This year, instead of making the 10-hour drive to hubby’s parents’ house for the holidays, we’ve decided to stay in town and hibernate. Although, I really do love visiting them during this time of year. It resembles what I would imagine a Rockwellian holiday home to be – complete with the smell of fresh-baked goods wafting through the house at way too early in the morning all week, dad making fudge, lots of ice tinkling in glasses filled with egg nog (and a splash of brandy perhaps?), visits from family and friends, plenty of bubbling giggles, decorating, holiday music and fuzzy slippers.
Even though we’ve decided to stay home this year, we had this unspoken understanding that we weren’t getting a tree, and there would probably be no decorating. How very scroogie of us, I know. Until I forgot my reusable shopping bags when I went to Trader Joe’s, and upon closer inspection of their paper bags, I noticed they’ve yet again, done something really creative and cute; that is, they printed patterns on the sides of their bags for us to cut out and make garland out of. They also printed gift tags on the front of their bags. I love using natural colors for gifts, and thought this was a very interesting idea. Who cares if they didn’t really expect people to use them. I am. So hmph.
So while hubby was at work, I pulled out the paper cutter (this thing SAVED me around wedding time since I decided to make a complicated invitation all by mahself), and got to cutting. Okay, I may have turned on holiday music and lit a few scented candles. Yes, okay, yes. I was wearing fuzzy slippers, too. Maybe there was some hot tea involved. I was quite in the zone, if you will.
And so here you have it Trader Joe’s….your spark of creativity that led to me getting off my butt and doing a wee bit of decorating for the impending holiday.
So my inner Martha Stewart factory began churning, breaking the cobwebs that had slowly grown over the cogs. What if I were to make a christmas tree out of stuff I already had? Like…um maybe my cupcake holder aaaand some tree balls and some tinsel?
For being totally cheap (read: FREE), I think it actually worked out really well. And done with a little more care and other supplies, it could possibly be a good centerpiece for a holiday treat table. Really, the possibilities are endless here people. Wrapping or tissue paper to fill the middle, different garland, lights, balls, ornaments, oh my! Get to it!
And might I add that these are fun things to do with kids and an interesting way to show off your abilities to reuse and recycle. And of course, they are cheap, which always helps, but even more so now, particularly if you are (like myself and most Americans) hurting a wee bit this year. It can be a challenge to get creative juices flowing at first, but pull out the box of holiday decor and have a little mini contest with the family. You may be surprised what interesting things can come of it, and what may even become tradition. I plan on snazzing up my little tree for next year and maybe even having a cookie party to show it off. Personally, I’m quite proud of myself : )