Our garden may be empty, but nature still has plenty to give during the holidays.

Bringing evergreen sprigs indoors creates a warm feeling even on the dreariest day. My family decorates with fake greenery because some of us are allergic to pine. But the effect is still the same.

The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of our celebration. My sons gravitate away from their usual homework desks to study in front of the tree this time of year. I find myself doing the same thing – opening mail and making lists in the living room where the tree is displayed instead of in my usual office.

The Advent wreath commands our attention each night as we read part of the story of Christmas, reflect on the season and end with a prayer. Our wreath is a circle of greenery sprinkled with red berries and four glittery gold stars. Stuck in the wreath are three purple and one pink candle.

More greenery surrounds the tapers of our light fixture over the dining room table, and a garland is draped over a railing upstairs.

But green is not the only color of nature in our home. A white poinsettia dons the hearth of our fireplace, and white pansies form a wreath around a second white poinsettia by the door on our front porch.

Red is another prominent color. My sister-in-law and her family sent us the Christmas wreath displayed on our front door. A spotlight highlights its ring of cranberries sprinkled with sparse leaves of holly.

People work hard during the holidays to create fancy displays. But it’s the simple beauty from nature that brings my family the most joy.




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