So after trying to figure out what kind of decorations I could make, I found a few solutions. I did indeed make some soft trees and I love them! I have a feeling I'll be making some more. I was really pleasantly surprised that I finished five in just two evenings. As much as I wanted to decorate for our little party last night, I was not in the mood to stress out about it. So these were the perfect solution. We put up twinkly lights too, and that always helps make things more festive. In fact, I'm loving them so much that I think we'll leave them up for a while! Abby suggested lots of candles, which I definitely did--little votives in various holders all over the house.
Another idea that my aunt gave me was to slice some fruit and put it in the oven at 175 overnight. She then puts the fruit pieces in a glass bowl or just displays them out on a table. I decided that I wanted a garland, so I strung them on some thin twine. I was thinking that we could maybe have put them in the food dehydrator instead of the oven, but that only occurred to me afterwards. I used an orange, a lemon, a lime, and an asian pear. The citrus slices didn't dry out all the way and I'm not sure if they're supposed to or not. Maybe I didn't slice them thin enough? I'm not sure, but I figured that the air is so dry here now that they'll dry out as they're hanging up.
Both of these decorations were easy and fun to make. Also, they're a little unusual and I got some odd, but approving comments from our guests. It's always fun to do something out of the ordinary and shake it up a little. Right now, I'm really excited about how clean our house is (one of the benefits of having company) and am hoping it will stay this way until Jared's parents come visit for Christmas. He left for California this morning and will be there until just before his parents come, so I have a feeling that the house should stay pretty much in order. Of course, if it doesn't, there will only be me to blame!