Put your home in a festive mood for the holidays

Published 5:15 pm Friday, November 11, 2016


Decorating for Thanksgiving is easy. It is all about Fall and celebrating the Harvest.

It is pumpkins, gourds, pinecones, colored leaves and wildlife creatures. You can include turkeys, of course, and even recognize the Pilgrim influence. These items can be displayed in arrangements for mantles, side buffets and centerpieces for the dining table. Pumpkin and spice candles add a nice aroma that blends with the menu. For the appetizer plate, make a turkey from a cheese ball, adding feathery cocktail toothpicks to form the tail. Candy corn can be used for the beak and eyes.

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Christmas, on the other hand, is your chance to go all out —inside and out. It is all about lighting. The soft glow of candles flickering in the room adds a welcoming, peaceful atmosphere. While outside, many go wild lighting up trees, bushes, doorways and Christmas displays with strings of colored or twinkling white lights.

Christmas décor can be the traditional red and green, sparkling silver and white. gold and white, or multicolored.  It can be formal or rustic.  A nature tree complete with woodland creatures (birds, squirrels, etc.) makes for an interesting departure from the ordinary.

Place candle arrangements in strategic places. For a centerpiece place large candles, with pinecones, dipped in glitter. Mix in with greenery and small ornaments. For stairways or mantles use roping interwoven with a string of battery operated twinkle lights. Small tealight candles add a nice touch when placed at each table place setting.

Wine glasses can be decorated with different colored ribbons tied at the base of the stem. You can add a small ornament to each. Besides looking festive, it helps people keep track of their glass.

For those of us who live in climates too warm to light the fireplace, place three or four large, graduated metal ornamental candleholders on the hearth to add a nice touch. Use of battery operated candles with a timer that comes on and goes off the same time daily eliminates the danger of fire if one accidentally gets knocked over.

If you will be having overnight guests during the holidays, don’t forget to add a decorative touch to your bathrooms, bedrooms and make sleeping quarters as comfortable as possible.  If space allows, place a comfortable chair and reading light in their room to allow for some quiet down time away from all the hustle and bustle.

Make like the fancy hotels. Save all your travel sized soaps, shampoos, etc. from your stays in hotels and arrange them in a nice basket for your guests to use.

Whether you decorate large or small, remember to keep all decorations safe from fire. Keep live trees in water and check out all strings of lights for shorts or exposed wiring. Battery operated candles are safer than real ones, but if you must use real ones, never leave them or the tree burning unsupervised.