Christmas comes earlier this year. No...wait...it just seems like it because Thanksgiving was later than most years. As a procrastinator extraordinaire, I like that it did, but with fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'll still be right up to the last minute preparing, just like all the other years prior. I know there's a solution to this problem I have, and I'm workin' on it.
Another thing that helped jump-start me this year was a lovely box of live greens that arrived the day before Thanksgiving, courtesy of my friends, P. Allen Smith and Heidi Berry, over at the Berry Family of Nurseries. They sent a wreath last year that looked good for months, and this year I got a 15-foot garland.
I knew exactly what I was going to do with the garland, because each year I put one on the short bannister at the bottom part of our stairs. When you walk through our front door, it's one of the first things you see, so it's the ideal place to put this. And this year, because I'm using live greens instead of my usual artificial garland, it smells good too! Walk in my house, and it smells like a Christmas tree. Mmmmmm!
The garland came as a kit, with six pre-wired ribbons and eight pine cones: four white ones and four natural ones. I was a little worried about whether the garland would hold together as I wound it around the bannister, but it's really well put together and I didn't lose anything more than small pieces of the juniper.
Since I didn't need all 15 feet of the garland for this area, I simply cut it in two and used the other half on top of our bookcase. I don't have that part completely decorated yet, or I'd show that to you too. But it's nice that this was long enough that I could use it in two different places, and of course that lovely fragrance is in both places, too.
This was part of the P. Allen Smith Rustic Collection, which has companion pieces available (seven, in all) along with the garland, at Home Depot. They're only available online, so have a look at all the collections here.
Look what they're doing and YOU can help!
Allen and Heidi are doing something really nice this year. The top three bloggers with the most interaction on Allen's Pinterest board will get a collection of greenery sent to a local non-profit, charity, or religious organization. If my blog post is one of the three winners, I'm having the greenery sent to The Paulding County Carnegie Library.
Our local library isn't large, but it's pretty special. It's been designated an Ohio Historical Landmark because it's the first county library in the United States to be funded by The Andrew Carnegie Foundation and was established in 1912. It serves our rural area well (2012 population of Paulding County was 19,295), and there are several branches in the little towns throughout the county, as well as a bookmobile. The staff at the library is very supportive of local authors (like me!) and they've got plenty of activities for kids and adults alike throughout the year.
I'd like to see this special place receive some Christmas cheer, and if you'd like to help, just head over to Allen's Pinterest page and either "like" the pin about my blog post or leave a comment on that pin or even better, REPIN IT! On December 9th - that's next Monday - they'll have their winners. If you don't see the pin there yet, it will be very soon!
In any case, I hope you'll have a blessed holiday season!
The Rustic Collection Garland was provided to me free of charge by P. Allen Smith and The Berry Family of Nurseries. All opinions stated here are my own.