With just a little over a week away until Christmas, it feels like magic is in the air! Lines at the post office are out the door and around the block. Neighbor's doorsteps are stacked high with Amazon packages. A once drab, familiar street now glows bright with thousands of tiny twinkle lights, and the She & Him holiday album is playing in pretty much every store you go in to.
This year, we learned that holiday decorating doesn't have to be expensive to be pretty. In fact, for our recent Yuletide Brunch, we did most of our decorating using office supplies, found and pre-owned objects, and a few key pieces from the Dollar Store (yeah, you heard me!) - and the end result was just as impactful as if we had spent hundreds at a high end store!
We wanted our decorating scheme to reflect the overall theme of the brunch - simplicity. We chose a few straightforward, handmade tasks to take on, and got crafty with how we used some inexpensive, festive storebought additions. For our color palette, we kept it bright: mostly white in the form of paper snowflakes, twinkle lights, and taper candles, with hints of the most classic holiday colors, green and red.
To begin, we started with a base layer of existing Christmas decorations: a tree decked out in white lights and a mish-mash of ornaments amassed over many years, a faux pine garland and knit stockings above the fireplace, and a set of white-and-silver snowflake pillows and a throw blanket from Target.
Next, we added the most time-intensive of our decorating endeavours: the paper snowflakes. For a few weeks before the party, we kept a stack of printer paper and a pair of scissors nearby so we could craft a snowflake or two whenever a free moment appeared. The first ones looked a lot like the ones you may remember making as a kid - skinny lines of not-quite-round holes intersecting each other with a scalloped edge and a lot of white space. But after some practice, the snowflakes became more and more intricate and interesting. They are actually a lot of fun to make, and can leave you feeling like a Picasso when unfolding each tiny masterpiece.
To attach the snowflakes to the windows, we employed some scotch tape and fishing line, and very simply strung them in rows of four. It would be even lovelier to make double the amount, and create more of a blanket of snowflakes, like this beautiful tutorial we saw. Goals for next time!
Finally, we added some inexpensive finishing touches. For napkins, we repurposed white and red placemats we picked up in the bargain section at Target. As a charming place setting, Johnna created little Christmas wreaths out of rosemary sprigs tied into a loop with twine.
To add a natural, rustic feel, we picked up some cut greenery and pinecones and laid them down the middle of the table. We had a mix of different types of pine, holly, and greens with red berries for a pop of color. To add a some height and a warm glow, we mix-and-matched candle holders from the dollar store and our local craft store, and arranged them throughout the greenery. The end result was a bright, festive, and welcoming space that was perfect for celebrating the season!
Also helpful for celebrating the season? A nice brunch cocktail. We wanted to go with something lively, fresh, and bright, with a holiday twist - a Cranberry Mimosa was the perfect solution!
This vibrant, fizzy tipple is layered with orange juice, real cranberry juice (not the sweetened "cocktail" stuff), and prosecco, and is garnished with sliced oranges, pomegranate seeds, and whole cranberries. How festive and beautiful is that? We especially loved how gorgeous it looked before we stirred it to combine - almost like a sunset!
For a little extra "something," we made some pretty snowflake ice cubes using a molded tray, and added pomegranate seeds and a touch of cranberry juice to the water before freezing. This kept our drinks cool and added a bit more visual interest in the wide champagne coupe glasses.
The measurements for this drink are flexible, so you can adjust it to your own taste. We used approximately 1 part orange juice, 1 part cranberry juice, and 2 parts prosecco. Garnish with as much fruit as you like, and stir gently before serving.
We hope these suggestions offer some inspiration for your next holiday event! We learned that even just a little bit of holiday cheer can go a long way, and you don't have to spend big bucks to bring a some holiday magic into your home. And, simple can be beautiful!
Happy Holidays, Brunchers! We wish you a wonderful holiday season, full of friends, family, and lots of delicious food!