in the evenings with a cup of tea, listening to my favorite Christmas music and watching the lights outside.
Shining_Christmas_lights
This doesn’t conclude my decorating efforts. I still have to add garland, lights and stars around the garage door. The front fence will get some garland and stars as well and I may put up some more lights in our little pine trees on the back hill. I also have to decorate the inside of the house, but this gets to be less and less with each passing year. I appreciate the outside decor much more than I do the inside decorations.

What’s your favorite outdoor or indoor Christmas decor?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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