Posts Tagged ‘holiday decorating’

3 Steps to an Old Fashioned Christmas

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

santaAn Old-Fashioned Christmas in 3 Easy Steps

Have you ever wonder what happened to the old-fashioned Christmas that we – people over a certain age – used to enjoy? The days when you were happy to get almost anything as a gift, when Santa was the main topic of conversation, Christmas was Christmas and not reduced to some homogeneous ‘holiday season’, those were the days.

In this article we’re going to have a look at the three key things you can change this Christmas to bring back a little bit of the feeling of those days of old.

Old-Fashioned Christmas step 1: the Christmas decorations.

For most people the Christmas season really starts the day the first of the Christmas decorations go up; I say the day the first of the Christmas decorations go up because people have so many decorations these days that it can take them a whole weekend to put up, what with the untangling and testing of lights, and building frames to make sure the Christmas decorations don’t fall down etc, etc.

If you want to have a bit of a change from the competitive sport of covering the house in Christmas decorations then we need to get back to some Old-Fashioned Christmas basics.

christmas-tree-lightsLet’s start with the old-fashioned Christmas tree – a must for that trip back in time. Although it can make a lot of financial sense to buy a plastic Christmas tree that you take apart and put back together each year, there’s not much that says it’s Christmas time than the smell of a freshly cut pinus radiata tree – or the equivalent in your respective country.

Now that we’ve managed purged the plastic, and reinstated the real, how about some traditional hand-made decorations to go on it?

Not everything that goes on an old-fashioned Christmas tree has to be hand-made, and certainly doesn’t have to be new, shiny, and made of plastic, a good mixture of the old and the new works very well. Do you remember the pride you felt when a hand-made star or string of popcorn was placed lovingly on the family Christmas tree? Why not give someone else that same feeling?

Get the Christmas music going, knock up a bowl of eggnog, and set down a challenge for the best Christmas tree decoration. Of course, everyone’s a winner, because we don’t want to do anything to disrupt the Christmas atmosphere.


Holiday Decorating Tips to Spend Less and Enjoy More…

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

holiday-decorating-tipsHoliday Decor: Spend Less & Enjoy More

Have you noticed that retailers start displaying their holiday decorations and merchandise earlier and earlier each year? Some people welcome the early holiday cheer, while others like myself; feel there is too much Christmas too soon.

A scientific poll of 1,000 American adults, 73 percent agree with the statement that “it is annoying that the holiday shopping season has gotten earlier.” Forty-eight percent strongly agree. Just 21 percent disagreed. But, if you are a gung ho ho ho shopper and into the themed holiday decorating then this time of year is definitely your best bet for great deals on all things “holiday”.

christmas-treeWhat To Buy and When

Remember when the best deals came after the holiday? Obviously this is still true for items like Christmas cards and holiday wrapping paper. But now, retailers are introducing their holiday discounts early to ensure their stock is sold out by Christmas and, you don’t have to wait and purchase after the holidays only to pack them away for the next 11 months before you can use them.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The holiday season with its purchasing, wrapping and celebrating substantially increases the amount of waste we generate. However, there are many opportunities for the consumer to reduce, reuse and recycle their remnants of holiday cheer.

Before you buy anything new, take stock of what you already have, what you can still use and discard the rest. Social media sites such as Pinterest can give you great ideas on how to repurpose your current decorations.


Outdoor Christmas Lighting Safety and Tips

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

christmas-holiday-lightingWhat You Should Know About Outdoor Christmas Lights

Fun, food, family, gifts and tangled Christmas lights are all things associated with the Christmas season.

The Christmas tree is always fun to put up and decorate and as a rule it is simple, however the outside of your office or home is not always so easy and can often be dangerous.

You need to know which lights are approved as outdoor Christmas lights or you may face power issues, injury or destruction of property.

There are specific strands that are designated as Outdoor Christmas lights and these are the safest choice for decorating your home or office. These lights are manufactured to be water resistant and put off a lot more light. You should know though that hanging your outdoor Christmas lights will be a bit more complicated than your inside lights will be.

