As a kid, my hands-down favorite part of the holidays, aside from opening presents and sitting down to watch “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on TV, was the day that my mom resurrected the boxes of holiday decorations from storage and let me help deck the halls — mostly the living room — usually to the soundtrack of that super-cheesy Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Christmas album. 


Honestly, I was so into Christmas decorating back then that if I had had my druthers, I would have fully decorated a tree and festooned my house with lights by mid-November. Given that I also prematurely ingested 90 percent of my chocolate Advent calendar well before Dec. 25, patience wasn’t my strong suit in the days leading up to Christmas.


My own family’s somewhat massive collection of holiday décorations and Christmas tree ornaments were an eclectic mix of items made by my brother and I (along with some rather experimental macramé and clothespin trinkets crafted by my mom in the ‘70s) and store-bought items, many heirloom, that were no less special than the hand-crafted ones.


That said, the greenest holiday decorations are generally the handmade ones (bonus points for using recycled/reclaimed materials) but not everyone is as talented with a glue gun, felt, and sewing scissors as my mom was during the 1970s. For those of you looking to supplement your holiday décor collection with items that someone else made, below are a handful of beautiful eco-embellishments for the home ranging from Martha Stewart-branded, energy-efficient lights to a fair trade, papier mache donkey from a collective of artisans in Nepal. 


Lighted Branches @ VivaTerra ($55)


















Recycled Sail Holiday Stocking - Red Star @Supermarket ($46)














David Stark Twig Topiary @ West Elm ($39)














Recycled Cardboard Snowflake Leaf @ Green Depot ($29.95)













Hedgehog Ornament @ terrain ($8)















Martha Stewart Living 50-Light LED Snowflake Light Set Warm (white) @ Home Depot ($12.98)













Gift-Bearing Yak Ornament @ World of Good ($10)














Mistletoe Candle @ terrain ($25)















Beeswax Hanukkah Tapers @ Green Depot($22.95/box of 45)














Handmade Felt Wreath (Green) @ Branch ($98)















Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Decking the halls MNN style: 2010 edition
Is it time to haul that giant box marked 'holiday decorations' down from the attic? If you're looking to add to your existing arsenal of ornaments this year, ch