There is nothing I love more than creating Christmas and other holiday arrangements and decorations. For myself and for friends and clients. I start as early as I possibly can, which means that within a few days of Thanksgiving, I’m on my way to the wholesalers, the retailers, the online shops…anywhere I can find inspiration for what will be my daily creations for the next four weeks. I’ve already spent several months thinking about the possibilities for the upcoming season and creating various prototypes of some of the more “standard” seasonal requests, but I still get excited about discovering new things that can enhance (or even totally change!!) my design vision. I’m not married to any of my ideas, despite the sketches and recipes and prototypes I’ve come up with from July through Thanksgiving. They guide my process, but they don’t govern it. So, while other people use this time after Thanksgiving for holiday shopping, I use it for scooping up gorgeous greens and identifying unexpected elements that I’d like to incorporate into my designs. And along the way, I always remember to savor each new discovery, to try new things (even if I hate them and tear them apart after completing them…it’s a process!!) and to enjoy this one time of the year when I’m just as happy working inside as I am working outside. I just LOVE all of the creative opportunities that this season offers!! And with that…
Today was my first day of “greens grabbing” (with great thanks and a tip of the hat to my wickedly funny mother, who coined the term “grocery grabbing” YEARS ago…she could go into any grocery store and find what she needed for us with her eyes closed and without wasting a single minute, hence the “grabbing” rather than the more leisurely “shopping.”) In any event, I chose today as my first day of “greens grabbing” because it just so happens to be my mother’s birthday. (Happy Birthday, Mom!! Xoxo)And since she and my grandmother passed down to me the fun and excitement involved in getting a house ready for Christmas, I thought it only fitting to start my favorite decorating season on her special day. In fact, when I called my mother to wish her a Happy Birthday this morning before hitting the road for my first round of greens, she had already made a batch of her famous Christmas cookie dough! And I called her just before 8am. I knew I had to accomplish some serious work today, lest my mother get too far ahead of me!
Rather than head to the New England Flower Exchange, I decided to go up to one of my local farms, Wilson Farm, in Lexington, MA. I truly do love that place—they have everything! I’ve always thought of them as being very reasonably priced (for seasonal items, especially), and today was no different. I found some great greens and was able to install the base of my window boxes with plenty of time left over to create a couple of wreaths, which I will share here and on my Instagram account (@betsygibsondesign) over the next several days. As far as finishing my boxes and urns and getting my front portico wreath created, I’ve got some ideas percolating. A different post for a different day…tomorrow, maybe? (Depends on how much I get done in the next 16 hours!!)