Maybe you're lacking in time or energy this year, or maybe you've already spent most of your money on gifts for loved ones. Have no fear—there are many simple and beautiful ways to craft a cozy, festive home for the holidays without draining your resources. Here are a few of my favorite tricks.
Craft simple wreaths
I love making simple wreaths from flexible eucalyptus or olive leaf branches—one long branch is usually all you need. Use green florist wire or thinner steel wire to tie the wreath and slightly bend it into shape. Add a string or ribbon of your choice or simply hang it unadorned on a door or wall. Or make a pair and hang them in your windows using ribbons to suspend them.
Put it all on a hanger
Lacking in space? Decorate the horizontal part of a wire hanger with evergreen or eucalyptus greenery using steel wire for fastening. Then, hang a handful of your favorite ornaments or crystal pendants using ribbons to create a simple yet festive decoration with a fun twist. Pro tip: This is also a nice way to present your Christmas stockings, letting them dangle from a hanger with some ornaments.
Add wintry scents
Evergreens such as pine, fir, or spruce add a wintry, natural feeling while emitting a relaxing scent. Either make wreaths or simply put the branches as they are in vases using warm water and a pinch of sugar to make them last longer. A larger arrangement can even serve as a simple Christmas tree. Pro tip: If you have a garden or a veranda, try layering fir or spruce branches outside your door, creating a welcoming green doormat.
Curate the prettiest gifts
Wrapping presents can be fun and even meditative! Before I get started, I usually make some tea, light some candles, and put on my favorite music to put me in the right mood. Each year, I choose a theme and color scheme for my gifts. This year it's old-fashioned brown wrapping paper and natural hemp string decorated with cinnamon sticks, fir, pine, or some dried hortensia flowers. Other years, I go all in on silver or gold paper and matching silk ribbons. If you're on a budget, consider wrapping your gifts with the glossy pages of old fashion magazines or newspapers. When the presents are wrapped, I arrange them in a neat pile somewhere where I can enjoy looking at them.
Create a colorful display
I like to arrange some new and vintage glass trinkets of different shapes and colors in bowls on my dinner table or sideboard for a colorful, festive centerpiece. Pro tip: Don't have enough baubles to fill a bowl? Add crumpled tissue paper at the bottom and cover with the ornaments, placing the most beautiful ones on top.
Lights, lights, lights
Candles and light strands are essentials for the holidays, welcoming warmth and comfort to any space. Arrange candles and candle holders on fireproof trays for arrangements that are easily moved and safer to use. Just make sure not to put the candles too close to one another. Add a simple battery-driven LED light strand behind a wreath for some extra coziness. Hide the batteries behind the leaves or a ribbon bow.
Spice it up
Let the scent of wintry spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and clove fill your home. Display them in a beautiful bowl or tie them together with a simple string for a minimalist tree or wreath decoration.
Arrange fresh flowers
In Northern Europe, the typical holiday flowers are amaryllis, hyacinth, and ilex berries. I also use free-range roses, ranunculus, or anemones and mix them with fir and eucalyptus for a wintry look. When arranging your bouquet in a vase, first remove all or most of the leaves on the stems to let the flower speak for itself. Then, arrange three of the flowers or branches with stronger stems into a cross to support the weaker flowers. Finally, add leaves and single accent flowers. Make sure to save some space around each flower, as this looks more balanced and harmonious and gives every petal the attention it deserves.