Doing the Holidays Naturally

Delaware is alive with plants that make great seasonal decorations. Local experts tell what they are and how you can use them to spruce up your home.

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The folks at Hagley Museum suggest using fresh greens to decorate your home. Seashells and other natural items can be used to dress things up.Wondering what to do with the pine cones and tree prunings from your yard? Before throwing them in the compost pile, consider turning them into seasonal decorations or holiday pieces for your home.

The holiday season is a great opportunity to show off your creative side and create projects that can be fun for the whole family. The experts at local craft stores, the Delaware Nature Society and Hagley Museum, which is well-known for its beautiful Christmas displays, have a few suggestions.

For the indoors, there’s more than the usual mistletoe. The people at Hagley suggest using fresh greens such as white pine or evergreen to decorate stairways and mantles. Other natural materials, such as seashells and dried fruits, can be used to supplement the greenery.

If you want to add scent to your holiday gifts, Candie Davis, a floral design specialist at Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store, suggests gluing cinnamon sticks and-or pine cones onto the packages. Avoid ribbons and bows by going all-natural with raffia.

Every year the Delaware Nature Society decorates a tree with all-natural ornaments. John Harrod, the society’s backyard habitat program coordinator, says gathering natural ornaments can be a fun craft for children. Ornaments can include items such as pine cones and seed pods. Renee Huber, a gardener at Hagley Museum, suggests using baby’s breath, along with lights, to spruce up the tree.

Of the many creative ways to decorate your dinner table during the winter, one simple but attractive centerpiece suggested by Julie Pederson, a floral design specialist at A.C. Moore, is to drape lights around pine cones arranged in a basket. Davis suggests dipping fresh grapes into egg white, then dusting them with sugar. When dry, they will look frosted. Place them in a decorative bowl to tempt your holiday visitors.

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