Dec 17, 2008

Easy Ways to Add the Christmas Spirit to Your Home

Easy Ways to Add the Christmas Spirit to Your Home

If you're like most people, you don't have much time left at the end of a busy day to do anything extra. But at this time of year, you want to do something to make your home look festive and special and create the wonderful Christmas holiday atmosphere. You'll find some ideas here for quick and simple ways to add a festive look to your home without spending a lot of time or money. And you'll have time left over to really enjoy Christmas!
Most are our ideas are very easy, many are free, and none takes more than a minimum of time and effort.

1. Decorate Everything With Bows

Tie generous ribbons to chair backs, candlesticks, picks in plants, wreaths, garlands, basket handles, drapery tie-backs, stair railings, and doorknobs.
Bows look festive and the ribbons you choose should tie together with the rest of your decorating. Choose ribbons in colors and patterns that coordinate with your decorating scheme.
You don't have to stick with red and green. Choose plaids or florals that tie in. If you can't find anything that looks quite right, then choose metallic silver, gold, green, or red.
Choose a ribbon that you can untie and re-tie each year. This will save money in the long run, and you'll end up with a good collection.
When the holidays are over, untie the ribbons and press them lightly. The bows won't get crushed and the ribbons will be ready when you want to take them out the next year.
See instructions on how to make your own floral bows of all sizes using wire. By using wire to make your bows, you'll be able to attach them to many objects.
2. Use holiday tableware for every meal in December.

Look through your cupboards and get out any dishes that look festive.
Discount stores often carry seconds of name brand china, as well as fun designs that are not so common.
Start a set of holiday dishes with dinner plates that coordinate with your everyday dishes. Add new pieces each year, like salad plates and mugs. Note: Be sure the pattern you select will be continued from year to year.
Buy 1 or 2 place settings each year. Before long, you'll be able to serve a feast.
If you're adventuresome, choose a different pattern and one place setting each year. Arrange the different dishes around the table and get lots of comments and rekindle memories. When they're not in use, the dishes can be displayed around the room.

3. Turn off the lights.

Arrange lots of candles on the dining table and dine by candlelight, even if you're just having leftovers. Every meal will feel special.
Burn a fire in the fireplace each evening and encourage family members to gather around and read, do homework, write Christmas cards, or snooze.
Arrange pillar candles in your bathroom, on the sink or around the tub. Take time to soak and enjoy! If you have little children in your home, you should be very careful with candles around the house. Always have an adult in the room.

4. Hang holiday wreaths.

Put a wreath or swag on every door you have. Of course, start with the front door to welcome guests.
Go on to the back door, inside and out. Remember over the mantle, and in all your front windows. Don't forget bedroom doors, inside and out.
Use real pine, holly, or grapevine, decorated with bows, berries, fruit, pinecones, raffia, ornaments, birds, photos, or candy.
To keep wreaths year after year, buy artificial wreaths that will last. Remember, you'll need room to store them!

Easy Christmas Decorating


To save floor space, try a small table-top tree. Increase the visibility of ornaments, making it look spectacular from all angles. It will also be out of reach for small pets and toddlers.

Dress up the tree by wrapping the base in festive decorative fabrics. Choose from rich velvets, brocades or tapestry-style fabrics. Save money by using excess fabric from drapes, store samples and such. This is an economical way to add glamour to your tree skirt.

Instead of a pricier Frazier Fur tree, consider a Japanes spruce. It has small, strong and sturdy branches.

Use a variety of ornaments and personalize your tree, rather than sticking to one theme or trend. Let your tree "tell a story" and not look too "finished". Remember, ornaments can be attractive no matter what the price. Choose cheerful ornaments. This can be done fairly inexpensively.

Use different sizes of lights and types. Choose from miniature white rice lights to large old-fashioned colored bulbs. Variety is the spice of life. The more heavy European tinsel will hang straight and looks very clean.

For great alternatives to pine in your holiday wreaths and garlands, try bay and eucalyptus. Their fragrance is fresh and clean. They do not drop their leaves and last a long time.

You can get the bay or eucalyptus garlands by the length from your florist. Use them on banisters, doorways, mantles and around centerpieces. You can get boxwood, eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus and bay.

For those in a milder climate, consider red and white amaryllis as an alternative to holly. These plants grow tall and provide an elegant look. Do know that the flowers take about six weeks to bloom, but they last about 3 weeks. Place several together in a basket and cover the base with dried moss.

Gather your extra ornaments and place in a large glass bowl. Use this as a special decorative accent. Add more bay or eucalyptus around the base and place on a table runner for a special table display.
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