It started out as a joke, my family said there was no way I could decorate the whole house out of stuff in the garden.
I had a seed of an idea for a free Christmas tree after seeing a minimalist and beautiful Japan ‘tree’ at a John Lewis event here in Nottingham. It reminded me of the one Mr A and I attempted for our first Christmas in our first flat, with sticks we found on Tooting Common. That one got knocked over after a night on the tiles and never quite recovered, plus it never looked like more than a twig. I’d seen the fab one in John Lewis, I knew I had taken up quite a challenge.
But I am pleased with the result. I cut down branches of the Laurel tree, a job I should have done months ago. I stuck them in a pot of soil that was hanging around the garden and covered the soil in fir cones. My Dad instilled in me a love of Scandinavian decorations, minimalism and a fear of tinsel, so a stick tree works well with our existing decorations. Lots of our decorations are red, including the little Japanese girl (third mini image down on the right in the top picture) which John Lewis kindly gifted me when I visited. The kids seem really excited about it and spend most evenings rearranging the decorations, so it will never look like this again.
My other inspiration here was checking the bank balance, realising we’d overspent and thinking how can I be thrifty? I was also promoted for my mum’s maiden name while online banking, which made me think about what she did at Christmas. She always made a wreath out of plants she found in the garden. So I made one for us and one for next door:
Then I made the kids mini trees out of twigs of rosemary.
Regular readers will notice I have stopped thinking like a bloke here. If I had been thinking like ‘a bloke’, we’d have an 8ft Norweigian Spruce, needles, a bigger overdraft and no room to move in the living room. Next year maybe! Although to be fair to men, my Dad taught me all I know about minimalism and keeping in simple at Christmas. More ideas for free decorations here and join in Becky’s Family Budgeting Christmas linky here!