Category Archives: Decorating

Have yourself a hygge little Christmas

What is hygge…and how do you pronounce it?

It’s pronounced hoo-ga and the Oxford dictionary defines it thusly:

A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).

So, Denmark. If you’re like me, all you know about Denmark is that it has something to do with IKEA. And like me, you would be wrong, because IKEA is a Swedish company.

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Happy Poinsettia Day! How to Select and Care for a Poinsettia

This is a good time of year to pick out a Poinsettia for you or for a friend. Poinsettias are different, beautiful and affordable — and they don’t have any calories! 🙂 Sometimes, you can buy 3 for $10 on sale. Guys like them, too! Think about giving one as a colorful holiday surprise to anyone who needs a lift or as a way of saying thank you.

Here’s how to pick out a good one: the center little yellow-green nubs are the flowers (the red “petals” are actually leaves). These should be closed, they’ll open eventually. Skip a plant that has curling, yellow, or dead leaves.

Don’t let the plant get cold on the way home. Unfortunately, you have to take the pretty wrapping off the plant pot, as you don’t want the poinsettia to stand in water and get wet feet. If the soil feels dry to the touch you will need to water it. Take the plant to the sink and gently run water into the soil until it pours out of the drainage holes. Drain well. Place on a water proof plate and situate the plant near a sunny window away from direct heat and cool drafts. Check soil daily for dryness.

Poinsettias are not poisonous, but they’re also not cat food, so if you have pets at home, you may want to purchase the convincing-looking artificial ones.

Check out this video for more tips…

How To Decorate Your Mantel for Christmas (Video)

img_5407.jpgWhen I HAD a mantel, I loved decorating it for holidays. I used to incorporate silver-toned frames of my family and friends, along with candles, ornaments, real greenery, ribbon and deer.

Now I do the same thing, but with my wall of bookshelves.

Here are two videos that showcase great looks to try and add your own personal touches.

These decorators share their approaches to creating a beautiful, decorated Christmas mantel.

The first video is by Liz Fenwick. I like this video because she really explains the mechanics, measurements and specifics for building the decorative elements on the mantel.

In this how-to video, designer Eddie Ross reveals his approach for decorating a fabulous Christmas fireplace mantel with simple greenery, Christmas lights and glowing candles. I love how he shows how easy it is to change a few elements to create two very different looks. You could do a different look each week! Or you could change it up for a holiday party…or New Year’s Eve.

youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ZxcV5rQPs%5D

A video look at the White House Chrismas decorations — with Bo!

Bo makes a final inspection of the 2012 White House Christmas decorations before 90,000 visitors come through the doors of the People’s House this holiday season. Find out more about the 2012 White House Holiday celebrations, including the special tributes to troops, veterans and military families at http://whitehouse.gov/holidays

Water your Christmas tree daily

It’s really important to keep your tree watered!  Water daily.

How to put lights on your Christmas Tree

If you are anything like me, you struggle with getting the lights just right! My tree looks like this: way too many lights near the top, too many clumped together, not enough lights. Usually, a more spatially aware friend takes pity on me and helps me do it evenly, and the results are so beautiful. Once I accepted that more lights really were needed, I had a prettier tree.

My tips are

  1. Play some Christmas music — I love the Charlie Brown Christmas album for this!
  2. White lights or colored lights? It’s hard to pick. Why not both? One year, I did both. The effect was beautiful! I had the color I wanted, but the brightness from the clear lights. Some years, I do color lights when I am going for a more colorful tree. Last year, I left the colorful ornaments in the box and did an all silver and gold tree, with fewer ornaments but lots of lights.
  3. Don’t rush it. Go slowly and you will get better results. If you have to, start over.
  4. Enlist a friend…or two..to help unravel the cords, circle the tree and drape the tree with lights. It really helps to have the extra hands.
  5. Tuck, tuck, tuck those lights in — some deep and some closer to the edges of the branches, so you have that nice “depth” effect.
  6. Strategically position some of the ornaments near light sources, especially if they have glitter on them.
  7. Stop and take some pictures of you and your family decorating the tree, as you do it. You’ll be so glad to have these to look at later!

Here are some tips from the experts…

First, the lights. You will need 100 lights per foot of tree.

Secondly, some of those light strings contain lead. It will probably say so, on the box.  So wear plastic gloves to protect your hands, and wash your hands afterwards and before eating anything (like Christmas cookies!), so you don’t accidentally contaminate yourself.

Now for the decorating…

From what I’ve observed on YouTube, you can approach this a number of ways.  Some people start by wrapping the trunk with a string of lights. Some people weave the lights up and down around the tree, and others wrap each individual branch, starting at the trunk and working outward.

Here are some videos that demonstrate those techniques…

Here’s the “wrap each branch” technique from Colonial Wiliamsburg…

And here’s the “weave around the tree” approach from Home Depot…

How do you put up your Christmas tree lights?

How to Decorate a Christmas Wreath (Video)

Kim Beck, one of the visual merchandisers at Christmas Town, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, demonstrates how to decorate a wreath for Christmas in this short video. I liked her idea to use two different patterns of ribbon! I hope it inspires you to decorate your own wreath this Christmas.

For more inspiration, visit http://www.christmastown.com.