Decorating tips, tricks and ideas
Candy canes as placecard holders
Turn small candy canes into placecard holders. Tie a trio of them with a ribbon, or even glue them together and you’ve got an instant holiday holder.
Decorate your pumpkins for the holidays
Save a few of those pumpkins to paint, stack, and dress up. Just paint them white and stack them like a snowman (largest to smallest) decorate with a hat, scarf and buttons and instantly transform fall into winter.
The tree chart
Did you know there were tree decorating standards? Me either. Below is the recommended number of lights, ornaments and garland per foot of tree.
Make your tree even more magical
Use two different sizes of lights to make your tree even more magical.
Easy Advent calendar
Using a muffin tin – just cut out circles from magnetic sheets or use construction paper and tape to lay on top of them. Each day the muffin “cup” reveals a new treat.
Festive chandelier decorations
Turn your chandelier into a festive one with the addition of a few fun Christmas ornaments, just hang ornaments from the chandelier – using different ornament styles and colors you can make just about any type of decoration you are looking for.
The UN-tangled light problem solved
Ah… the untangle-able ball of Christmas lights; if there are a few broken lights on the string and its in a tangled mess then you may think you should just toss it and save yourself the frustration, right? Well, instead of wasting that string(s) of tangled light mess, just place it – as is – in an outdoor planter/bushes for a dramatic lighting effect.
Instant holiday dramatic lighting
Have a broken umbrella? Spray paint the frame white and twist twinkling lights around the arms for an instant holiday lighting fixture.
Reflections of light dancing in the tree
Put tiny mirror ornaments inside your tree to reflect the light and give the illusion of double the lights you really have hanging on the tree.
Gift wrapping, giving and receiving
Need Christmas gift ideas?
Sometimes people are hard to buy for, especially the ones who will not tell you anything they might want or even say they just don’t want anything at all. So, a little bit of ‘reverse psychology’ solves this age old problem. Just get them to guess three things that you got them for Christmas… yes, now you have three ideas of something they really want.
Photos instead of gift tags
Oh, the gift tag issue, trying to think of a fun and creative way to avoid those little store bought tags? A great way to ‘label’ packages is to use your favorite photo of the gift recipient – just print and paste for instant package personalization.
This is what happens at my house during a typical holiday season, I put a gift under the tree with the name label on it and almost immediately the intended recipient is shaking it, guessing what the present is and just generally messing around with the package. Tagless presents solved this problem immediately. Just wrap each person’s gifts in varied paper styles and there’s no need to put name tags on the packages.
On Christmas morning give each person a square of their gift wrap to let them know which gifts belong to them. This increases the suspense.
Go ahead… shake those packages
Another way to ‘fool’ a gift shaker – add a handful of jingle bells to each gift box before they’re wrapped these will disguise the sound of the gift inside.
Get our your pom-poms
Use yarn pom-poms on packages instead of bows. No worries about bows being stacked on each other and getting squished or destroyed, and honestly pom-poms are cheaper to buy and easier to DIY than bows.
Put the jingle in Pringles
Clean out used Pringles containers, cover them in festive paper and boom: easy and free Christmas cookie packaging! Looks professional and keeps cookies from crumbling as well.
Pre-open those impossible packages
Those impossible to open plastic packages, the ones that seem like they intend for you get out the circular saw to open, make Christmas morning a hassle for the kids (young and old) and a hassle for you as you try to figure out just how to open them.
Go ahead and pre-open those packages as you wrap gifts. It may make the gift harder to wrap initially (or you could put everything in an easy to wrap box) but the extra effort before hand will make all the difference on Christmas morning.
In, around and from the kitchen
Melted snowman water
Change that bottled water label from whatever it is to custom printed labels that say “Melted Snowman Water” and create an instant hit!
Condiment bottle for easy icing decorations
Decorating cookies for the holidays is always fun and festive, especially when the whole family gets involved. Want to make it easier to be precise and cleaner with that icing, then just use plastic condiment bottles to squeeze your way to perfection.
Whipped cream shapes
Make the hot chocolate more festive with shaped whipped cream toppings. Just freeze the whip cream on a baking sheet and use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes.
Aroma on a budget
Clove and cinnamon boiling on the stove will make the whole house smell festive.
Fancy kid-friendly drinks
Mix green shebert and sprite to make the kids feel like they have “grown-up” drinks.
Festive drink stirrers
String cranberries onto drink stirrers and freeze them. Beautiful and practical.
Generally speaking, holiday style
Snap those cards
All those picture cards and no idea what to do with them? Just snap a picture of them with your phone to use as contact photos or save them for the photo as a gift tag tip.
Customer service on aisle four
Having a hard time getting the help you need in a store this holiday season? Go over and stand by the biggest, most expensive TV (or other in store item) and look at the price tag, someone will be right over to help you.
The aroma of the holidays (and beyond)
Sprinkle essential oil on your air filter to scent the whole house: Pine essential oil will give the whole house that Christmas tree smell. After the holidays are over other oils such as vanilla, jasmine, orange, etc… will have the same effect.
Picking up a broken glass
CRASH! There goes the glass at a party or a Christmas ball off the tree – and little glass shards are everywhere. Instead of trying to sweep or vacuum, grab a slice of bread it will pick those small shards up in one sweep.
Batteries in cold storage
Buying batteries in bulk size packages is typically more economical and the better way to purchase. But, what about battery life? Store your batteries in the refrigerator and the will keep their strength and full power longer.
And, just as a reminder, check those toys before you wrap them to make sure on battery size and amounts so you can be prepared on Christmas morning.
Holiday travel tips
Be the hero
Want to be a hero at the airport during the holiday travel rush? Bring a power strip. You’ll instantly make a bunch of new friends.
Before going on your holiday vacation, place a coin on a mug of ice in your freezer. When you get home – if the coin is in the ice, it means your freezer stopped working at one point and the food probably has gone bad.
Worried about leaking toiletries in your bag? Put a piece of plastic wrap under the screw on lids for a double seal.
Scan and email yourself a copy of your I.D and passport – plus other important travel documents (download them so they can be accessed offline too) in case of emergency.
Going on a road trip with the kids? Secure a fitted sheet to the back seat of the car, it will catch any crumbs/mess. Simply whip away the sheet and the crumbs are gone.
Fresh out of the dryer luggage
Put a scented dryer sheet into your luggage to keep clothes smelling fresh, when you get home and unpack, store your luggage with a dryer sheet or two in each bag and the bags will be fresh and clean when you get ready to travel again.
Entertaining and holiday parties
The belly button rule
Holding your drink at belly button level at holiday parties or networking events will make you look more confident.
Addressing directions – send a picture
When sending guests directions to your house, don’t just send them the address; send a picture of your house too – this makes it super easy to find the right house.
Offer guests a candy store
Create a “candy store” on an entry or side table with lidded apothecary jars in various sizes. Fill them with colorful candies and put scoops and small baggies on the table. Use individually wrapped candy and enjoy the look all season long.
Storage solutions – after the holidays
Store ornaments in cups
Everyone wants to keep their ornaments organized, and it turns out all you need is a bin and a stack of plastic cups to make sure each ornament stays perfectly packed until next year.
For your smallest ornaments, use egg cartons.
Get all hung up
Wrap Christmas lights around a hanger so they don’t get tangled in storage.