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Stress Free Holiday Decor
by Caroline Ulbrich
In case the music at the drug store and decorations on the shelves at even the hardware store weren't enough to remind you, we just wanted to say that yes, the holidays are just around the corner.
You want to have the fun seasonal spirit, and you want to decorate and create a festive atmosphere in your home, but then you have to face reality. You still have to work, the kids still have to be carted from school to practice and beyond, and not to mention the list of presents you have to buy. Where is the time to decorate?
There are some quick and affordable options to spruce up your place for the holidays. You don't have to go all out, just add a few accents to create some yuletide joy and you are done.
Most product manufacturers have realized that people don't have time to unwind miles of Christmas lights, so they've made some solutions. If you go the artificial tree route (and that saves a lot of time and is re-usable, so it saves money too) buy a pre-lighted one. It is worth its weight in gold. You can enjoy hanging your own special ornaments instead of checking to see which bulb is making the whole string black out. Also try the icicle lights and nets for the outdoors – they create a much more dramatic look than single strands with minimal effort.
Use light to decorate your home, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or other winter season holiday, most have traditions in light since this is a dark time of year. Wrap some light strands around your windows on the inside, and put out small lamps or lanterns. The glow from these lights in the evening will help warm your spirit.
Seasonal photos help liven up your space as well. Family Christmas photos, winter snow scenes (no matter where you live) and other seasonal pictures really bring the message home. You don't have to spend a lot, just make small prints and arrange them in clusters or position them on mantles, end tables, counters and more.
An 8x8 or 8x10 canvas or group of canvases make the perfect presentation, and with the cost at $45 and less, it is easily affordable. They can be propped on a table, or rest on an easel. The best part is, when you are done with the holidays you can move it to a less prominent place, put it in the bedroom where you can enjoy it but don't have to show it off at all times of the year. Or, just wrap it up in plastic and store it with your decorations.
One last hint. A seasonal themed scented candle in the kitchen will really put you in the holiday mind set, without any work. Just keep it away from your special canvases!