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Living Space: Last minute Christmas decorating can be simple, but festive

Dec. 21, 2010 at 6:21 a.m.
Updated Dec. 23, 2010 at 6:23 a.m.

Bows can transform the simplest of objects into something festive. Tie bows on accessories all around the house for some speedy holiday decorating.

Bows can transform the simplest of objects into something festive. Tie bows on accessories all around the house for some speedy holiday decorating.

By Kathryn Weber

Some years you manage to get a jump on Christmas and handle all the chores with ease.

Other times, you handle the shopping and fall short on decorating. If that describes your year - or if you just want to add those few last decorating touches before friends and family come over - you'll be glad to know that you can still get your Christmas on with some simple additions.

No time for a tree? Gather up fallen tree branches, spray paint gold or silver and stick in a vase. Add simple balls and twinkling lights and you have a tree on the fly. Or, using a stack of gift tags with fabric hangers, turn your vase of branches into a wishing tree with family Christmas or New Year wishes written on tags and hung from the branches.

You can also make your own greenery stand in for a Christmas tree. Decorate your tall ficus tree or palm with lights and ornaments for a tree guaranteed not to drop needles.

When speed decorating, go for convenience. So, don't think twice about buying lots of fresh-cut wreaths, swags and garland. It looks great, smells wonderful and it's handy.

And while you're hanging all that garland, don't forget the ribbon. Bows can transform the simplest of objects into something festive. You can easily transform your doorknobs, lamps, and household plants by tying on a cheery red bow. It's simple, quick, and if you can tie a bow, you can decorate.

To tie a pretty bow, simply wrap ribbon around object and tie. Then make two loops of ribbon in each hand, like when you were learning to tie your shoes. Cross the loops over each other and pull tight. It makes a nice bow with a pretty knot. A roll of red ribbon can give your whole home a quick holiday lift.

Another fast decorating tip is to make a scene.

Christmas scenes are a fast way to make a collection come to life and they assemble in a snap. If you have an assortment of snow globes, nutcrackers or Santas, you can put a vignette together in less than a minute.

Find a clear area and put down a string of lights. Add cotton snow on top of the lights. Next, place your objects between the lights and the snow. By massing them together this way, you have a pretty scene with big visual impact.

If you feel crafty or want to get the kids involved, use glitter. Adding glitter to ornaments and other objects around the house is a fast way to add holiday sparkle. Add glitter to pinecones, acorns, branches, leaves, or simple glass objects to give them a sparkly lift. Be sure to add your Christmas touches in unexpected places, too.

Place a pine swag on a bookshelf, hot glue wide ribbon around your chandelier chain and then bunch up to give your dining room a festive touch, or enlist your presents to do decorating duty. Artfully place wrapped gifts on a table at various heights and surround with pine branches to make an instant arrangement that won't require storing after the holidays.

If you haven't gotten your decorating finished, these tips will help you add a Christmas touch quickly and easily. You don't have to spend a lot of time or money to give your home a fast holiday lift.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website,



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