Make this Christmas a homey holiday

Posted On December 1, 2006

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“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…”

Okay, so maybe it’s a balmy 70 degrees outside, but that’s no reason to hold up your festive holiday Christmas decorating. Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to start pulling out the dusty Christmas boxes from the attic, if you haven’t already.

Of course, for the creatively-impaired, it can be hard to figure out how to effectively bring the holiday spirit into one’s home without breaking the bank. So, for those of us who need a push in the right direction, here’s some advice. Christmas decorating does not follow the same rules as interior decorating. It is only up for a short period of time, so be sure to have fun with it. Read on for tips on how to transform your space into a warm, cozy holiday showplace.

Start with your entrance way. If you have a traditional wreath, doctor it up with beads, balls, beaded garland, beaded spheres. Or keep it simple, and just add a new ribbon. If you like the look of today’s feather wreaths, consider taking on a holiday craft project. Take a trip to the craft store for a straw wreath, which usually runs under $2, purchase two boas in colors of your choice (usually around $3.99) and wrap. Cover the straw completely with the boas and pin the ends. Viola! An expensive look for less than $10! A bow is optional, but not necessary. They look great inside on French doors, hanging from windows and, even better, they look good from both sides.

Go green. My favorite idea is to go to local tree lots or gardening big box stores and ask for the discarded limbs from trees they have already trimmed for customers. I fill my car and I am off to decorate! I cut pieces of branches and arrange them so they come out from the tops of all my wall pictures and art work. I crisscross branches through my chandelier and add balls of different sizes and colors. I keep adding until I feel like it is over the top! Feel free to use any type of balls or ornaments, and come up with your own color scheme.

Leftover branches make a wonderful centerpiece with oversize pine cones that are sprayed with adhesive and rolled in glittered rock salt. If you aren’t into glitter, use greenery with color balls of your choice.

Poinsettias come in all prices and all sizes: peppermint pink and white, pink and red, whites and all shades of red. They are always great seasonal house accessories.

Inexpensive garland hung around the inside of your doorways will give you extra space to hang extra ornaments. A garland is a great place to add colored lights and to allow kids to hang all their special handmade ornaments and favorite toys and to showcase their decorating skills.

Reinvent the colors of Christmas. Whites, gold, silver, red and green are all wonderful Christmas colors. Gold, white and green make for a wonderfully elegant look, but don’t shy away from pink; there are wonderful pink-and-red ornaments this year. Bright cherry red and lime color schemes are everywhere and so easy to add to your collection. Lavender with brown, black harlequin or black striped balls look crisp with hot pink, reds, aqua, lavender. Different shapes and oversize acrylic balls cover up hollow spots in trees and blend with your ornaments but give your tree an updated unexpected look.

Inhale. Exhale. The smell of Christmas is warm, musky, clean, fresh. The flip side is cinnamon, Frasier fir, sycamore, red currant berries and gingerbread. Whatever you desire, there is a home fragrance for you. Home fragrances come in long burning candles that will last through the season as well as newly popular fragrance diffusers, which are glass bottles containing bamboo sticks that absorb the fragrance without burning candles. Prices vary, but the the more essential oil, the more expensive the diffuser. Large sizes last anywhere from 8 to 12 months.

Don’t be afraid to go to specialty shops for inspiration. They stay on the cutting edge of trends and can give you tons of ideas. I find it gets me excited about decorating when I see how massively these small stores decorate and how miniscule my space is in comparison.

Try something new every holiday year. I can’t promise you “no fuss decorating” but waking up your style will give you confidence and enjoyment for all your holiday entertaining!