Deck the Halls for the Holidays


(Family Features) Greet your guests with a warm, festive house this holiday season. Your decorations can be as simple as a cluster of scented candles or as inexpensive as filling a brass bowl with pinecones you collected with your kids.

Either way, you can envelope your guests with a festive holiday spirit and the warmth and comfort of the season with these decorating ideas to make your home truly magical:

  • String ribbon along the mantel then use clothespins to display holiday cards. If you’ve kept your family cards from past years, display them in chronological order and use a gold metallic pen to mark the year on each card.
  • Fill the room with a festive holiday fragrance. Tie bundles of cinnamon sticks with a long, red ribbon and hang from the tree, wreathes or garland. Use essential oils to add extra scent.
  • Pine garland can look beautiful draped down a banister, but the needles can ruin a painted or stained finish. Instead, wrap it in a wide ribbon. Use thinner ribbon of the same color to hang your favorite ornaments at varying heights as a way to show them off instead of having them hidden among the mass of baubles adoring your tree.
  • Decorating your bathroom before a gathering is a must. Set out seasonal hand towels, tie a ribbon around each one then tuck in a sprig of holly. Small spaces don’t require more than a few small decorations.
  • Festive throw pillows can add pops of holiday cheer to nearly any room. Pick a few within the same color family then accent with plain pillows in complementary hues.
  • Window boxes or outdoor urns are perfect places to add holiday cheer to the outside of your home. Fill each with lush greenery, pinecones, berries and ribbon.
  • For a truly easy table decoration, top it with a white tablecloth then run a wide red velvet ribbon down the length of the dining table. Silver ribbon over a blue tablecloth is another festive option that could be easily paired with silver candlesticks and accessories.

Once you’ve decked the halls, ask yourself which of the remaining ornaments and decorations you plan to use again. Getting rid of the excess while decorating can make getting organized for next year that much easier. Find more holiday decorating tips at

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