Friday, December 8, 2023

Christmas garlands

Older Daughter decided she was going to make the house festive this Christmas season. I'm not crafty in the slightest – in fact, you might call me anti-crafty – so watching someone create something like this out of nothing was lots of fun.

She started with oranges, which she sliced and dehydrated.

Next came cedar boughs. She told us she thought about purchasing fake branches, "but the realistic-looking ones were something like $100 each." Forget it, she said. I'll just go out in the woods and  get real ones.

And she did.

Interestingly, even though she tried to take no more than one branch from each tree, someone had been there before her and left behind a Christmas ornament, which she thought was charming. How many other people had seen this hidden bauble? Likely not many. But she saw it ... so it was special.

She came back with a tote full of cedar cuttings.

We also have a small fir tree in the driveway that's dying, so she snipped some of the still-green branches from it as well, to add extra body to her projects.

Then she laid everything out and started assembling the garlands.

She used a drill to insert some tiny hooks in strategic spots over windows and doors.

Then we carefully took the tied-together cedar garlands and lifted them into place, tucking the inner branches into the hooks. (No photos, sorry.)

Then she strung together some of the orange slices and added them to the garland.

A small string of lights, and the result was very festive indeed.

She added ornaments from the ends of the curtain rods for an extra garnish.

She repeated this over other door and window frames in the living room and kitchen.

Then she began assembling paper snowflakes and hanging them around the house.

Meanwhile, outdoors, Don tacked up colored lights. He wound them around porch rails, window frames, and under the eaves.

The result was splendid, especially in such a dark area as where we live.

Then we all got together and decorated the tree. It's times like this we really miss Younger Daughter.

So here are the results of everyone's efforts, taken in the early morning when it was still dark. (That's Darcy lying in the middle of the living room floor.)


I don't think the house has ever looked this festive. Kudos to Older Daughter for her creativity indoors, and Don for his creativity outdoors.


  1. Some people just have a gift and an eye to see the finished product in their minds and then the ability to make it happen. What a blessing that your daughter has it and is willing to share it. It all looks lovely!

  2. That all looks so lovely and super cozy. :)

  3. Everything is beautiful! She’s a talented lady. 🎄

  4. That is just beautiful. She did an excellent job. I want to know how to make those snowflakes. Is there a site to show me?

    1. Try this website:

      - Patrice

  5. Looks wonderful! And thank your younger daughter for her service. I do hope, however, she gets out as soon as possible and returns home safely to your family. There's global war brewing.......we pray for her and all of our military everywhere. Blessings from Kansas.
    Mama J

  6. There used to be a small evergreen tree growing in the ditch on a back road to town. One year someone put an ornament on it. Over the next few years others were added until it was quite festive. The next year it had been cut down. That about broke my heart!

  7. I love it!
    While I was reading I was thinking how well paper ornaments would go with this, and wouldn't you know, next you were talking about the paper ornaments!
    Once, while very ill and in bed a while, I ordered some paper cutting patterns from "Paper Cuttings by Alison", to pass the time. That craft had always intrigued me. At first my efforts were pretty clumsy and amateurish, but then I changed up tools and it made a huge difference! For a mat I used a self healing cutting mat from my sewing supplies, and an exacto scissors from then on.
    Also, from scrapbooking supplies I started using cardstock because it's heftier and the result seemed more pleasing. Also, I started using tracing paper to mark the design, attached it to the cardstock, then cut it out from there instead of butchering the pattern. That idea came because I wanted to make a swag from a simple ornament which couldn't be well done otherwise.
    It made me very happy not just doing this, but making and giving away a bunch of ornaments to people was fun and helped me be patient with the getting well process. And people loved getting those little hand made gifts in their Christmas cards. Simple decorations are the best !
    I can't wait to see what OD is up to with her new laser! Surely it isn't gathering dust!

  8. We have a few Christmas " drive-through display parks " in the area. Seldom go there anymore, much prefer the creation meant just for our family

    1. I agree !
      There was something on TV last night, maybe a commercial, that caught my eye.
      Somebody's house and yard was totally bedazzled with every conceivable Christmas display, way over the top. Then the house next door had one thing in lights. The Word " Ditto" with an arrow pointing to all the glitter next door! That one word decoration made me bust out laughing !