3rd December: Bringing the outside inside

The tradition of bringing a tree inside to decorate at Winter time is centuries old and one that has become a key element of Christmas decorations for many. We will be buying our tree this weekend but will likely wait for another week before we bring it inside so as to prolong its beauty for the full length of the festive season.

Over the years we have collected a large variety of decorations and it is always a joy opening the boxes and recalling the memories of previous Christmases or from where we obtained the sparkly trinkets.

Whilst I love the decorations I equally love a more natural approach to decorating the house. There is a wealth of beautiful leaves, berries and seeds in the garden that can totally transform a mantelpiece, candleholder, parcel or bannister. A little closer to Christmas I am going to attempt my own centrepiece for the table and I shall post some pictures so you can see how I get on. However, in the meantime I have made a simple decoration with pinecones and have bought a bright poinsettia to bring a dash of colour to the kitchen.

Nobody needs to be a highly-skilled artist to make a dish of pinecones and baubles or place a sprig of holly or ivy above a picture frame. Sprigs of rosemary can be added to gifts wrapped in newspaper and string, mistletoe strung from the ceiling and foliage used in creative ways to decorate place settings for guests at the Christmas table. All of these not only celebrate Christmas but Winter time as a whole and the staggering beauty of our natural world. It's also quite nice to break away from the commercialisation of so much of this important festival and save some money too. Go outside and see what you could bring inside!

Door 3 of The Woman Next Door's advent calendar. 

Door 3 of The Woman Next Door's advent calendar. 

Poinsettia. 

Poinsettia. 

Parcels wrapped in newspaper, string & berries. 

Parcels wrapped in newspaper, string & berries. 

Using herbs to decorate simple gift bags. 

Using herbs to decorate simple gift bags. 

A spray-painted pinecone and a sprig of conifer makes a beautiful place setting. 

A spray-painted pinecone and a sprig of conifer makes a beautiful place setting.