The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 10, 2013

Cooperative Extension presents ways to deck the halls, doors

By Shannon Beamon, Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — It may be time to deck the halls with boughs of holly, but the folks at the NC Extension Office said that does not mean one you should forget about the front door.

The office recently helped jump-start the Christmas decorating season with wreath making and lighted decoration workshops.

“The wreath I’ve got on the front door needs to retire,” said Kayla Shomaker as she selected a sparkling white ribbon to work with.

“I’ve had it about 20 years. It’s time for something new.”

All of those at the wreath-making workshop said they were planning to hang the wreaths to decorate their entrance way.

“I’m still working on getting all of my decorations up,” said Cathy Ridenhour, who helps her mom decorate her home as well.

“This’ll be going on the door,” she said.    

While it can sometimes be hard to get all of those Christmas decorations out or to put the effort into making new ones, the folks who showed up for the workshops were happy that they did.

“I think there are a lot of people who think [the workshops] are a good idea and say they want to do it, but when the time actually comes they decide they don’t have time. They’re really missing out,” Shomaker said.

Unlike store bought wreaths, those at the workshops could pick and choose  the colors and accents that best suited they’re needs.

Instructor Courtney Swain brought in a wide selection of ribbons, in different sizes, colors and patterns, everything from burlap to sequined chevron.

“I wanted something I could use all winter,” Shomaker said.

Her wreath was done all in blue and white.

“Looks like snow and ice, doesn’t it?” she said.

Lisa Forrest played around with the burlap.

“I put burlap on the tree this year ... used twigs to make a star for the topper ... this could go along with that,” she said.

Swain showed how to bunch the ribbon and tie it down to the frame with twisty ties.

“You’ll probably need to do a second round so you can’t see through it,” she said.

While it did take a couple hours out of their Christmas schedules to get the hang of bunching ribbon and arranging it just right, it only added to the Christmas spirit.

“We have a lot of fun,” Shomaker said.

As they finished up their wreaths they swapped Christmas stories and shared holiday traditions.

“We always had a Reese’s Cup and a pepperment pattie for breakfast,” Shomaker said.

“My mom always gave us an actual shoebox full of fruit and nuts ... that was a big thing back in her day,” Ridenhour said.

“I met a lady this week whose favorite Christmas memory was stringing popcorn to hang on the Christmas tree,” Swain said.

“I guess decorating for Christmas is something we always have time for.”

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at shannon@stanlynews