Decorating for the Holidays


Fill your home with the holiday spirit by relying on your own creativity and ingenuity.

By FamilyTime

 

Before you haul out the same, somewhat tired ornaments and decorations this year, think about sprucing them up with some new ideas.

Bring the Outdoors Inside
A few large vases and jugs of fresh greens cut from your own backyard or purchased at garden shops immediately transform your living and family rooms.

Gather good-looking twigs, branches with some leaves still attached, and pinecones. Spray paint them gold, silver, or white and arrange them among the greens. Give them a light spray or a full coating of paint. While the paint dries, dust them with glitter to make them sparkle!

If you've had the foresight to dry bunches of summer's hydrangeas, spray paint them gold or silver. These make dramatic and festive decorations.

Grapevine and similar wreaths are lovely indoors. Intertwine them with red bittersweet or holly berries. Hang them above mantelpieces, in windows, or lay them on tabletops surrounding fat, festive candles.

Tie wreaths and greens with wide, iridescent gold or silver ribbons, green or red velveteen ribbons, or red, white, and blue ribbons.

Illuminate the Holiday
Inexpensive electric or battery-operated candles set in every window are very pretty when viewed from outside. This is true of simple strands of white or colorful Christmas lights on outdoor bushes and doorways.

Bring these lights indoors. String strands up stairways, along bookcases, or over doorways. Don't go overboard but choose areas of the house to illuminate that will make a statement.

Craft and department stores sell artificial evergreen garlands. These work beautifully paired with twinkling lights and wound up stair rails and along mantelpieces.

Candles are another lovely way to create a holiday mood. Arrange them in various sized candleholders. Look for candles of different height and thickness, color and shape. Set them on mantle pieces, library tables, buffets, and dining tables.

Give tabletop centerpieces a warm glow with floating candles. Fill a round, clear crystal or glass bowl or cylinder vase three-quarters full with water. Add endough cranberries to the bowl to cover the surface. Place floating candles amid the cranberries and light them. For more color, add kumquats or sprigs of holly with berries.

Fruit and Nuts
Take a fresh look at your bowls and other containers.

Wooden or pottery bowls are attractive filled with whole nuts and fruit. Buy giant cinnamon sticks at craft stores, tie them with red ribbon and arrange them among the fruit and nuts.

Bright red pomegranates are wonderful decorative fruit. They keep their scarlet color as they dry and shrink, and so last all through the season.

A pretty bowl filled with clementines or oranges makes an aromatic centerpiece.

Fill a cut-glass bowl with gold and silver, red or green glass Christmas balls. This year, you might want to fill bowls with shiny red, white, and blue balls.

Silk flowers and papier maché fruits are lifelike and durable. Buy some to use with your holiday arrangements.

Practical Considerations
As you decorate, be practical and think of safety.

Don't put dried leaves and twigs near candles you plan to light. Make sure garlands do not hang off the mantle near the fire in the fireplace. Keep candles away from low tables and other places children might be.

Plan to string lights and set up electric candles near outlets. A wild web of extension cords is never a good idea.

Fill the house with the colors, lights, and aromas of the holidays so that you can welcome family and friends to enjoy this precious time. In the end, it's our loved ones who decorate the house better than anything!