It's that time of year again!  I can't believe it's been three years since I started just writing down thoughts here and there as I prepared for the holidays!  My intention was to craft a lot and write a lot, but sometimes real life gets in the way.  This December is no exception.  My Christmas cards, usually done and in the mail around the first of the month are non-existent.  I haven't even purchased them yet.  (Guess I wasn't on the ball last year, because I usually buy them for the next year so I don't end up looking for ones I like at the last minute.  Oops.)  Decorating is pretty much done, thanks to my husband - I didn't unpack a single thing.  For a control freak like myself, that's pretty huge.  I have been making quite a few chalkboards for people to give as gifts, so that does take up some time, and we've been helping my daughter and her husband with their newly purchased very fixer-upper home every spare minute during the past few weekends.  But, that's no excuse.  Time to get it together!!

I was able to do a couple of small things however, so I'm not as much of a holiday slacker as I make myself out to be!

When in Chicago over the holidays a while ago, I noticed that all the planters downtown were decorated.  I loved the look and had hoped to replicate it somewhere, somehow.  When we went to a local hardware store with a Christmas tree lot, they had the cut off branches in a bin, free for the taking.  I took a few.  Together with the pine cones I'd been collecting and a few purchased items, I was able to decorate the two pots on our porch (which are planted with dwarf fruit trees) and make them look a little more festive.  Then, on a visit to Pier One for some new items for our Christmas Eve dinner, I saw some plaid seat cushions I loved.  I bought two and put them on the wicker chairs on our porch even though they aren't outdoor cushions.  It's so Christmasy, and with our warmer drought weather, we're still able to sit out on the porch in the evening and have a glass of wine!

Here's the planter... I added greenery from nearby trees, some berry stems I purchased at Michael's, a few pinecones spraypainted white, and a few eucalyptus stems that I also purchased at Michael's.  Around the edges, I added some thin tree branches.

Easy, pretty and festive! (Just be sure to water it once in awhile to keep it fresh as possible.)


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