Quick and easy ways to create Christmas cheer

Posted On December 17, 2006

Filed under Decoration Ideas
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Holiday decorating would be a snap if only we all had some combination of the following >
> Infinite free time
> The skills of a floral designer
> A couple of crates of family heirloom ornaments
> The budget and staff to help

Most of us are lacking some or all of the above. But that’s still no excuse for a home whose only nod to the Christmas Season, decor-wise, is one of those inflatables on the lawn. Adding a few festive touches can be simple and easy. Holiday decorating should not be a big, overwhelming chore, and simple doesn’t mean you can’t have a rich, elegant look.

Provided you make use of these tips >

* Gather clear glass vases, pitchers and hurricanes of different sizes and fill them with assorted round ornaments. Arrange them on a dining table, a mantel or windowsill.

* Set pillar candles inside small wreaths, real or fake, and use them as centerpieces or on a mantel.

* Dress up a grouping of framed pictures on a wall by tying small sprigs of greenery with narrow red ribbon and attaching them to the frames.

* Decorate a window with ornaments hung on ribbons.

* Pile candy canes into a clear glass vase or a silver bowl and add some sprigs of greenery.

* Make a “candlescape” using five holiday-hued pillar candles, all the same color, but in different sizes. Arrange on a platter or cake plate with sprigs of holly or other greenery. Or arrange white taper candles in holders of different height for a dramatic look.

* Instead of buying or making a wreath, dress up your front door by filling a small but deep basket with different types of greenery, pinecones and berries. Attach a wide piece of ribbon to the basket and secure it to the top of the door.

* Lack a Christmas tablecloth? Make a runner out of three pieces of wide ribbon spaced 3 inches apart. Anchor by placing candles on top.

* If you want to go on record this Christmas Season giving people permission to light those candles, then go to people’s houses, you will notice they have all these candles and none of them are lit. Yet candlelight creates such a beautiful ambience.

* Follow the advice of your Home Safety Council, though, which points out that home fires caused by candles peak during the holiday season. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets, and away from draperies, and never leave burning candles unattended, even for a short time.

* Finally, don’t forget to use your backyard as a decorating resource. Cut tall branches, both bare and evergreen, to arrange in a vase you can tie with a ribbon.

* Use a section of bare branch to make a “twig tree” decorated with miniature ornaments.

* Or gather pinecones or sprigs of holly to enhance your store-bought wreaths and garland.