This year, with the recent wildfires in Los Angeles robbing so many of their houses, we're especially thankful to have a home. Like many of you, we've found ourselves filled with the impulse to decorate it and invite others in to share our bounty. In this week's holiday giving edition, the Los Angeles Times Home & Garden section rounds-up alternatives to traditional wreaths and trees, as well as items with snowflake-inspired motifs that won't scream "Christmas in July" if you use them year round. For many people around the world, a home of their own is the greatest gift they can receive; a group of impoverished Mexican families are receiving that gift from Casita Linda, a group in the vein of Habitat for Humanity, whose motto "building hope, one house at a time," closely echoes the AT credo, "saving the world, one room at a time." So it's especially poignant to us that the peace symbol is having a revival, 50 years after its creation. Underscored by this weekend's events in Mumbai, the achievement of its message would be the greatest gift to us all. Links, pics and more, after the jump...
In Mexico, Casita Linda is building hope: Designed by architecture students at the Rhode Island School of Design and built using local materials and volunteer labour, impoverished families in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico are receiving the gift of new homes.
The Wreath Reinvented: The traditional symbol of welcome and hope is receiving new treatment at the hands of Los Angeles's top floral designers
The Scout: A round up of alternatives to the traditional tree, many from Urban Outfitters, a mecca for inexpensive and humourous home decor, are the focus of the Scout's eye this week.
The Iconic Holiday Snowflake: Literal and geometric interpretations of nature's playful and creative ways with ice finds its way onto pillows, blankets, throws and tchotckes.
The Gift of Peace: The peace symbol, designed by Gerald Holtom fifty years ago, casts its golden glow over home decor. Perhaps its timely revival is more than just nostalgia but a real call for change.
[images: Ann Summa; Ann Summa; Glenn Koenig for LA Times; Glenn Koenig for LA Times, Glenn Koenig for LA Times; Barneys New York, Beverly Hills]