Christmas Front Porch and Urn Planter and The First Snowfall at the French Farmhouse

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This year, for the first time in over ten years, I decorated my front porch entry with live greens.  I hung live balsam wreath on the door, added some mixed green garland around the entry and then filled the urn planter outside of my front door with an assortment of natural materials (both real and artificial).

I have no idea why it has been so long since I've used the real thing.  I guess that at some point I decided that having an artificial Christmas tree in the center of the urn with a faux wreath with white lights on the front door was a good thing to do and I never changed....until now.

A friend of mine gifted me some birch logs and I had some pine cones on hand.  I purchased bunches of mixed evergreens,frosted branches with rice lights, silk holly and the grapevine balls at at my favorite local garden center, Wannemakers. They're a family owned business that's now just a couple of blocks away. I worked there for a few years and besides having great stuff, they treat me like family.

I love the different textures and the smell  of the evergreens on those rare days when the sun shines and the temperature is above freezing.

Believe it or not, there were actually a few days right after I made the arrangement when daytime temperatures were near 50 and I was worried that these greens wouldn't last until Christmas.

But then, Mother Nature came to the rescue (or something like that). Temperatures dropped below zero then warmed up to freezing and we got a few inches of snow.

 This is the exterior of the French farm house as it looked on Tuesday night in all of its "red brick and vinyl sided" glory...with vintage plastic Santa's...and the snow still falling. There's more snow on the way today, so my live greens are going to do just fine for the next two weeks.

      My desire to go out in the bitter cold to fight the crowds at the mall and do some Christmas shopping?                                                                                                                                                ....notsomuch.

I think that having a live wreath on the front door and fresh mixed evergreen boughs in my urn planter are a wonderful way to welcome family and friends who brave the cold to come and visit during the Christmas holidays or, for that matter, any time until mid-March when things finally thaw out enough to remove them.

Of course, I also think that having a "Christmas tree lot" on the basketball court beside the garage is fun.

I'm still waiting to find out if the nice family next door shares my enthusiasm.

Two weeks until Christmas...oh my gosh, I've got a lot to do!