Harvest nature's Christmas decorations. Fill your largest vase or pitcher with branches of red berries for instant impact. Be sure to keep them where children can't reach them or any berries that fall.
Gather cones and pile them into baskets interspersed with a few that you have sprayed gold or some pretty baubles.
Secure a branch into a pot with Polyfilla or other quick drying cement. Spray white, gold, silver, green, red or whatever. Add baubles, ribbons, iced cookies or painted salt dough shapes for an inexpensive tree that children would love to make for themselves.
Dream theme. Choose a shelf or sideboard and only display there cards and decorations in a certain combination of colours, e.g. red and green, gold and silver. This is very quick and easy to do yet always looks stylish.
Inexpensive bead chains can be looped around curtains as pretty Christmas tie backs.
Save little boxes, matchbox size and over, and wrap them with oddments of gift wrap. Use as decorations or display on the tree. If you want to completely change your tree's colour scheme, this can be a very economical way to do it as all you need to buy is a couple of sheets of gift wrap and some parcel ribbon.
Display candles in front of a mirror to enjoy twice the beauty.
Wreaths aren't just for front doors. Add a really pretty one to a plain wall or wind tinsel around a frame, fix on some baubles and hang it somewhere that doesn't usually get decorated like a bathroom or garage.
If you don't have a fireplace and mantelpiece to decorate make a dresser, table or sideboard into a focal point. Swag it with real or artificial greenery and bows, pile on baskets of fruit, nuts and sweets mixed with candles and your favourite cards.
Tie large wire edged ribbon bows to the backs of Christmas day dining chairs. Trail a little ivy or use fake greenery if there are children around.
Floating candles in a glass bowl makes a pretty centrepiece especially if you match them to the rest of your table colour scheme.
Scatter wrapped chocolate coins across your table for added glitz. They can be eaten up at the end of the meal.
Shiny red apples can be wired on to swags and wreaths or just piled into baskets with cones, nuts and greenery. Or try using an apple corer to take out just enough of the apple to enable you to push in a candle for an unusual temporary candle holder.
Why not decorate the children's bedrooms as well as the main rooms in the house? If you have a spare set of lights they look magical draped around a window, display table or even the tops of wardrobes. Add some paper chains they have made themselves and a miniature artificial or twig tree.
Colleen Moulding is a freelance writer from England where she has had many features on parenting, childcare, travel, the Internet and lots more published in national magazines and newspapers. She has also published a variety of women s and children s fiction. Her work frequently appears at many sites on the Internet and at her own site for women and children All That Women Want.com a magazine, web guide and resource for women everywhere. www.allthatwomenwant.com Why not drop by? It was made for you! Subscribe to the free monthly e-zine containing articles, ideas, tips, site reviews and lots more by sending a blank e-mail to: email@example.com copyright Colleen Moulding 1999, 2000
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