There are many things to keep in mind when hanging your Christmas lighting, and safety is one of the most important.

led-outdoor-lights-snowflakesMany people make a grave mistake when hanging outdoor Christmas lights by using a staple gun to secure them. There are several reasons this is a bad idea!

The first problem is of course your metal staple may cut through the wiring, and if you are hanging them while they are on you could be shocked.

Another problem is causing a short in the wiring, which can cause the lights to quit or even catch fire! It is better to use the special hangers designed for holding outdoor Christmas lights, you can find these most places that lights are sold.

Of course do not forget that you will likely need to use a ladder while putting up your lights, make sure your ladder is secure and someone is watching out for you, remember the only thing that will break your fall is frozen ground!

You will need to measure the distance between your available outlet and your Christmas lights. Some outdoor Christmas lighting require a lot of power and your indoor outlet may not be enough to support them.

You will be much better served to have an outdoor outlet installed by a professional. Once you have an outlet in place make sure your lights will reach. With a little planning, you can actually have fun hanging your lights this year.


Easy Holiday Decorating Tips

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

holiday-decorating-tipsQuick and Easy Holiday Decorating

You’re tired. You’ve worked hard all week. Suddenly, the kids shout gleefully… “let’s decorate!”… in anticipation of the coming holiday. The “let’s not” is miraculously not permitted to escape your lips. Instead you take a deep breath while you wonder about how this decorating could become an easier and more fun-filled activity. Well, it can be!

– First, insist on family members pitching in to help and treat this like a family project. This should not just rest on your shoulders to accomplish and it will be much more fun if you all are making changes and creating memories together.

– Next, pick a day and time you’ll all devote no more than one to two hours for a quick holiday makeover at your home (for a major decorating holiday schedule two or three longer blocks of time). It helps if you can set the decorating date about one to two weeks from now, if time still allows for that. This gives you time to gather items together for the project.

– Ask the kids to create one or two new arts and crafts decorations that are suitable to the holiday to have ready for the decorating day. Or, ask them to select ones from among any they may already have on hand, for instance, from school projects.

holiday-decorations-entry– Decide on 3 to 4 areas you will focus on decorating this year. Here are some choices: the front door, the front yard, the entry hallway, the kitchen table, the dining room table, the living room, the patio, the bathroom, the bedroom. There are other areas you could consider as well. But if you want quick and dirty, then focus in on only 3 to 4 of the areas for decorating this year. Anyway, you can select other areas next year for a change.

– Keep holiday decorations in separate bags, boxes or baskets in the same closet or in the attic so they’ll be easy for everyone to retrieve when they are needed next.

– Buy items you really love when you see them advertised or they may not be available when you later. It’s common for seasonal merchandise to change from year to year and also they are not stocked year-round typically. So, your item may no longer be available if you wait too long to decide you want it. Then stash your figurines, statues, wall hangings, and other holiday decorations in your bags or boxes, sorted by holiday.

– Make or buy some snacks or treats to enjoy together at the completion of your decorating time.


Holiday Decorating Tips

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

holiday-decoratingDecorating for the Holidays – 4 Tips to Getting It Right

by j swan

I recently read that the highly prolific, and immensely popular author Nora Roberts once said, “If something isn’t special, then it’s ordinary”. Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s interesting to me that Ms. Roberts comment, in and of itself, is without judgement. The idea that something be identified as ‘special’ or ‘ordinary’ seems to carry identical weight of importance. The distinction or hierarchy among the terms has been left to the definition of the words themselves. Ordinary is defined by the dictionary as “of a common everyday kind; unremarkable” while ‘special’ touts something as “unusual or better; held in esteem”. So it’s here, in the definitions, that the distinction and preference becomes obvious. No one wants to hear themselves described as “ordinary”.

The same holds true for all of life’s’ endeavors; human nature, down through the centuries, has proven itself a devotee of all that is special. Why settle for ordinary when special is a possible option? What then separates the special from the ordinary?

I’ve come to believe there are four basic steps involved in shifting from the ordinary and making anything (yes, including holiday decorations) special.