Happy Herbivore Blog

Minimalist Monday: Eco-Friendly (Minimalist!) Holiday Decorating (17+ ideas!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Holiday

Growing up, my family was always been big on decorating. We were never to the level of Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but we most certainly decked the halls (and the tree, and the fireplace, and the stairs, and every open surface lol).

Even though I've long left the nest, Mama Herbivore still goes all out. Even the bathrooms get a total makeover. (Holiday decorating is something she really enjoys).

Of course, she's built up to the beautiful Winter Wonderland that appears in December, or the Bunny Village that crops up at Easter. Year after year she's picked up one or two on sale items to add to her beautiful collection.

When I was out on my own, and living in my first apartment, I longed for, and missed, my happy holiday childhood home.

I didn't have any decorations, or the money to buy them. My mom offered to send some up to me, and she did (many from her own collection), but my home just lacked that sparkle.

Basically, my apartment went from an apartment with no decorations to an apartment with a token snowman figurine on the coffee table.


Of course my inner minimalist is screaming.

I know. I know. A barrage of holiday decor should not be necessary for me to "get in the spirit" and I should be able to appreciate those holidays for what they're really about (family, love, being thankful, and faith if you're religious) without "stuff."

But I'm failing. I'm really failing.

I also can't shake a tradition I just love: decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving.

SO I started looking for my workarounds. How could I have the Holiday decor without buying stuff? How could I make my home festive while honoring my minimalism?

The answer was so simple: Get natural. Use nature! USE PLANTS!


Pumpkins, cranberries, citrus fruits, nuts, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, pine.... these items are simply beautiful, seasonal, eco-friendly, and there's nothing more minimalist that decorating your home from what you find (literally) in your own backyard.


I mean, just look at this beautiful centerpiece: Most of us already have candle's on hand, and the rest comes for our environment:


Or this one with squash, leaves, crab apples, and acorns:


Even leaves by themselves are lovely:


Or squashes you can eat later:


Oranges and cloves have always been one of my go-to decorations, even before I was a minimalist! (Kids love to make them and they smell like heaven!)


or pears!


Pumpkins also make a great candle holder!


Popcorn and string still makes a great garland, but nuts, and cranberries do too!


LOVE!!! this idea for re purposing old light bulbs that have burnt out!


or painted pine cones!


Get a little crafty! One of my favorite decorations, that my Mom won't part with, is a star I made with Popsicle sticks, glue, and green glitter in the first grade.

and how is THIS for recycling!

Remember in my previous post, MM: What to Do With Sentimental Items, I talked about how I re purposed Scott's college T-shirt collection into a quilt? Well you can also warm hearts with old sweaters (or other fabric scraps!)



Candy canes are also a safe (easy) bet.


and why NOT play with your food ;) I love this squash duck!


You can also repurpose your Mason jars, vases, and coffee mugs!


Finally, here are some practical tips from a blog reader (they were left as a comment on a previous MM post):

1) use window markers - draw pumpkins, snow flakes, etc then wash off.

2) focus on decor you can use - (real pumpkins for fall then cook and eat)

3) decor that you can toss - cranberries or popcorn strings, pine cones or paper snowflakes for tree

4) wrap ordinary items (coffee tables, etc) around Christmas to add holiday flare

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