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Waste Not, Want Not

By Judy Wolfram


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Just as I promised last month, I am going to offer you some inexpensive Christmas decoration ideas. First thought, I want you to get a chair, a step stool or a small ladder. Whatever you need to stand on to dig out that glass bowl that’s way in the back of a cupboard or a closet on a top shelf. You know the one that I mean. It’s the one that somebody gave you for an anniversary or your wedding.

Wash the bowl, pop some popcorn (do not add salt or butter) and fill the bowl with the cooled popcorn. Put a red or green pillar candle in the center of the bowl. There. You have a pretty and inexpensive centerpiece. If you want to make it even prettier, just cut some small limbs off a pine tree and arrange them around the bowl. You can also add a string of white twinkle lights to the pine boughs.

Next, we’re going to the basement, cellar house, attic or garage looking for a sled. You know the one that the kids left years ago. Dust it off and wash it. Clean the runners off with sandpaper. Once the runners are rust-free, spray them with red rustoleum paint. Turn the sled upside down to let the runners dry. When they are dry, tie some pine boughs on the sled with a big red bow and stand the sled up by the front door. You can twine some lights around the sled and stand it up inside the house somewhere that needs a little brightening up. The idea for the sled I like best it to put it under the tree and pile presents on it.

Now we’re off to the dollar store to buy a plain white shower curtain. Buy some gold bells and red yarn or ribbon. After you hang the new shower curtain, thread the yarn or ribbon through the tops of the bells and have one on each of the shower curtain hooks. Make sure they hang down at least two feet or there abouts. You can stagger the lengths if you wish and you can also use small ornaments in place of the bells. Also, to perk up your bathroom, you can dig an old vase out of one of your cupboards and fill it with some of the pine boughs you have already cut. Just add an artificial poinsettia or two. Your bathroom will now look festive.

String tiny white lights around tabletop arrangements, across windowsills, or drape them across the tops of your windows. They brighten a room immediately.

In the kitchen, you can fill various assorted clean, clear jars with water colored red or green with food coloring and arrange them in small groups on your counter top or a shelf. String some small colored or white lights around them. If you don’t have a plug handy, place some greenery around them. Or use baskets in place of the jars and put greenery and lights around them. Wrap some small boxes like Christmas presents and put them in the baskets.

The dollar stores sell packages of red velvet bows. Buy the small ones and put them on your curtains or drapes. Find some old bushel baskets and fill them with pinecones, pine boughs and a few of the leftover red bows or an artificial poinsettia or two. Put them on your front porch.

Use your imagination and make indoor arrangements with pinecones, bird nests, fresh greens or twigs. You’ll be surprised what you can create. I hope I have helped you save money and decorate too.

Judy’s thought for the month: I just wish each and every one of our readers a very happy, healthy and holy holiday season.

(Judy Wolfram is chairman of Calhoun County Solid Waste Authority, which oversees Cabot Recycling. Cabot is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for recycling drop-offs. Those who would like to be paid for non-ferrous metals and aluminum cans need to visit Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.)

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