Go back to nature this Christmas

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Nature is in style this Christmas. Goofy ornaments, especially moose are really in and Star Wars figures are causing an intergalactic stir in Christmas décor. Surprisingly, this year, good old-fashioned red and green has taken a step back.

When it comes to goofy and for that matter nature, it’s hard to beat the huge tan-coloured inflatable outhouse carried by Canadian Tire this year. As you stare at the little structure, a plastic door opens and out pops Santa Claus. The lawn ornament attracts crowds of dads and small children, who stand in the store’s aisle and watch Santa go about his business.

“The kids’ favourite is that outhouse. You see them standing there for the longest time watching,” said Canadian Tire’s seasonal manager Tammy Morin.

Angels are less obvious as tree toppers and ornaments but one tradition remains, and that’s teddy bears. Teddy bears are everywhere.

“People get the teddy bears out especially for Christmas. They like stuffed bears, musical bears and sets of bears that look like Santa and Mrs. Claus,” said Fred Holowach, co-owner of Bears and Wishes.

Holowach explained that teddy bears are popular with every age group.

“People think teddy bears are for children but that’s not so. Some of our bears are most popular with seniors and they want a new bear every year,” he said.

Whimsical toy-like figures are classic decorating items that make everyone smile. Stockings this year might be shaped like foxes and on the mantel beside them, you might see a feathery partridge family, or perhaps a moose with a silly grin on its face.

“People always like to bring nature indoors at Christmas, but that’s especially true this year,” said Seasons Gift Shop owner Heather Wolsey, pointing to ornaments made from birch bark, from twigs and from galvanized metal.

“Colour tones are muted this year because they are the tones of nature. You might not see so much sparkle and instead you will see greens that are on the greyish tone and the same with the red ornaments that may have a bit of brown in them or grey,” Wolsey said.

These softer, more natural tones go well with another popular ornament material, rose gold.

“Rose-gold ornaments that look like copper but are not copper go well with the muted greens and with cream-coloured ornaments,” Wolsey said.

If you want a more traditional décor that really takes you back to nature, Hole’s Greenhouses and Gardens sells Norfolk Island pine trees. The trees could grow to three metres in height but may be kept in a small pot to restrict their growth. Whatever their size, their soft feathery branches are bright green and they will happily live for a very long time.

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About Author

Susan Jones has been a freelance writer for the St. Albert Gazette since 2009, following a 20-year career at the St. Albert Gazette. Susan writes about homes, gardens, community events and people.