By Libby Castro Special to Published Dec 23, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Happy Holidays!  Just wanted to share a few thoughts on our new home and our festive decorations.  

My husband and I were married in 2001 and we bought 100 white lanterns from a Chinatown bazaar in San Francisco. At the time, this was one of the most expensive purchases we'd made, so we vowed to use them as much as we could. And we do.

My sister made me birds when I had my first daughter. The birds were inspired by an Anthropology display we saw in Portland.  We use them now every holiday season.  Our tree contains (40) lanterns, 20 birds, a metal and glass star and (6) strings of lights

This is our first year in a new house with prime street presence and great windows, so it's an exciting one.  We don't buy a tree, we like to make our tree and spare a live one every year. Our reasoning is part environmental and part our minimalist nature. And, remember our vows?

Let me know what you think and tell me about unique holiday decorations that you see. I've heard a few viewpoints on the real tree vs. fake and I'd love to know what y'all think.

Warm holiday wishes and best of luck for a great new year.


Libby Castro Special to
Libby received her Masters of Architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah Georgia and spent one year in Florence Italy with Syracuse University. While in Florence she worked for and Italian architect/industrial designer. She lived in San Francisco for eight years immediately after college. There she worked for three architecture firms with projects ranging from the nuts and bolts of retail to retail branding to high end residential and custom commercial buildings. Libby returned to her native Wisconsin where she is the Architecture and Design Manager for Novation Architectural Products and a partner in LP/w Design Studios. To date, her most accomplished and important job is mom of two beautiful girls.