10-Minute, No-Cost Holiday Centerpiece

About a week ago, I mildly offended my mother by telling her that I hadn’t really decorated much for the holidays. She actually said “that isn’t how you were brought up.” I think it was the first time I’ve gotten the “I raised you better” line, which tells you both what a law-abiding citizen I’ve been these 29 years and how much my mother really, really cares about holiday decorating.

I care about holiday decorating, too, I guess, but caring about it also conflicts with my other interests in extreme procrastination and avoidance of retail environments between the months of November and January. This is not to mention that costs can add up quickly, considering how easy it is to go shopping for a thing of garland and end up with a life-sized lighted rooftop Santa complete with moving parts and theme music.

So, this project represents my attempt to care about holiday decorating without really doing anything. It took very little time and cost nothing, because I only used things I could find in and around my house.

Here’s what I used:

Holiday centerpiece using tree branches
Holiday centerpiece using Christmas balls  Purple, silver, and gold Christmas balls

  1. Tree branches. I’m married to a dedicated tree trimmer, so I had to snag these from the yard next door. Some might call this stealing; I call it “helping with yard clean-up” and “generally being an awesome neighbor.”
  2. Spray paint. I had gold and silver in the house. Very convenient.
  3. Christmas balls. Use your left-overs! Smaller sizes work the best.
  4. A vase. The one I used got elected by being empty on my coffee table.

I spray-painted the branches in a pretty haphazard way. They don’t have to be covered perfectly or evenly; I kind of like some of the branch showing through.
Spray painted tree brances -- gold and silver tree branches

To assemble, you only have to put your items together. If you have different sized Christmas ornaments, it helps to put the larger ones at the bottom and let the smaller ones fill in.

Christmas balls in a glass vase

This probably won’t be a centerpiece that gets me featured on the cover of Martha Stewart Living, but for little time, no money, and to show my mother she raised a decent human being after all, it will suffice for my holiday. Maybe I’ll try a little harder next year.

Fast, free holiday centerpiece


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