The traditional red and green colors of Christmas decorations bring a

festive mood to Christmas. The magic of the holidays is infectious.

Neighborhoods are alive with twinkling lights, the smell of

gingerbread cookies fills the air and snow covered lawns boast

cheerful decorations. Wherever you go there's the sound of carols,

bells and laughter in the air. And you can't help but whistle a carol

yourself and join in the fun and frolic and brim with laughter - it's

Christmas and you cannot be more happier!



When it comes to decorations, you can let your imagination run wild.

Uniquely themed Christmas trees that break the mould of tradition can

gain popularity.



Your decoration of the Christmas tree can be a reflection of your

hobbies such as doll, angel or teddy-bear collecting, or boating for

that matter. A theme like this makes a very personal holiday

decorating scheme so that you can sit back and enjoy your creation.

It can also revolve around your area of current interests, activities

and family events that will add to family memories when viewed in the

photo albums in the future.



The following theme ideas can be implemented or used as a platform

for your imagination.



New arrival Celebration:

Imagine all things babyish! This could be a fun theme if you are

going to be having a baby shower during the holidays. Look out for

all the baby colored balls - pink, mint, lavender and blue, yellow

frosted balls ; plastic baby rattles in different shapes and pastel

colors, knit baby booties, wooden alphabet blocks, baby bottles and

pacifiers can be hung on the tree with pink and blue ribbons. Couple

it up with pastel colored plush toys, such as teddy bears, if you

have them. Top it off with pink and blue netting and a cherub and use

a pretty baby blanket for the tree skirt.



Snowman Spectacle:

Unique but traditional this theme celebrates the popularity of

snowmen. To tie in with the gold you can add gold and white patterned

ribbon, gold bead garland and matte gold balls. Snowflakes add

texture and continue the winter look.



Seaside Holiday:

This theme allows you to play with colors. You can use copper and

silver, gold and silver or green and blue. Whatever color theme you

choose most of the accessories are easy to find and can be spray

painted to match. Look for star fish, seahorse, shell and sand dollar

ornaments or try to be even more adventurous if you use the real

thing provided you live near the water...if you use real shells tie

them to the tree with gold or silver cording. Look for a netting

material or ribbon to wrap the tree with and add clear glass balls to

create the effect of bubbles.



Ornament Candles:

Create a sparkling and delicate centerpiece in no time at all. If you

don't have an antique pedestal dish, use any pretty footed dish as

the base for this bright and shining holiday display.

What You Need:

Pillar candle

Pedestal dish

20 or more small glass ornaments

Mirror (optional)



Instructions:

Place candle in dish.

Gently arrange ornaments around the candle until desired look is

achieved.

Optional: For a warm reflected glow, place the dish in front of a

mirror.



Festive Floral Arrangements:

Set a place for style at your holiday table. This bright arrangement

brings cheer to even the coldest winter days.



Start a Christmas collection:

This can be a great tradition to initiate in your home. Say you can

start off by collecting Santa and see your collection to grow up

gradually. This doesn't have to be expensive, or even store bought.

Try sewing or crafting a new decoration each year together for even

more memories! Or check out your dollar store...they have some really

cute ceramic holiday decorations for a buck or two. Remember, it's

the memories you are interested in here, not a collectable based on

monetary value.



If you are looking to do a toyland theme for your Christmas

decorating this year, try searching out teddy bears and dolls at your

local stores. Wash them in a pillowcase and put them in your dryer

for at least 20 minutes, then dress them up with ribbons and holiday

fabrics. Group them under your tree, on mantels, and on windowsills.

Stack small squares of cardboard together and wrap as a tiny present,

then tuck them under a teddy's arm, or wrap an empty box and use it

as teddy's seat by the front door.



Turn your home into a winter wonderland with lacy looking snowflakes

that you and your kids can make. Tape them, in groups of two to five-

depending on size, to doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, etc. They are

fun and easy to make with any white paper. They look especially nice

against a dark color background (like a dark wood door).



To make a paper snowflake:

Cut white paper into an exact square (any size). Fold by half, twice,

forming a square. 2.Then fold corner to corner, once, forming a

triangle (leaving one long side of the triangle with all the loose

sides and the other long side as one single fold).

Cut along all sides, leaving enough places uncut to hold the

snowflake together.

Be sure to make at least a few cuts deep into the center of the

triangle.

After it's cut, unfold the snowflake to see what you have made. Store

them flat (unfolded) in a single pile, until you are ready to put

them up.

You will find, too, that the more you make them the better and more

intricate they become, so each year's snowflakes will be better and

better.



Get the whole family together to create a holiday picture. Use poster

board, or large paper, and combining cenes cut from Christmas cards,

wrapping paper, catalogs and magazines sketch, draw and color to

blend them together, making a panorama holiday scene to put on the

wall as part of your decorations.



Decorating for the holidays isn't limited to things you can see.

Christmas is a time of wonderful smells and 9. memory-evoking aromas.

To fill your home with a wonderful scent, make this easy simmering

potpourri: Combine orange peel, cinnamon, and whole cloves in a small

pan, half-filled with water. Simmer on low heat, refilling water as

needed. One pan of fresh potpourri will last an entire day, perhaps

two, but should be made fresh each day if possible.