I love winter plants, evergreen swag, magnolia leaves and really obscure berries that are still hanging around. I think during the holidays we all get a little stressed with what 'should' be done and that even converts to how we decorate for the season. Living in a historic town, everyone decorates. Right before Thanksgiving the town goes around and does every light pole with greenery. The courthouse gets magnolia swags. The lights go on. Except that's pretty much the busiest time of year for us so as I'm sure our retired neighbors with nothing better to do than decorate and mow their grass are judging us I'm adding "RAID PARENTS' FOREST FOR PLANTS" to my to-do list. Hey, I got up my greenery the first few days of December so I'm pretty proud. But I never did get around to putting up the Christmas tree yet...
Anyway, regardless of if you are THAT HOUSE (the one with entire moveable scenes of bunnies skiing on your roof and lots of lights....oh wait. That was my husband's house growing up) or the house that loves lots of colors or maybe just a single wreath, let's try to celebrate and not stress. This week, send an email or a few texts and have a group over to do some low key foraging and wreath making. I think everyone knows someone with a yard, so get creative and pop a few bottles of Michelle sparkling wine. You don't need much to celebrate. Just someone to organize. Also, the wreaths turn out better after a glass or two. Trust me.
As for the food and beverages, this is again, the perfect time to try SO HARD not to stress out. The Michelle sparkling wine is a no brainer for this entire holiday season (buy a case...really). For food, it could be as simple as ordering in or having each guest order one thing from their favorite place to deliver to your home. Or, if you want to spend some time in the kitchen here are a few menu ideas from the blog!
Gather your Supplies
Two parts to this. First, figure out your wreath bases. I use a grapevine wreath from my grandparents' vineyard. There's definitely a sentimental element to it, but the other half is that grapevines just look so darn good. I've started to see wreath bases like this in normal stores too, so pick up a few that you can switch out the greenery on for multiple seasons. In fall my wreath gets some bittersweet berries. In spring I can add forsythia or pussywillow. It's a smart investment. But if you're having a hard time finding a base like this, go get some floral foam or even wire. You can make anything work. You just need a form. Part two is getting the 'decorations'. I spend an hour or two at my parents' house clipping from their woods. Anything that strikes me from nandinas to evergreens, boxwoods to rosemary. Grab lots of textures. You'll be surprised how different wreaths can look with the same supplies. Even if you don't have an outdoor spot to pick up supplies, stop by someplace like Home Depot or a local tree farm and ask if you can have their clippings from Christmas trees. Usually they're glad to get rid of them!
And don't forget to grab some bows and ribbons!
Set up the Wreath Space
Please don't feel like you have to have a gorgeous display to make this happen. Set up the goods on the floor, on multiple tables, or if it's nice and warm where you are, even outside! Stock the space with sparkling wine (get some Michelle brut rosé for sure!), scissors or garden clippers, floral wire and a few bins for rubbish. I think it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the project if you're not periodically clearing space.
Start the Project!
I think it's nice to have a few examples or even Pinterest open as guests start creating their wreaths. When I started mine (above) I started with kind of a minimalist laurel wreath feel. Eventually I went back in and made it more traditional wreath with a few evergreen sprigs and some red berries. In my mind I kind of have wreath styles separated into traditional evergreen, lopsided (central design on one quarter or one side) and minimalist (in my opinion probably the hardest to do).
Keep the bubbles coming!
I think having a 'project' to bring people together is fun and enticing. Sometimes people who get stressed easily or who are more introverted talk themselves out of going to a party because they feel like they have to perform. Physically DOING something can help mitigate that extra layer of stress!
Disclosure: Thank you to Michelle Sparkling Wine for partnering with us on this post!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.