This time of year creates for us many opportunities for welcoming and engaging our friends and families with warm Christmas hospitality. One of the most delightful ways for me to make my holiday guests feel more at home is by layering within my rooms plenty of texture, softness and warmth, and woodsy reminders of the crisp, winter outdoors. Growing up in the backwoods of Minnesota, my homes throughout the years since then have always embraced these natural, earthy elements. I thought I would share with you today just five simple tips for giving your own loved ones and homes a slice of the pine-scented forest I grew up by. :) If you'd like to add more "woodland" to your Christmas this season, here are some great ideas to try:
1. Birchbark candles
Birchbark has been used in numerous ways for Christmas decor, especially these past few years, but I keep coming back to the simplicity of the candle as it draws me back to the feel and sounds of the woods back home. The versatility of this piece never grows old. Here it is in two other seasonal decor vignettes (autumn and spring) and it works just as well:
2. A Woodland Cake or Dessert
Everyone loves a familiar, hot dessert on Christmas Eve or Day, and I usually serve the expected (and always welcomed!) hot cocoa and other baked and bubbling fruit pies, but when I truly want a woodland themed Christmas, I always browse dessert choices that can be decorated or augmented with natural outdoor elements such as these. In addition, these types of decorating ideas can easily translate to even simpler dessert versions such as woodland cupcakes or winter sugar cookies:
3. Woodland animals
Whether it's on a humble DIY stocking, a soft and sink-able throw pillow, or as the center of your Christmas dinner, forest deer and other animals swiftly add the outdoors into the heart of your home.
4. Christmas Foliage
This should go without saying but our annual "hike into the woods" for our pine-scented trees and swags bring an abundance of fresh woodsy scents, plentiful texture, and have been loved and decorated the world over. Don't forget to spread the greens around your home in various buckets and urns, as wreaths and garlands, as well as your centerpieces. Pinecones and berries add visual appeal as well. Whether impressively built and brimming with ornaments or perfectly petite and in its natural state, give your home a sense of earthy vitality with them.
5. Vintage Winter Skis and Skates
These rugged, rusty, outdoor sportsman gear create instant drama and connection to the winter wonderland just outside like nothing else can. The older and more well-worn and smoothed over the better.
(Click on each picture for the original source)
I hope your Christmas season is full of joy and warmth as you gather your family and friends close to your hearts and into your homes. Be sure to bring some of the outdoors "in" this year!