Hey! Hope everyone is having a great holiday!
Despite my having lived away from home on numerous occasions over many years I have always made it home for Christmas. ALWAYS!
Not this year… this year I was away from my home and my family, friends, pets and all things familiar. I didn’t think it would be so bad to be honest. I’ve missed New Years and birthdays a bunch of times. I figured I had it covered. I mean I’m a fully grown adult with a job and responsibilities. Also I’ve made some good friends since I moved so it isn’t as if I would be completely alone. I decided that I’d decorate my apartment, buy some ingredients for a nice Christmas dinner and share with my friends.
Well,that was the plan. Approximately 3 weeks or so before Christmas my entire mood plummeted. I don’t know why specifically. Perhaps it was being away from home that finally got me or maybe I’d had a particularly stressful week at work or a combination. Whatever it was I felt down and decided to cancel Christmas this year. If I couldn’t have it the way I liked I didn’t want it at all! (I know, really mature right?)
I stayed in this foul mood for days and I swear my spirit slowly began to die until one morning about 9 days before Christmas I decided if I didn’t do at least SOMETHING “Christmassey” I really might just melt into a pool of despair.
I set out that day with one goal. Bring home Christmas! I may have mentioned in my Halloween post that my new place of abode is not only limited in its variety but what there is can tend to be mighty pricey. This does not bode well for someone on a budget but I accepted the challenge.
I made my way into the town square area and to the store with the most bargins. It’s a dollar store in concept in terms of the quality and variety of things it sells but nothing in there costs $1. Try $1.99 and up, most of it being up. That said they still have some of the best prices in all the seven kimgdoms! (Sorry I just started reading Game of Thrones)
Like any good party or wedding, holiday decor needs a theme. Whether literal or abstract it gives a basis, an idea of what direction you’re going. My theme was:
Way back when I thought I’d be home for the holidays and was filled with hope and excitement I decided I wanted to try a Candyland Christmas theme. I even started a pinterest board about it.
For anyone who knows me well, it’s no secret that for a few years I have yearned for a pink Christmas tree. Now our family always gets a real tree but we also usually have 2 or 3 other trees, one in the verandah, a small one in the kitchen and more if we feel it necessary.
This year I felt inspired to take it further. I love the idea of a pink tree. I imagine it to be cotton candy. Candy! What if everything on the tree was a candy ornament or a candy colored ornament!
I immediately knew the colours I wanted: pink, purple, blue and green. My accent colour would be silver.
I pinned pictures of some beautiful and creative stuff : donut ornements made of salt clay,pastel globe ornaments wrapped to look like sweeties, old outdoor bulbs covered in candy coloured glitter. I was excited!
But alas, here I was with limited time, options and money. This was going to be hard.
I decided I would stick with my concept for candy inspired choosing round, unbreakable(the only type they had) ornaments in my original colour scheme of blue,pink,purple,green and silver. To me these colours were the most candy like. I went for variety and got 2 packs of small ornaments(purple and blue) and the other 3 colours larger balls. These were the types that came with multiple finishes in the same package so 2 were shiny, 2 were frosted and 2 were glittered.
What tree? By the time I decided Christmas was back on all the real trees and most of the artificial ones were sold out. Also it would be too expensive.
I bought a string of artificial 9 foot garland and an artificial wreath.
One string of plain white lights were all I could manage at the prices this store had.
I also ponied up for a roll of green ribbon, a large shiny pink bow and of course hooks.
I spent some time placing things here and there to figure out what order to place things in. I recommend this. When you make your final decision then start attaching.
I used the hooks to attach the balls by their tops onto the wreath and garland.
I laid out the garland on the floor and switched decorations back and forth until I got the design I wanted.
I used the ribbon to wrap around the wreath and I used the extra for a small bow to accent the garland.
I pinned the garland around the breakfast bar area and the wreath just adjacent
I draped the lights around my small 11th floor balcony.
And there it is. Christmas decor on a time and money budget.
The title for this post was inspired by that old Dolly Parton song “Hard Candy Christmas” on the Christmas album she did with Kenny Rogers all those years ago. I thought of this song because I chose candy as my theme and I’ve met some really nice people in the past few months and that’s all very sweet. However I am away from home for the holidays and having some challenges becoming settled and that’s hard.
That being said, I am thankful for all that I do have and all I managed to accomplish this year: I purchased (and sold) my first vehicle, I did an important exam, I was able to truly eliminate a very negative influence in my life and of course I met my awesome kitten (who I miss) Cali! 2014 was definitely better than 2013!
So enjoy the rest of the season and have an awesome 2015!
Cali (the kitten)