We’ve been noticing the holidays are filled with a lot of things, and Will and I weren’t quite sure what to make of buckets and buckets of decor and fighting people off at the mall for gifts. At work, I’ve been on a big kick of “going back to the goal” in any planning to help make sure all of our actions are going to get us to that goal. Will and I decided to do the same with the holidays, and similar to our wedding, we came up with the same answer…we could sum it up as simple warmth.
For us, minimal things that create that warmth, promote people connecting, and bring people together are what this season seems like to us. So with that, we’ve been trying to put a lot of the noise we get caught up in to the side, and be really intentional with our time, money, and the things we are bringing into our home and what we’re sending out to be put in others. This has been a little hard for me, as someone who really loves wandering Anthropology this time of year for all of those sweet little gift finds, and tying them all up with different ribbons and matching wrapping paper. While it is a bit different for me, so far I’ve loved what we’ve created and it all feels really great, just like you’d think simple warmth might.
Sharing some of the things here we’ve discovered along the way, from minimal decorations that go a long way, to how we’ve been creating that warmth with friends, and sending a big holiday hug.
Natural Holiday Decor:
Nearly all of our holiday decor is a fresh plant, something we made, or is repurposed from everyday items we have all year. It’s perfectly cozy, while still feeling fresh and minimal.
Will’s sincere love for growing trees and my want for one alive combined when we found our little tree at Kroger, still in a pot, and a perfect mini size. We’ve put twinkle lights on from a previous dinner party, grabbed a few left over red berries, and tucked him in a basket with woven cream fabric to fill in the gaps. When those lights are on…hello snug. (and we’ve both agreed we have to stop buying trees now…)
All you need is a little baker’s twine, an orange, cinnamon sticks, and fresh greenery. Bake the oranges with a little sugar on top for around 40 minutes until they are “caramelized”. Wrap the twine around, and hang. Something that doesn’t require storage, smells amazing, and gives a pop of color.
With our left over greenery from the garland, we put them in vases throughout our apartment. On our kitchen counter, an oversize vase held our red winter berry sticks. That little pop of red made the whole room feel festive, again with minimal spend, and knowing it was something fresh and natural that could get you in the holiday spirit made me pretty happy.
We also hosted our first “Fall Party”, which was actually much closer to winter, and doubled as a “come over to our house after we got married” party.
I was delayed on decoration items, which meant no “Fall” or “Thankful” signs were out. It worked out just the way I was hoping instead. We used fresh greenery to create a runner, and scattered pumpkins throughout in different colors.
We found these simple ceramic candle holders at Crate and Barrel that brought that warm light when paired among our garland. Manready Mercantile in Houston has a Douglas Fir scented candle that we recently stocked up on, and we’ve got dreamy lighting and scents going on now. I often just pop candle sticks into our holders to have going on the weekend or evenings. Who says it has to be a special occasion to have a little candle light?
I had been meaning to try embroidery for awhile, and had been seeing a few a few holiday themed stitches around. This was a cozy activity for a long weekend that let me be a little creative, and ended with a holiday decoration item. I’d never done it before, but found it super easy. Just grab a hoop, some fabric or a dish towel, yarn of choice, and a needle. Easy Pinterest instructions helped me to dive right in.
For “Fall Party”, we drank wine, Will made an amazing apple pork rib in the dutch oven, friends brought a pumpkin cheesecake and this cranberry nut cheeseball that I’m probably going to have to text her to get the recipe as I’m typing this, and we brought people together.
We don’t have a kitchen table, these two couples had never met one another, and it all worked out perfect. A little bit of love and warmth with some great people, all to celebrate the season. That’s all ya need.
This is a tough one…Will and I come at gifts from very different angles, but we learn a lot from each other on the topic too! We’ve decided we wanted to bring what we are about as a couple into gifts we give as a couple…we want to promote people being together, enjoying their company, and doing something along those lines. That being said, we’ve decided to give gifts that match people’s interest, promote or relate to family or connection, and/or maybe give a laugh. Still on the hunt, but we are getting there!