The entire block is festively adorned with swaying animatronic santas, flashy light extravaganzas, and colourful wreathes. There are plastic moulded nativity scenes, herds of wire-frame deer, fences wrapped up to resemble presents, and branches stuck into urns and tied around with oversized velvet bows. There are garlands, enough to form a line across the world and back. Garlands wrapped with ribbons, stuck with oscillating lights, and dotted with strange glittery baubles. There are holiday messages written on windows in spray snow from a can, and others spelled out in lights.
And then there is our house, the sore thumb. The sole, cheerless home on the block. Scourge of the neighbourhood. Don’t get me wrong, there are lights — a single, short string of white solar lights that illuminate feebly when and if it does at all, unable to collect enough sun energy through these long and bleak early winter days. It worked too well through the sunny, summer months, announcing our neglect loudly, “Here be your weird, lazy neighbours (or are they hippies? They don’t look like hippies…), too apathetic to bother removing their single, feeble attempt at Holiday participation. There they go. The couple that hates Christmas.”
I got it into my head that I had the answer to how we would redeem ourselves — we would install a wreath! A wreath would make us better than the house with the loud dog and the one that has had a couch standing up sideways on their porch for ages. For weeks my mind was on Project Acquire a Cheerful Holiday Wreath. I tried to buy one, but they were either too expensive or too gosh darn ugly. The one I liked best was a simple twisted circle of bundled, red dogwood branches, but the thrifty part of my brain refused to spend $50 on something that I could make for free, were I in possession of a bundle of red dogwood twigs, or any twigs for that matter. Only now does it come to mind that I could have made a simple wreath from the Euonymous bush out back but I didn’t think of it until just now and I don’t have a wreath form anyway.
Long story short, last night I found myself in possession of a few Holiday Tree clippings. I took those clippings and bundled them together with some colourful Euonymous branches and a large sprig of sage collected from the garden. I held all them together with an elastic and then covered that elastic with a piece of scrap ribbon leftover from a holiday long passed. Is it as good as something one would see in a DIY magazine? Heck, no. It’s so amateur, I was almost too embarrassed to post a photo! In the eyes of our neighbours, will it make up for our general lack of apathy regarding the Holiday season? Probably not.
Still, it makes me feel like I made an effort and it didn’t cost a thing. Done and done. Now I can focus my energy where it really matters: baking fattening Holiday treats!
p.s. I was so enthusiastic about using up every last scrap that I made a second swag for our non-working, totally useless fireplace. I don’t know who I am anymore.