Each December I give a Dalek figure a Santa hat and a stocking and decorate a Tardis money box with a magnetic tree, because Time Lords and their evil nemeses deserve a bit of festive joy, as do we all. Decorations for the festive season put you in the mood for fun holidays and family get-togethers. Every year it is nice to add a few new pieces to your collection, but the advertising catalogues we receive in the letterbox seem to be full of ever more expensive or unoriginal items. If you like doing craft you can make your own, but if, like me you do not have the time to do this in a big way, you can remake and repurpose your existing decorations. In our household we reuse items from our decorations box every year, but try to give them a new spin, with the latest catalogues providing inspiration. It is so much more imaginative and satisfying than just going out and buying new baubles.
In Australia it is also summer and I like to limit the amount of northern winter decorations, because the days are long and there are hot days to enjoy. A reference to the snow is ok because it can make you feel cooler, but it is good to celebrate the summer time.
Sometimes broken decorations can be given a new purpose. A few years ago I reused the round metal frame of an old wreathe that had lost its foliage and hung this by a chain from the ceiling above our stair banister. From curtain hooks I hung metal silver butterflies and white, gold and silver papier-mâché stars to form a mobile. In the centre was a hanging red bird candle holder. To match this I attached a long silver chain on the left side of the stairs decorated with silver and red hearts and a white peace dove. To the right of the mobile I hung a white glittery horse, a larger silver heart and to reflect the summer, a red mobile with natural shells. It was a look that suited our modern living room and did not clash with the African artifacts and the black bamboo pole on the stairs.
Over the years we have done the real and the artificial tree thing, but a couple of years ago I decided to do my own original take on this iconic item. We have an old silver music stand, and the base forms a pyramidal shape like a pine tree when the top half is removed. Once placed on the TV console, I wound the silver metal chain around the outside held with a couple of curtain hooks and voila, I could hang decorations from the links. The same star decorations from the mobile, some silver trees and musical instruments, together with a metal angel, were attached to the chain with small wire hooks. I fitted a metal skewer into the hole in the top of the central pole and blue tacked one of the stars to it. A silver metal reindeer, a couple of silver summer insects and a tea light sat under the tree to give it interest. At the other end of the console our grandmother’s 60s wooden leaf-shaped dish held some silver fruit decorations.
Last year I went for more of a Scandinavian effect. The horse and the peace dove were now on the tree. I added a reindeer themed card on a stand and next to the tree the silver reindeer sat beside a couple of small logs, offcuts from some tree pruning. On top of the flat log was a little rabbit blowing a trumpet that we have had for years. Just a little bit of change is often all that is needed to update your theme.
We had some old Ikea straw decorations in storage and one of the mobiles was a bit tatty, so I cut off the straw angels and stars and tied these to the stair banisters so they sat against the wall. Some were also hung from the ceiling above the stairs, together with another Ikea straw mobile and the red bird. In the wooden leaf dish now sat three Ikea woven straw pinecones. I assembled an abstract snowman figure from an alabaster ball that came from a broken lamp, topped with a porcelain ball from a broken salad dressing shaker and sat it next to a gold star. On the bookshelves opposite I put some more traditional wooden ornaments; small white angels, musicians and Santas next to a glittery tree card. The whole scheme was very modern with references to northern traditions, yet did not look out of place in our warm climate.
I have not decided what I will do this year because I usually decorate spontaneously. Maybe I will dig out some of the less used items in the storage box for a change. I have noticed that traditional wooden toy decorations are making a comeback so I might play around with some that we have tucked away.
You may prefer a more traditional festive scheme, but whatever your style, have fun and use your imagination to rework what you already possess. It is possible to come up with interesting ways to decorate you home without spending a great deal, if at all.