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In the summertime, we had them over flowing with flowers; in the fall, we showed you how we love to use them to stack pumpkins and gourds galore. But wintery Christmas brings a special time for our empty flower urns. Some of our empty flower containers are put away for the winter, but the rugged and durable ones remain outdoors. They give us the perfect location to greet guests with an extra Christmas welcome.

When decorating outside, we tend to use items that are more “unkempt” than those we prefer indoors. Take advantage of as much of the surrounding nature as possible. Start with the fresh greenery right outside your door! What is the fun in buying everything when you possess such perfect items right in your backyard?

This season, we will show you a few simple ideas to spruce up your outdoor vessels and give them a welcoming glow!

Simple cast-concrete urnStart with a simple cast-concrete urn with classic lines. Perched right by the front door of this client, it is the first impression of the home for all who enter. We’ll admit, after all the indoor decorating and the prospect of holiday baking yet to come, spending hours decorating the outdoors may not be high on many peoples’ list. So we tend to keep the outdoor decorating simple! To create a Christmas feel, it only takes a selection of fresh greens and the warm glow of a candle.

As we instruct with every centerpiece, start with the edges of the vessel. Construct a simple evergreen wreath, layering it around the perimeter of the urn. This gives a solid base for any creation. And if you are like most (chilly) outdoor decorators, you want something quick and simple. Filling an urn with greens is all that you would need to do. If readily available, clip a few boxwood greens as an accent. To add a dramatic center for the display, make use of an unused glass vase (or anything similar). Search through your extra items for anything that is not currently being used. Perhaps you have a spare galvanized item or, like us, an unemployed vase.

Expert Tip: Make sure you do not mind the item braving the outdoor elements. Additionally, make sure that the piece will survive the winter without suffering any detrimental effects.

Ornament and candle in vaseA vase is the perfect vessel to house a candle. Place the candle in the center of your display. Around the candle, place extra Christmas ornaments you are not using indoors. You do not need to buy extra décor simply to add a touch of Christmas cheer outside. After setting the vase on the urn, the display is complete.

We at The Gray Boxwood have finally made the transition to flameless candles. We prefer the look and feel of candles outdoors, but the wind never seems to cooperate with our décor (imagine that!). Anymore, flameless candles are so well made that they fool the skeptics and keep their flame in the strongest of wind.

This centerpiece is quite multifaceted: it can easily be employed by both rustic and elegant Christmas decorators just by switching a few of the elements. Choose whichever fits your décor aesthetic and get to work! (But don’t forget your hat and gloves!)

Use what nature has given you and search your house for extras that you do not have a use for during the winter season. We are always amazed how people seem surprised we decorate outdoors! These extra touches are never difficult and utterly impress visitors. They also add such warmth and creativity to a home. Seasonal displays express who we are; we hope you find inspiration in the Christmas season with a little help from us!

-Enjoy the warmth of the season!