We discovered simple ways to trim our apartment during our cash-poor college days. Friends offered pine boughs from their parents’ property. We sprayed the boughs with artificial snow and placed the bouquet in a vase on the coffee table. We circled it with silvery necklaces from my costume jewelry collection. On our dining table, we put red candle tapers in holders from my grandparents’ attic. As Christmas cards arrived, we taped each card to the door frame.
Nora, a student friend, pasted bright-colored fabric scraps on luminous paper and cut out the letters: MERRY CHRISTMAS. Friend Marla applied Elmer’s glue to bare branches and then sprinkled art-shop glitter on the branches. She put them in a vase and added a short string of lights.
Iron River, Michigan