Our do-it-yourself outdoor Christmas decoration began as a way to recycle things that our college age children had left at home. With three teenagers away at college, you can imagine all of the items that I had been stuck with. The do-it-yourself projects began as a way for me to actually use some of the items they had “forgotten” for years. As a seasoned parent, I knew that some things could not be donated to the Goodwill store, for fear they would be a treasured part of their childhood and want back some day. Yet, it was very tempting to give the twelve foot poster of Boys2Men away.

Each of our three daughters had left their exercise balls in their rooms. They are the three foot high air filled balls, that they were going to die if they didn’t have. I am pretty sure, two have never been used. Covering each ball in paper mache, spray painting them white, and hot glue them together became the first step in our nine foot tall snowman. A top hat from the magic faze in 1994, with a matching scarf and mitten set from the Hello Kitty era, glued on red covered rock buttons from the 90’s, and our snowman was dressed. His face was made of various felt scraps found in the scrapbook box. Yes, the same scrapbook box that they just had to have, and I have yet to see a single scrapbook page. Our snowman sits under the four oak trees in our front yard. He looks welcoming and festive.

Our next project came from the thirty four pairs of drum sticks that we found in a closet. How did she ever get on the honor roll, if she went to that many concerts in high school? Okay, she played the drums, but does she really need that many? Phil Collins probably doesn’t have that many sets. Taking the drumsticks and spray painting them green was the first step to the recycling project. Hot gluing three together in the center to make a snowflake design was the largest use of hot glue I have ever seen. Each drumstick snowflake was then wrapped in small white twinkle outdoor Christmas lights.

The snowflakes are suspended from our four oak trees by fishing line we had in the garage. My mate went deep sea fishing once in the 80’s, and we still have the line. No, I don’t know why we still have it. Nor, do I know why we still have napkins from our wedding stored in a box. The extension cords are all black, and not seen at night, that are attached to each snowflake. The eleven twinkling snowflakes have such a beautiful effect in the trees, falling down on our snowman, that we ended up making twenty more out of dowel rods.

This year we added five dancing children around the snowman. Holding hands with their faces towards the snowman makes for a winter wonderland atmosphere. The children are just stuffed clothing left by the girls. Unless high waist jeans make a comeback, I am safe on this one. Sweatshirts with Mickey Mouse, Dance troupe member 1995, Aspen 1997, Where’s the beef?, and the Backstreet boys keep our outdoor children warm. Matching gloves, hats, scarves hide their lack of facial features. Shoes that the girls have not worn in a decade, make the playing children complete. Dowels rods have been used to secure them in the ground. It doesn’t sound politically correct, but I stapled their gloves to each other so the appear to be hand in hand as they dance around the snowman.

The candle collection of one our children, has been used to light the luminaries that line our driveway for Christmas. When ask if she wanted the candle collection for her apartment, she laughed and ask if they had me on medication. I took that to mean, I was free to use them as I saw fit. So, each evening during the twelve days of Christmas I place rainbows, frogs, and cheerleader candles into the paper sacks that line our drive.

Do it yourself outdoor Christmas decorations can be a useful way to recycle and a wonderful way to use your own unique flair. If anyone has a suggestion on how to decorate for Valentine’s day with 217 sports trophies, please let me know. Merry Christmas.